I went to New York City on Thursday to attend BookExpo America, or, as it's known in the publishing world, BEA. If you're into books and all they offer, then this is a great place to visit. Held at the humongous Javits Center, right in downtown NYC, the show is easy to get to and offers aisle upon aisle of books, authors, publishers, printers, international rights folks, and just about anything else you can imagine that is related to books.
A few lessons learned - BEA is expensive! Traditionally only open to members of "the trade," attendance prices range from $99 up. Most professionals seemed to fall into the $199 rate. And note, they do check your id so you need to have a business card, or some other form of identification that proves you are in that area of the publishing world. Also, I wouldn't recommend going on the last day. Thursday, the last day, was the only day I could go. And we got there late to boot. So, the show was closing in two hours and yet they still charged us full price! Ouch! And many of the booths were closing down early so we did miss a lot. Finally, BEA is known for all its great giveaways - giveaways of new books, etc. But by the last day, most of those are gone. Darn.
This year, Thursday was "consumer day" - a day to let the "general public" in to see all the glories that are BEA. From reading the comments on Publishers Weekly and other sites, it appears the reception was mixed. Some exhibitors liked the idea, others did not. What do you think?
Next year, in early June, think about attending BEA. It's a great learning experience, and if you're promoting a book or want to learn more about publishing, it's a perfect place to network.