Hailed as the largest book publishing event in the United States. From the BEA website:
BookExpo America is the only industry event where you can
experience the entire scope of book publishing from the U.S. and the
world -- all in one place, all at one time.
BookExpo America is the event for Book Industry Professionals from
across the U.S. and the World. Booksellers, Retailers, Librarians,
Educators, Rights Professionals, International Publishing
Executives, Publishers and anyone involved in the wonderful,
exciting world of books. BookExpo America -- where books matter!
"What a madhouse! I was told by a veteran of this expo that if I
had attended Comic-Con, then I had nothing to fear from BEA.
Ordinarily, perhaps. But with the event being held this year in the
center of the publishing world, she may have underestimated things.
Had I not seen it for myself, I'd never have imagined it possible to
shove so many people into so tight a space—and
that convention center wasn't small! By day two, I'd had just about
as much jostling as I could handle without wishing I could turn the
place into a full-fledged mosh pit. Given that the crowd was
comprised mostly of industry professionals and mild-mannered
librarians, I didn't figure that would be too wise. So I accepted
the punishment of the throngs as best I could and tried to enjoy
With all the free books one can imagine, this was pretty easily
done. Still, I didn't want to tote the things around all day; nor
did I want to make a pig of myself. So I settled mostly for picking
up books that I thought might make good gifts for friends, and thus
left with just a few volumes.
The highlight of any such event, of course, is the people you get
to meet. On the plane from L.A. was a woman who handles literary
rights for the intellectual properties of NBC and Universal Pictures—fun conversation there. (Unfortunately, her name, like most, escapes me
now, weeks later.) In addition to
catching up with a few longtime writer friends, I had a great time
getting to know Mike Macauley of the amazing
Thanks to Mike holding for me a place in line, I was also able to
say hello to Christopher Paolini of Eragon fame, and take
home a signed ARC (Advanced Reader's Copy) of Book 2 in the
Inheritance trilogy, Eldest.
Other highlights included time spent with Bob Salvatore,
legendary author of the Dark Elf series for Forgotten Realms,
the Demon Wars saga, and others. Bob's a great guy to hang
out with, regardless of venue. I also got to meet the renowned
George R. R. Martin and his brave editor, who were happy to announce
the recent completion of the eagerly awaited A Feast for Crows.
Oh, and I met quite a few nice folks while waiting in line to
receive a signed copy of Inkspell from the delightful
Of course, I'd be remiss if I did not thank the good folks at
HarperCollins for allowing me to attend this event, and especially
my editor, Diana Gill, for a wonderful lunch and the time taken out
of a hectic schedule to meet with me. Also, a great big thanks to my
good friends Damian and Teah Laviolette, who were good enough to
ride the train up from D.C. so that I did not have to tackle the New
York nightlife on my own.
All in all, it was a learning experience, and a person can never
have too many of those. With any luck, I'll get to do it again next
year. And hopefully, I'll decide to bring a camera, since photos
would have been much more interesting to look at than this
meaningless train of random thoughts."