I’m heading off to Book Expo America tomorrow to set up the Info Today booth and to get ready for the festivities. In case you are attending, we will be giving out ARCs of 21 Days to Success Through Networking: The Life and Times of Gnik Rowten by Ron Sukenik and Ken Williams, copies of True Crime Online: Shocking Stories of Scamming, Stalking, Murder, and Mayhem by Jayne A. Hitchcock, and samples of our latest periodicals. Stop by booth #731 to get your copies while supplies last.
Before I go, here are some survival tips from Davida G. Brier of Hopkins Fulfillment Services she posted on Shelf Awareness a few weeks ago. I wish someone would have given me these tips when I attended my first Book Expo.
- Swag carefully. Each ounce of free galleys and gewgaws will double in weight hourly. If you need to understand the science behind this, please watch an episode of Doctor Who.
- The single most important decision you will make in advance of the show is your footwear. No matter how cute or dapper the shoes are, leave them at home if you can’t stand, walk or cartwheel in them for 10 hours straight.
- When, after an hour, your feet are killing you because cute won out over reason, find the largest publishers and vendors. They pay for extra carpet padding that offers momentary relief from the world’s hardest cement (aka, the floors of the Javits Center).
- The holy trinity of publishing is ink, paper and booze. The first two may have gone virtual, but the last can still be found trickling from various booths. Look for the sponsored happy hours and free wine. It is sanctioned drinking on the job. It will also make your feet feel better.
- Each BEA there will be a supremely absurd moment–look for it. It may be a Chihuahua wrapped in a child’s blanket, Ice-T and Coco signing their new book or Dr. Ruth sitting on your boss’s lap. The free alcohol will make it even better.
- If given the opportunity, meet your idols and gush like the village idiot. Some of them are still people and like to be reminded why their publicists dragged them to New York.
- Bring your business cards to the bathroom. The lines can get long, and people get oddly conversational when they are about to go. Lines for the men’s room tend to be shorter, but if, as a woman, you choose to use them, skip the business card advice.
- You can tell how long people have been going to BEA two ways: 1) they still call it ABA and 2) they spend the whole of the show hugging people.
- Don’t be a jerk. People will remember how you made them feel. This goes for everyone–from the vaguely dubbed industry professionals to the novice author-publishers.
- No matter what the announcements say, the show is over when you hear the tape guns begin to rip. If you are working the show, this is a choir of angels.
Bonus tips: When you book your hotel room, make sure the square footage is measured horizontally and not vertically. Office supplies and Band-Aids are accepted forms of currency.
For more information about Book Expo America, visit the website.