May 22, 2015

BEA Prepared Part 5: The Aftermath

So, you’ve got your hands on a ticket to BEA/BookCon. You have made transportation arrangements and know where you’re staying once you get to the Big Apple. NOW WHAT?

This is my third year attending BEA, and will likely be my last. So, through a series of blog posts, I hope to impart upon you, my little grasshoppers, some insight I’ve gained over the past two years as you continue to make your plans. I’m calling this series BEA Prepared. In case you missed them, check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4. In only five short days, I'll be in New York (OMG!), which means, it's time for the fifth and final part of my BEA Prepared series.

So Many Books, So Little Time
My time at BEA both years was completely crazy. I didn't have a moment to just breathe until I got home on Saturday and unpacked. And, let's face it - that's part of the fun, right? Finally sitting down with all your books and swag and taking a few moments with all of them - moments that you just don't have when you're on the show floor. I definitely recommend taking that time to bond with your books. Put them in pretty stacks. Take pictures. Pet them. Count them. Lurv them.

2013 BEA Books
2014 BEA Books
But, now what? So, I'm a little OCD. I made piles - Already Read, Read Now, Read Later, Might Not Read. Chances are you will end up bringing home books you've already read, but either only have a digital copy or an unsigned copy. Those are easy. Put them on your shelf and forget about them for now. 

The rest of your books, you need to prioritize. How you do that is up to you. But, please, don't feel guilty. Guaranteed, soon after BEA is over, there will be blog posts or Tweets out there, usually delivered by people who didn't get to go to BEA, shaming us for bringing home more books than what we will read. They will call us greedy and will say we're not doing our duty if we don't read and review every single one of them.

Look. Publishers hand out these ARCs for exposure. They want them in people's hands. They want people to read them. To read other books by the same author. To recommend them. In past years, I've done a few giveaways with some of my books. I've also given some to friends and family members who I knew would like them more than me. I've donated them to my local library (as long as they have an ISBN number, libraries will take them). I've NEVER thrown any of them away. The books I bring home are getting into the hands of readers. So, it's all good.

Oh, and a word to the wise - you might want to pick up a few new bookshelves now. Because you will need them. Last year I had stacks of books on my den floor for more than two months before I finally got two new bookshelves. ;)

Tell Me About It
One of my favorite parts of the aftermath of BEA is reading everyone's recap posts and seeing all the pictures. So, if you're there, and you have a blog, write about your experience! Make sure to take lots of pictures while you're there - pictures of you with other bloggers, you with authors, the books you come home with - whatever interests you. I love to see where everyone went after hours too. There's so much to do in New York. It's fun to see what everyone did in their spare time.

So, this is it! I'll see you next week at BEA. Travel safe, and have fun!

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