Booked til Tuesday

Life, Law & Libros

Top 10 BEA Fears

A weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish

This week's freebie topic sounded like the perfect time to write out some of the BEA worries running through my head. I've only been to BookCon before and, while BEA is a full four months away, I've afraid I've been thinking... A dangerous pastime- I know. (And how many of you started singing the "Gaston" reprise in your heads?)

Top 10 BEA Fears:

1. Clothes
It's sad, but this is at the top of my list. I'm not a fashion person. I had to do a Google search for "business casual" (and I'm still a little confused about the difference between "business" and "business casual" for women). I work in an office, but our dress code is pretty laid back. I guess my question for BEA veterans is, what's the norm? Are the majority of people wearing slacks/skirts and nice blouses and shoes, or are nice jeans okay? Are there certain days when everyone dresses more casually? What about shoes? Everyone says wear comfortable footwear, so is it okay to pair sneakers with nicer clothes?

2. Feet
This ties in with clothes, but it's important. I was feeling it after a day at BookCon in sneakers. The Javits floor is most unkind to feet. Any advice? Sneakers, sandals, flip flops, flats? Pack a mini stool in your bag or one of those roller squares from elementary school P.E. for waiting in lines?

3. Storage
I took a backpack to BookCon and, while it didn't kill my back, it was difficult to quickly store books. Totes are easier to slip books into, but they're rough on the shoulders. What do you guys think? Take both and store the unwanted one in the luggage drop if needed? Speaking of luggage, do the BEA veterans recommend stashing a large suitcase or a small one in the luggage check? Is it worth it (and is there enough room) to share a bag with your roomies? Someone said they run out of room at the luggage drop fast. How early do you have to get there to get a spot?

*pauses and takes deep breath then resumes interrogation*

4. Tickets
This is probablydefinitely not worth worrying about yet since I don't even know if there will be authors I really care about seeing, but I saw something about tickets for certain autographing sessions being available at 7am? Does that mean you need to get there at 6am? And is it just the first day, or do they give out tickets for each event on the day of?

5. Scheduling
Again, definitely not worth worrying about yet since I have no idea what will be there, but any advice? Plan in a half hour wait for every line? Have different categories for lines you're willing to wait early for and lines you'll jump in at the last 10 minutes if they still have books?

6. Food
Everyone says bring water and snacks to Javits. I agree. The food wasn't bad, but Javits charges a little more than I'd like to pay. Granola bars (or maybe those super filling Clif bars?) will be packed. I wonder if it might also be a good idea to pack some Easy-Mac or ramen bowls in case I get munchy and don't want to step foot outside. Hmm..

7. Money
This kind of ties in with the food. I read somewhere that it's standard for lots of bloggers/people to grab dinner together after BEA each day. And this is New York City. Any advice for keeping costs low and/or how much money to plan on spending? Is keeping an eye out for the local counter eateries instead of waitstaff restaurants a good idea?

8. Business Cards
I haven't designed a business card since that layout and design class in college, and I'm a little nervous about making them for the blog. Any advice? Thoughts on paper, price, format, font, etc.?

9. Exercise
I'm not in good shape. And BEA (plus one day of BookCon) is going to be intense. Time to build up some winter...when I want to curl up under a blanket and read... Yes, this is going to be the tough one. :)

10. Talking to People
Especially publishing people. I don't know why. I mean, I've done it before, and I've had some great conversations with authors at signing events, but...there's still a little fear/nervousness. Thoughts? Is it good to have some standard opening statements/questions prepped? Should I bring a bag of Starburst so, when in doubt, ask if they'd like some candy?

For those of you who have been to BEA or have fashion sense or are capable of utilizing common sense (Monday completely fried my brain this week), I'd be super grateful for any advice you can give.

That's it for this round of 10! Thanks for stopping by and check back tomorrow for this week's Updates! In which I tried a new cataloging system. :)


  1. Which day are you going to BookCon? I have no idea what they wear to BEA, but when someone tells me "professional casual," I take that to mean: simple black slacks, a simple top of a solid color (or very simple print), and comfortable flats. If you have a pair of really nice dark wash jeans, you can pull that off, too, if you pair it with flats that have a tiny bit of heel. And now I'm done with my fashion tips. ;) I know the stress of planning; I'm going bonkers planning my own trip; mostly because it's all on my shoulders to get things coordinated.

    1. I'll be at BookCon on Saturday for a bit. (Not sure how long, but we'll figure it out as it gets closer.) The fashion tips are much appreciated! Good luck with planning your trip! Let me know if you have any questions I can help with. :)

  2. Hi Kel!

    This will be my third year going to BEA so hopefully I can help you out! :)

    1. Honestly, whatever you wore to BookCon would be fine to wear to BEA. I think people overestimate how nicely you have to be dressed at BEA. It's actually pretty casual. Loads of people just wear jeans, t-shirt, and sneakers. On the other hand, there are people who wear dresses, but it's not really to be fancy. It's because they're the kind of people who like wearing dresses, you know? They'd wear one on just a normal day.

    2. Wear whatever you want, as long as it's comfortable. I always wear flip flops because they're the most comfortable shoes I own other than my running shoes, and I'd just prefer to wear flip flops than my running shoes. But there are people who wear sneakers, there are people who wear flip flops, etc. Just wear something comfortable. You will be on your feet ALL DAY.

    3. I always just bring my big purse, which is kind of like a tote in structure. Then I bring a small suitcase, which I check. Then whenever my purse gets too full/heavy or I have spare time, I go put my books in the suitcase. I always get to BEA about 15-20 minutes early and have NEVER had a problem checking a bag. It's important to remember that there are NUMEROUS bag checks. I find that the one at the far right-side of the building (near the BEA Bloggers' Conference rooms) is one of the last to fill up. I feel like more people are entering and queuing on the other side of the building.
    I bring a small suitcase (small enough to be a carryon) because I don't take a lot of books. But if this is your first year to BEA, you might want to take a large one just in case. I think that if it's your first year you might be inclined to grab a lot more books. It's better to have too much room than not enough!

    4. I can't really answer this one very well since I've never gotten those tickets before. There has never been a ticketed author I was interested in. But a lot of people get there at 5 or 6am. I *think* it's the day of the signing, but I'm not totally sure.

    5. I personally don't really plan this out very much. What I do is make a schedule of all the books/authors I'm interested in, regardless of what time they're at. Then, I colour code them by priority. I have my MUST HAVE books, my "would like" books, and my "might be interested in" books. I always give priority to the MUST HAVE books. You kind of have to make a judgement call based on how popular the book/author is. For instance, I was lining up for Sarah J. Maas like two hours early, and that was NECESSARY. But most others you only really need to get there 30-45 minutes early to be guaranteed a book. But for the lesser known books/authors (usually the debut authors) you can sometimes just jump in at the last minute.

    6. I personally just eat at the Javits, haha. But I'm definitely in the minority.

    7. Sadly I can't answer this one. I don't go out with bloggers, since it's my mom's birthday over the BEA weekend so I go out with her. :)

    8. I have a blog post for designing business cards:

    10. Haha I'm sure Starburst would be a good ice breaker. ;) I'm honestly horrible at "mingling" with people so I'm not much help here. It's not really a nerves thing with me, it's just that I'm not great at starting conversations with new people. Maybe it'll help to have some questions prepped just in case you don't know what to say. Good ones might be:

    a) Are you a blogger? What's your blog called?
    b) What books have you gotten so far?
    c) What are you reading right now?

    I hope that helps! :) Let me know if you have more questions.

    1. Hi Ashley! Thanks for the wonderful advice! I like your idea of having a prioritized schedule so you're not stressing out over every single signing or book drop.

      I hope we get to say hi at BEA and that your mom has a wonderful birthday weekend! :)

  3. For clothes I brought both nerdy shirts and my straight up business casual that I wear to science conferences and found that either worked fine and no one seemed to mind really. I recommend against costumes ;-). I wore my walking sneakers because I was worried about my back and didn't care if people judged me, ha, and again no one even noticed I don't think!

    I brought a backpack but it was more for cliff bars and water, I never really used it when I was getting books. They hand out so many totes that you can bring one for the first day but after that you'll be all set. Definitely bring a suitcase to check and put books into though!

    I didn't get any tickets because people were lining up for those at like 5 am and I just didn't care that much.

    Do bring business cards, but I honestly don't know if handing out all the business cards I did to publicists did much of anything. The only thing was when a book had run out, a couple of publicists took my card and mailed me a copy afterwards. However I didn't get on any lists as far as I can tell. You might think about having a set for publicists with your mailing address and a different set for bloggers with just your website on it. I found I used the ones for bloggers more to keep in touch with people!

    Feel free to email me when you're planning if you have more questions ;-)

    1. So, no dressing up as Big Bird or Oscar the Grouch? ;) But it's good to get a second "no one cares what you wear." My mind has officially been put at ease.

      5am? ... Yeah, it would probably have to be a dead author brought back to life for me to care that much.

      Thank you for all the help! And yes, you will probably get emails from me if/when I start panicking. :)