Saturday, May 03, 2008

The Ins and Outs of BEA by a True Veteran: False Teeth, Studs Terkel and Oprah!

Note: Book Expo America (BEA) is not a book fair. It is a tradeshow. There is a difference and tradeshows have a different set of etiquette rules. This column is by LOU*LOU Carter Keay, actress and writer. She has attended so many BEA shows that she has become a true expert. This article was first presented as a talk to the Book Publicists of Southern California. LouLou typed in caps so she could read her notes (she spells her name in caps, too, so she may just prefer it that way!). You will be able to read it loud and clear, too. (-:

By LOU*LOU Carter Keay

"Writing without selling is like acting without applause." - Lou Carter Keay

WHEN IRWIN ASKED ME TO SPEAK, IT REMINDED ME OF THE GLADIATOR WHO WAS THROWN TO THE LIONS. WHEN THE FEROCIOUS LION CAME OUT TO DEVOUR HIM, HE SIMPLY WALKED OVER AND WHISPERED IN THE LION’S EAR AND THE LION SLINKED OFF WITH HIS TAIL BETWEEN HIS LEGS, OUT OF THE ARENA. THE CROWD CHEERED AND WAVED THEIR HANDKERCHIEFS FOR HIS LIFE TO BE SPARED, AND THE EMPEROR ORDERED THE BRAVE GLADIATOR TO APPROACH THE ROYAL BOX. THE EMPEROR ASKED: “WHAT DID YOU SAY TO THAT LION TO CAUSE HIM TO BE SO FEARFUL AND SLINK OUT OF THE ARENA?” THE GLADIATOR REPLIED, “I MERELY SAID, ‘OF COURSE, AFTER DINNER YOU WILL BE EXPECTED TO SAY A FEW WORDS.’”

THE BOOK EXPO OF AMERICA, FORMERLY KNOWN AS THE AMERICAN BOOKSELLERS ASSOCIATION CONVENTION AND TRADE EXHIBIT, WILL BE HELD AT THE LOS ANGELES CONVENTION CENTER THIS YEAR FROM THURSDAY, MAY 29 UNTIL SUNDAY, JUNE 1. IT REALLY BEGINS ON FRIDAY, BUT THERE IS A PUBLISHER’S PARTY ON THURSDAY NIGHT TO KICK IT OFF.

THIS EVENT IS NOT FREE LIKE THE L.A. TIMES FESTIVAL OF BOOKS, BUT YOU MAY DEDUCT IT AS A BUSINESS EXPENSE. NOW IS THE TIME TO REGISTER ONLINE ON THE BOOK EXPO OF AMERICA WEBSITE. THERE ARE SEVERAL LEVELS OF PRICING, A THREE-DAY PASS, A ONE-DAY PASS, AND SEPARATE PRICES FOR BOOK INDUSTRY FOLK, MEMBERS OF THE AMERICAN BOOKSELLERS ASSOCIATION, LIBRARIES, AND EDUCATORS. THESE PRICES RANGE FROM $175 FOR AN INDUSTRY PROFESSIONAL TO $75 FOR A BOOKSELLER, BUT THE PRICES GO UP AFTER MAY 23 AND ARE MORE EXPENSIVE WHEN PURCHASED ON SITE.

BUT, IF YOU HAVE A BOOK TO PROMOTE AT THE BOOK PUBLICISTS’ BOOTH, ARRANGE TO DO SO WITH IRWIN ZUCKER AND HE WILL FURNISH A BADGE WHICH WILL ALLOW YOU TO ENTER THE CONVENTION FLOOR.

I’M HERE TO GIVE YOU TIPS TO MAKE YOUR VISIT TO THE EXPO EASY AND FUN.
WEAR YOUR FANNY PACK TO KEEP YOUR HANDS FREE. WEAR YOUR CARGO PANTS WITH LOTS OF POCKETS, ESPECIALLY FOR YOUR CELL PHONE AND BUSINESS CARDS. WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES, FOR YOU WILL WALK MILES EVERY DAY.

WOMEN, DON’T BOTHER WITH A PURSE OR TOTE BAG. PUT YOUR COMB AND LIPSTICK AND MONEY OR CREDIT CARD IN A POCKET. TAKE TONS OF BUSINESS CARDS WITH YOU EVERY DAY. IF YOU BRING A JACKET AND DON’T NEED IT, THERE’S A COAT CHECK SERVICE AVAILABLE.
IF POSSIBLE, RIDE THE METRO, SO YOU WON’T HAVE TO PAY DAILY PARKING. TAKE THE BLUE LINE, EXIT AT THE PICO, AND ONLY WALK A LITTLE OVER A BLOCK TO ARRIVE AT THE DOOR OF THE CONVENTION HALL.

WHEN YOU FIRST ENTER THE BUILDING, YOU’LL FIND ALPHABETIZED LINES FOR PICKUP OF YOUR BADGE AND TICKETS AT THE REGISTRATION DESK.

IN THE LOBBY, THERE WILL BE A PLACE TO PICK UP A BADGE HOLDER AND A LANYARD TO WEAR IT AROUND YOUR NECK. YOUR BADGE WILL INDICATE IF YOU ARE A VENDOR, A PUBLISHER, AN AUTHOR, AN AGENT, A MEMBER OF THE PRESS, ETC.

WEAR YOUR BADGE AT ALL TIMES, FOR THERE WILL BE SECURITY GUARDS AT THE ENTRANCES, AT THE ESCALATORS AND EVERYWHERE THROUGHOUT THE BUILDING.

THERE IS AN EXPO DAILY NEWS HANDED OUT FREE EACH MORNING. GET IT EVERY DAY FIRST, BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE, AND LOOK FOR ALL THE EVENTS THAT ARE SCHEDULED SO YOU WON’T MISS SOMETHING IMPORTANT.

PICK UP AN EXPO DIRECTORY THE FIRST DAY, AND STUDY IT FOR THE BOOTHS YOU WISH TO VISIT. MARK THE BOOTH NUMBERS IN ORDER AND WORK THE FLOOR BY NUMBER TO SAVE STEPS.

LAST YEAR THERE WERE 37,000 REGISTERED ATTENDEES REPRESENTING MORE THAN 80 INTERNATIONAL COUNTRIES. MEDIA ATTENDANCE WAS APPROXIMATELY 1,000

THERE ARE BOOTHS YOU WON’T WANT TO WASTE TIME OR STEPS TO GO TO AND MANY TAKE UP SEVERAL AISLES ON THE CONVENTION FLOOR AND YOU MAY NOT WANT TO WASTE YOUR TIME WALKING THROUGH THEM. HERE ARE A FEW THAT YOU MAY OR MAY NOT WANT TO SEE:
FOREIGN PRESSES
CHILDREN’S SECTION
GIFT VENDORS
COMIC BOOKS
COOK BOOKS
AFRICAN-AMERICAN SECTION
VIDEO GAMES
BOOKS ON TAPE
AND MANY MORE ELECTRONICS BOOTHS THAT ARE ADDED EACH YEAR.

SAVE STEPS AND PLAN WHERE YOU’RE GOING EACH DAY.

LOOK FOR TOTE BAGS AVAILABLE AS FREE GIVEAWAYS AT MOST BOOTHS. SOME ARE FLIMSY PLASTIC, BUT MANY ARE STURDY CANVAS. TAKE ONLY THOSE THAT WILL HOLD A LOT OF BOOKS AND HOLD UP DURING THE EXPO.

FIRST-TIMERS TEND TO WANT TO TAKE EVERYTHING THAT’S HANDED OUT FREE.
PASS UP BUTTONS, PENS, FREE PENCILS, CANDY, FORTUNE COOKIES, PROMO MATERIAL, POSTERS, ETC. UNLESS YOU REALLY, REALLY WANT TO KEEP THE FREEBIES. DON’T BE GREEDY.

THERE WILL BE FREE BOOK GIVEAWAYS AT MANY OF THE PUBLISHERS’ BOOTHS. PUT THOSE YOU WISH TO KEEP IN YOUR TOTE BAG. THESE BOOKS WILL BE IN STACKS ON THE FLOOR, AND YOU CAN TELL AT A GLANCE IF THE BOOK IS ONE YOU’D CHOOSE TO KEEP. PASS UP THOSE YOU DON’T FIND INTERESTING. DON’T BE GREEDY!

IF YOU ARE A BOOKSELLER ORDERING, THE PUBLISHER WILL HAVE EXTRA GOODIES IN THE BOOTH FOR YOU IF YOU PLACE AN ORDER.

MANY BOOTHS HAVE DRAWINGS FOR PRIZES, BUT ONLY BOOKSELLERS ARE QUALIFIED TO WIN, SO DON’T WASTE TIME FILLING OUT COUPONS FOR DRAWINGS UNLESS YOU’RE A BOOKSELLER.
LOOK IN THE EXPO DAILY NEWS FOR AUTHOR APPEARANCES THROUGHOUT THE DAY, AND VISIT THOSE BOOTHS BY NUMBER AT THE TIME THE AUTHOR WILL APPEAR. THERE WILL BE LINES, SO GET THERE AHEAD OF THE SCHEDULED TIME.

GET TICKETS FOR THE AUTHOR AUTOGRAPHING SECTION, WHICH IS USUALLY LOCATED IN THE BACK OF THE CONVENTION CENTER.

YOU MAY ORDER THESE ONLINE, AND BEA ALSO OFFERS GOLD CARDS WHICH COST $30, DEPENDING ON HOW MANY AUTOGRAPHS YOU SEEK AND HOW MANY AUTHORS YOU HOPE TO MEET. THE GOLD PASS ALLOWS YOU TO GO TO THE FRONT OF THE LINE. OTHERWISE, THE SUGGESTED DONATION IS $1 PER BOOK THAT YOU WISH TO OBTAIN WITH AN AUTOGRAPH. THIS SUGGESTED FEE IS ONLY FOR THE BACK-OF-THE DISPLAY FLOOR SIGNING, NOT THOSE SIGNING IN THE BOOTHS.
THE AUTOGRAPH LINES ARE USUALLY UNBELIEVABLY LONG. MANY PEOPLE SIMPLY STAY IN LINE AND GO FROM ONE AUTHOR TO ANOTHER FOR THE ENTIRE SHOW. THERE WILL BE A BIG BOARD LISTING ALL AUTHORS WHO WILL BE APPEARING TO AUTOGRAPH THEIR BOOKS. SO YOU CAN PICK AND CHOOSE THOSE THAT INTEREST YOU.

THERE IS USUALLY A BOX FOR DONATIONS FOR THE PRIVILEGE OF GETTING A BOOK AUTOGRAPHED BY AN AUTHOR.

A PLATINUM PASS MAY BE OBTAINED FOR A DONATION OF $75 TO THE BOOK INDUSTRY FOUNDATION.

STARTING AT 6:30 EVERY MORNING THEY GIVE OUT TICKETS FOR SOME OF THE MOST FAMOUS AUTHORS WHO WILL APPEAR THAT DAY. THAT MEANS YOU MAY HAVE TO SHOW UP EARLY IF YOUR HEART IS SET ON A SPECIFIC AUTHOR'S BOOK AND SIGNATURE.

YOU MAY GET AS MANY AS FOUR TICKETS, ONLY ONE PER AUTHOR, AS LONG AS THEY ARE AVAILABLE, IF YOU HAVE A PLATINUM PASS.

WHEN YOU GET HUNGRY, THERE ARE FOOD COURTS AVAILABLE, SO I SUGGEST YOU DRINK A POWER DRINK AND REST YOUR FEET PERIODICALLY.

THE VENDORS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SELL THINGS DIRECTLY FROM THEIR BOOTHS DURING THE EXPO. BUT IF YOU SEE AN ITEM YOU JUST HAVE TO HAVE, USUALLY, EVEN IF YOU AREN’T A BOOKSELLER, YOU CAN MAKE ARRANGEMENTS TO ORDER FROM THEM ON THE LAST DAY.
THERE IS A COMPANY THAT MAKES TEENY LITTLE BOOKS THAT ARE GREAT FOR STOCKING STUFFERS AND THANK YOUS, AND ON THE FINAL DAY I STOP BY THEIR BOOTH AND PLACE AN ORDER AND GET A GREAT DISCOUNT EVEN THOUGH I’M NOT A BOOKSELLER. THEY SHIP TO ME, AND THAT SAVES HAVING TO CARRY THEM HOME. I USE THEM THROUGHOUT THE YEAR AS IMPULSE GIFTS AND THANK YOUS.

THERE WILL ALSO BE A SILENT AUCTION. THE DISPLAY BOARDS FOR THAT WILL LIST ALL THE AUCTION PRIZES. MANY QUANTITIES OF BOOKS AND BOOKSTORE MERCHANDISE, AS WELL AS FURNITURE, SHELVING, ETC. WILL BE IN THE SILENT AUCTION, MOSTLY AIMED AT BOOKSELLERS, OF COURSE.

I HAVE WON TONS OF BOOKS WHICH I USED FOR LATER GIFT-GIVING. THESE ARE USUALLY AUCTIONED IN LOTS, ACCORDING TO GENRE, AND WILL BE SHIPPED TO YOU BY THE DONOR.
MY FAVORITE INVESTMENT AT THE SILENT AUCTION WAS A BID OF $75 FOR A FREE MERRILL LYNCH CONSULTATION. THEIR FINANCIAL REP FLEW OUT FROM NEW YORK FOR A BUSINESS LUNCH WITH ME AND I HAVE HAD SEVERAL YEARS OF A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WHILE HE HANDLED MY INVESTMENTS. IT WAS WORTH MUCH MORE THAN THE $75 I DONATED TO THE AMERICAN BOOKSELLERS ASSOCIATION.

WHEN YOU GET A COUPLE OF TOTE BAGS FULL OF GOODIES, AND THEY BECOME TOO HEAVY FOR YOU TO SCHLEPP, GO TO THE SHIPPING AREA.

YOU WILL HEAR IT BEFORE YOU ARRIVE, FOR THERE IS THE SOUND OF PLASTIC STRAPPING TAPE BEING PULLED OFF THE ROLLS TO TAPE UP SHIPPING CARTONS. YOU’LL ENTER A ROOM FULL OF TABLES LINED UP WITH HUNDREDS OF CARDBOARD CARTONS HOLDING PEOPLE’S BELONGINGS.
A STAFF IS PACKING AND LABELING BOXES FOR SHIPMENT. THERE YOU CAN PURCHASE A CARTON -- THERE ARE SEVERAL SIZES TO CHOOSE FROM, YOU USE A SHARPIE PEN TO PUT YOUR NAME ON IT AND PUT ALL YOUR BOOKS AND ACCUMULATION OF “GOODIES” IN THE CARTON AND STORE IT ON OR UNDER ONE OF THE LONG TABLES.

YOU MAY COME BACK FREQUENTLY EACH DAY TO ADD BOOKS TO YOUR CARTONS. IF YOU CAME ON THE METRO, DON’T TRY TO CARRY HOME MORE BAGS THAN YOU CAN MANAGE.

AT THE END OF THE EXPO YOU CAN COME IN YOUR CAR IF YOU WISH, BRING YOUR LUGGAGE CARRIER ON ROLLERS AND LOAD UP YOUR CAR IN THE PARKING GARAGE, OR SIMPLY HAVE ALL YOUR BOXES SHIPPED TO YOUR HOME.

DOUBLE-CHECK TO MAKE SURE THE DEADLINE FOR GETTING BOXES SHIPPED IS AROUND NOON ON SUNDAY TO BE SURE TO GET YOUR GOODIE BOXES OUT BEFORE THE SHIPPING ROOM CLOSES.
SPEAKING OF LUGGAGE CARRIERS, THERE IS A RULE THAT NO CARTS OR LUGGAGE CARRIERS ARE ALLOWED ON THE CONVENTION FLOOR DURING THE DAY. (BUT YOU MAY CARRY YOUR LUGGAGE CARRIER TO THE SHIPPING ROOM AND ROLL IT OUT TO YOUR CAR WITH YOUR BOXES OF BOOKS.)
WHEN YOU HAVE PURCHASED A BADGE FOR THE EXPO, YOU ARE ALLOWED TO ATTEND MANY OF THE PRESENTATIONS THAT ARE SCHEDULED, MOSTLY GEARED TO BOOKSELLERS. THESE MAY BE ABOUT KEEPING RECORDS, PROMOTING YOUR STORE, MAKING SPACE WORK FOR YOU, ETC.

THERE ARE DAILY BOOK AND AUTHOR BREAKFASTS AND LUNCHEONS, TO WHICH YOU MAY PURCHASE TICKETS SEPARATELY ONLINE OR AT THE REGISTRATION DESK. SOME MOSTLY ARE PANELS, FEATURING CURRENT AUTHORS. SOME ARE AWARDS EVENTS. BETTER BUY YOUR TICKETS EARLY.

ONE I ATTEND ANNUALLY IS THE CHILDREN’S BOOK AND AUTHOR BREAKFAST, SPONSORED BY THE WOMEN’S NATIONAL BOOK ASSOCIATION, AT WHICH OUTSTANDING CHILDREN’S AUTHORS ARE HONORED, AND AN AWARD IS GIVEN TO THE BOOK STORE THAT DID THE MOST TO ENCOURAGE READING FOR CHILDREN.

THIS YEAR THAT CHILDREN'S BOOK EVENT WILL BE ON FRIDAY AT 8:00 A.M. IN CONCOURSE HALL. BREAKFAST TICKETS ARE $35. GENERAL ADMISSION IS $15. I ALWAYS ATTEND BECAUSE AS A PAST NATIONAL SECRETARY OF WOMEN’S NATIONAL BOOK ASSOCIATION AND A PAST PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL CHAPTER, I GET TO GREET MEMBERS WHO COME FROM CHAPTERS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY, AND WE USUALLY SIT TOGETHER AT THE BREAKFAST.

YOU’LL SEE MANY CELEBRITIES AT THE BOOK EXPO, SOME WHO HAVE WRITTEN BOOKS, WHO ARE FEATURED EACH DAY. THIS YEAR THERE WILL BE ALEX BALDWIN, MAGIC JOHNSON, TED TURNER AND MICHAEL MOORE AMONG THE CELEBRITIES APPEARING.

I SAW HILLARY THE YEAR SHE WROTE “IT TAKES A VILLAGE”. THERE WAS A DISTINGUISHED PANEL OF AUTHORS, INCLUDING STUDS TERKEL, WHO WERE WHISKED OFF THE DAIS JUST BEFORE SHE APPEARED. THEN SECRET SERVICE AGENTS WITH SNIFFING DOGS CAME IN AND MADE SURE THERE WERE NO EXPLOSIVES HIDDEN UNDER THE TABLES ONSTAGE. THEN HILLARY APPEARED AND MADE HER SPEECH.

I SAW OPRAH AND HER FRIEND STEDMAN WHEN WINTON MARSALIS, THE JAZZ GREAT, WAS HONORED IN CHICAGO, AND THEY ATTENDED HIS LUNCHEON.

FAMOUS AMOS, THE COOKIE KING, COMES OVER FROM HIS HOME IN HAWAII EVERY YEAR TO PROMOTE HIS BOOK ON SUCCESS.

I’VE SEEN SUCH HOLLYWOOD LEGENDS AS SHIRLEY TEMPLE, CHARLTON HESTON, AND MIA FARROW.
I’VE OBTAINED AUTOGRAPHED BOOKS FROM FAMOUS CARTOONISTS, SUCH AS GARY TRUDEAU, CREATOR OF DOONESBURY, AND MATT GROENING, OF THE SIMPSONS.

ONE YEAR WHEN CATHY GUISEWHITE, THE CARTOONIST OF THE CATHY STRIP, READ “STUDIO CITY, CALIFORNIA” ON MY BADGE, SHE SAID, “WE’RE NEIGHBORS!” SHE OFFICES IN THAT VICTORIAN BUILDING NEXT TO THE LITTLE BROWN CHURCH-IN-THE-VALLEY ON COLDWATER CANYON.
THE NOW-FAMOUS GROUP CALLED THE ROCK BOTTOM REMAINDERS OFTEN ENTERTAINS, AND THEIR SCHEDULE SAYS THEY’LL BE IN LOS ANGELES THIS YEAR, BUT I COULD FIND NO MENTION OF THEM ON THE BEA WEBSITE.

IT IS STRONGLY ADVISED THAT YOU BUY YOUR TICKETS FOR THEIR CONCERT WELL IN ADVANCE, FOR THIS IS A MOST POPULAR EVENT, AND THE PROCEEDS GO TO SUPPORT THE FIRST AMENDMENT. STEPHEN KING, DAVE BARRY, MITCH ALBOM WHO WROTE ‘TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE’, AMY TAN AND OTHER WELL-KNOWN AUTHORS PERFORM AS MEMBERS OF THE GROUP. THESE ARE MOST TALENTED PEOPLE, AND EACH NOT ONLY IS A WRITER, BUT CAN PLAY AN INSTRUMENT AND SING. IT’S WORTH IT TO SEE PETITE AMY TAN, THAT SWEET LITTLE ASIAN LADY, DRESSED IN LEATHER AND HIP-HIGH BOOTS, BRANDISHING A WHIP AND BELTING OUT “THESE BOOTS WERE MADE FOR WALKING”!

ON THE LAST DAY IT’S A FUN TIME TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THOSE VENDORS WHO DON’T WANT TO SHIP MERCHANDISE HOME. AS THEY’RE BREAKING DOWN THEIR BOOTHS THEY HAVE LOTS OF GIVE AWAYS.

I’VE OBTAINED MANY GIFTS, SUCH AS STATIONERY, GREETING CARDS, LEATHER-BOUND JOURNALS, ETC. THAT VENDORS SELL TO BOOK STORES. IT’S TOO EXPENSIVE TO SHIP THEIR DISPLAYS BACK, SO THEY JUST TOSS THEM. AT THE END OF THE EXPO MANY BOOTHS HAVE BOOKS LEFT OVER TO GIVE AWAY.

I’VE ATTENDED THIS CONVENTION FOR A COUPLE OF DECADES. WHEN IT WAS THE ABA – AMERICAN BOOKSELLERS ASSOCIATION. THEN IT CHANGED TO BEA -BOOK EXPO OF AMERICA. I’VE ATTENDED MANY YEARS IN NEW YORK CITY, WASHINGTON, DC, NEW ORLEANS, SAN FRANCISCO, LAS VEGAS, ORANGE COUNTY, MANY TIMES IN CHICAGO, AND THE YEAR OF THE NORTHRIDGE EARTHQUAKE IT WAS HERE IN LOS ANGELES, AND I STAYED IN A DOWNTOWN HOTEL BECAUSE MY APARTMENT HAD BEEN TRASHED AND I WAS TEMPORARILY HOMELESS.

THE REASON I ATTENDED THE FIRST TIME, AND BECAME AN EXPO ADDICT, A SHORT STORY I HAD WRITTEN WAS INCLUDED IN AN ANTHOLOGY THAT WAS PUBLISHED BY DOUBLEDAY IN 1986. IT BECAME A DOUBLEDAY BOOK CLUB SELECTION AND A LITERARY GUILD ALTERNATE. SO I WENT TO THE ABA IN NEW YORK, BECAUSE THIS BOOK WAS FEATURED AT THE DOUBLEDAY BOOTH. SINCE THEN I’VE ONLY MISSED TWO CONVENTIONS IN THE PAST 22 YEARS.

FOR SEVERAL YEARS MY ROOM MATE WAS A PUBLISHER’S CONSULTANT FROM NEW YORK, WHO, WITH HER NOW HUSBAND CURRENTLY STOCKS LIBRARIES ON CRUISE SHIPS, SPENDING HALF A YEAR IN ENGLAND AND THE OTHER HALF IN THE US.

AND I’LL NEVER FORGET THE YEAR IN CHICAGO WHEN FIVE OF US FROM L.A. SHARED A TINY MOTEL ROOM TO SAVE MONEY. NOR THE YEAR I INVITED A VETERAN LITERARY AGENT FRIEND (WHO IS NOW DECEASED) TO SHARE MY HOTEL ROOM IN NEW ORLEANS. LATE THE FIRST EVENING SHE SAID SHE HAD TO GO OUT TO THE DRUGSTORE TO BUY SOMETHING. HAVING LIVED IN NEW ORLEANS, I DIDN’T THINK IT SAFE FOR HER TO BE ON THE STREET AFTER DARK, BUT SHE KEPT INSISTING SHE NEEDED TO BUY A LARGE SOUVENIR MUG SHE’D SEEN IN A NEARBY DRUGSTORE WINDOW. SHE EVENTUALLY CONFESSED THAT HER DENTURES WOULDN’T FIT IN THE HOTEL WATER GLASS. I FINALLY PERSUADED HER TO USE THE ICE BUCKET.

IF YOU’RE AN AUTHOR, SEEKING A PUBLISHER, FIND THE PUBLISHERS WHO ARE SHOWING BOOKS SIMILAR TO YOURS AND VISIT THEM. IF YOU’VE PUBLISHED A BOOK, BE SURE TO TAKE A COPY AND ALWAYS HOLD IT SO THE COVER AND TITLE WILL SHOW.

MY FAVORITE FRIEND TO VISIT IN HIS BOOTH IS AN IRISH BOOK MAKER FROM NEW YORK WHO PRINTS AND BINDS TINY LITTLE COLLECTOR BOOKS, SUCH AS ‘HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT CUP OF TEA.’ HE HAS ALL HIS BOOKBINDING TOOLS LAID OUT IN HIS BOOTH, AND DOES BEAUTIFUL CALLIGRAPHY.

THERE IS USUALLY AN AGENTS’ SPECIAL ROOM, WHERE ONE CAN ARRANGE TO MEET WITH LITERARY AGENTS.

TAKE MANY BUSINESS CARDS AND ENGAGE IN CONVERSATIONS WITH THOSE INDIVIDUALS YOU WISH TO CULTIVATE.

IF YOU ARE A MEMBER OF THE WORKING PRESS, YOU MUST OBTAIN CREDENTIALS AHEAD OF TIME. YOU MUST BE ON THE EDITORIAL STAFF OF A PERIODICAL, NOT A FREELANCE WRITER. YOU MUST FURNISH A LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR ON THE PERIODICAL’S STATIONERY AND, WHEN APPROVED, YOU CAN PICK UP YOUR CREDENTIALS AHEAD OF TIME IN THE PRESS ROOM. IF YOU HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED TO COVER THE BOOK EXPO, YOU MUST HAVE A LETTER OF ASSIGNMENT, STATING YOU HAVE BEEN COMMISSIONED TO COVER THE CONVENTION PRIOR TO THE EVENT. NO PRESS PASSES WILL BE ISSUED BY MAIL. IF YOU REGISTERED LAST YEAR FOR A PRESS PASS, YOU HAVE TO REGISTER AGAIN THIS YEAR. NO ONE IS ALLOWED IN THE PRESS ROOM WITHOUT A PRESS BADGE.

IF YOU HAVE PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS ABOUT YOUR BOOK, THERE IS SPACE IN THE PRESS ROOM WHERE PRESS PACKETS ARE DISPLAYED ALPHABETICALLY, SO YOU SHOULD ARRANGE FOR YOUR INFORMATION TO BE INCLUDED THERE FOR PEOPLE TO PICK UP.
THERE IS A MESSAGE BOARD IN THE PRESS ROOM TO CONTACT FRIENDS.

THERE ARE COMPUTERS PROVIDED TO TYPE NEWS RELEASES TO SEND BACK TO YOUR EDITOR.
ON THE CONVENTION FLOOR, MANY OF THE VENDOR’S BOOTHS ADVERTISE PARTIES. SOME HOLD PARTIES AT HAPPY HOUR IN THE BOOTHS, WITH DRINKS AND APPETIZERS. MANY PUBLISHERS HOLD PARTIES IN NEARBY HOTELS. THERE IS USUALLY A PARTY IN THE DOWNTOWN CENTRAL LIBRARY, WITH WINE AND CHEESE. IF YOU HAVEN’T BEEN INVITED TO A PARTY, THERE ARE ALWAYS A LOT OF FREE- LOADERS AND GATE CRASHERS WHO LEARN WHERE THE PARTIES ARE, AND THE WORD GETS AROUND.

REGISTER ONLINE EARLY, AND YOU WILL RECEIVE INVITATIONS IN THE MAIL FROM PARTY HOSTS.
THERE WILL BE SEVERAL PARTIES TAKING PLACE IN ROOMS IN THE CONVENTION CENTER. SOME REQUIRE TICKETS, SOME DO NOT.

NEXT YEAR THIS CONVENTION WILL BE IN NEW YORK, THEN IN WASHINGTON IN 2010, AND THEN IN VEGAS AGAIN IN 2011.

THIS IS NOT A ONE-DAY AFFAIR….EVEN IF YOU GO FROM MORNING TILL NIGHT ALL THE DAYS, YOU FIND YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT ALL.

GO THIS YEAR, AND HAVE FUN, AND BE SURE TO SHARE YOUR ADVENTURE WITH US!

If you have hints for making BEA more fun or more interesting, please share them by clicking on the comments link below. What is your favorite star story or favorite thing to do at BEA?

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Congributed by LOU*LOU who did the first color commercial for Folger's Coffee for NBC-TV. She also did the White Rain Shampoo commercial (in black and white).

For several years she wrote a newspaper column, "Cabbages & Kings", in a Texas weekly, and authored entertainment and dining-out articles in a monthly magazine.

In 1999 she retired after 16-1/2 years with Sony Pictures Entertainment (in the Colombia/TriStar International Television division). Since then I have resumed my acting career, and most recently appeared on the LATE LATE SHOW with Craig Ferguson in a sketch as a li'l ole lady in a grey wig and granny glasses.


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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author THIS IS THE PLACE; HARKENING: A COLLECTION OF STORIES REMEMBERED; TRACINGS, a chapbook of poetry; and two how to books, THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER: HOW TO DO WHAT YOUR PUBLISHER WON'T; and THE FRUGAL EDITOR: PUT YOUR BEST BOOK FORWARD TO AVOID HUMILIATION AND ENSURE SUCCESS.
Her other blogs include TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com and AuthorsCoalition.blogspot.com, a blog that helps writers and publishers turn a ho-hum book fair booth into a sizzler.

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