The Owls Are Going to BEA this year!!!

THE OWLS ARE GOING TO BEA!!!  Yes, we will be in New York City for BEA 2014 and we couldn't be happier.  Andy, JJ and I will be arriving on Wednesday, May 28 and leaving Saturday, May 31st.  So if you plan on attending, and you spot us, make sure you come by and say hi!

This is going to be my second time attending and Andy and JJ's first time, so I need to give them as many tips as possible, because it's a jungle out there. LOL I figured I would share these tips with you all as well, because, well, sharing is caring. :)

Tip #1

Get there early!  The doors don't open until 9:00am, but believe me, there will be a line waaaay before then. So get there early so you can be close to the front. Also, get your totes ready cause when those doors open, its every man for themselves. LOL  Make sure you know which publishers you are more interested in and know where their booths are.  If you look up you will see big signs with their names.  Once you get to where they are dropping books, take one and move on to the next. The books go FAST! Also, beware of pushers and shovers, people go a little crazy when it comes to free books.  

Tip #2

Wear comfy, yet professional clothes and shoes.  I don't mean wear your Sunday suit, but wear something that looks nice, remember you are representing your Site/blog and first impressions means a lot.  I don't suggest wearing heels because you will be walking, running and standing ALOT and you don't want to fall with 15 pounds of books on you.  Not a pretty sight! LOL

Tip #3

Last year BEA has its own app and it was a life saver.  So if they have it again this year, I strongly suggest you get it.  I was able to plan ahead the night before and see which authors were going to be signing and which books were being dropped when and where.  So, PLAN, PLAN, PLAN!

Tip #4

Don't stress out.  It is impossible to be able to meet every author you want to see there AND get ALL the books you want.  Like I said above in tip #3, plan on which ones you want to REALLY see.  Authors are only signing for an hour I think, and you have to start the line early (if they are popular authors).  

Tip #5

If you are a blogger, make sure you make some business cards.  There are some printing sites out there that have great specials and won't be that expensive.  If you are on a really tight budget, you can even make your own cards.  The first cards I had I made myself.  I went to Walmart and bought the stock paper and made my own template on the computer and printed them.  They actually came out pretty nice, so that's another option. Try to get some with your address on so you can give them to the publishers, that way they can automatically get all your information without having to write it down and plus, its all about making it easier on them.  Then the other set that doesn't have your address on it, those you can give away to people there.  If you want to make your blog or site grow, you have to network and BEA is a great place to do that, so take advantage. I was in such a hurry last year, that I ended up leaving my cards on my dresser and when I got to New York, I wanted to kick myself for leaving them behind   

Tip #6

Take a empty suitcase. Yes, you read that correctly.  Being your first time, you will take any book that is up for grabs and you will need somewhere to put them all.  As soon as you go in to the Javits Center, you have to check it in.  Make sure you take cash with you too cause you will have to pay a small fee per suitcase, I think it was like $3 last year.  They will give you a ticket which you will have to show every time you go back to drop off your books.  That another thing, you will have to take breaks and go back to your suitcase and empty your totes.  Carrying around all of those books can be tiring as they are super heavy.  

Tip #7

You will have to ship your books to yourself.   The post office is a few blocks away from the Javits Center, but remember, "blocks" in New York are not the normal block sizes in other cities.  New York blocks are LONG lol.  So think that you will have to haul your suitcase all the way to the post office and box them and ship them back home.  The cheapest way to send them is via Media Mail, but you CAN NOT put any totes or swag inside the boxes.  They scan the boxes and if they see anything that isnt a book, they will take out and one, that can damage your books, two: they can even lose your box.  So make sure you DO NOT add anything else and you shouldnt have a problem.  This year, I am going to take a little extra money so I can FedEx them to me.  They get there faster and they the boxes wont get damaged like that ones from the post office.  They are REALLY rough with them there.   

TIP #8

Have fun!!  Yes, I know we all want the free books, and free swag, but at least for me, there is more to it then that.  I want to meet authors that I haven't met yet and finally get to meet the publicists that I have been emailing with and talking to on social media.  So, make sure you swing by and say hi to them and thank them for all their hard work, I'm sure they will love seeing you too.  

Tip #9

Take a crossbody purse with you and a small wallet with your key stuff, (driver's licence, credit card, bankcard and some cash) and some snacks.  You really wont have time to eat anything really.  Although at Noon, things tend to slow down, but I wouldn't risk missing an author or a book because I was starving LOL  But that's just me.   

So there you have it my friends.  Those are my little tips for you newbies.  I was so nervous last year, but after the first day, I got the hang of it.  Just make sure you have fun, which is the most important thing. I hope you see you there and don't forget to say hi if you are there!


  1. So jealous of you guys right now :D Here in Australia, I think the book expo is in Sydney this year plus it won't be as big as the American one. Hope you guys have lots of fun and bring back heaps of books! :) Let us know how it goes!

    Obsessive Compulsive Reader

  2. I'm trying hard not to be jealous! Have a great time and take lots of notes and pictures for us!


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