Friday, May 8, 2015

BEA Tips (Part Six): How to Work the Lines

BEA is a few weeks away and I know everyone is getting anxious. It's exciting and there are so many things to plan out. You should be expecting different types of lines at the Javits for BEA.

If you missed part 1,  part 2,  part 3,  part 4 or part 5 of my BEA series, make sure to check the previous posts out.

Tip # 1: Autographing Area 

Meeting an author is always a wonderful experience. Even though you have only a couple short minutes with the author, it's pretty awesome. The Autographing Area can get a bet hectic sometimes. If there's an author that you are dying to meet and somewhat popular, I highly suggest waiting in line 1 to 1.5 hours prior to the signing. The lines get long pretty quickly. Most authors will be signing ARCs and finished copies that just came out.

If the author is a ticketed author, you must have a ticket. Usually these authors are quite popular. These tickets can be obtained either at 7:00 in the morning at the Javits or you can receive 10 preselected tickets with your badge if you purchased the Avid Reader Pass. If you plan to use the Front of the Line pass, you must have both the ticket and the Front of the Line pass.

The Front of the Line pass can be used on non-ticketed authors too. Just show your ticket to a BEA staff member and indicate what author you want to use the pass for. The good thing about the Avid Reader Pass and the Reader Pass is that you already donated for the ARCs you are planning to get signed. BEA recommends attendees to donate a dollar per book they get signed at the Autographing Area. ARCs are more expensive to print than finished copies due to the small amount being printed. There is a donation box at the Autographing Area for you to donate money if you did not purchase one of the reader passes.

This year the Autographing Area is located on the far right of the Exhibit Hall. It will be further away from the major publishing booths. This is something you might want to consider when you are making your schedules for signings, panels and galley drops.

Check out the 2015 Autographing Area author signing list.

Tip # 2: In-booth autographing

Sometimes author signings will occur at a publisher's booth. These signings also require lines ahead of time and are a bit tricky. You cannot block booths and aisles so you will see lines wrapping around several booths. It's best to ask where the line starts and ends so you know where line up. I remember lining up at least 1.5 hours ahead of time for the Harlequin Teen hour last year. It was a long wait but I was able to meet 5 authors in one go. Some in-booth signings are ticketed. You will need to obtain tickets earlier on the day of the signing. If you have a ticket, you will be allowed to join the signing line later in the day.

Check out the 2015 in-booth author signing list.

Tip # 3: Galley drops

ARC/galley drops are quite popular at BEA. There are two types of drops. There are drops where the ARCs are places in stacks on the floor and attendees can pick up an ARC from the pile at a certain time and go to their next destination. However, some publishers will have lines for certain drops. You will need to line up ahead of time and an employee of the publisher will hand you the ARC. When the Exhibit Hall opens, usually the first come, first serve grab and go method occurs. The lines for galley drops happen throughout the day.

One tip is to visit the publishers you are interested in and pick up a galley drop schedule in the morning. The schedule will list what ARCs will be dropped and at what time. This will help you plan accordingly for the rest of the day. Some publishers will list the ARCs and times for that particular day only and you will have to visit the booth each day for the schedule. Other publishers will have three days worth of drops on one schedule.

Publisher Weekly posts some information regarding galleys being available at BEA. This will help you create a schedule beforehand. Some publishers will release their drop schedules ahead of time on their websites. However, there are times where drops occur randomly and do not follow a schedule. This is where being at the right place at the right time comes in handy.

Check out Publisher Weekly's  2015 children galleys to grab.
Check out Publisher Weekly's 2015 adult galleys to grab.

Tip # 4: Swag drops

ARCs aren't the only things being dropped at BEA. You will find a good variety of swag being dropped. I have accumulated coveted tote bags, buttons, hats, t-shirts and etc. at publishers' booths. Some booths will even have food related item to promote a certain book. Kiera Cass had chocolate covered Oreos (some bride and some groom) to promote her book The One. Disney-Hyperion had some kind of frozen hot chocolate or something of that sort to promote John Rocco's picture book, Blizzard. I was also able to pick up a red beanie hat that said Blizzard on the front and had a white pom pom on top.

Tip # 5: Panels

I know it is easy to get swept away with the ARCs, swag and the autographing but make sure you attend at least one panel at BEA. Not only do you get to sit down and rest your feet and shoulders, you will enjoy authors and other industry people talk about upcoming books, trends, etc. Some panels are geared toward certain interests. I always find it fun to hear what my favorite author has to say about certain topics or just to hear them talk about their latest book. I also love finding out more about upcoming trends. As an educator, I love attending panels geared toward children's literacy in schools. I used to work in magazine and academic book publishing and I often find panels about the publishing industry quite fascinating. The line for the panels are not horrible but if there's a panel you must attend, I suggest lining up early to get a good seat. Some panels will take place on main stages in the Exhibit Hall and some of the smaller panels will take place in the basement of the Javits.


  1. Have I told you how amazing you are for writing these posts yet? Because they are so incredibly useful. I don't have any plans to attend ticketed signings (or at least if I do, they're ticketed in-booth) but I appreciate the advice. I don't know swag was being dropped at BEA, although I certainly heard about the amount of totes being given out last year. I love the PW list as well!

    Thanks, Nicole. :-)

    1. Thank you for stopping by. I am glad you find the BEA series posts helpful. When I first attended BEA last year, similar posts to these were lifesavers for me since I didn't know what to expect. There are highly coveted swag. Some tote bag giveaways will even have a line. I hope you have a great time at BEA!

  2. Great BEA posts! It's my first year attending and I need all the help I can get.

    1. Thank you! I'm glad the posts have been helpful and I hope you enjoy your first year at BEA!