BEA in a Day

5 Jun

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My co-worker and I went up to Book Expo America (BEA) on Friday, just for the day. We couldn’t go for all three days and got up extra early on Friday to drive to New Jersey to grab the NJ Transit up to Penn Station and then walked the few short blocks to the Javits Center. With commuting time, we spend over 12 hours on an epic trip that napped us some really great SWAG and some awesome author autographs.

If you’re unfamiliar with BEA, it’s a yearly expo of publishers promoting upcoming titles for the summer and fall season, sometimes even hitting titles for early the following year. For many of the publishers, they spend the three days in meetings with authors, potential authors and working really hard to provide a quality experience for booksellers, educators and librarians.

It’s a chance for us, as librarians to become familiar with upcoming titles for picture books, middle grade and young adult genres. It’s so much fun talking with publisher reps who are as excited about books as we are and they have so much great knowledge about titles that they not only enjoyed, but truly loved reading.

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So here’s what actually happens, there’s a large convention space for all publishers and as a librarian, we walk around talking with reps and picking up Advanced Reader’s Copies or ARCs – books that are planning on being published in the next six months or so. These prints usually have some editing that needs to be done, some are without artwork or color, while others can be missing entire sections of the book.  But, for the most part you can snag some pretty awesome titles. For example, at a conference last year I got an ARC for The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill which later won the Newbery Award (and I was later able to get my ARC signed by the author which is pretty awesome). So, as you can see, I got the most recent title in the  Mr.Lemocello’s Library series, due out on October 10, 2017, along with 36 other titles, mainly middle grade and YA, but also a few picture books as well.

The Expo also has some really great talks going on through the three-day event including promotional talks, talking about diversity, and more. We were able to stop by the editor book buzz on middle grade fiction out this fall and got to a great afternoon talk which you can see in the picture below!

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The other exciting part of conferences and expos like BEA is the chance to meet authors and illustrators – this year we got to get book signed by Caldecott winner, Dan Santat, Chris Grabenstein, Lindsay Eager, plus (drumroll please…) Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket), Chris Harris author and producer of How I Met Your Mother and Neil Patrick Harris, yes that Neil Patrick Harris.

I was completely exhausted by the end of the day, but we had an awesome time and I’m hoping that next year, I’ll actually be able to spend the whole three days in New York! A great big thank you to all the publishers, authors, and illustrators who worked so hard to make this event a success! It was awesome!

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