Last May, I attended Book Expo America (BEA) in New York City for the first time. I don't remember how I first heard about it, but once I had, I knew I wanted to be there. It's the biggest annual gathering of people in the book industry, and it sounded like a worthwhile place to be. I didn't know anyone else going, and I had no idea what I was doing once I got there, but I definitely had a good time. I learned about a lot of new books, made some good connections with publisher contacts, picked up some review copies, and met a few other book bloggers. (Here is my BEA wrap-up post from last year.)
This year, though, I am even MORE excited to go to BEA. I know it will be worthwhile, for all the reasons I listed above. But this year, there's a bigger enticement: the first Book Blogger Convention. BEA takes place from May 25-27, and the next day, May 28, there will be a gathering of book bloggers, also at the Javitz Center. And this time, I know some of them!
I will also be on a panel at Book Blogger Con, speaking about marketing and social media.
There have been a lot of posts this week offering advice for people attending BEA (wear comfortable shoes, bring business cards, plan ahead, etc.). I'm going to offer some different advice about why you might consider going to BEA and Book Blogger Con.
When I am not book blogging, I have a day job – I am the director of digital communications for Discovery Communications. That means that I am in charge of the social media strategy for Discovery and its networks, which includes outreach to bloggers and social networks and building word-of-mouth and peer-to-peer communications. Over the last few years of working in social media, I have learned how important it is to build – and maintain – personal relationships in the digital space, whether you are trying to build a brand, connect with people who share your interests, or simply get the word out about your products. So if you're a book blogger, a publisher, an author, or just a passionate reader, there's a good reason to go to BEA and Book Blogger Con. The connections you make there will be invaluable.
So… take a look at BEA and Book Blogger Con. A registration for Book Blogger Con will also get you into all three days of BEA, which is great (though you really don't need to go to BEA for all three days). And if you decide to go – please let me know! I'd love to meet you when we get there. I am really looking forward to meeting more people this year and taking better advantage of being in the same room with all of those fantastic bloggers and authors and publicists!