Monday, May 31, 2010

Book Expo America (BEA) 2010

I was like a kid in a candy store! That’s the best way to describe how I felt at the Book Expo in New York City (It was my first time at this event but not in NYC, of course). It’s always a delight to visit the Big Apple, the vibrant city where you can shop at your favorite store at 11:00 PM, go for a stroll among the brightly lit billboards in Times Square, eat roasted peanuts from the sidewalk vendors, take pictures of the myriad of street characters--I found Spiderman and Obama, and a NY trademark, the mounted police—and more!

The BEA is like the Formula 1 of books. So imagine the rush I felt upon entering the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. My supervisor, Hajni Blasko, Online Book Publicist at Substance Books and I spent two full days there meeting new authors and independent publishers. The first day was mostly workshops, conferences, and opening night keynote speaker, Barbra Streisand that was there promoting her book, My Passion for Design. The last two days were dedicated to showcasing the 500 plus authors and 1,500 exhibitors.

I learned this event was bigger in past years; however, the organizers did a good job. There were designated areas for meetings, press, book signing, and luggage. And, who can forget food? If you needed a caffeine jolt, you could even get a cup of Starbucks cappuccino.

I relished getting FREE books (galleys). The lines to have books signed were ridiculously long! But it was worth it! It’s all part of the experience. Having Kathryn Stockett’s bestseller The Help signed, for me, was one of the highlights of this event. Pelé, Rick Springfield, James Patterson, and Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, to mention a few, were among the scheduled authors signing books.

Once I got my galleys I wandered through the booth-laden aisles. This was a great networking opportunity; I met wonderful people in all areas of writing and publishing. By the end of the day, I had four canvas bags (one of the many freebies), filled with business cards, brochures, pens, staplers, catalogues, and galleys, of course!

On the last day, I couldn’t carry the bags with all the goodies I got for myself and for my fellow writers. Overall, it was a great experience. I’m definitely going to next year’s Book Expo!
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