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10 Tips for Attending BEA
May 26th, 2013 by Liza Wiemer

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Tips for BEA (Especially if you’ve never attended before!)

Attending BEA is one of the biggest highlights of my year. I’ve gone as an author to sign my books and as a book loving blogger. Each experience has been fantastic. I love meeting new bloggers and authors, seeing old friends, reconnecting with publicists at the publishers’ booths, and discovering some of the hottest new titles for the upcoming year. But if you’ve never attended BEA before, the experience can be a little intimidating.

Here’s my best advice:

1. Pick up your badge the day before – on Wednesday – so that you’re not waiting in a long line to receive it on Thursday. Map out ahead of time the authors you really want to meet and what booths you want to go to to get your favorite authors’ books.

2. Get in line early and have fun meeting the people around you.

3. If you’re shy, use this opportunity to break out of your comfort zone. You’re meeting fellow book lovers so you have a lot in common. Be friendly and people will most likely be friendly back. (It’s always worked for me!) Introduce yourself to people in line. (I can’t say this enough!)

4. Don’t be afraid to compliment an author if you’re familiar with his or her work. If you’re excited to read their book(s), tell them. Introduce yourself. Whatever you say, be sincere. I would say, “Hi, I’m Liza Wiemer from WhoRuBlog and I really appreciate _________ about your book X.”  Or, “Hi, I’m Liza Wiemer from WhoRuBlog. Thank you. I’m looking forward to reading your novel & posting my review on my blog.” Or, “Hi, I’m Liza Wiemer. Congratulations on this wonderful accomplishment!” Maybe they will or won’t remember you specifically, but if you don’t tell them who you are, then how will their memories ever be triggered in the future? I’ve made some of my most awesome connections at BEA. You never know when or where or who, so be ready.

5. Be cognizant of the people waiting behind you. Meeting authors is extremely exciting. Give me an author over an actor any day. They’re my superstars! But remember that lines are long, so be respectful of time. Many authors will allow a quick photo-best to ask-but do it quickly, usually as they’re signing your book is best.

6. No need to push, shove, or grab for books. Be patient, respectful, gentle, and kind. Yes, ARCs can go quickly, but honestly there are more than enough to go around. You may not get ALL the titles you want, but you’ll get a lot!

7. Unload your books downstairs in the shipping area so that you’re not hauling a ton of books and hurting your arms, shoulders, and back! It’s a drag, literally. 😀

8. Okay, this one might open a can of worms. Many people get pretty upset when others hold spots – unless you occupied it and had to go to the bathroom. But collecting books from one place and skipping the line has been known to get a few grumbles. I’m staying out of this debate, because personally I’m on the fence. BE AWARE, be respectful.

9. Share your business cards with other bloggers or follow them on Twitter immediately if you want. This will go along way to developing wonderful relationships for years to come.

10. It’s nearly impossible to find an electrical outlet at BEA, so make sure your cell phone is fully charged so you can tweet #BEA13. If you have one, carry a portable recharging device.

Do you have other tips or did you post them on your blog? Add your link or thoughts in the comments below!

 

 


3 Responses  
Emily aka WilowRaven writes:
May 27th, 2013 at 6:50 am

Great tips! Being social is usually the hardest for me as I’m a very shy person.

I wrote up some tips last week – not the best but it was what was on my mind 🙂

http://redhousebooks.blogspot.com/2013/05/im-going-to-bea-now-what.html

Thanks for sharing!

Pabkins writes:
May 27th, 2013 at 8:54 am

Thanks for the tips! It’s my first year and all the advice definitely helps!

Michelle writes:
May 28th, 2013 at 2:01 pm

I particularly like your note about introducing yourself. I do have a plan on introducing myself to the person in front and behind me in every line I’m in (pending any sudden onslaughts of shyness), but I need to also remember to introduce myself to the authors I’m meeting.

Michelle

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