When you read this, BEA will be a little over a month away. I’m incredibly excited for it, but I’m also nervous.
Last year was not great. It was my fourth year going, but it felt like my first—there were snafus left and right and it just seemed like the event planning was lacking. It seems like the publishers want one thing and the people behind BEA want another.
I’m Team Publisher on this.
BEA seems to try and evolve into sort of like ComiCon and I hate it. The latest example is the fact that the breakfasts this year are full of celebrities and the people going to “BookCon” (which used to be Power Readers Day) are mostly celebrities. I’m excited to meet Cary Elwes and Amy Poehler. You know I am. But it’s not really BEA.
The whole situation is made even more complicated by the fact that they turned Power Readers Day into BookCon last minute, after many people had purchased their passes. Since Power Readers Day started, you spend about $35 or so and get about the same experience as everyone else at BEA.
This year, you get your own space. Some publishers will be there, but not all. BEA people can go to BookCon; BookCon people cannot go to BEA.
And, as you can imagine, people got pissed.
On the one hand, yes, it’s very underhanded to sell one experience and deliver quite another. On the other, I read a blog post from someone (a blogger like me) who deliberately bought the Power Reader Pass instead of a one-day blog pass because it was more affordable and is now furious—FURIOUS!— that she gets a cheaper experience.
I do get it. I go for all three days every year and it’s expensive. I wait until my tax refund comes in and pretty much all of it goes to BEA, between the ticket in, the Avid Reader Pass (I like getting tickets early and I love the line jump), the breakfasts—I usually go to at least one—and, oh yeah, THE COST OF STAYING IN NYC. I get it.
But if you deliberately choose the cheapest option, you can’t be too pissed or surprised if you then receive the cheapest experience.