Wednesday, June 9, 2010

BookExpo America Recap

Post by Kerrie
For years I have wanted to go to BEA. I've visualized, dreamed, crossed my fingers, threw pennies in wishing wells, prayed...whatever I could do to increase my odds, but it never worked out...That was until this year! On May 25, my daughter and I got on a plane and headed for The Big Apple.

If you are not familiar with BEA it is the largest book fair bringing together over 35,000 booksellers, librarians, publishers, and authors for three days of talks, panel discussions, and readings. Publishers are there to showcase their new titles coming out and meet with potential buyers (booksellers, librarians...). Attendees like myself are there to soak it all in.

The exhibit hall is the biggest draw.  Publishers are giving away the books and authors are there signing them. The space itself is the biggest trade show space I have ever seen. This year there were over 1,500 vendors in the 410,000 square foot area. The Javits center itself is five city blocks long and 1 wide--bottom line--its huge!

Delaney and I got there bright and early Wednesday morning and joined the hordes of people already waiting in line for the exhibition hall to open. The doors opened and people rushed in to get the free items awaiting them. It got a little crazy with some people getting pushy, which I didn't like considering there was lots of free stuff handed out over the course of the two days. But we found refuge by some smaller publishers until the initial surge slowed down.

Each publisher had a designated area and they each had a unique set up. It was clear right away where the major publishers were. They had huge areas set up with lots of eye catching graphics, colors and cushy carpeting. 

We then spent our time gathering free books, talking with authors and getting our books signed. I also talked with people at some smaller publishing houses like Coffee House Press, to see if they might be interested attending next year's Northern Colorado Writers Conference. I found it very helpful to see all the publishers and their books. It provided me with more of a visual as to the types of books each of the different houses publish.

But I have to say, getting all the free books was the highlight for us. After about the first 2 hours, Delaney and I couldn't carry any more books so went to find UPS. We found it in the basement. We got a box and loaded it up. We were able to label it and keep it there until we filled it up. Then we could ship it home.

We ended up shipping 122 books home in 3 separate boxes. Delaney was so excited because she said she now has something to do this summer (she already finished her first book, Cornelia Funke's Reckless in just two days). I am also looking forward to all the summer reading and I will be sure and share with you the ones I like.

The dates for the 2011 BEA have already been set for May 23-May 26. I highly recommend that anyone associated with the publishing world should attend BEA at least once.

Did you go this year? If so what did you think of it?


50 Interviews said...

Thanks for sharing...! Wish I could have attended. At least I can live vicariously through you. BEA in 2011 is one of my #1 goals. It was also on the list this year, but I'm aiming to have at least 25 titles complete by 2011, and that should garner a bit more attention. BTW, you can still see a ton of buzz about BEA on twitter. Go to: and type in #BEA

bfav said...

All those free books--my mouth is watering.

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