BEA is North America’s largest gathering of book trade professionals, typically attracting between 20,000 – 30,000 people. Book industry professionals who attend BEA include: booksellers (independent, specialty, and chain); book distributors; marketing and publicity professionals; editors, agents; scouts. BEA is also attended by assorted film and TV professionals and is covered widely by the media for the attention it brings to upcoming books as well as for the notable authors it attracts to the event itself.
Book Expo America represents a bizarre conundrum for me. Maybe I’m just burned out on publishing conferences, and since I’m not buying or selling books and have never cared about free galleys, it feels less relevant to me personally than some of the other conferences I’ve attended this year.
I don’t know if it’s just too big for me to get a firm grip on, or maybe it’s trying to be too many things to too many people?
This will be my third time attending BEA, and the first time I’m attending more than one day, and by all rights it should feel like Book Nerd Nirvana, akin to how I felt about the first NY Comic-Con (was that REALLY back in 2006?!?!), but in reality, it just feels like three really long days of extra work standing between me and the holiday weekend.Their website is almost as busy and difficult to navigate as the Huffington Post‘s updated spin on GeoCities, and it’s more siloed than the most stereotypical legacy publisher’s marketing plans, making figuring out who I want to see and what I want to attend a ridiculously frustrating process that pretty much guarantees I’ll end up missing more than a few things.
Over at Digital Book World, I posted 5 Intriguing Sessions at BEA 2010 I’m planning to attend, and I’ll also be spending Tuesday morning at IDPF’s Digital Book 2010 while wishing I was at the ABA’s Day of Education instead. I’m probably one of only a handful of people for whom those two events are competing for attention, but my heart will have to lose out to the day job on that one!
One really exciting thing will be webcasting the Digital Book World Roundtable live from the show, thanks to NetGalley hosting us in their booth. I’m still working on the details as this will be the first time we’ll be “on location”, and it could end up being a total disaster, but by Thursday I’ll be running on adrenaline anyway so it should be fun no matter what! If you want to attend or tune in live, details will be posted on Wednesday.
Perhaps most disappointingly, and this isn’t technically BEA’s fault, is that this year’s big BEA Tweetup is happening in Brooklyn, which means I won’t be attending. I met so many people at last year’s event who’ve gone on to become friends and trusted colleagues and I’d love to do it again, but I don’t trek out to Brooklyn to see my best friends on the weekend, never mind on a school night!
If you’re attending BEA this year, let me know and maybe we can sync up. Home base will technically be the F+W Media booth (#4185), but I’ll either be in sessions or walking the show floor most of the time I’m there.
And if there’s a can’t-miss Meetup happening in MANHATTAN on Tuesday or Wednesday, let me know that, too!