As we eagerly await the United States’ largest book convention next week, MEDIA CONNECT looks back to remember some of their favorite moments of Book Expo America’s (BEA’s) past.
“I met my wife at Book Expo, June 3, 2000. She worked in book publishing in NY as well but we ended up going to the trade show in Chicago to find our love connection. I was working for MEDIA CONNECT (called PTA at the time) and I attended a party with a bunch of colleagues and met her there. She was actually helping run the party for then celebrity gossip columnist, Liz Smith, who released a book at the time. Laura, my wife, was the head of audio book marketing for Random House. When we got engaged, I wrote to Liz and told her it was because of her that we met. She wrote about us in her column, right after talking about Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. That is the closest I will ever be linked to Mr. Pitt.”
– Brian Feinblum, Chief Marketing Officer, Senior Vice President
“At last year’s BEA I went to a party for Kevin Fitzpatrick’s book, Under the Table: A Dorothy Parker Cocktail Guide. The party was held at the Blue Bar at the Algonquin Hotel. There are very few places in Manhattan that evoke the vanishing literary heyday of New York as the Algonquin and its charming art-deco style. Just being at the hotel, wandering around the lobby and listening for the whispers of the ghosts of the famed roundtable inhabitants is a thrill. Many of those who attended the party dressed in period garb and joined in an imaginary contest to see who could order the most exotic vintage cocktail and drink as many as possible. Since I left rather early I don’t know who won.”
– Stephen Matteo, Publicity Manager
I am a huge soccer fan so one of my favorite moments was running into Claudia Reyna at a BEA in Chicago as I recall. It gave me a chance to thank him for his fantastic career with the US National Men’s team and wish him good luck. He was very gracious as I thought he would be! Another cherished moment was running into Michael Chabon on the floor and thanking him for writing The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, one of my favorite novels of all time. You just never know who you will run into at BEA!
– David Hahn, Managing Director
“Last year was my first year attending BEA, and although it was overwhelming at first, Dee quickly showed me the ropes. It was great meeting some of the publishers that we frequently work with. Since I work in the DC office, I don’t get a lot of opportunities to meet face-to-face with NY-based publishers.
One of my favorite moments from last year was receiving my very first Chronicle bag (the best reusable bag in the world, modeled here by Dee in her recent blog post. I have used mine so much holes are starting to form. Hopefully I can get my hands on a new one this year.
Another fave moment from last year was meeting so many authors and celebrities in one day (and by “meet” I mean awkwardly smile at them while they sign a copy/poster of their book for you). A memorable moment from last year was “meeting” Debra Messing, who showed up unannounced to sign a poster for her upcoming children’s book. We weren’t allowed to take pictures with her but we were allowed to take pictures of her. That didn’t stop us from at least trying to sneak a pic with Debra!”
– Nicole Martineau, Associate Publicist
“I waited in a super long, wrap-around line to meet Jim Carrey and get his autograph and take a super awkward sideways and off-centered picture of him in between about five huge body guards. His autographed book jacket still sits on my bookshelf.”
– Karissa Hearn, Publicist
Related: So You’re Going To Book Expo 2014