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My Best Tips for Attending #BEA15
May 5th, 2015 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 Tuesday– so that you’re not waiting in a long line to receive it on Wednesday. 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. Be patient, especially with book drops. I cringe saying this, but every year people do some pushing and shoving. This is so not necessary!

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 definitely worked for me. And though most people would say, “Liza, shy??” I can be. Last year, there were several people I wish I had approached to say hello. In line, it’s easier. But walking around and spotting someone? It’s not so easy! I’m going to give it a try this year.) Introduce yourself to people in line. (I can’t say this enough!) If you’re a blogger, make sure you introduce yourself to the publicists. You may ask them for their business card too.

4. 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.

5. SHIPPING BOOKS. I use the shipping at BEA. Make sure to find the shipping area right away, so you’re not looking for it with your arms FULL! Unload your books so that you’re not hauling a ton of books and hurting your arms, shoulders, and back! It’s a drag, literally. Also, get a box, label it, and if you can, find a spot close to the front near the checkout area. That way, it’s easier to catch the attention of someone who can carry it for you when you’re ready to ship. In the end, I always have two boxes. It’s easy to keep them together. I’ve never had anyone take anything from me. When packing up your books, use tote bags to cushion them. That will help during the shipping process!!! It is possible the boxes will get beaten up, especially if they’re really heavy!

6. 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. BE AWARE, be respectful.

7. 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.

8.  Every year people get upset they didn’t get a particular ARC. It’s going to happen!!! Expect it!!!

9. If you normally carry a purse, consider a clutch – one that can hold a charger! So much easier!!! (See #10!)

10. Perhaps the MOST VALUABLE ADVICE? It’s nearly impossible to find an electrical outlet at BEA, so make sure your cell phone is fully charged so you can tweet #BEA15 and take pictures. I also HIGHLY RECOMMEND purchasing a portable recharging device. They’re worth every penny!!!!

BONUS: Finally, come and see me!!!!! I’ll be signing ARCs of HELLO?, my debut YA novel from Spencer Hill Contemporary on Friday, May 29th in the morning! As soon as I have the time, I’ll announce it. My signing will be in the Midpoint booth.

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

 

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