Posts Tagged ‘Javits Center’

706086_10151211171174961_1706269595_oby Tqwana Brown

Do your feet hurt? Shoulders ache? Back sore? Then you, like me, are suffering from the BEA Experience. For four days last week, the Javits Center turned into a theme park for the publishing industry. Chances are your body is still recovering from walking the exhibition floor, lugging around your free totes full of new books. For three of those days, I hobbled around on a sprained ankle, braving the New York city heat and the long trek from the subway to the Javits Center’s doors,  greedily gathering as many ARCs and galleys as I could carry. Though I’ve made a promise to myself that next year I’ll be more selective, I doubt it’ll actually happen. I don’t know my exact tally of new books, but I averaged around 25 a day. I’ll leave the math up to you.

marchbookone_softcover_lgI anxiously waited in line for autographs and photo ops from big names like Jim Carrey, Paula Deen (she loved my hair!), Brenda Jackson, Lauren Weisberger, and Sylvia Day. I woke up before sunrise – on a Saturday – to enjoy breakfast with Congressman John Lewis, Hardball’s Chris Matthews, and authors Helen Fielding (Bridget Jones’s Diary) and Diana Gabaldon (Outlander), all such passionate and hilarious speakers.  Congressman Lewis earned a standing ovation from the crowd for his empowered speech on civil rights and the hope that his new graphic novel March will inspire youth to get into “good trouble” like he, Rosa Parks, and MLK during the 60s.

And yes, all of their upcoming releases have been added to my to-read list.

BEAOne of the great aspects of BEA is striking up conversations with other industry professionals and book lovers – getting their insight on the future of editing, distribution, and agencies.

Next year’s agenda will definitely include attending more panel discussions (I’ll be spending the next few days catching up on what I missed on BEA Live).

Between free glasses of champagne and wine, slices of cake,  a tiny light up TARDIS, and catching a glimpse of Arthur Levine walking the aisles, my first BookExpo was one of the greatest experiences of my young publishing career.  Enjoy the slideshow of my BEA, and feel free to share a link to your BEA photo albums in the comments section.

And if anyone has extra bookshelves lying around, I’m in need of a few.

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To read more on BookExpo America 2013, click here for Publishers Weekly’s BEA wrap-up. Remember you can catch panels and author interviews you missed on BEA Live.


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By Hannah Bennett

The after effects of BEA rest squarely in my shoulders and upper arms this morning.  It’s that lovely kind of sore that you get from carrying around three tote bags full of free books for eight hours.  For those of you who have been to BEA before, this lovely soreness is nothing new!  You’ve probably learned already to be picky about the free galleys that you haul around all day.  But since this was my first BEA experience, I ran around like the poor, eager publishing student that I am, fighting the crowd for every free book in sight.  I grabbed young adult fantasy novels, historical fiction, and espionage thrillers without discrimination.  Today, as I massage my sore shoulders, I think of my bookshelf at home with a happy anticipation. It was more than worth it.

Getting to the Javits Center by 7:30 AM was also well worth the early morning subway ride. I got to start the morning off right – with a cup of coffee, a muffin, and Stephen Colbert making erotica jokes.  Stephen Colbert was the Master of Ceremonies at Tuesday’s Author Breakfast, and he wasted no time in publicizing his ‘upcoming #1 bestseller,’ America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t.  He also took great delight in celebrating the success of 50 Shades of Grey and the apparent public acceptance of erotica novels (I’ll let your imagination fill in the rest).  The speakers at the breakfast were the inspiring Junot Diaz (This is How You Lose Her), the charming Barbara Kingsolver (Flight Behavior), and the hilarious Jo Nesbo (Phantom).  Their thoughtful and often hysterical talks were without a doubt the highlight of my BEA day.

Another highlight was walking through the crowded exhibit hall and, on more than one occasion, running into a fellow WNBA-NYC member!  The panel on The Evolution of YA was especially popular among WNBA-ers – at least 4 of us were there to hear the authors discuss writing for the YA audience.  Between the excellent panels, the overstimulating exhibit hall, and the accidental discovery of free Italian cookies and glasses of champagne, BEA was entertaining and educational.  But what meant the most to me yesterday was the feeling, which built throughout the day, that I’m a part of something important – a community of publishers and authors, of men and women, of like-minded readers and professionals.  A book community.

Not bad for my first BEA.  Next time I’ll bring a rolling suitcase.

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BookExpo America is the premier North American publishing event of the year!  Hosted at the Javits Center in New York City from June 4 – 7, BEA offers four days of exhibits, conferences, author signings, and special events.  On the main floor, hundreds of exhibitors set up booths to promote their books – from big six publishers to distributors, small houses, and independent presses.  Each morning, Author Breakfasts are hosted by celebrity Masters of Ceremonies, such as Steven Colbert and Chris Colfer.  Author Stages feature authors in an interview format throughout each day, offering BEA visitors a way to meet and greet with the authors.  BEA also includes the largest author autographing program in the United States, as well as conferences on topics such as digital publishing.  In fact, several of our members will be speaking on panels at BEA!  To learn more about BEA, visit their website at www.bookexpoamerica.com.

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