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Book Expo 2014: My Best Laid Plans

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I can’t quite figure out where the month of May is going. In four days I”ll be on my way to New York City to attend Book Expo America, the publishing industry’s biggest event of the year. This will be my fourth trip to BEA, but I still never really feel prepared.

I’ve been slowly going through the jam-packed schedule to pick out the books and events I’m looking forward to this year.

I’ll be arriving in New York City on Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday is BEA Bloggers, a day of programming that’s supposed to be focused on book blogging. I went to BEA Bloggers two years and really, really wasn’t impressed with the result. I’m hoping that a couple of years of feedback will have improved the programming and general focus of the conference to be on things bloggers want to hear about rather than the things publishing wishes bloggers to want to hear about. I’ll keep you posted.

My plan is to spend Thursday and Friday up at Javits going to book signings and education sessions. I don’t have a huge list of “must grab” books, but I am excited about a few:

  • Daring: My Passages by Gail Sheehy (Table 19)
  • The Men We Reaped by Jesmyn War (Booth 1749)
  • Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King (Table 15)
  • Dangerous Odds by Marisa Lankester (Booth 1426)
  • The Memory of After by Lenore Appelhans (Table 18)
  • Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer (Table 3)
  • The Three by Sarah Lotz (Table 16)
  • A Deadly Wandering by Matt Richtel
  • On Immunity by Eula Biss
  • Geek Sublime by Vikram Chandra

Another big part of BEA is the Education Sessions, basically panel discussions about different aspects of publishing. I didn’t get to may when I was at BEA in 2012, but I’m hoping to get to several this year as timing permits. Here are a few that caught my attention:

And finally, you can also catch authors and panels at a couple of stages up on the expo floor. These are interesting (and a great way to rest your feet for awhile). If the timing works out, I’m going to try to head to these panels:

All that listed, so much of my past experience of BEA has depended on my mood. If lines are too long or crowds are too big, I will find something else to do. And some of my favorite books from the conference have been titles I picked up just casually chatting with representatives at the various books in the expo floor. So really, who knows what the conference will look like — that’s part of the fun!

{ 20 comments… add one }

  • tanya (52 books or bust) May 23, 2014, 6:15 am

    Have an awesome time. I hope the Book Blogger portion is worthwhile. I had wanted to go this year, specifically for that, but maybe staying home isn’t so bad?

    • Kim May 25, 2014, 9:57 am

      We’ll see on BEA Bloggers. The first year I attended and wasn’t impressed. I didn’t go to BEA at all last year, but my sense was that people still weren’t happy with it. I think the programming looks revamped this year, which is a good sign.

  • Shannon @ River City Reading May 23, 2014, 6:25 am

    Several of these books/panels are on the list I have marked down (so excited for the graphic novel one!), but I’m totally in Camp Not Waiting In That Line, too. I can’t believe it’s already so close!

    • Kim May 25, 2014, 9:58 am

      I have no patience for really long lines, so if anything gets too crowded I just move on. It’s been a good strategy at BEA in the past :)

  • bermudaonion (Kathy) May 23, 2014, 6:48 am

    I’ve given up making schedules for the most part. I hope to see you there!

    • Kim May 25, 2014, 9:58 am

      I often don’t follow the schedule, but it’s nice to have some reference points if I find myself adrift while walking the floor.

  • Trisha May 23, 2014, 7:20 am

    I am so very jealous. I only was able to go once, but I loved it! Have fun!

  • Andi @ Estella's Revenge May 23, 2014, 9:36 am

    I’m definitely looking forward to your thoughts on BEA Bloggers this year. I looked over the schedule and it SEEMS to be improved from previous attempts. I’m sure Twitter will let me know for sure. :)

    • Kim May 25, 2014, 9:59 am

      Oh yes, Twitter will have many opinions for you to peruse, I am sure!

  • Lenore Appelhans May 23, 2014, 11:52 am

    Ooh hope to see you at my signing!

    I will def. be in line for AS King’s new book too!

    • Kim May 25, 2014, 10:01 am

      That is one of my top priorities!

  • Athira May 23, 2014, 3:10 pm

    Have fun! I will be waiting to read your updates!

  • Sandy May 23, 2014, 3:14 pm

    I have to live vicariously through people like you! So please update us and make us envious. I’ve got my eyeball on The Three as well.

    • Kim May 25, 2014, 10:01 am

      I’m not usually one for thrillers, but the reviews of that one have been really good so far.

  • susan May 23, 2014, 4:52 pm

    Have fun at Book Expo. The Meg Wolitzer book/table looks worth exploring! Many good talks too.

  • Anita May 23, 2014, 6:30 pm

    I’m excited for you!! I hope the Bloggers session is informative. I’m sure twitter will be buzzing with all the news!! Enjoy and I hope you score all the fun books you want.

  • Laurie C May 24, 2014, 6:27 am

    I didn’t know Meg Wolitzer has another book coming out already! I didn’t have the energy to register, this spring has been so draining. I hope to go again next year! Have fun!

    • Kim May 25, 2014, 10:10 am

      I think her new one is a YA book, inspired by or based on The Bell Jar, which I am really curious about!

  • Jennine G. May 24, 2014, 10:49 pm

    Here’s to hoping your best laid plans do not go awry! Have fun!

  • Rory May 25, 2014, 5:43 pm

    I need to favorite this post. This will be my first time at BEA and I’m not nervous, exactly, I just don’t want to get exceptionally overwhelmed either.

    And goodness, I am not a huge line person. So while I want to go to the Wolitzer signing, I’m not sure I’ll be able to handle that.

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