Friday, April 22, 2016

4 Reasons to Attend Book Expo America

Book Expo America is taking place again next month May 11-13, and the show is in Chicago for 2016. Because of the location change (it had been in NYC the past two years), I won't be able to attend. But if you're in the area or are willing to travel to Chicago AND you're a book blogger, book reviewer, author, librarian, educator, bookseller, or specialty retailer, then you'll definitely want to check it out.

Here are four reasons why you should attend Book Expo America:

1. The Books!
That's right! As you walk the show floor, publishers give out lots of free books. Most of the books are advance review copies, which means you get to check out these books before anybody else! Pretty cool, right? Just make sure you bring lots of empty bookbags or suitcases for bringing home your new BEA library.

Just one day's haul from BEA 2015 (and I
haven't even read all of them yet - eek!)

2. The Authors!
You get to meet some of your favorite authors (and discover new favorites) at all the different author signings happening throughout the show. Some of the signings are at publisher's booths, so be sure to check out the schedules posted in the daily show newsletter, and some of the signings are in the author signing area of the convention. You can usually just get in line for the signings in the author signing area, but for a select few, you'll need a special ticket, so be sure to check out the information for all the signings you want to attend in advance so you don't miss out.

Emeril Lagasse signing at BEA 2015

3. The Panel Discussions!
Book Expo America has great panel discussions lined up every year covering a variety of topics. You might even find some of your favorite authors participating in the panel discussions as panelists or hosts. And they'll even answer your questions in the Q&A portion of the discussions. Even if you just pop in to give your feet a breather, you might find that you learn something new and, again, discover more great authors to check out.

a YA panel discussion from BEA 2015

4. The People!
You'll meet tons of book lovers just like you at Book Expo America! I've waited in author signing lines with some of the nicest people from all over the country. They've been librarians, book bloggers, aspiring writers, etc. It's really been a treat to engage in conversation with some of these people, especially when you're griping about how long the author signing line is. Ha ha.

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