If you’ve never been to BEA (Book Expo America) you should go if you get the chance.  Here’s the picture I took:

Some might say it doesn’t do BEA justice.  Personally, I think my photography skills are right up there with my fashion sense – one could call this art.  (One could also call it something else, but I’m sticking with art.)

Seriously, though, no picture could really do BEA justice.  It is 5 city blocks long!!!  Full of publishing houses and books of every kind.  It takes your breath away.  The sheer magnitude is overwhelming.

There are authors signing, and ARCs being given away by publishers, and agents and editors wandering the busy aisles alongside teachers and librarians and independent booksellers.

It is like book heaven.

One minute inside BEA would convince you (if you were wondering) that the publishing industry can’t be in that much trouble  if this many houses and this many books exist!  It is at once inspiring and intimidating to see how much is out there.

I had the privilege of giving away signed copies of Not Yet, Rose yesterday.  I sat at a table at the Mom’s Choice Award booth and people were literally LINED UP waiting for signed copies.  It was such an ego boost (even though I realize it was because they were free it was still fun!  Nobody ever lined up for one of my books before – at least, not a line of more than 2 people :))

Afterwards, I wandered the aisles and said hi to a couple of my editors who were there, and read lots of kids’ books (I lost count, but a bunch of them will get added to my 100 Book Challenge list.)  It was totally fun.

Have any of you ever been to the big conferences?  ALA?  SCBWI New York or LA?  IRA?  What did you think?  Do you recommend going?

12 thoughts on “BEA OMG TMI

  1. Robyn Campbell says:

    GAH! I so want to go to BEA. *sob* I also want to go to the SCBWI conference out in L.A. And the SCBWI New Jersey confernce. I don't live in New Jerset, I just hear how awesome that one is.Someday we will meet at BEA. 🙂

  2. Jenny Anderson says:

    Susanna, I so much belong in book heaven! I hope to visit with you there someday soon! Thanks for sharing, it just gives me more motivation!

  3. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Robyn, Jenny, Corey – let's all go next year 🙂
    Corey – yes, anyone can go but you have to buy a badge to get in. It can be for 1 or 2 days or the whole thing, and a lot of times you can get discounted badge prices through SCBWI or the Authors Guild if you're a member, or, as I did, through Mom's Choice.

  4. Theresa Milstein says:

    I blew it last year when ALA was in Boston. I decided I'd try to go to BEA this year. Until I found out that New England's SCBWI conference was the weekend before. I couldn't afford the time or expense two weekend in a row.

    Free ARCs. I missed 'em. And I could've met you and other authors. Sigh.

  5. Julie Hedlund says:

    Wow – what an amazing experience! I'm so happy for you that people lined up to get a signed book, although not surprised. I'm sure it makes all the tough times seem more than worthwhile.

    I would love to go sometime, although I suppose I'd better wait until I have a book published. 🙂

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