Tuesday, May 15, 2012

BEA: A Survival Guide

With Book Expo of America looming closer and closer (FOUR WEEKS, GUYS!), I have been thinking of what I could do to help out anyone in need of assistance where BEA things are concerned. I asked Twitter and received quite a few questions that I'll answer in my next post. We can call this a "Fireside Chat with Jeremy about BEA."

BEA. A convention for the strong-willed and daring type. Not for the faint of heart. There's a reason for the title of this post and if you've been to BEA in the past, you'll know exactly what I'm referring too.

Imagine going to a zoo and seeing a bunch of lions grazing through the exhibit looking a tad bit hungry. Now enters a single zookeeper with one steak in his hands. He gingerly sets it down then runs for dear life as the lions begin to run and pounce all over each other just to get to that steak and ease their overwhelming hunger. Not every lion will get a piece of the steak, some will continue to not eat. But in reality, a few of the lions were hurt in the chance to get some of it. But it probably wasn't worth it because now they are bleeding and still hungry.

Horribly long and terrible analogy, I know. But seriously. Tell a bunch of people "FREE BOOKS!!" and they come in hoards to pounce, jab, and dive for a book they have been dying for or even just to fill up their tote bag. It's a sad reality, but it happens every year. People are bitten, bruised, and stepped on all because of some book.

I ask of you, please don't be that person. I respect other bloggers and feel like I should do my best to keep in mind that I am representing my own blog as well as the YA community while at BEA and if I'm fighting with someone or diving into Scholastic's booth, I am a terrible representation. You may be thinking, what's the big deal with wanting a book? That's what it's there for. But you have to also know that other people (editors, authors, agents, publishers, etc.) see your actions even if you don't think they do and they will be quick to judge the blogging community as a bunch of kids doing whatever to get free books. This was the sad reality of last year's convention.

We must do better this year. Yeah, some people won't listen and will still do whatever they can to get a book, even if they won't even read it. (Hint: you have to pay to ship this stuff home. Think about that when you just grab stuff.) But in all honesty, you represent yourself, your blog, and your community when at an event like this so please be mindful of that. Talk to booth workers, befriend other bloggers, etc. This is a time to meet new people and make connections too, it's not just about getting books (which most people think it is).

Feel free to leave any questions you may have about it in the comments below and I'll make more posts up until BEA as long as there are questions to be answered.


  1. I am going to attend BEA this year as well.  It will be my first time and with all these helpful posts that everyone is publishing now, I still feel that I may be unprepared for the real thing.  People biting people for books?  I would have thought it a hyperbole if I haven't heard it from so many different people.  I hope I can have a good time, despite the "zoo" it may be.  
    Thank you for posting this.  I appreciate it a lot.  I hope to see you at BEA!

  2. I really appreciate all these BEA posts I've been seeing...I'm sort of getting terrified at the same time though o.0

  3. Yess that last paragraph.  #BookBloggerPride

  4. I've been eating these pre-BEA posts up ! I'm going for the first time and hve been devouring all the information I can find. 

    Can you talk a little bit about these publisher parties ? I had no idea these went on and I am curious how publishers choose who gets invited and what goes on at them ?

    I'd also be interested in your opinions on how to take the ARCs. Should you talk to every publicist ? Can you talk to them ? Is there time ?

  5. I respect blogging too much. I have pride! :P

  6. I'd be happy to answer those Q's in my next post!

  7. Nothing to be terrified of! Promise :) Just don't expect it to be fun and games either haha