Everywhere I went in the Javits Center last year, I saw the Sourcebooks sign. Big, bright, and orange, it hung form the ceiling like a beacon that constantly called to me. I loved popping by their booth to see what they had in store and today Derry, an amazing publicist you need to say hi to, gave me the inside scoop on what the Sourcebooks booth has coming this year!
This will be my seventh year at BEA to represent a publisher, and my third year with Sourcebooks! Of course, when I was a publicity assistant, I managed to “attend” BEA by helping to set up the booth. Actually, the very first time I visited the conference, a friend from another publishing house snuck me in by giving me the already-used badge of one of her authors. So, for about an hour or two, I got to be some PhD who had written a sex guide!
2.) How would you compare BEA to other book conferences/events?
What I truly love about BEA is the absolute enthusiasm you see for books. Everyone you meet has a bit of a live wire inside them, and you can hear that excitement when they talk about the people they’ve met or the books and authors they’ve been introduced to. It’s not that the excitement is any less at other conferences – it’s just seems a lot bigger at BEA. Plus, this is the one tradeshow where publishers bring out all the stops – so you have really big names in the industry appearing practically every single hour of the show.
3.) Any suggestions for how bloggers/librarians should approach publishers at BEA? (I will admit I just stood around staring at booths until someone approached me because I was shy about it.)
My best advice is to just say “hi!” When you approach someone working at the booth, it’s best to come prepared with an introduction (I’m an online reviewer of YA books; I’m a children’s librarian, etc.) and a specific question (Do you have a schedule of author signings? Can I talk with someone about getting on a review list? Where can I get a copy of (Title)?) That way they know if they can answer your question, or if they should ask for your card because the person who can answer your question is out of the booth/busy with meeting. And yes, please have some sort of business card that you can leave that has your name, email address, your business (Library, Blog with URL), and your mailing address.
4.) How much planning goes into an event like this for you and your staff?
Our tradeshow team spends an entire year planning for BEA! It starts right after the previous tradeshow ends, where our employees offer feedback on what worked at the show, what didn’t, and what new things we could be doing. After that, you have budget planning, an enormous amount of time spent on creating the designs for the booth, the marketing items that will be given away – catalogs, postcards, bookmarks, magnets, pitching authors for events, planning for signings, scheduling the ARCs we need printed to be available for giveaways. It’s a full-time job!
5.) Are there any titles from Sourcebooks you're excited will be at BEA this year?
I am in fangirl-heaven about the authors and books we’ll have at BEA this year. You MUST COME by to grab an ARC and totebag for The Snatchabookby Helen Docherty and Thomas Docherty, a heartwarming picture book about an elusive creature is snatching all the books from Burrow Down because he has no one to read to him. We got all teary-eyed when the editor, Steve Geck, read it to us.
I’m so excited that award-winning actress Jessica Lange will be signing at our booth; we are publishing a beautiful picture book with Ms. Lange’s very own photographs called It Is About A Little Bird this fall. David Adler, everyone’s favorite author of the Cam Jansen series, will be introducing his first new children’s book character in almost a DECADE; he’s signing ARCs of Danny’s Doodles: The Jelly Bean Experience. We also have New York Times and USA Today bestselling author CJ Lyons who makes her YA debut this fall with Broken, a fast-paced thriller about a terminally ill teenager whose first week in a normal school might be more dangerous than her illness. Another signer will be Mari Mancusi, the award-winning author of the Blood Coven vampires series, who has written Scorched, the first novel in a powerful new series in which a Texas teenager must protect a baby dragon from soldiers from the future, but risks sacrificing the Earth and everyone she loves to a fiery dragon war. We want to be the Source-of-Awesome for BEA this year, and this line-up is just the beginning!