Friday, February 5, 2010

BEA - Why You Should Go!

Book Expo America - THE tradeshow for the book industry.  Held in NYC, it's the place to be in late May.  You'll learn a lot and have a ton of fun.  Here's information on the show, provided by BEA.


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.

The show occupies approximately 175,000 – 200,000 square feet of exhibit space, not including conference sessions, autographing or the Rights Center.

Approximately 1000 authors participate in BEA.

There are over 1500 exhibitors at BEA.

There are approximately 75 educational conference sessions offered at BEA.


In 1902 Mark Twain was the guest speaker for the first official gathering of the American Booksellers Association (ABA) Convention. It was held at New York’s Herald Square Hotel and 60 people attended. The ABA Convention is now called BookExpo America (BEA) and instead of being held in a hotel it is being held this year at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City and instead of playing host to 60 people, it is playing host to approximately 25,000 industry professionals.

BEA has evolved to become a global event, attracting an international audience, where a range of book industry business may be conducted. First and foremost, however, BEA is known as a preeminent venue for launching books and creating buzz about current and new titles which are just hitting the marketplace. With all forms of social media interaction taking place throughout the course of the 3-day convention, and with more than 1500 members of the media in attendance, including wire services, national TV and radio outlets, newspapers, magazines, and lit bloggers, BEA serves not only as a gathering to learn about new books, but it also provides content which serves the media through a wide range of programming including Keynotes, Author Breakfasts, ongoing Author Stage presentations, and a full educational program.

While BEA has adapted to changes in media and communication, it has never strayed far from its root tradition of being a place where authors gather to meet the people who publish, sell and market their books. Public figures who have participated in the convention include Eleanor Roosevelt, Dr. Martin Luther King, and Presidents Truman and Eisenhower. In 1982 President Jimmy Carter made his first appearance at the convention and five years ago (’04) President Bill Clinton spoke to BEA’s audience. From James Baldwin to Walter Cronkite; Eudora Welty to Tom Wolfe; Isabel Allende to Colin Powell; Ray Charles to Stephen Colbert; the list of past and present authors who have entertained booksellers include some of the greatest – and most disparate – voices of the modern age.


  1. Wear good walking shoes and be prepared to bring home a box of new books. Great way to meet others in the industry.