Hey all! It’s almost that time again. Of course I mean BOOK EXPO AMERICA (though they have dropped the “America” and are now just BookExpo). For those of you who have no friggin idea what I’m talking about, BookExpo is the largest publishing trade show in North America. It’s back home in NYC this year after a jaunt to Chicago in 2016, and publishers, authors, and media peeps are gearing up for the event.
Firstly, let me make a few things clear about BEA. Firstly, its not a reader con. It is for “Industry Professionals and Media ONLY”, meaning that to attend, you have to be a publisher, author, blogger, librarian, store owner or buyer, agent, etc. Its not open to the general public. HOWEVER right after BEA is BookCon, which IS a public event anyone can attend. Either way, tickets are spendy and the event is a 3 day gauntlet of forthcoming titles. Publishers are showing off the books releasing in the next few months (normally fall/winter releases are featured, but sometimes new releases and even next year’s books can show up). At BEA, all the books are free. You just ask for one (or in some cases, you just take one from a huge pile). At BookCon *some* books are free but most are for sale. (this distinction is part of the reason they have fully separated the two events, to keep the general public from scooping up free ARCs meant for media and bloggers only).
Secondly, BEA is not for every author or every book. In fact, its so expensive to attend (and don’t even get me started about how much it costs to have a BOOTH there) that for most indie authors, it’s a huge black hole of time and money.
So what’s the point? Well, the point is to get your title in front of people who either want to order it for their shelves (book stores and libraries) or to sell foreign rights (so many agents and meetings happen on the trade floor) or to get ARCs in the hands of reviewers.
This year, BEA has come down on a rule change when it comes to the bloggers they allow into the event. Before now, you could just say you’re a blogger and get in. But now they have staff who are carefully vetting each blogger who applies, to make sure they are who they claim to be and that they are BOOK bloggers. This is a double edge sword because it might prevent smaller bloggers from attending, or it might discourage first timers from even applying. But in a digital world, how many people DON’T have a blog of some kind? When publishers are forking out thousands of dollars not just to attend, but to print all those books being given away, they want some guarantee that their books are landing in the right hands.
(If you are curious about the rule change, its explained fairly well HERE)
Now, I’m going to be there this year signing copies of my new novel, The Canary Club, with my distributor, Midpoint Trade Books (they have a huge booth, it will be hard to miss, I promise). But, as we get ready for the event, I want to make sure that we have enough copies for everyone who wants one (and the more accurate I can be, the better since my publisher has to pay for those books, even though YOU don’t!) AND to make sure no one who wants one ends up empty handed. This was an issue with Queen of Someday when we took it to Book Expo a few years back. We had many bloggers show up late to the signing to find that they were already all gone. So, in an effort to keep this from happening again, we created this handy reservation form.
It’s super easy, just fill it out and I will hold a copy for you, plus I’ll shoot you an email letting you know where and when you can pick it up at the event! Again, this is ONLY for BEA attendees, but this way no blogger leaves disappointed. I mean, You’ve spent a lot of time and money to go to this event, the last thing I want is for you to miss out–and there is so much going on, missing out on a book is a VERY easy thing to do!
If you are attending as an author or blogger or whatever for the first time and are looking for some tips and tricks, I recommend going over my past BEA posts. They are SUPER helpful, I promise.
And until next time, my nerds. Happy travels!