Last week, I attended BookExpo America (BEA) and BookCon for the first time. In case you aren’t familiar, BEA is a publishing business event focused on raising publicity for upcoming releases. BookCon is a more fan-oriented book focused event, similar to a Comic-Con, with panels and authors autographing (BookCon review here). I’m going to share some of the things I learned at both events, the good and the bad.
I went in to BEA with the expectation that I’d get some books that I wanted but certainly not all of them. The very first two I picked up were two I really wanted and thought there was no way I was going to get (Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy and Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith), so that in itself made my Friday a success.
I was very lucky to be invited to a lunch hosted by Penguin Teen with Sarah Dessen and Carrie Ryan as the guests of honor. I’d already read Sarah Dessen’s Saint Anything (I loved it! See review here) and was so excited to get to meet her in person. Breia Brissey of Entertainment Weekly hosted a Q&A panel, where I learned that Sarah Dessen likes to include cameos of secondary characters from other books as a way to say “thank you” to her longtime readers and that Carrie Ryan loved the very first cover of Daughter of Deep Silence so much that she wouldn’t even let them change the picture frame. Both authors were very friendly and took time to talk with everyone present, sign books, and take pictures. I read Daughter of Deep Silence on the train ride home and it was an incredible story of mystery, love, and revenge. Absolutely recommend!
Thank you so much to Penguin Teen for having me.
I was only able to make it to the last day (Friday) of BEA and since it was my first time at the Javitz Center, I had no idea where I was supposed to go to pick up my press badge. I had to ask about five different staff members before someone was able to point me to the right place. In the scheme of things, however, it still only took me about ten minutes to get it, so not too bad despite the confusion.
While a lot of BEA was waiting in lines for signings, galley drops, etc., I was very impressed with all of the publishers and how organized everything was. The volunteers at the autographing tables did a great job as well and I only had one disappointment in being cut off of a line (for The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness) because some people used their “front of the line” tickets.
All in all, I’d consider my first BEA a success. Be on the lookout for reviews of these books as we get closer to fall release dates!