Last year I went to Book Expo America for the first time; (you can find my post-BEA post here). My trip was very rushed and I was there for only two days. it is an overwhelming, yet amazing experience. As any rookie would do I researched as much as I could, but still managed to make several mistakes. I hope my insight helps you this year!
I carried too much with me – Do you remember that nerd in high school that always carried a stapler, tape, a ruler, etc.? You name it, he or she had it! Well, I’m that kind of nerd. So of course, I packed a big tote with everything I thought might need (if you were to ask who had 5 lip glosses, a compact, lotion, or deodorant, I did of course!) Needless to say, I didn’t use half of the stuff I carried and it made my day all the more difficult, the added weight was so not worth it. This year I got a cute Vera Bradley backpack were I will stuff my essentials.
I left my Kindle at home – BEA lines are LONG. I knew I had to stand in line, but I failed to understand that these are going-to-Disney-hour+-long-lines. I mean it! If you really want a signed book from a popular author, be ready to stand there for a while. I could have used my trusty Kindle to help me pass the time; it is lighter and so much easier to carry around.
I didn’t distribute as many business cards as I should have – Not much toexplain here, but I carried a whole box of card with me the whole time, but manage to only share a couple dozen.
I didn’t see any of the presentations – I was so concentrated on getting books, running from one line to the next, going back to my suitcase to empty my bags that I didn’t sit down to look at the presentations / panels at all. I plan to peruse the program this year and make sure that I attend at least one of them.
I failed to talk to more people – I’m shy. If you talk to me, I’ll talk back and (I like to think) that I’m friendly after that, but I’m not the outgoing type. I’m determined to do better this year, so watch out people!
I should have taken more pictures – I met a lot of people and got books signed by many amazing authors. Why am I always so unprepared to take pictures? It’s like my poor camera falls into the black hole that is my purse (read #1 above) and I can’t find it. Or if I do find it, something always goes wrong… I’m using my iPad or my phone for pictures this year and by golly I WILL be ready!
I wish I could have seen more of the city – Other than Times Square, I saw absolutely nothing! To be honest I’m afraid of the busy city and I was pressed for time. This year I’m arriving a day before the convention, I plan to register then, and I hope to do some sightseeing before meeting a group of amazing bloggers for dinner.
Lastly, let me give you this piece of advice: Don’t stress and enjoy!
I plan to do another pre-BEA post later to tell you all about my plans and maybe another post to share with you the things that I did do right :)
Did you experienced any of these during BEA? Do you have other advice to share? What is the place that I MUST see while I’m there?