Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Meandering Monday- BEA QnA!

Here are the questions I've received so far. If there's any new ones (or if anything here is confusing), please leave them in the comments and I'll get to them next week!

Kimberly Sabatini asks "I'm going for the first time!!!! *squee* Hope to bump into you there BTW...but what I'm looking to find out is any tips that you wouldn't know from the web site--your personal go to guide. Anything would be helpful. :o)"

OK well I need specifics because otherwise this could be very long, but here's some tips:

1) Bring water or something non-carbonated to drink because you will need to stay hydrated. It can get VERY hot in the Javits and also outside walking around like to the subway, waiting for a cab, or going to the post office nearby that's cheaper than the Javits post office. :) I plan on bringing some Crystal Light that I bought to have at work but found out I could only drink clear water, so I have nowhere else to use it.

2) Utilize the checked bags area. I usually don't because I don't feel like paying $3/day, don't get THAT many books, and also have a backpack that keeps all my books balanced in terms of carrying. Plus, it's just pretty awesome to be carrying around a ton of books. Until the end of the day when you're very sore (though that will happen anyway, just maybe to a lesser extent). But if you plan on getting LOTS of books, you can bring in a rolling suitcase and check it down in the bag area. They'll give you a ticket so you can get in when you need to and also to pick it up at the end of the day.

3) I mention this below, but I have to mention it more than once. WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES. You will be walking around and standing in lines all day so you should be comfortable. Closed-toed shoes are best because it can get very crowded in the various aisles.

4) Food. You need to have lunch at some point and there are options. You can bring prepared stuff in if you have the capabilities to do so (to my knowledge, there's no microwaves on site or anything). There's also the food courts, but those are usually pretty expensive ($7 for cheese pizza slice and drink; $12 for chicken tenders, fries, and drink- though it's definitely plenty of food), so it may not be the best for those with an eye on their budget. There's also a McDonald's up the road (though it has jacked up prices) and a hot dog vendor that comes by right out front of the Javits and they're the usual NYC hot dog vendors- cheap and delicious!

5) SCHEDULE. Go into BEA with a concrete plan. I do a schedule for each day of the signings I want to go to. There will be some last minute additions with publishers and the BEA Daily Planner (a glossy newsletter) handing out flyers/printing info of book drop times and places. A book drop is when a publisher puts out all their copies of a specific book (usually a lead title) at a certain time and once they're gone, they're gone (though that's not always the case- Bloodlines last year still had PLENTY of ARCs left over). But keep your schedule with you and a pen at hand to make changes, and keep a list of where all your favorite publishers are so you can easily find them for an in-booth signing, a book drop, or just to hang out (if you have time for that).

Anonymous asks "What should business cards contain? Is it too much to have an address on them?"

Business cards should contain your real name (first name and last initial should suffice if you don't want to give your full name on something so public) blog name, URL, what kind of blogger you are, and email address. Optional items include address, Twitter handle, and Facebook page. I have my street address on mine so if a book isn't available at a conference (or they ran out), I can hand the publicist at the booth my card and they can write the book(s) I want on it to send once they're available or back in the office. I also have my Twitter handle on there too. You can see my cards here; I went with fancy because I have an awesome header but your card can be as bare bones or as fancy as you want it. I used Vistaprint.com and spent about $23 total for 500 cards (plus a silver card holder), so it wasn't bad. But I do know that various bloggers do business cards and bookmarks and other fun design-y things, so you can look around for that as well. But you'd better get on it soon for BEA if you want to have them in time!! I did free shipping and it took about 11 days total (2 after actually being shipped), but you can pay for faster shipping if need be.

Brent asks "I have a question: what is proper BEA attire?"

I usually just wear business casual (but on the lighter side of it)- nice dark jeans or khakis, a nice t-shirt (you will get HOT wearing anything else), and some comfortable shoes (very important). But honestly, you could wear anything and it'd be fine, but if you want to be taken seriously, just wear some nice but comfortable clothes that you don't mind being in all day while surrounded by millions of people, lol.

Kat asks "Do people bring their own books to Teen Author Carnival? I saw the author list was released today and I own books by a lot of the authors I would like to have signed. I mean, are there books available at the event?"

There's a bookstore that brings books for purchase and there's usually also ARCs donated by the publishers for some of the authors too though there's a limited supply so make priorities. I usually bring my own books, at least a few I REALLY want to get signed. You'll be bringing home plenty of books from BEA itself, so you don't want to bog yourself down too much right away. Some of the authors are also signing at BEA, so keep an eye out for that too. Here's the current list of amazing authors that will be at TAC!


  1. Thanks for all the helpful advice!!!! I've seriously got no clue LOL! Hope we get to bump into each other!!!!

  2. James thanks for answering the question about TAC. I had asked several bloggers but got very vague answers so it was nice to find out that a bookstore is actually there selling books.

    Hope to see you around BEA. I will be emailing you very soon to figure out a meeting time. :)