So…it’s been a bit over a week since BEA – that’s Book Expo America – wrapped up, and I’m finally recovered enough to write a wrapup post!
BEA is, simply put, Publishing Prom. It’s where you go to see and be seen, to make some connections, and to see who the prettiest book in the room is. There’s an absurd number of booths and vendors crammed into New York’s Javits Center (which is overwhelming as it is), and most of these booths have stacks and stacks of ARCs, pamphlets, postcards, sell sheets, and more. There’s also scads of authors roaming around, signing anything they can – usually their own books, given away to the attending booksellers and librarians etc. to try to build buzz, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if some roving authors took to just signing anything that stood still long enough.
It’s a grand time, and seriously overwhelming, and even if you try to be really careful and conservative (like me), you wind up coming away with more books than you think you can read in a year. Some people wind up shipping crates of ARCs home…I was “good” and only came home with a very large McGraw-Hill tote bag stuffed with maybe 12 books…
I wasn’t originally planning to go to BEA this year, but when Erekos was named a finalist for the 2012 Benjamin Franklin Awards – for the Bill Fisher Best First Fiction, no less! – well, how could I not attend the awards ceremony?
Erekos didn’t win, alas, but the dinner was sumptuous and wonderful – the IBPA really knows how to throw a party.
The next day, Tuesday, started BEA in earnest. I had a pretty packed schedule – various panels I wanted to attend, including one on YA marketing in the post-Hunger Games world; meeting up with the inimitable Jaym Gates, publicist extraordinaire; appointments with a number of distributors – but I still managed to spend a good bit of time hanging out at the SFWA booth with Jaym and Laura Anne Gilman and Victoria Strauss and a rotating cast of authors, agents, radio personalities, etc. I earned my keep as a coffee- and lunch-fetching minion, and in return got to stash my tote there and give my shoulder a break.
Wednesday was much the same – meeting, meeting, coffee run for SFWA, meeting, roaming the floor to see what was interesting, dodging the MILE-LONG LINE for Rachael Ray’s burger book signing, meeting, meeting-with-lunch, dodging the GROWING LINE for Rachael Ray dear god, meeting, catch bus for Vermont.
But seriously? BEA is an amazing experience – I met everyone on earth who’s in publishing, I swear, and also had a couple of good meetings with distributors and printers. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes out of that as we keep Candlemark & Gleam moving forward!
Speaking of which – you’ve probably noticed the new look! Yep, as soon as BEA was over, I was finishing up our site redesign and relaunch. I actually did some of the work on the bus on the way home to Vermont, courtesy of Megabus’s awesome tables and WiFi. I hope you like the new design and functionality as much as we do – the emphasis is now clearly on our fantastic fantastika titles, and we’ve added new sections for events etc. There’ll be more coming there under the Interact tab in the days to come, and we’re pretty excited about that. Stay tuned!
Photos courtesy of Jaym Gates, various ShelfAwareness staffers, and yours truly