So You’re Going to BEA For the First Time?

BEA can be the best experience of a book blogger’s career — I know for me, the times I’ve been able to attend have been an absolute dream! It’s always so exciting meeting my blogger friends for the first time person, connecting names with faces, getting to talk to publishers, attend events, and of course ALL THE BOOKS!

I’m sure if you’ve never been before, BEA (and even just traveling to a big city) can be a little intimidating! I would have been petrified had I not gone with Alyssa the first year so I had a great buddy to help guide me along! If you’re a newbie to BEA this year, I wanted to share my experiences to maybe help calm the nerves just a little bit!

** Post updated: April 2015
** Post updated: March 2016 (to include BEA Chicago)

PEOPLE AND PLACES

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  • Grab a buddy! Chances are that you’ll be heading to BEA with fellow blogger friends, but I cannot tell you how helpful it was to go with Alyssa the first time I attended BEA in New York. She had not only had been before but also had a general knowledge of the area having been to NYC for BEA and other things since she’s from New England. Attending BEA with a friend (or multiple friends!) makes the experience more fun, helps cut down costs on rooming and transportation fees, and bonus points if you have friends who have been before who can help you get a lay of the land! Even if you go with someone who’s not familiar with where you’re going or what you’re doing, it’s always nice to have someone else going through that experience with you!
  • To stay in the city or not to stay in the city?
    • WHEN TO STAY IN NYC/Chicago: If you’re attending outside events (blogger or publisher-hosted parties), if you want to check back into your hotel room throughout the day, if you can afford a hotel room, if you’re familiar with the city
      • The second year I went to BEA, we actually did stay in the city (see below for my experience staying in CT) and it definitely was more convenient! We were able to meet up with more people, attend events after the conference, and even help out at the Kids Author Carnival! The downside is that it does cost SO MUCH MORE. I think the hotel room was actually my biggest expense — not even my flights. It really is the easier way to go, but it does cost a lot more. I’ll also say that many people have used the incentive of popping back to the hotel room during the day and we couldn’t really do that. We stayed in the city but it was still a couple miles away from Javits (to save a little bit of money and that’s all there was left haha) so we did come back before going out at night but we didn’t get to leave the conference and pop back at the hotel.
    • WHEN TO NOT STAY IN THE CITY: If you’re strapped for cash, you can always grab a hotel outside of NYC/Chicago/wherever BEA is held. You are much more tied down to specific time frames since you’ll have to travel back and forth and you will be sacrificing some social time but it IS possible. The first year I went, Alyssa and I actually stayed at a hotel in Southern Connecticut and if you want to save some money on a hotel for BEA in Chicago, there are tons of hotels close to train stops in the suburbs that will get you into the city and won’t take you forever to get there. If you’re looking to save money and not stay in the city, something like this may be an option for you It does have its downsides though, of course.
      • [TRANSIT TIME] We took the train in from CT to Grand Central and it was fairly easy BUT it does take up time. We had to get up much earlier in the morning and that also meant that we had to consider that time it took to get back at night. Chicago: Staying in the suburbs is a good way to save money but you likely won’t be able to grab an express train in the morning so you’ll be stopping at each train stop. Then you still have to take a cab to McCormick so that will add on a little more time too.
      • [CARRYING BOOKS] Staying far enough away that you can’t go back to your hotel means that you’ll have to lug your book haul around with you if you decide to go out somewhere after BEA shuts down for the day. Just keep in mind that each day, you’re bringing home quite a heavy load of books with you — unless you decide to ship them back home (see below).
      • [SIGHT-SEEING AND POST-BEA EVENTS] We ended up not going to many post-BEA events since we were staying so far away but it being my first time, I didn’t know much of what to do anyway. To be honest, I was exhausted by the time BEA was over BUT bloggers to get together for dinner and last year there was a blogger picnic in Central Park one day! BEA does take up most of the day’s time so there’s not a ton of time to actually sight-see so where you book your hotel (even within NYC) may dictate what exactly you go do after the day is over.
  • TRANSPORTATION. There are shuttles to and from BEA (schedule should be posted somewhere around the entrance/exit and I think on the BEA website once it’s closer to the event date). I think they only go to the designated BEA hotels and for our purposes, since we weren’t staying in NYC our first year, we took the shuttle to the hotel closest to Grand Central and walked the rest of the way to the train station. The shuttles are free and getting cabs may or may not be tricky so if you can work it out to take a shuttle to and from BEA, it helps save time and money!
  • TALK TO PEOPLE. I didn’t say hello to a lot of people and this is something I always struggle with! I’m kind of shy and don’t alwayst feel comfortable saying hello to a few bloggers, and talking to the representatives from the publishing houses was incredibly intimidating!!! Guys… THIS IS SILLY. The bloggers I didn’t say hello to told me afterwards I should have and you don’t have much to lose talking to the publishers as you’re waiting for a galley drop or walking the floor. I handed out less than five of my business cards (see below) my first year because I was too shy (honestly, didn’t hand out many more in the second year). I know it’s hard to approach people but BEA is the time to come out of your shell and network!

ATTIRE

  • Look (and act) professional but be comfortable. You don’t have to wear a dress or a skirt, but I chose to wear dresses in the past (and I am not a dress person). BEA is an event mostly for professionals and honestly, I’m not sure how industry professionals view bloggers, but I didn’t want to bring a bad name to us! (Not saying that you would, but you know what I mean.) I tried to look professional (although you don’t have to wear dresses, but a more dressed up look is about right) and act professional. It’s insanely tempting to run all over the place for galley drops and making lines for author signings before anyone else gets there but no one appreciates running and pushing!
  • Layers. The temperature can also fluctuate throughout the day so I went with layers — a cardigan comes in handy for chilly moments and you can always shed it if you get too hot or if you decide to wander in the summer heat!
  • Shoes. If you’re planning on looking professional, make sure you’re still comfortable. I would highly discourage any uncomfortable footwear because last year I was standing pretty much ALL. DAY. Even (fake) Toms took a toll on my feet. Chances are if you’re dressing up, you may not be able to avoid blisters or foot-cutting so be prepared and bring band-aids!

WHAT TO BRING INTO THE CONVENTION CENTER

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  • Bring snacks and water! There will be all kinds of refreshments available but they are expensive! If you want to save some money, bring a refillable water bottle and some non-perishable snacks. One year we even made peanut butter sandwiches for lunch!
  • Camera/camera phone. You’ll want to take pictures with blogger friends, not to mention all the authors you’ll be meeting!
  • Business cards. While business cards are not a “must”, they are very helpful for networking. Even though I barely pass any out each year (oops? At least I have a bunch left?), it’s an easy way to connect with bloggers you met there so you don’t have to swap info and also a good way to try to get connected with publishers as well. I think I handed out one business card to a publisher last year and it was the more nerve-wracking thing I did even though it was easy-peasy haha!
  • Phone charger. There aren’t many places to charge your phone on the floor (correct me if I’m wrong? There was a spot but I think it was for “power readers”?) but I was on my phone A LOT at BEA — In the down-time waiting in line, Tweeting and taking Instagram photos as well as seeing other people’s updates, texting with people to meet up, and checking various schedules on the BEA app — so better to have your phone charger on-hand in case you find a good place to plug in! I bought a portable/cordless charger so I didn’t have to rely on outlets somewhere. Just make sure it’s all charged up the night before!
  • A suitcase. There’s an area where you can check a suitcase for only a few dollars for the whole day and this worked out PERFECTLY for me. You can go back periodically through the day to dump off books you’ve been collecting so you don’t have to carry ALL of them with you all of the time. It also makes getting those books home a lot easier! You CANNOT bring the suitcase onto the floor so bring a couple extra dollars to check it!
  • Tote bag/backpack. You cannot possibly hold all of these books in your hands. There are many booths that hand out tote bags but I say especially on day one, bring your own bag just in case you don’t find any right off the bat!
  • A schedule. There will be a schedule posted on the BEA website before the conference with the author autographing schedules and various publishers may also provide galley drop schedules. It’s best to make up a personal schedule beforehand to know where you need to be and when! There’s a whole lot going on and things are bound to overlap so I actually hand-wrote a schedule (so I didn’t have to use up phone battery) and also carried the official map of how the conference was laid out! I also had “back-ups” on my schedule which was nice because a couple times I made it through autographing lines fairly quickly and was able to hop into another line!

WHAT TO DO

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AT THE CONFERENCE:

  • Author autographing area. There’s a designated area for autographing with authors at a designated table and specific lines set up for each one. You can check the schedule to see who’s signing when and plan out parts of your day based on which authors you want to see (books provided there — the author signs the book and then hands it to you).
    • TIPS: Arrive to the lines early. They fill up fast and not everyone in the line is guaranteed a book/a chance to meet the author. Cut offs will either be designated by the amount of books available or how much time the signing is taking up. Being closer to the front helps ensure you’ll get your shot! Make sure you’re in the right line and that is the ONLY line for the author you’re seeing. There were a couple times when there was an “official” line started in two places and that really messed things up for how many people made it to see the author and which line got to be in front. Lots of frustrated people there. “Veteran” tip: Please do NOT go gripe to a publisher if you don’t get a book even after standing in line for hours. They do not guarantee that everyone in line will get a book/get to meet the author because of quantity and allotted time. You CAN, however, nicely present them with your card and ask if there’s any way you can contact them for a copy once they’re back in NYC. Complaining and acting negatively doesn’t solve problems and we have seen some really doozies of reactions and felt incredibly embarrassed for those people!
  • Galley drops. The booths around the floor have designated times where they hand out galleys. Some will have galleys just stacked on their tables/around the booth and other times (usually the more coveted titles) will have a specific time they will be handed out.
    • TIPS: Most booths/publishers will have a schedule of galley drops. Walk around on the first day to grab their schedule so you can work that into your personal schedule for BEA. Don’t take more than one book. That’s just a big no-no. If you have a conflict and you or your friend can’t make it to the galley drop you want, try to find a friend who will stand in line for you. Even if the extra book is for your friend, it’s really not okay to grab two as it’s not fair to everyone else in line. Hop in lines early. For really popular titles, the lines will start forming well before the drop time. Try to get there early!
  • Panels. I usually don’t attend panels because there are SO many places I want to be at the same time, but there are some awesome panels to hear authors and industry professionals speak! I’ve heard some really good things about a few of them so if you have time, they’re definitely worth checking out!
  • In-booth signings. Some authors sign at the booths on the floor instead of the autographing area. Same “rules” apply here as autographing area — lines, arrive early, books provided for you!

AFTER THE CONFERENCE:

  • Parties: There are quite a few things you can do after the conference is done for the day! A big question I hear is “How do I get invited to parties?” and unfortunately, the publisher parties are invite-only and they usually invite their group of select bloggers. So how do you get invited? Just keep working hard and start establishing a relationship with publishers and hopefully you’ll get on their “nice” list in the future 😉 But you don’t have to wait for a publisher invite — there are some blogger hosted parties too. Bloggers are usually putting together events to get together because there really is not enough time to talk and chat on the floor so keep your eyes peeled for open events or plan one with your close friends!
  • Food & Drink: There are so many great restaurants in NYC/Chicago! Hunt down some good ones and make some dinner or drink plans! Many bloggers try to arrange events to meet up with friends/other bloggers so keep a look-out for those. There are also usually blog posts about the best places to eat/drink around the city!
  • Broadway/Chicago Theater: I know some people even went to see a Broadway show while they were in NYC! I haven’t been before, but I think that’s awesome!
  • Get creative: One year we saw Maleficent at the movies because we REALLY wanted to see it together! I’ve never been able to squeeze in much sight-seeing but you can definitely check out the sights at night (you realistically won’t have much time (aka any time) during the day) OR since BEA 2015 runs Wed-Fri, make some sight-seeing plans on the weekend if you’re still in town!
  • #BEAPartofIt: Some bloggers local to NYC put together a nice collection of suggestions and ideas with their knowledge of the city! Don’t miss their BEA Part of It posts and check out the hashtag on Twitter to keep up with them!

Well, those are ALL the possible things I can think of! (Too overwhelming? Oops?) BEA is an absolute blast but it can get overwhelming at times. I think if you’re prepared and organized you can totally take BEA by storm and if you’re not… Well, you’ll still probably have an amazing time anyway! Most importantly, have fun, talk with your fellow bloggers, make sure you meet your favorite authors and grab your must-have galleys, and enjoy!

[bctt tweet=”Going to #BEA for the first time? Here are some helpful tips & tricks!”]

Are you going to BEA this year? Let me know because I plan on saying hello to my fellow bloggers this year and NOT being shy! Have any other tips and tricks about the event? What’s the best advice you can give to first-timers?

59 thoughts on “So You’re Going to BEA For the First Time?

  1. Wendy @ Book Scents

    I’ll be going to BEA for the first time this year!!! I’m beyond excited!! I’ve been reading everyone’s posts that have been cropping up lately about BEA tips. 🙂 I feel like I’m going to be so overwhelmed! but i’m so insnaely excited for all the authors, books and meeting everyone!!!

    1. Brittany Post author

      Oh YAY! We’ll definitely have to meet up at some point in time! I’d love to meet in person! It can be a bit overwhelming but it also really helps to go with someone who’s been before. Are you going with someone else or on your own?? Ahh I’m so excited for you! It’s an awesome experience!

      1. Wendy @ Book Scents

        I’m going with a few other bloggers but none of us have been before. Haha it may be chaos! but at least i won’t be alone. Yes! We should definitely meet up! I’m so excited to meet everyone!

      2. Brittany Post author

        Haha!! I think it’s always a LITTLE bit chaos, no matter how “experienced” you are! 🙂 It’s so true though — even if you’re all people going for the first time, it’s just helpful to have SOMEONE to go with and room with and stand in line with! Can’t wait to see you there! 🙂

  2. Mel@thedailyprophecy

    Owh man, all these posts makes me extra sad that I’m not able to come to BEA – at least not this year. I really wish the Netherlands had an event like this, with awesome English books and publishers 😀 This was very interesting to read though and I bet it’s useful for the BEA-goers!

    1. Brittany Post author

      I really wish you could come or that there were events like this near you too!!! I think one of my favorite parts is just being able to see/meet all the bloggers and I wish I could meet all the international ones too! 🙁 So hard to get everyone all together. Thanks so much for the lovely comment & glad you still found it interesting 🙂 🙂

    1. Brittany Post author

      Thanks, Julie!!! I hope you get to BEA someday too! 😀 So glad you enjoyed the advice!

    1. Brittany Post author

      Thanks, Candice! So glad it’s helpful!!! Let me know if you need anything else 😉

  3. Cassi Steenblok

    I’m going to BEA this year for the first time. I’m nervous but so excited to meet all the bloggers and authors. Your advice is really helpful. Thanks Brittany!

    1. Brittany Post author

      Oh yay! I’m so glad it was helpful!! Definitely say hello at BEA! I’d love to meet in person 🙂 🙂

  4. Nikki

    This is seriously the most helpful post I’ve seen for BEA so far — and I’ve been doing a LOT of research, since I’m going this year!! You have so many helpful tips — about scheduling, and book drops, and the author signing lines… thank you SO much for compiling all these tips and info! Bookmarking this for future reference!!

    1. Brittany Post author

      YAY! That makes me so happy to hear that! It’s so hard to gauge the event without having been so I tried to be as detailed as possible haha. It’s still kind of chaotic regardless but definitely in a good way 😉 SO SO glad it was helpful!!!

  5. meghann

    Whoa! This is so helpful! I’ve been lurking around the BEA site to sign-up for the bloggers conference. I think I’m going to do it!

  6. Rebecca @ The Library Canary

    Thanks for all the tips! I’ve been contemplating staying in Jersey since NY is just so freaking expensive, but heard that it’s not a good idea so it’s good to hear that it worked out for you. Is that what you’re doing again this year? If I stay in Jersey I would be able to go for the whole thing. If I have to stay in the city I can probably only go for one day. 🙁 So I’m trying to decide what to do.

    1. Brittany Post author

      We’re actually staying in NYC this year! I honestly think it has its ups and downs. The upside is obviously saving money. Downsides would include having to wake up earlier to get to BEA, the transit time, lugging your books back on the train when the day ends, and maybe not going out after BEA ends for the day. I didn’t mind any of those things really! I would have liked to go out afterwards a few times to meet up with other bloggers but at the same time I was also exhausted from the full day! I carried my bag of books around with me on the last day and we went to Books of Wonder and out to lunch and it really wasn’t too bad, but obviously you’d have a whole suitcase full on the other days!! I think it really depends on what you want to do after the day is over! Let me know if you have any other questions and feel free to email me 😀 I’d love to help!!

      1. Rebecca @ The Library Canary

        Yeah, I have family in Jersey so I could stay for free which would obviously save me a ton of money. So I’m thinking about it. I don’t think I’ll be going to any of the parties (I know there are lots during the conference, but you have to be invited, which I doubt I will be, which is fine.) so there’s no problem there. It would be nice to get dinner with some other bloggers and stuff though. Hmmm…so many pros and cons to weigh! I think I’m probably going to end up staying in Jersey though because of the money. Otherwise I’ll only be able to go for one day and I feel like there’s no way I will be able to do everything I want to do in just one day. I will definitely email you if I have questions. Thanks for all your help!

      2. Brittany Post author

        How long would it take you to get to the city? For your first time, I really don’t think it’s a bad option, personally, if you’re comfortable taking the train or something! 🙂 When we stayed in CT, we were at the very southern part of the state but the train ride still took like an hour and a half, but we were coming all the way from New Haven! The train ride was nice in a way because Alyssa and I got a LOT of reading done and it was nice just relax on the way there/back but we had to get up at like 4:30am to be there on time haha! I’m sure places in Jersey are MUCH closer so you wouldn’t have to get up as early but the convention starts at 9 each morning and you want to be there early so really no matter where you stay, you’ll be waking up early!!
        As far as going out afterwards goes — yeah, we were not invited to any parties haha! We didn’t have those kinds of connections. But we did miss the blogger picnic (more because we weren’t feeling well that day than because of time) but we had to keep in mind that by the time we did go out somewhere afterwards and then left, got to the Grand Central, then back to CT, then back to the hotel, it would be LATE. We were willing to do that for the picnic but then Alyssa wasn’t feeling well that day and I wasn’t feeling great myself so we just went back to the hotel.
        I don’t want to talk you out of it haha! Just want to share my experiences 🙂 But I really do think it’s an option. We didn’t socialize as much but we saved a LOT of money and if it means going all three days, it might not be a bad idea since you wouldn’t have to pay for a hotel at all!
        I also know of two people who may still be looking for roommates if you want me to ask them (if you’re interested in looking into staying in NYC)!
        Let me know! And sorry for talking your ear off hahaha

  7. Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Book Blog)

    I’m going to BEA for the first time this year!!! I really appreciate all of these types of posts because I’m starting to feel anxious about the not knowing part of it. This stuff helps so much!! The biggest thing I’m going to do this year is just go with the flow. I’m going with a few other blogging girls and I’m just trying to not have expectations. I just want to go with the flow and have fun and just experience it. But I still want to be somewhat prepared, so thank you for the tips!!! I hope I see you there 🙂

    1. Brittany Post author

      Oh YAY! I hope we definitely get to see each other there! I’m so glad it’s been helpful. You really do have to go with the flow but it always helps if you’re prepared, that’s for sure! 🙂 Once you get there and you start walking the floor, it’s really not bad. Lots of places to try to be at once, but that’s really the most overwhelming part of it haha! There were just SO many things I wanted to go to! Honestly, by the second day, I had no qualms wandering around by myself. You’ll get the feel of it pretty quickly! 🙂 I think you’ll have a fantastic time 😀

  8. Amy M.

    Thanks for all of the tips! I’ll be going to BEA this year. It’s my first time. Super excited!!! I only can go for the blogger’s conference and the first day of BEA though. I think it should still be lots of fun.

  9. Betty

    Great post!! I was pretty stressed about BEA last year since it was my first time going!! I love that you pointed out the most important things for people to consider. I definitely agree on the shoes. I was lucky and had the most comfortable pair of blowfish flats EVER. I didn’t get one blister and honestly didn’t complain about my feet at all. Unfortunately those shoes have seen better days. I hope I can find another pair just as comfortable or I’m in trouble! Also– I second the YOU DON’T HAVE TO WEAR DRESSES point. Everyone told me to wear dresses last year– I ignored them and felt more than appropriate in dark skinny jeans, a nice top and a blazer. Definitely don’t want to rock jeans and a tshirt, but don’t have to go all out either. And YES to arriving really early for autograph lines. I learned that real fast when even a half hour early was too late to get a book I really wanted! I’ll be much more strategic this year!

  10. Amanda

    Thank you so much for this advice! I am only able to go on May 31st, but I’ve been really anxious about how it’s going to be, and this has helped ease my nerves a bit.

  11. Alice Atorly

    This is fantastic and makes me super excited. Questions! What did you sign up for? Blogger Conference? Power Reader Day? Both? More? Since you were talking about being professional and dressing accordingly and bringing business cards, I wondered if you attended another event. When were you interacting with publishers? What was the exchange of the business card specifically for?
    Also, what did you put on your business card?

    Okay, I’ll hold off the questions for a minute. Haha

    1. Brittany Post author

      Oh yay!!!
      By all means, ask away! This is what the post is here for 😀
      I actually didn’t sign up for the blogger conference — I’d like to go but I’m coming in on Wednesday instead of Tuesday (trying not to take as many days off work) so I won’t be attending that. I just bought my four-day pass (even though I won’t be attending on Wednesday)!
      I actually purchased my business cards for BEA last year and I haven’t relaly used them for much else… Every once in a while when I send out giveaways or if I remember, I bring them with me to author signings on the off chance that I can hand them out (I usually don’t haha). Oh gosh, what do my business cards look like haha. I have my blog logo and name on the front and then my URL, twitter handle, and email address on the back, I think. I just handed them out to publishers when we were chatting and I was too scared last year to hand them out to many people, but it’s always worth a shot! 🙂
      If you have any more questions, let me know! 😀

  12. alice-jane

    I love these tips! I commuted to BEA last year because I live close enough to and I’m doing it again this year. I went with a friend last year and it was great, so I’m going again this year with her. Bringing a suitcase is important since I brought a backpack last year and I thought I was going to collapse from the weight and the walk back to the train station. Also, I’d suggest bringing a backup battery for your camera. I have one because I got an extra one when I bought my camera, but it’s so useful to have one around since you don’t have to wait around to charge it.

  13. Nicole

    These are awesome tips for newbies Brittany! Ashley and I were completely unprepared last year (I did not even look at the BEA schedule until the night before because I didn’t know there was one until then!) but I think we still managed pretty well! I definitely feel more comfortable with what is going on this year but I am still not sure how to figure out all the extra events that go on. But I am still excited! This is such a wonderful event! See you there!

  14. Sheila Ruth

    These are great tips! I’m a ten year veteran of BEA, and some of this took me years to figure out, like checking a rolling suitcase in the bag check area to put your books in.

    I can’t emphasize to first-timers strongly enough how important your tip about shoes is. It’s so important to wear comfortable shoes that no one will judge you on your shoes. Business attire with casual, comfortable shoes (no heels!!!) is perfectly acceptable.

    I hope that now that you’re more comfortable, you can overcome your shyness and meet more people. Connecting with fellow book people is really one of the best things about BEA. I’m pretty shy as well, but I always feel at home at BEA. This is my tribe! I hope to run into you in an autographing line and we can exchange business cards!

  15. Luna's Little Library

    Thank you so much, I’ll be re-reading this a couple of times in the run up.
    I’m coming for the first time with some friends from the UK so it’ll be an experience in itself. Never been to New York before, trying to research as an international attendee is a lot of leg work. This helped so much. 🙂

    1. Brittany Post author

      So glad it’s been helpful!! If you have any more questions, feel free to ask! 😀

  16. Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook

    Hey Brittany –

    I’ve read this post quite a few times because I’m going to BEA this year for the first time. This post has been super helpful. I do have one question. What time did you try to get to the Javits Center in the morning? I’ve been seeing a lot of people say they get in line at 7AM. Do you recommend that?

    What happens if you get there at 9 or a little before? Do you miss out on a lot? I’m going with a fellow librarian, and I’m not sure she wants to be there at 7, so I’m just trying to figure out what will happen is we get there a littler later, but still before the doors open.

    Thanks for the help!

    1. Brittany Post author

      Hi Quinn!
      Ohh I’m SO glad it’s been so helpful so far!
      I think last year we got there around 8am. There was already a hefty line started to get into the main floor but it didn’t take that long for people to file in. The floor opened at 9 and I think the first autographing sessions didn’t start until 9:30 or 10 so on the first day, I just hopped in line at the autographing stations right away because I really wanted to see Kendare Blake and grab Antigoddess. The next day I didn’t have anything to do right away so I got in at nine and checked out the various booths, gathered pamphlets with schedules of book drops, and checked out to see if there were any available galleys to grab right off the bat.
      I think after 7 should be fine! I don’t think we’ll be getting there as early as 7 this year. I’m guessing we’ll aim for 8 again!
      Let me know if you have any more questions! Happy to answer! 🙂

  17. Anya

    I’ll be going for my first time :D. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around this whole author signings thing. They give away free books at signings for real? Are they typically ARCs or finished copies?

    1. Sheila Ruth

      Yes, they really do give away books for free. Some are ARCs and some are finished copies. A few only give out samplers, or signed posters, but that’s a rare case. Obviously they’re hoping to get reviews and book buzz out of giving away the books.

      The hardest thing is restraining yourself and not taking too many. I think most people at their first BEA are like a dieter on a cheat day. Our first year we came home with a car full of books, and only ended up reading a small number of them. Now we try to limit ourselves to only the books we really want, and we still end up taking more than we can read in a year.

      Etiquette is important: each person should only take one book, and only the books that are there for giveaways. If a book is on a display shelf, you shouldn’t take it, but if there’s a stack of a hundred of them, it’s probably free for the taking. If you’re not sure, always ask.

      Above all: enjoy! BEA is a book lover’s dream.

      1. Anya

        Since I already have a pile of ARCs glaring at me, I’ll definitely be trying to hold myself back ;-). I have the benefit of having a genre blog and being only a genre reader, so it looks like that is going to severely cut down on which books I’m interested. I think I’m going to be going up and asking over and over “Is this sci-fi or fantasy?” that week, haha.

      2. Sheila Ruth

        Oh, don’t worry, there’ll be plenty of books for you. I’m genre, too, and always end up with more books than I can read. I love your blog name!

      3. Brittany Post author

        To add on to Sheila’s reply…
        It’s HARD to hold back! I told myself I was going to do that last year and still ended up with books I shouldn’t have picked up! There should be plenty within your preferred genres though because there are just so many books there! It actually may help you devise a schedule since you won’t have to go hunting down ALL THE BOOKS 🙂
        But yes, some are ARCs and some are signed copies at the autographing booths — usually the ones that have already been released will be the ones that are finished copies — and all you have to do is just stand in line and they provide the book when it’s your turn to meet the author!

        Let me know if you have any other questions, even little ones! I’m more than happy to help! 😀

  18. Gabbie

    I’m planning on going, but as of now I’ll be by myself 🙁 I’m not really that out there in the blogging community (I’m really really shy) and the few people I do know aren’t going this year! Any tips on finding someone to tag along with? Great post! (:

    1. Brittany Post author

      Awww I’m sure you’ll still have a great time by yourself! I know it’s hard (since I didn’t do it last year haha) but it’s totally worth it to introduce yourself to bloggers when you’re standing in line and strike up a conversation! I was way too shy to do it last year, especially since I had my little group of people, but it’s so much fun to meet new people and they were all so nice! Everyone had their badges so you can see who’s a blogger 🙂 Make sure if you see me, you say hi to me too! 😀 We ended up combining a few groups here and there depending on what we were doing so you just never know who you’ll strike up a conversation with and totally hit it off!

  19. Jenna

    I am having so much fun checking out all of these BEA Tips blog posts today! BEA 2014 is getting SO CLOSE and it will be my first time attending! I’ll be there with my mom, a fellow YA lover. CAN. NOT. WAIT!

    Thank you so much for writing this up for us “newbies”.

  20. April Books & Wine

    This is all super solid advice! This BEA will be my fifth one which is kind of nuts, considering.

    Anyways!

    I love the advice about having someone who knows the City with you. That really helped my first two years going. I also find that downloading a mapapp, like hopstop can really help as does knowing the difference between uptown and downtown when it comes to taking the subway or the bus.

  21. Brittany T

    hiya miss!
    I am beyond thrilled that I will get to go to my first BEA this year!! I’m starting to get nervicited since it’s coming up so quick!! Thank you for all the great advice. I especially like the one about handwriting the sh debunked to not use up phone battery, that’s smart. And of course packing your own food. I lived in NYC so I know how expensive it can be. Ehhh! I hope we get to meet and hang out for a little bit and a book hunting we will go!
    ❤️Britt @ please feed the bookworm

  22. Maren @ The Worn Bookmark

    Wow! This is the perfect resource! I was really hoping to attend BEA this year because I would have been able to crash with my brother who lives in Chicago. Unfortunately for me, my hubby graduates college the same weekend so I’ll have to wait again haha. But this definitely answered A LOT of the questions I had about attending BEA. I hope to attend it some year in the future!

  23. Laura @ 125Pages

    Awesome resource! I’m going this year for the first time and have been super overwhelmed by all the info. This is a great way to break it down for us newbies. Thanks! 🙂

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