Today I’m part of the blog tour that will give you suggestions, ideas, tips, and tricks about BEA. I’m sure everyone else will tell you to wear comfortable shoes, wear comfortable clothes, don’t be a book hoarder (because you will regret it), etc. And those are all FANTASTIC suggestions. I’m going to tell you what no one else will tell you.
Are you listening?
Are you really listening?
- Move heaven and earth to go to BEA (and the book blogger convention). I guarantee you will regret it if you don’t make every effort to go. I’m not encouraging you to put the expenses on your credit card, because goodness knows I’m working on paying those off myself. I’d rather poke my eye with a stick than put something on a credit card these days. But before you think you can’t afford it, make sure you check out where Amanda is staying (hint: she’s only paying $35 per night).
- Don’t overbook yourself. The hands-down best time I had last year at BEA was when everyone else was at some party, and me and Jenn and Nicole went our to dinner together, just the three of us. We talked for FOUR HOURS. Sure, you can hang with cool people at parties and stuff, and maybe that’s totally your thing. But me? I like to connect with people, to become friends with them, and (for me) that doesn’t happen at a party. Not overbooking yourself will give you the chance to be spontaneous.
- Along the lines of #2, don’t worry if you don’t get invited to something. I PROMISE that there will still be people to hang with. This is small stuff. Don’t sweat it.
- Those books you get at BEA? READ THEM. I know. I’m so smart to be making a suggestion like that. Next thing you know I’ll be telling you to turn your lights off to conserve energy. But seriously. I got THE UNNAMED by Joshua Ferris, which will be a favorite of 2010. It probably would have languished if I hadn’t had motivation to read it. I’m now wondering what other gems I picked up and didn’t even realize it.
- Map out your plan. There is so much going on at BEA between author signings and panels that you’ll need to have a plan. You might miss a few things due to conflicting times, but such is life. Figure things out ahead of time (i.e. as soon as BEA releases a schedule, which should be sometime in April) so that you have time to move things around, plot with other bloggers, and maximize the time.
- Plan on being sleep deprived. YOU CAN SLEEP WHEN YOU’RE DEAD. Attending BEA is not conducive to lots of sleep. Be forewarned.
- That blogger/publisher/author you’ve always wanted to meet in person? Reach out to them! They probably will be over the moon to grab coffee, lunch, or just take a few minutes out to meet you. I know I said to not overbook yourself, but I’m also telling you to not leave everything to chance.
- Create a landing page. You’ll be handing your business card to lots of people, but so will lots of other folks. On the off chance they check out your blog, make sure it’s worth their while. I think Heather did a really good landing page for when she moderated a panel at the Baltimore Book Festival.
I know, only 8 tips is SO UNSATISFYING. Sorry.
So, who’s going to BEA? Can I get a holla?