This will be my fourth year attending BEA and so I thought it might be fun to talk about what to do in case you’re attending for the first time. (And if not, try to go next year; it’s so fun!)
1) COMFORTABLE SHOES. Javits is huge and you will be on your feet for most of the day. There are places to sit, but you’ll probably still be upright and moving for multiple hours and toting several books, as well. Do all you can to help yourself out.
2) Business cards! Mine have my name (obviously), blog name and URL, address and Twitter and Facebook URLs, too. Some people go back and forth over whether to include their address, but I feel like the less work publicists have to do, the more likely they are to help you.
3) Plan. My BEA BFF Kathy and I have been planning for months now and since they’ve finally started releasing signing information, we have kicked that into overdrive. Obviously not everybody is going to plan as thoroughly as we do, but it’s a good idea to have at least a basic idea of what you want to do each day (galleys you want; signings you must attend, etc.) so that you’re not running around completely overwhelmed.
4) Accept the hard truth of BEA: you will not get everything you want. This is where prioritizing comes into play. This year, for example, Kendare Blake, Diana Peterfreund and Gretchen McNeil are all signing at more or less the same time. And all are pretty likely to have ridiculous lines. I will probably not be able to get all three, but I’m probably going to be able to get two.