I know you've seen tons of posts the last week for BEA 2010 and Blogger Con. They've all been terrific in their own way, and I'm not sure I can really add much to what has already been said. There has been loads of great advice; and every time I read a post, I said to myself, "That's exactly what I wanted to say!"
Last May, I was fortunate enough to attend BEA 2009 and I had the time of my life. There were so many highlights I don't even know where to start -- I got to meet some terrific book bloggers and some awesome authors! And, I was even fortunate enough to participate on a panel of fellow bloggers. My entire experience was really just one amazing moment after another. I tried to document everything so I would always remember just how much fun I had and share it with those of you who couldn't attend. If you are interested in seeing my day-in-the-life posts from BEA 2009, you can read them here and here and here.
I initially thought I'd write some words of advice, but I really don't think there's much else to say. I want to reiterate a few things though:
Wear comfortable shoes. I know you've seen this one everywhere, but it really is important. I have always been one of those fashion over comfort girls (I could also give you a warning about winter white pants in rainy New York City, but I won't.) Since I dressed up for the show, I ended up wearing heels two of the three days I was there. They were really good heels, but still... I had no idea how much walking I would do. The Javits Center is HUGE!!!!! I bet I walked at least 5 plus miles a day and I didn't sit down much at all! You will literally be on your feet all day!
Bring a comfortable tote bag. You're probably saying comfortable tote bag? Let me tell you that my shoulders and collar bones were sorer than my feet. I even had bruises on my shoulders after the first day. You will get a lot of books (unless you have great restraint) and you will probably be carrying multiple bags of books at any one time. I recommend a sturdy bag with a wide shoulder strap -- preferably one that you can wear across your body to help distribute the weight. A backpack is probably a good idea too (although mine isn't near as cute as my messenger bag!) Also, don't be afraid to make multiple trips to the postage center where you can drop off your books in a box with your name on it.
Stay at a hotel on the bus route (if possible). I know that not all of you will be able to do this (or even want to do this) but I found that it was so nice to stay at a hotel that had a shuttle bus to the Javits Center. It was extremely convenient -- all I had to do was cross the street to catch the bus; and best of all, it was free!
Attend an author breakfast or lunch. Last year, I attended both the Children's Book and Author Breakfast and the Book and Author Breakfast. They were both wonderful experiences because I got to hear many authors speak including Julie Andrews, Meg Cabot, and Jeannette Walls. I also received some of their soon-to-be released books. The meals aren't cheap (each breakfast is $37 and the lunch is $48), but I like that BEA gives you the option of no meal with theater seating at a lower price -$20. I chose not to have the meal last year, and it worked out fine for me. This year, I'm planning on doing the same thing.
Bring water and snacks. This is another piece of advice that you've seen everywhere, but it's an important one. Bottled water and snack are very expensive at the Javits Center. You can quickly spend another $10 to $20 a day for a few dollars worth of food. Last year, I left the Javits Center for lunch on one of the days. Right outside, there were hot dog and pretzel vendors with much more affordable options. Plus, you don't have to go far and miss out on all of the action!
Bring a camera. I didn't use mine all that much, but I am glad I brought it with me. I did manage to capture some great photos of my friends. In addition, I had a few pictures taken with some authors that I absolutely adore (like Adriana Trigiani.) I still treasure these mementos!
Experience New York City. As much fun as BEA is, New York City is one of the greatest cities in the world. If you don't make it to New York City very often, use this trip as a way to experience some of the other fun things going on in the city. Get tickets to a Broadway show, do some shopping, eat at a great restaurant, etc.
And last but not least -- Book Blogger Con 2010! The first annual Book Blogger Convention is now officially affiliated with Book Expo America -- you can read about all of the details here. This sounds like it's going to be a fantastic event and a great way to get to know your fellow book bloggers!
For a full schedule of BEA 2010 Blogger Advice Posts , see this post at the Book Blogger Convention blog.
I am so excited to attend BEA this year. I can't wait to see those of you who I met last year, and I am looking forward to meeting many of you for the first time. It's going to be so much fun!
If you have any questions, just ask. I am more than willing to help you in any way I can!