Molly Jackson: BEA Is All About The Book People

BEA Is All About The Book People,

Last week, I attended Book Expo America here in NYC. BEA is an industry-only event for publishers to highlight what is coming up next for the booksellers, librarians, teachers and press to incorporate into their plans. I’m still shocked they let me in year after year.

Just to paint a picture for you, the expo floor in the Javits Center was filled wall to wall with book nerds. We stood on lines, eagerly awaiting a signed copy of that book we all want. In the bags on our shoulders or by our feet, are at least 15 Advanced Reader copies handed to us on the expo floor. That is just how heaven-like this show can be.

You might remember how much I love standing on lines. And this show tops them all. I made new friends on every single line I waited on. Depending on the line, we talked about the genre, the author’s good and bad habits, another book, TV, movies or just chatted about BEA. The plus of being at an industry event is eventually the cards come out. I connected with authors, publicists, bloggers, librarians, teachers and agents while on line.

I even continued my tradition of yelling at a Tor author. Last year it was John Scalzi for messing with my emotions in his book Redshirts (a story for another time); this year it was Fran Wilde for busting my bag with her book Updraft. I literally squeed out loud while on the Felicia Day autograph line because I met a fellow group on Hufflepuffs. I got to help monitor the Ernest Cline line situation because dammit, we were all going to get copies of Armada, his new book. And, I tripped over myself trying to get a copy of the upcoming Saved By The Bell comic from Lion Forge.

Comics are a part of BEA, albeit not a large part. I did attend the Best in Fall 2015 Graphic Novels, which highlighted indie comics rather than just rehashing the big 2. The creators highlighted are Derf Backderf, Trashed from Abrams; Ben Hatke, Little Robot from First Second; Jeremy Sorese, Curveball from Nobrow; and 00 from Candlewick. I am excited that I got copies or previews of each one! I was also excited to get a chance to chat with Derf, Ben and Maggie for a very short time. Each one of them was amazingly nice and eager to meet fans.

Yes, Book Expo America is all about the books. I have the sore muscles and bruised body to prove it. And while you are lugging those books away, you are only thinking about the amazing people that you met.