Tuesday, June 18, 2013

BEA Fabulous: Brianna

Feet sore, back aching, and 100 plus books richer I have emerged after three days of BEA 2013 a different person. I feel illuminated, experienced and as if I have conquered the Everest of all conventions (this is probably a lie, the Everest of all conventions might be San Diego Comic Con which I have not yet been to).  Before, I was without the knowledge of the inside of book blogging and book reviewing. I observed from afar, knowing that I would always seriously want to get in on it. Now, I speak the language of BEA. Galleys, Drops, ARCs, BEAbrain, BEAfabulous, all became part of my daily vocabulary. In just a day, I became a pro. In two days, an expert. By day three, I had everything down. Or so I thought.

So after the longest intro ever, I can tell you a little about BEA. First of all, I was grossly unprepared. If it weren’t for the lovely Nicole, I would have gotten there only an hour or half hour before opened with no place online and no schedule. BEA is overwhelming enough but to a newbie, it is downright terrifying. Imagine being that five-year-old kid in a candy shop again with so many choices. Now imagine that there are hundreds of other five year olds all trying to grab the candy. And it’s free so you’re all extra grabby. I felt like that at BEA. For that reason, a plan is a must. Without it, you’ll drown in books and tote bags.

A few things I noticed as a first time BEA go-er.

1. As Nicole advised, suitcases are key. A medium sized one will do. This will be a lifesaver. Post I recently made on twitter: My Suitcase and I: A BEA 2013 Love Story. But seriously.

2. Talk to people while you’re waiting on line. This might be a bit obvious but you never know whom you will meet. I met my BEATP (the combination of BEA plus OTP if anyone is at all curious) on line.  Waiting on line is a pain but you have a great opportunity to share info and take a breather. A lot of BEA is running around. The lines may actually help you.

3. Business cards are awesome. When on line or at a booth, you may feel compelled to give out your contact info. It’s really convenient to have something handy to give out. 

4. Bring a phone charger or a portable back up charger. There are a few charging stations around that are really useful and if you were like me, tweeting and calling people all day to find out where they were, and then you’ll spend your battery quickly.

5. SCHEDULE. Do not realize fifteen minutes before BEA opens that you have no idea what you want to do. If you don’t have a preliminary schedule, you will be eaten alive by other bloggers and BEA-goers. You need to have a rough outline of the books you want, the booths you’re desperate to hit, and any signings you need tickets for. If you don’t have this, there’s a slight possibility you will go insane.

6. Grab the tote bags. All the tote bags. T
he bigger, the better. Since you will be storing your suitcases, you’ll need something to carry the books with until you can make a dump.

7. At the end of the day, you really should sort your books out. Make a few piles: the books you must have, the books you are interested in, and the books you might never read. Publishers spend a lot of time and money putting together galleys. They are there for you to take but remember that the purpose of this all is for you to read the book, review the book and fuel the buzz. So if you were not sure about a book, I would put it aside. Especially since you might not have room to take it home. Prioritize. I love free books but to be honest, there were a lot that I had to give away or return because I was sure I wouldn’t have time to get to it. That being said I still came home with about a 112 books and that’s an estimate because the books are currently scattered over my living room. Definitely put thought into where you are going to store the books. People joke about cleaning their bookshelves before BEA but it’s an actual serious concern.

8. Have fun! Duh, dude. Obvious, right? There was a point where I had to take some Tylenol because I was getting a migraine. There should be no migraines in BEA. No point.

Some books I’m uber excited about (Can’t you tell I’m a list person?):

1.     Bone Season by Samantha Shannon- I remember reading an article about this book a few months ago and being both extremely jealous of Samantha Shannon and intrigued by the book synopsis. I hope it lives up to the hype.
2.     Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell- For some weird reason I thought I had to read Eleanor and Park before I could read Fangirl. When I found out this wasn’t true, I about cried I was so happy. I cannot wait to read this book. As I told Rainbow Rowell in my brief meeting at the tumblr Ya lit party, I feel like this book is perfect for us girls who call ourselves fangirls. Finally a book that addresses it without mocking it. Thank you, Rainbow.
3.     Tandem by Anna Jarzab- You’ll find at BEA, if you’re as unprepared as I was, that you come across books that you didn’t know existed and as soon as you find out about them you MUST Have them. This was the case with Tandem.
4.     The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen- This is the one book I didn’t get. I was at the Neil Gaiman talk and found that I couldn’t be in two places at once, such a shame. But I will definitely be buying this soon.

There were so many more I was excited for but I really just want to read them and then flail about them in my reviews. Because all the books look so good. I definitely judge a book by it’s cover and I really couldn’t find a book that didn’t look amazing. From the adult books I picked up all the way to some middle-grade, everything was so well put together. I’m extremely impressed.

Other BEA highlights:

1.     I SAW NEIL GAIMAN SPEAK. Besides the books and the friends I met and made, this was worth every BEA penny. He is articulate and funny in a way I hope one day to be just a tiny bit like. I Make Good Art and Fortunately the Milk. It was perfect.
cannot wait to read his new book. After the talk I was given a signed copy of
2.     GRUMPY CAT!
3.     Chelsea Handler was there and I sort of saw her. It was cool.
4.     THIS:

BEA is a must for bibliophiles. Seriously. Just do it. Either on whatever special day they designate to power readers or all three days. It’s worth it. I woke up at 5:30 each day and commuted into the suitcase back and forth with at least fifty pounds of books. And I would do it again and again. Although, thank God it was only three days. My body started to ache in places I didn’t know existed because of the carrying and hauling I did. I cannot wait for next year.

Stay tuned for my BEA book reviews!


  1. YAY! Awesome post, Briana! I'm so jealous you snagged Fangirl! I cannot wait to read that one! I'll just wait for your review to see how awesome it is. :)

    BEA is fantastic. It's crazy and migraine-inducing, but it's still so much fun.

  2. Totally enjoyed this. Never been to BEA, so nice living vicariously through you:)

  3. Aw, thank you! You should definitely try to make it. It's amazing.

    And Hannah, thanks so much for the comment! I can't wait to read Fangirl. I'm still stuck on the massive Bone Season.



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