Early BEA 2015 Buzz and Preparation

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By Cori Cagide, Publicist

The London Book Fair has wrapped, and before you know it, Book Expo America (BEA) 2015 will be upon us.

A bulk of the authors and panels were announced last month, and more information keeps trickling in on what the reigning theme will be and where all the hot book signings are. In years past it was dystopian fiction, while last year John Green pretty much stole the show (shocker).

This year the opening day spotlight will include a conversation with multiple award-winning novelist Jonathan Franzen, to discuss his new book Purity (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, September 2015). Franzen will be joined by Laura Miller, co-founder of Salon.com and frequent contributor to the New York Times book review.

My first BEA was super overwhelming. Last year, however, I was fortunate enough to attend the BEA Blogger’s conference, which was wonderful. It gave me a chance to get a feel for the space and pretty much put my feelers out on opening day. The blogger’s conference is something that’s sure to get better and better as time goes on, so I anticipate that they will be ramping up that this year as well.

If I learned anything from last year’s BEA, it’s this: come prepared and have an agenda.

It’s easy to get distracted as you walk among the thousands of booths that line the floor. Make sure you have a game plan and do your best to stick to it. Of course, free book samples and galleys are always hard to resist, but do your best to at the very least outline places that you need to stop. It’s helpful if you map it out, too, so that you can get a better feel for the floor and what makes the most sense in terms of time and what you’re looking for.

Be sure to check out the “My BEA Show Planner” section on the BEA homepage to search authors, exhibitors, book signings and even a floor plan. You can also create your own personal schedule, which you can connect with the BEA app on the day-of. (I’m hoping they update the app this year, as I found last year’s quite difficult to navigate and ultimately not very useful). It’s best to go old-school just in case and keep your agenda on pen and paper. I know how archaic that sounds but it is a writer’s conference – everyone will have a notebook and, I’m sure, a strong collection of pens and pencils.

So, what am I looking forward to this year? Well, to name just some:

  • Just Add… Media: Making Multimedia Work – 5/27
  • Marvel Presents: Star Wars (I’m hoping for Comic-con-esque outfits here) – 5/27
  • Autographing Session with Mary Kubica (I’m gearing up to read The Good Girl) – 5/28
  • Autographing Session with Jesse Eisenberg – 5/28
  • How Social Media Revolutionizes Book Marketing – 5/28
  • Taking the Conversation Online: How Blogging & Social Media Build Community (and Sell Books) – 5/28
  • Autographing Session with Adam Carrolla – 5/28
  • Making the MAKE book: Success Stories from Publishers – 5/29
  • Meet BEA Young Adult Buzz Authors – 5/29
  • Literary Hub – Literary Culture in the Literary World – 5/29
  • Digital Branding: When to Start, What to Do and Why It’s Important
  • Autographing Session with Alexandra Bracken (I picked up the last in her three-book series, Darkest Minds last year!) – 5/29
  • Mobile: Foundation for the Next Frontier of Digital Publishing – 5/29
  • The New Rules of Facebook Marketing – 5/29

Okay, so maybe that wasn’t some.

But that’s not even including the weekend dates! I’m sure there will be plenty  of last-minute announcements as well and the weekend BookCon is always a popular destination for book fans/celeb stalkers alike.

Be sure to make the most out of this year’s BEA while it’s still in NYC, because we don’t know when we’ll get another chance to have the year’s biggest authors and hottest best sellers back in the Javitz Center in our backyard.

We’ll be sure to follow up with more as we hear about it and give a recap after the exciting event, which takes place this year Wednesday, May 27th – Sunday, May 31st. For more information you can see Publisher’s Weekly‘s event description here. Until then, happy reading!

Related: So You’re Going to Book Expo America

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