Book Expo America, 2014

P1030067I’ve been on vacation for a couple of weeks (Paris, London, Bath) because my brother just got married in Paris, and boy do I have a lot of bookish things to talk about the trip, but since there are 1600 pictures I need to wade through to write that post up, I’m going to talk about BEA first.

What BEA is and my experience this year: I’ve talked about Book Expo America (BEA) here in the past, but for those not in the know, it’s a trade show that focuses on books. Since 2009 there has been a Book Bloggers Conference (now called the BEA Blogger’s Conference) affiliated with BEA. If you have a BEA Bloggers badge, you can go to BEA. BEA has been limited to industry professionals, (and in the past few years, to book bloggers as well), but last year they opened up one day to the public with a “Power Readers” day. This year Power Readers got rebranded into BookCon, but more on that later.

Although I signed up for the BEA Blogger’s Conference, I ended up not going. It was on Wednesday and didn’t feel comfortable taking time off mid-week when I’d just taken time off, and I haven’t exactly have had much time to blog either. This is also why I didn’t RSVP to any invitations to publishing parties. In the end, I just went to BEA on Friday and Saturday, and I made up for my time off on Friday by working on Sunday.

I think this year was the year that I was the most laid back about BEA – I didn’t have the same “I can’t sleep” feeling the night before (although jetlag may have had something to do with it), and I only looked at what books would be available the night before. What ended up happening was that my list of books to get was 2 to 4 books per day, so I had a lot of free time to wonder around and just stand in lines for books that sounded interesting and to try to get a few books for other people. The downside of this is that not having a lot of books I specifically wanted made me have more time to wander and more time to get more books (“Well, I have nothing else to do, may as well go to that galley drop…”, “OK, I guess will take that book you are offering me”, “Excuse me, what are you in line for?”)… this was a terrible strategy for keeping books out of my house.

However, because I only went 2 days, I had a lot more energy on the floor this year than previous years, which includes that energy I need to be sociable. I’m practically a mute elsewhere, but I feel safe striking up a conversation at BEA. I met Asma of A Reading Kobocha waiting for a Holly Black signing, Emily of Oktopus Ink while in line for Alex London, Stephanie of Views from the Tesseract in a line for John Scalzi, and Celia of Dragons Den Publishing while waiting for a couple of RWA signings. I also got to see a few old faces – Kate and Alyssa and Mr. Raging Bibliohol, and fellow YAckers Nicole and Sandy. And that’s not including everyone I randomly talked to or shared a cab with or sat next to on the shuttle back to Grand Central. I also got to have dinner with YAcker Heidi because real life overlapped with online life and we have a friend in common who lives in Manhattan (related: we have a system to send books to each other via people we know, aka our book mules).

When I was in London, I felt very American because I could hear myself whenever I said, “It was awesome“, but “awesome” is what I think about talking to book people at BEA. The only downside of enjoying their company is missing their familiar faces when they aren’t there. There were a lot of bloggers that didn’t come to this years BEA that I missed.

Anyway, picture time.


Lev Grossman signing The Magician's Land

Lev Grossman signing The Magician’s Land

Holly Black signing The Darkest Part of the ForestHolly Black signing The Darkest Part of the Forest

Seen on the floor:

Crap taxidermy

Crap Taxidermy promo

The Penguin Book Truck

The Penguin Book Truck

Lego Star Wars

Lego Star Wars figures for Star Wars Reads Day III (@ DK Publishing)

Let's Get Lost car

Let’s Get Lost car (@Harlequin)


Out of Print booth


Fahrenheit 451 matches (@ Out of Print)

BEA versus BookCon:There seems to be some murmurings about BookCon and how it’s changing BEA online. I like the concept of the public getting to experience BEA, but I did find the crowds really crazy / anxiety inducing. I would go to the BookCon side of the floor only when I had to, and go back to the BEA side when I needed to breathe. Here’s some comparison pictures. I guess that’s all I have to say about it. BEA is on the left, BookCon is on the right.

P1030082 P1030085

The Haul: Finally, these are the books I ended up with.


13 thoughts on “Book Expo America, 2014

  1. Pingback: BookExpo America 2014 | Raging Biblio-holism

  2. Congrats for your brother on getting married! That must have been exciting (along with it being in Paris). Oooh, pictures of bookish fun in Europe? Sounds awesome πŸ˜€

    book con was underwhelming for me since I wasn’t able to meet new bloggers, spend time with the bloggers I already knew or even talk to people at the booths. Also the crazy crowds made it impossible to calmly move around. I wished that I could jump over to the BEA side lol. It was a hot mess and I pray that they do a better job next year… as for your pile, I spy Bombay blues which OMG WANT :O!!!

    • Right, I think at BookCon I just went to the signings scheduled and didn’t look around the booths. I am sort of wishing I could have because in hindsight I would have liked to go to Quirk, Angry Robot, and Orbit on Saturday. Oh wells. You shall have BOMBAY BLUES! πŸ™‚

      Thanks. It was a very pretty wedding. I may have cried. I am a wedding crier. Stupid emotions.

      • Hah, pesky emotions. But weddings are beautiful events and it’s easy to spill a few happy tears over those! πŸ™‚

        I probably would have enjoyed BookCon more if I weren’t already spoiled from knowing how it is at BEA, lol. I couldn’t even find the Orbit booth! Or I probably passed it a million times without even realizing it…just like I did with the Scholastic booth apparently. -_-

        YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY. *happy book dance*

        • I’m just thankful there were no pictures of me being weepy…

          Was there a Scholastic booth at BookCon? I guess I missed it too then! I know there def was one on the BEA side, but didn’t look on the BookCon side.

          • Apparently so. Or maybe it was a table. I watched a vlog of someone who also went to BookCon and they said it was a table. But my friend might’ve said it was a booth? Either way, it was swamped with people.

  3. Thanks for posting about your BEA experience (and with photos!) – love reading people’s different takes on it. Not sure whether it’s just the bloggers I follow, but I feel as though there’s been less focus on BEA this year compared to previous years.


    • Yeah, I think there have been less people I “know” who went this year.
      If I didn’t live so close by I probably wouldn’t have gone this year either. I mean, I haven’t been blogging as much… so if I were further away it’s a lot of time and money to invest in the trip. It’s a good thing to experience at least once though! I will probably go again next year, but when it moves to Chicago in 2016… I really don’t know if I’m going to go to it.

  4. The main reason I want to go to BEA is to meet with blogger friends like you (and Heidi, Sandy, Nicole). If only we were in Paris at the same time! We missed each other by a few weeks. Can’t wait to see your Europe update. πŸ˜€ Congrats to your brother on his wedding, so romantic to have it in Paris. I remember that picture of the venue that you shared, such a lovely location.

    Sounds like you had a relaxed time at BEA this year, which is good. You were able to prioritize the books/signings that you were really interested in. Out of your BEA pile, I’m most curious about Landline and I’ll Give You the Sun.

    • Yes, I don’t know how to articulate it but I feel like the longer I have my blog it’s more about the people and conversations about the shared love of reading than it is about getting books? Not that I don’t love being excited about a book, but.. it feels good to SHARE it… Anyway, HOW cool would it have been if we were at Paris at the same time?! So close.
      The wedding was pretty romantic. I just saw a preview of the wedding video and they did a good job: it looks all kinds of dreamy…sigh.
      LANDLINE and I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN are up there on my excited-to-read list. I’m really happy I got a copy of LANDLINE because I wasn’t there for the actual book drop (I didn’t know about it!) – I got my copy when I asked a publisher about it and they were nice enough to go look to see if any were any left. Which makes me love Macmillan – they were so nice! SO NICE.

      • I think all of us feel that way, it’s the connections that you make with other bloggers (and sometimes even authors) that make blogging fun. Yes, I love being excited about a book but you get even more excited when you have the chance to discuss it with someone. Also, I like being able to know enough about a blogger that I get familiar enough with her tastes and I can tell whether we’ll like the same things or not.

        That would have been awesome if we were in Paris at the same time. Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to meet when we’re in the same country. Let me know if you ever plan to visit Southeast Asia. πŸ™‚ That wedding really sounds lovely, I bet you’ll all have a great time going through videos and photos.

        I would be interested in hearing what you think of both Landline and I’ll Give You the Sun! I’m more excited about the former but then again, I still have to read Eleanor & Park (I’ve read Fangirl and Attachments). That’s so cool that they were able to give you a copy of Landline! Especially since you were being particular about the books you grab.

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