Are you going to Book Expo?

Posted April 16, 2017 by Lory in discussions / 29 Comments

A year ago, I was so envious of all those who got to go to Book Expo America in Chicago that I thought I would make it a priority to attend this year, when it would be in New York and not require a plane trip. I would have to get time off from work, which is not a straightforward task in my job, but I thought it would be worth it to connect with other bloggers and enjoy the excitement of the book publishing scene.

When the new format and fees for the convention were announced, though, I lost interest. Previously there was specific content for bloggers, but now that was gone, and bloggers were being vetted for legitimacy and their numbers limited. I do not fault the organizers for making these changes, but they did make the event less attractive to me. I realized that my main reason for going was to meet people, and I could still do that by trying to organize some get-togethers in my own area. (I am planning to do this once the snow melts, New England blogging friends!) It wouldn’t be such a grand extravaganza, but it also would be less costly and stressful.

As for the gathering of ARCs and other book swag, in my earlier years of blogging this was much more attractive; now I feel a bit overwhelmed by what I have on hand already. I’m actually relieved not to have the pressure of acquiring MORE books that I then feel obligated to read.

So, I’m not going after all. But I don’t want to discourage anyone else who is! I hope you will have a marvelous time and tell us all about it. If you’re going, what are your hopes and plans? And if you’re not, do you wish you were?

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29 responses to “Are you going to Book Expo?

  1. I’m going…I’m still eager to get ARCs, but mostly for my Barnes and Noble Kids blog reviewing, and less as a hungry scramble on behalf of my own blog (although goodness knows once I get there doubtless my usual madness will overtake me and a red film of unreason will cover my eyes and I will want all the books!). But I will be happy to share at more local get-togthers….

    • I KNOW I would not be able to avoid the madness. That’s why I’d better stay away. However, it would be lovely to get together again locally and share some of our ARCs! (Not that I’ve gotten through all of them from the last time…but I”m working on it.)

  2. I am not planning on going.

    With that, I am determined to attend some traditional book festivals in the future.

    I am with you in that the last thing that I need is more books to read around the house 🙂

    • I would like to go to some book festivals too. It’s a drag that I have to work on Saturdays so I usually miss out – but I can try to get a day off!

  3. I find it odd that since so many book bloggers could be considered ‘influencers’ BEA would make it harder for them to get in. What should it matter who you are if you are willing to pay the fee, unless it’s a space issue?

    I think it was two years ago I considered going and this was before I started my blog and I remember they had actual sessions for bloggers and bloggers to be that sounded worthwhile. I hope it still is for those who attend.

    • I’m not quite sure, but I think there was some abuse of the system, people acquiring and selling multiple copies of ARCs etc. I doubt that very many people were doing that, but still it gives a bad image for bloggers in general. And though there certainly are bloggers who do have a significant influence, most probably have a minimal effect on book sales, which is what the event is about.

      So I can understand the change – but I still wish there were an event for us!

    • I’m really trying to make a dent in my TBR pile right now. Once that is down maybe I will feel the acquisition bug coming on again. In the meantime, I still enjoy when others share their experiences and I can tag along vicariously.

  4. Like you, I’ve been wanting to go to BEA for the last few years and kept putting it off. Grad school definitely got in the way. I really wanted to attend for the blogger part. I was a little put off by the thought of big crowds and lines, and free books don’t do much for me since they may not be books I want to read. Also I love to go to readings but I’m not big on standing in lines to meet authors. So it’s really a shame that the part I was most interested in is now gone. Like you I’m also thinking about how to get together with bloggers in the DMV area. Hope your get-together is a great success!

    • With family, work and all, traveling across the country is not an option for me right now. It was fun when ALA Midwinter was in Boston.

  5. I live in CA, so…no. I’d be interested in their thinking about bloggers — I got the impression that it was kind of out of control. And I certainly wouldn’t consider myself to be influential on booksales in any way, but I’m a pretty teeny blogger! Hm, in which role am I LESS influential, librarian or blogger? 😀

    • You’re influential to me! However, that certainly does not translate into huge sales numbers, alas. Selling books is so hard these days, I do feel sympathetic to the publishers and publicists (and authors who now have to do a lot of their own publicity).

      • Yes, and vice versa! I get so many neat-sounding books from you (and other bloggers). I do wish authors didn’t have to put so much of themselves into publicity; it seems counterproductive when it takes so much time and they really want to be writing the next book. And the expectations on authors, to be so public with themselves, run so counter to many writers’ wishes for privacy and space. PLUS I feel like that is an expectation that weighs more heavily on women authors; men get it too, but they can sometimes get away with being a Thomas Pynchon or Bill Watterson type. (OK, there was Harper Lee, but she’s the only one I can think of!)

  6. I went to Book Con last year and plan to go this year, but that’s probably about it. Its just way too YA focused for my taste and very hectic. I’m looking into ALA for the future.

  7. Have a peaceful and lovely time not going to BEA! I have never been, although when I lived in New York it was always nice to have other book bloggers in town to meet and get brunch with.

  8. I was never planning on going, but I do feel bad for all the bloggers who had wanted to go and really enjoyed it but won’t get to anymore because of the changes. That sounds cool that you’re trying to plan something though! I don’t live near the New England area, but I’m sure whatever you come up with will be fun for anyone who does 🙂

    • It’s not going to be such a big deal, just getting together a few people for coffee or a museum visit. That’s about my speed right now.

  9. I went last year and it was solely to meet other bloggers I’d known for years. Also, Seattle to NYC is a bit much. It was great in Chicago, but it was enough. I’m not sure I’d go again.

    I didn’t know they changed guidelines and pricing! I’ll have to check it out, but it’s even less incentive to go again.

    • Yes, I think everyone was quite shocked at the changes. It’s certainly a departure from the previous year or two.

  10. Part of me still wants to go, but I heard about the changed pricing and lack of blogger programming, and that has dimmed my enthusiasm a bit. And I know what you mean about too many books already. While I don’t get every e-ARC I request, I seem to get more than enough to keep me busy, and my house really, really doesn’t need any more books (except the ones I love and will reread, of course.)

  11. I’m going again this year. It’ll only be my second time. It’s very convenient for me and, because my husband works in the city, it’s an excuse to have someone watch the kids so we can stay there for a couple of nights. He’s looking forward to skipping the hour commute from the burbs. I was horribly disappointed that there will be no blogger conference as I’ve really just begun to “know” so many bloggers this year. I was hoping I’d get to meet a few in person. As for the new requirements and limits for bloggers, I have not heard of anyone who was turned down. I do understand the need for some vetting process. Last year there were people with badges that identified them as Book Club Member… Let’s face it, ARCs are expensive to produce and publishing is not an easy business. That said, I was very surprised and happy to have been invited to a private luncheon with one of my favorite new authors so apparently at least some publishers continue to value their relationships with bloggers. And I would very much be up for a New England or other regional type of gathering!

    • If I still lived closer to NYC, I would definitely be more tempted! That is great news about your being invited to an author luncheon. I will look forward to hearing about your adventures.