- How many books there would be. It was INSANE. I understood that I would acquire some free books and ARCs. But if I had understood the sheer number–books! Everywhere! Here, take five!–I would have brought a rolling suitcase, (though this was suggested to me ahead of time, I didn’t take it seriously) rather than the tote bags, weighing fifty pounds on each shoulder.
- A single water bottle will be $3.75 and there is not a single water fountain in sight to refill for free.
- Your ankles will hurt. A lot. Do not wear heels (I didn’t). Do not wear cute ballet flats (I did). Wear shoes with support!
- You need business cards. Even if you’re a newbie to the publishing world and don’t have an official business card for your company yet, you should have a personal business card mentioning that you’re a part-time blogger or wanna-be author or something. (I really need to go order some!)
- How non-participatory the big publishers would be. They did not give out any free books (you know, that’s fair, totally their right) but on top of that they were generally very unfriendly, avoiding eye contact and frowning at you if you walked through their booth, even if was just to get from Point A to Point B. But the smaller publishers, who want to garner some free publicity and word of mouth? They loved anyone who stopped in their booth and gave them love, personal attention, candy, and personal recommendations. The small independent publishers reminded me of the friendly book-swap atmosphere you can get in an indie bookstore. (Interesting fact: you know who the second most friendly booth was? Amazon. Free books and awesome conversations everywhere.)
Basically, BEA is a huge playground for bookworm adults.
I am so in love. Can’t wait/hope I can go back next year!