Monday, May 19, 2014

Discussion: The Green Side of BEA

posted by Mary)

If you've spent any time in the blogosphere or on Twitter lately, you've probably heard of BEA, aka Book Expo America. Held in New York City, BEA brings publishers, PR folks, authors, press and bloggers to the Javits Center where we collectively swoon over all the fantastic upcoming books. There are lustworthy ARCs, stars galore (both the author type and actor type), and tons of sparkling parties.

It really is quite fabulous and, if you get the chance, you should definitely go at least once. But there's a dark side to attending (and can appear even if you're not attending). One that comes in the color green. It's a monster. And it can eat you alive if you let it.

That's right. Jealousy. The Green-Eyed Monster. The Elephant in the Room. Judging by all the squeeing on social media, you may think you're the only one who feels this way but you're not. It can happen to any of us, striking without warning, even when we're really excited about something. The grass is greener and all that.

Why might you still see green even if you're attending such an awesome event? (And, really, this goes for any such event, not just BEA.)

You're going to get some fabulous books (though maybe not every one you're hoping for. Mortal Heart, for example, is one that just about every blogger I know is lusting after -- including me -- and I just don't see how everyone's going to walk away with an ARC. Please don't push and shove or bite for this book. It might be at the top of your/my/our to-get list but it'll be on sale soon. Don't be a dick trying to get it or any other book, for that matter).

You're going to meet awesome authors (though you won't be able to meet everyone and you certainly won't get the chance to talk to everyone, especially those who are signing because you really need to smile, say hi, let them sign and go. Seriously. The lines are too long for a chat).

You're going to run into some fabulous online friends (though you may not get a chance to hang out, depending on how busy they/you are or how packed everyone's schedule is).

You may get to attend some of the many free events held around town (though you won't be able to do everything. Some events are at the same time; some are across town from one another; some are so crowded you couldn't squeeze in if you were Flat Stanley).

You may even get invited to some parties thrown by various publishers (though you might not get a single invitation, even if all your bloggy friends are invited to everything and you think your blog is just as awesome as theirs. Life's not fair. Suck it up, find an awesome restaurant or bar or even just chill out with a new book).

Don't let the Green Eyed Monster rule your life. Don't spend the weeks (well, less than a week and a half in BEA's case) leading up to the event checking and rechecking your email for invitations that may or may not ever come. Don't obsessively read Twitter and let the monster nip at your heart as you see another blogger squee over yet another invitation to an exclusive party.

Go. Have a great time. Meet wonderful people. Enjoy the all the city has to offer, even if your friends are at a publisher party with a free bar and time to actually talk to authors. *twinge* Those pangs of jealousy can be a bitter pill. But you know what? It's best to swallow it down, chase it with a frosty adult beverage and kick that sucker to the curb. Whether you're a new blogger or if you've been around the block for years, if you just relax and take things as they come, you'll have a better time for it. (This doesn't mean don't have a plan. Just be flexible about it. You never know what's going to fall into your lap!)

And if you're going, leave me a comment! Look for me! (Yes, we'll all be staring at badges, looking for names, which feels like you're checking out the other person's boobs but we all know what's really going on.) Don't be shy. (Again, it's hard. I know. But if I can do it, you can do it.) Talk to people in line. Squee over an awesome book or author or even the Corona you got while waiting in line (Cheers!). And, most of all, enjoy the craziness that is BEA, and shoot that damned Green-Eyed Monster down dead should it cross your eye-line. It's just not worth it.

And if you're looking for some advice posts, check out these lovely bloggers to help you get organized for the big event:

Bewitched Bookworms (BEA2U 2014, which also has links to their other BEA posts)
The Irish Banana Review (BEA 2014, with links to a ton of other posts by both Hannah and other bloggers)
Shae Has Left the Room (Parts I, II, III, IV, V)
The Perpetual Page Turner (NYC Bucket List)