Tag Archives: Tricks

I’m Ready for #BEA14!

IT’S THAT TIME, MY FRIENDS!!! I will be leaving for BEA in just a couple days. MERE DAYS. I cannot express how excited I am — bookish fun, meeting authors, traveling, and most importantly, seeing all of my blogger friends (and just plain friends because you guys are just a part of my LIFE now (sorry, you’re stuck with me)) again!

I felt like a pre-BEA post was necessary this year. With one year under my belt, I’m excited in a totally new¬†way because I feel more prepared with what to expect and what kinds of things there are for me to flail about.

Not sure what you can expect from your first time at BEA? You can check out my recap of BEA 2013 or my post with tips & tricks for BEA first timers!

So let’s get down to it! What will I be doing this year? Here’s a rough outline of where you can find me at BEA 2014!

Important thing #1: WHAT I LOOK LIKE.

I thought about doing a vlog but *shudders* too scary. I chickened out again, so you just get pictures instead! There have been a few pictures that I’ve posted of myself on the blog, but here are the many faces of me all in one spot! If you see this face — either excited or bored or reading in an autographing line — tap me on the shoulder and say HELLO! Yes, even interrupt me when I’m reading! (I said it.) Half of the reason I’m so excited for BEA it to meet all the bloggers and see blogger friends that I’ve met before. YOU GUYS. You make this event what it is!

(all of my recent pictures are with authors, sorry not sorry)

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BEA last year with Sandie from Teen Lit Rocks!

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Apparently I bought more dresses than I need to I will be wearing some sort of maxi dress or this cute blue dress that I found which is shorter than I normally wear (aka, not a maxi dress) that I’m kind of excited for. But who knows what I’ll feel like wearing which day because somehow I went from being a person who owned zero dresses to a person who owns a ton. ANYWAY. I’m usually found in shades of blue (although I have a couple dresses that actually DON’T have blue on them. Weird.) and not like many people will be in heels at BEA but you will never, ever see me in tall shoes because I’m already 5’8″. Hopefully my hair will not be a mess, but if it gets humid……. I make you no promises.

Important thing #2: SOCIAL MEDIA.

I apologize in advance for blowing up social media with BEA things, but chances are… I will. Most important things? Twitter (@bookaddictguide) and Instagram (@bookaddictsguide). I’m sure I’ll be posting updates during the day, where I’ll be, pictures of things I’ve seen — so if you’re interested in keeping up, you can follow me there! Chances are I’ll be with Alyssa (@withthebanned) and Amy (@trippingbooks) at least 90% of the time so if you see either of them, look for me too! We’ll also probably update On the Same Page (@galsonthesamepg) a few times too since our entire BEA trip will be spent together!

Important thing #3: WHERE I’LL BE.

The only real answer to this is ALL OVER THE PLACE. Wednesday we’ll be arriving so I won’t be at Blogger Con, but we’ll have a relaxing day in the city and hopefully grab some dinner with blogger buds!

At the conference, you can probably find me in lines for:

  • RAINBOW ROWELL
  • REBECCA SERLE
  • SARAH J. MAAS
  • AMY ZHANG
  • COREY ANN HAYDU

After the conference, I’ll be all over the place with a busy but exciting schedule! If you’re going to any of these events, you MUST let me know so we can hang out!

  • Macmillan Blogger Happy Hour*
  • YA Rooftop Party*
  • Book Blogger Picnic
  • Seeing Maleficent
  • Kids Author Carnival (which I will be working as a volunteer and you should totally attend. It’s their first ever event!)
  • Visiting The Strand and Books of Wonder (at some point in time)
  • Finding the best places to eat

(Invite only events, but let me know if you will be there!)

Important thing #4: WHAT TO TALK ABOUT.

It’s hard to talk to new people, but hopefully you’ve already been talking to me on Twitter (if you haven’t, seriously. Let’s chat.) so we have a little basis of conversation but if not, here are things I will always be up for talking about:

  • Books (duh)
  • Blogging (duh)
  • Traveling
  • Wedding things (since I’m mid-planning!)
  • Barbecue
  • The color blue
  • Beer
  • Coffee
  • Books and coffee and/or beer (*ahemmmm* Book and a Beverage)
  • Any of my favorite authors: Marissa Meyer, Leigh Bardugo, Gayle Forman, Leila Howland, Robin LaFevers, Rainbow Rowell

I think that about covers it for my BEA itinerary! I was too shy to talk to many people last year (like, actually pretended I didn’t see people because I was too scared to say hello — how stupid is that) so PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if you see me, do come say hello! I am making it a point to break out of my shell and talk to people. If you’re not sure if it’s me, tap me on the shoulder or just stare awkwardly at my badge for a few minutes. (It’s okay – I’ll be doing that too.) I WANT to talk to people this year.

Last year was a kind of hectic BEA in which I had sooooo many authors I wanted to see and books I wanted to grab. I think this year will be much more relaxed and I won’t be running around as much and I want to spend that time talking to friends!!

If you’re going LET ME KNOW. Will we be at any of the same events? Can we travel to any of them together? Will you please of the love of all that is BEA stop and say hello to me!? Hope to see you there!!!

Crazy news, you guys. I DID IT. I made a vlog. Crazy self-conscious, of course, so don’t hate on me too hard ūüėČ Pardon my messy hair (I filmed it when I had time before going out this morning) and if for some reason the sound is off… I’m a total vlog and YouTube newbie so my apologies! ¬†But you can see me and hear me and let’s be friends at BEA!!

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 ūüėČ 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?