Today I'm on my way to New York City for Book Expo America (BEA). It's my third year attending, and it's like being a kid in a candy store, except for bibliophiles. At BEA, the publishers reach out to booksellers, librarians, bloggers, and authors hoping to create buzz and collect purchase orders for their newest releases. They give away Advance Reader's Copies (ARC's) and posters and bookmarks in the hopes of launching the next Harry Potter series. Or in this economy, to make a decent profit.
For me the best part is the author signings. I love the chance to connect with some of my favorite authors, however briefly. There are thirty special signing tables set up where authors rotate through the schedule in one hour blocks, and there are also times when authors are signing at the publishers booths. The schedule is maddening. How can I possibly navigate the 2:00-3:00 p.m. zone with Patrick McDonnell, Marla Frazee, Peter Brown, and Ally Condie signing books? Can I afford the time on line for even ticketed authors like John Green, and my favorite, Mo Willems?
Adult books and teen books dominate BEA, but focusing on the children's titles and a few select teen books is one way for me to keep this event manageable. This year I'm also doing a quick trip, with really only a day and a half at BEA. So as much as I'd like to linger, I suspect I'll be running around quite a bit. I also ship my books out through the service at Javitts, which is expensive enough to make me a more choosy about the books I pick. Whatever I end up with, it's just a fun way to hang out with book people. Hope to see you there!