It’s Tuesday and we are getting closer and closer to BEA! Less than 2 more weeks …. Counting the days…
Scheduling your day at BEA
Hello! *Pushy waves furiously* It’s Pushy here with Danny today, to help out with this week’s segment. As, by far, the most obsessive Bookworm when it comes to schedules and planning, Danny’s asked me to help out with some thoughts on planning your day at BEA. (Danny: Because she’s awesome and without her I would be lost!!!)
Part of what makes BEA so overwhelming is that there’s simply more to do in any given minute than can ever possibly be accomplished. Ah, yes…the planners are cruel mistresses in that regard. However! With a little planning, and a little Zen-like acceptance that this will not be your last year attending, you’ll be able to craft your experience at BEA to be one both managable AND filled with excitement. Here’s how…
Make a plan!
Simple, hunh? Okay, we’re done then. *Pushy wanders off and picks up her book*
Just kidding. Making the plan is one of the hardest parts. But if you’re committed to getting the most out of your experience, planning in advance is essential. No general goes into battle without a plan and neither should a blogger go to BEA without one. So get ready to do some prep-work.
There are a few ways in which you’ll want to plan to spend your time at BEA: the autographing area, in booth events and special events. Danny will go over them in depth below, and then we’ll cover how to plan your time.
Okay, Danny, take it away….
Autographing in the Autograph Area:
*Danny begins in her best, professorial voice* Alrighty everyone, settle down. *giggles and returns to normal Danny voice* So, let’s get started. *smile*
There is a super large autographing area with around 20 tables. When you see it for the first time, it will remind you of the crazy thin and intricately woven line areas at large amusement parks. It is in this area that authors will come to sign in 30 -60 minute sessions.
Things to note:
Do not bring your own books! They have a certain amount of books to sign, they won’t have time to sign any other books. So don’t even bother.
Once those copies are gone, they are gone ;( This is where planning becomes essential. You’ll definitely need to prioritorize your signings, getting in line early for the most important one for a given time slot, then running on over to queue up for the next one and if you’re really lucky, hitting the line for a third. But, if you know you absolutely HAVE to meet a particular author, be prepared to line up early! Some of those lines can get very, very long and you might end up not getting a signed book (this doesn’t happen often but it does occasionally, so consider yourself warned). This of course, depends on how important that author/book is for you. For instance, Lisa McMann’s line last year was crazy sauce!! We were happy to get in line early enough and that was the ONLY line we went through in that time slot, but at least we made it through.
Even though the lines can be long, one thing to keep in mind is… standing in line is never boring! This is where you have a chance to talk to the people around you! Last year, Heather, Pushy and I met SO MANY lovely, lovely bloggers while in line. For heaven’s sake, we’re all there for the same reason! So remember to take the opportunity to make eye-contact with your queue-mates and possibly make a new friend!!
In-Booth Autograph Events
Apart from the Autograph Area, selected signings also take place at the publishers’ boothes directly. Last year, for instance, Lauren Kate only signed her books directly at the booth. Most of the time, this will be on the BEA schedule but things change fast at BEA, so you’ll want to keep your eyes open as you wander amidst the publishers’ boothes. They often have special announcements flyers up indicatating which author is signing in-booth and when.This is, by the way, how we found Kristin Painter last year. We didn’t have her on our radar yet, but seeing the sign at the books caught our interest.
The crazy and most awesome in-booth signings last year happened at Harlequin. They often take a bunch of their awesome authors and let them all sign at the same time. It’s crazytown excitement!!!! So, once it’s your turn you can meet them all one after the other! I loved them. But, be warned – be there early – like really early… I came last year and I was stunned to see such a loooong line..
Especially with Julia Kagawa, Amiee Carter, Kady Cross and Rachel Vincent all being there this year, this is a must for all of us YA lovers!
(Get some impressions from the Harlequin Blog)
Books are not always “lying around” waiting for you. The publishers do “Galley Grabs” during the day at specific points in time until all the books are gone. Meaning, in the morning they have a certain amount of Galley’s for Book X and once they are all gone, they are gone! McMillan already published their schedule of which books will be dropped and when. This is SOOOOO nice, since you know before hand which book you desperately want to grab and which is not so important.
You can see the full list from McMillan here. One highlight:
Tuesday June 5th: 11:00am Galley Giveaway
WAKE (Watersong #1) by Amanda Hocking
Publisher’s Weekly also published a list of all Galleys which will be available at BEA 2012. Seeing this list, makes me even more excited to go. There are some awesometastic Galley’s like Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr, Crewl, Poison Princess by Kresley Cole and so much more!
Not every publisher makes such a list available before, sometimes you just need to be lucky and hear about a Galley Grab or you just happen to be around. But one great way to find out about them is to chat up the folks in the booths. If you catch them at the end of the day, when they’re not quite as busy, you can often strike up a conversation about the books you love and find out what they’re planning on dropping the next day or later on in the week. Plus, if you’re really, REALLY lucky, they might have some gems “left over” from earlier in the day that they’d be willing to bestow upon you.
So remember, BE NICE to the folks in the booths. They might be tired and crabby but if you put that good energy out there, sometimes it comes back to you in the best ways possible!
And please, don’t ever grab more than one book! It’s rude taking more than this, and also “getting it for a giveaway” is not an excuse. There are tons of people there who also want this book, so be fair and grab one! Remember, put good karma out there folks!
How To Find Authors & Events
..or how to navigate the navigate the BEA website. Click on the image to enlarge!
Both Pushy and I scanned through all the authors listed, both last year and this year, and added all of them that seemed interesting to our lists. If you register and log in, you will be able to add events to your schedule right on the site, which is nice. I did it this way, but Pushy preferred to keep hers in a spreadsheet, obsessing over it as if it were her wedding seating chart all over again!
You have to two ways to search, either by author directly if you know that an author you are interested in while be there. Like Julie Kagawa like in my example. She will be there signing in the autographing area but also at two In-Booth Events at Harlequin. So chances will good that you will make it to one of her events.
In addition, they have a Mobile App for iPhone and Andriod where you can also see the schedule you saved and out together on the website. This is actually pretty cool, since you can look up events and autographing events while you are at BEA.
*Pushy pops back in* Whichever way you decide to plan it, make sure after you’ve made your list of everything you know your layout and begin prioritizing. THIS IS KEY! Last year I was so stressed about doing as much as possible, I pored over the schedule and the floor plan of the convention. This may sound a bit crazy (and let’s face it, it sort of was) but by taking a look at the map of the convention layout before hand and familiarizing myself with it as much as possible that first day, I was faster, more confident and just took a ton of the stress out of my day. Especially when the times got hard.
I had a time slot where I had seven signings I was desperate to go to:
Do you SEE all these amazing books, ALL at the same time???? I nearly cried when I saw this on my schedule. BUT it was time to put on my big blogger pants and make this puppy happen. I decided not to go to the Harlequin booth. It was SUCH a tough choice, but I knew Danny was going and I knew come hell or high water, I was going to Julia Quinn’s signing. *Pushy gives last year’s schedule the stink eye again* (Danny: OMG Pushy and Julia Quinn…. there was no way she was going to miss seeing her..)
And it was a great choice! I got to Julia’s like early, was second in line and nearly cried when I got a copy of her book (which I read every second I was not walking until I had finished it!), busted on over to Anna’s line, got to fan girl ALL over her about how much I love her books and then decided to make a last ditch effort to go to the Harlequin booth as Maureen’s line was INSANE!!! Little did I know that Harlequin’s booth was too, but I had made a plan in advance and it let me stay in control of my day which made me feel so much better by the end of it! If you put some forethought into your days, it will definitely make your hard choices a little easier.
So, this was all about how to schedule your day at BEA. This is of course not all of it, but packing more into this post would have been to heavy (or heavier than it already is *wink*).
Got some question? shoot! We would be happy to answer whatever we can!
Much Love and … see you at BEA!
Other BEA2U posts and upcoming posts:
- BEA2U kick off
- BEA 2011 – The Bookworms experience at BEA
- BBC and Networking at BEA
- Scheduling your visit to BEA (today)
- Authors and Events!
- Answering YOUR Questions!