Google+ Reading Teen: My thoughts on BEA 2011... The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

My thoughts on BEA 2011... The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!


I had such a good time at BEA 2011. This was my first time so I did not know what to expect. NYC was the perfect spot for such an event. There were so many booths... Simon & Schuster, Penguin, Scholastic, Harper Collins, Random House, Harlequin, Hachette, Perseus and Little Brown, just to name a few. Beautiful stacks and stacks of books to giveaway, cute/whimsy book bags to carry them in, swag galore and on occasion free donuts, cupcakes with sprinkles, mini bars with crackers, cheeses, fruit and wine for your pleasure. It felt like Christmas morning to me. The Book Expo was so massive it was overwhelming at times. I had to pace myself and not take everything that was just handed to me, for I could not carry it all. I of course got some young adult books, middle grade books, cookbooks and some boring school books. I was in heaven. It was a lot of work though, books are very heavy. (I know, I know, I bet you feel really sorry for me right about now :))
The Reading Teen crew stayed at Casa De Blogger, a beautiful home in Brooklyn. We met wonderful book bloggers and made some new friends. Susan with Wastepaper Prose  blog did the cooking and did an amazing job. Thank you Susan for all your hard work, it was greatly appreciated :) 
 I will say though, if I never ride the subway back and forth from NYC to Brooklyn, that will be fine with me! Haha.


Organization... would be the key word right about now! Several times I would be standing in line waiting for a book signing and it was hectic. Crazy. Unorganized. When that many people are in one building with the same common goal... Organization is the key to success. I would say lines with certain book signings and publishing companies went more smoothly than others. For instance, lines that handed out tickets were way more successful than those who didn't. If you did not have a ticket... You did not get the free book. Simplicity at it's best! Line cutters were not a problem in ticketed lines.  

Organization... Hundreds of people would be standing in line before the floor opened, BEA staff would walk by and tell us to leave space for food stands and other businesses, sometimes not in a very nice way. Why in the world would a crowd of people standing in line know to leave space for vendors to set up? Here's an idea: next year rope off a designated line and don't be rude to the attendees who have no way of knowing otherwise.

These are just some of the reasons BEA'11 did not run like a well oiled machine. However, it did not take away from the fact that I had the time of my life!


I'm about to step on some toes... so here it goes...

This is the first time I felt like I was in high school since I graduated. I was sometimes ashamed to call myself a blogger. I heard so much gossip, complaining, whining, back stabbing, and just plain mean, hurtful, angry, things from convention attendees. It was sad. Just standing in line, waiting for a book... I wanted to say, "hey guys, we are in line for free books about to be signed by authors, why so negative?". I tried to stay very quiet all week, just because I was observing and most of all did not want to be a part of all the juvenile antics. It was pathetic, most of us bloggers are adults and behaved like children. I actually heard people tattling on each other... I mean C'mon bloggers. Aren't we in this together? Shouldn't we stand together and be a classy group of people? Treat others as you want to be treated... right???

LINE CUTTING....  was so bad, way worse than at ALA'10. People who get in line early to get a book have paid their dues, so cutting in line "to talk to a friend" and staying is just plain wrong. It's sad really that the line cutters (you know who you are) just don't care about those who actually worked for the book. I'm sure everyone is guilty at some point and some more than others, but we must work hard to make a better name for ourselves. We want publishing companies and authors to respect us for what we do, we will never earn that respect by behaving this way. Ever. Don't kid yourself... this behavior is noticed more than we might think.

GREEEEEED...  Many times publishing companies would stack books and ask us to wait for an extra five-ten minutes until they were done. Well, some did not care, they would just grab and run anyway. I can't tell you how many times I was pushed around or see someone else pushed so people could get to the front to grab a book instead of waiting with everyone else until the representatives from the publishing company would give their okay to begin the frenzy of noise. Haha... Danielle Frenzy of Noise, I needed your blog name. 

In summary, it seems that in this economy, publishing companies need us more than ever before. We promote new books as effectively as (if not better than) professional advertising firms. Bloggers, keep up the good work with all the amazing reviews you do. All the hard work you put into them is much appreciated, by the entire industry. Let's strive for a better BEA'12. Let's put aside our differences, be nice, stop gossiping and just enjoy each other, work together for the greater good. Do the right thing and good things will come to you. We are all in this together, we want to be the 'go-to-guy' for publishing companies to get the word out about the books we love so much, let's not give them a reason to be annoyed with us. I look forward to seeing all the wonderful bloggers and friends next year that I met during this past week. Also, many thanks to the authors who attended the book expo and signed books for us to enjoy. A special thank you to all the publishing companies for all the great books and your patience. ~ AMY


  1. I am so glad you guys had such a great time! It's really sad that while I wasn't there, I heard about a lot of blogger drama. It's sad things got like that, but I'm glad the good out weighed the bad. The publishing houses put so much work into their booths and what goes on there.

  2. Great post. I wasn't there, but I have seen the same at teacher conferences. I hate negative & bashing.

  3. Great post! Thanks for sharing your experience. I hope to go next year and this was insightful! ~ Jen @ A Book and a Latte

  4. Great Post! I'm so happy you had a great time! But I'm also sorry that there was drama. I honestly didn't know that bloggers did that. I'm feeling very sheltered and naive right now. Although, I only say this because I don't bash anyone's site or them in general. It makes no sense, really.
    Don't we all have the same goal? Promote books and authors we love and enjoy? But I guess that in every group there's bound to be some kind of negativity and drama.
    Anyway, you did a great job pointing out the good, bad and ugly of your time at BEA amazingly.

  5. good post, Amy, thanks for sharing


  6. I agree with everything you said in this post. BEA11 was my third year attending and each year I'm amazed by the greed and the mean-spiritedness of the attendees. There were a couple of times I was told after standing almost an hour in line that there were no more books left from my point back, and I had seen at least two or three people cut in higher up at the line. So frustrating.

    However, all that aside, it is great to be able to meet the authors and other awesome people. I'll definitely be at BEA12.

    Great post :)

  7. Thank you guys for commenting. This is my opinion, not reflecting on Andye or the rest of the team in any way. Yes, I am sure with any event as large as this, that there will always going to be some good, some bad.

    Like I said though, I had the time of my life and the good outweighed the bad. I will be there next year!!!!!!!

  8. This was an awesome post and I experienced BEA 2011 just like you did. I tried to keep to myself and stay quiet because I didn't want to get in on any of the drama. Thankfully I didn't witness that much, just got to hear the horror stories :)

    Awesome post. I can't wait until BEA 2012!

  9. Wow, I am surprised to read about all of the bad behavior! It's a professional event. People should act like it.

    I agree that bloggers should all be respectful to other bloggers. There's no reason to act that way. I guess there is always a part of every group that ruins it for everyone else.

    Sounds like you still had an amazing time!! Thanks for telling us about it. :)

  10. I agree that it was really chaotic! It was often really difficult to figure out which line was for which signing.

  11. Interesting how much experiences can differ. I've had good and bad and ugly experiences the several times I've gone to Book Expo and people can definitely be very grabby. This behavior is usually at its worst on the first day and tends to calm down.
    I agree about organization. Unfortunately even ticketed authors didn't guarantee books to those on line, which is just unacceptable for your time on line and getting up early to get said ticket. I think some publishers handle these things better than others and the autograph area tends to be more organized because Dave and Co. know how to work a crowd where as in-booth signings tend to get way hectic and messy. Let's hope they learn from this year after year and there's less bad mojo next year.
    Good post on your experience!

  12. Thank you for such an honest post. I'm sad that I didn't get the chance to attend BEA, but I am upset to read that fellow bloggers could be so rude, harsh and childish. It makes the rest of us look bad. *sigh*

    Glad you enjoyed your time regardless of these few bumps.

  13. You know I just did a post on my blog about negative reviews. I've noticed how some (Not all) bloggers and other people feed off of the negativity and at times it does feel like high school. Here is a link if you are interested.

    I want to go to BEA next year.

  14. Thanks for sharing your experience. I don't know if I'll ever get to go to something like that, so I really appreciate being able to read about it. Sorry for the "bad & ugly" bits, but yay for having an awesome time! :)

  15. It was a frenzy, that's for sure. I agree with all of this. I've been working on my BEA post, and some of this echoes that.

    I'm glad I got to meet you though! Finally. :)

  16. I was so glad to meet you Danielle, you were so very kind :)

  17. Amy I am so with you on the subway comment. Never again.

  18. Glad that you had a good time, but sorry to hear about the downsides. Unfortunately, most situations have their downsides. I'm hoping to attend BEA next year so, if you go, maybe I'll see you there! :)

  19. I'm so glad to hear that it was a great experience but I'm sad to read that some people just don't know how to behave.

  20. Wow! Thank you for this post.
    It makes me so angry though to hear how rude some people are. I will more than likely never be lucky enough to go to a BEA but the people who are lucky shouldn't be moaning they have to stand in line for FREE BOOKS!!!!
    I can totally understand your frustration

  21. I think as book blogging grows, people are going to have to be more respectful and professional to get ahead.

    I'm thinking about heading to the UK equivalent next year but I don't think bloggers are so prevalent over here so don't think there will be the same attitude.

  22. I think one of the worst parts of the non-ticketed lines was the fact that sometimes you'd wait over half an hour at a line only to find out they've run out of books! Unfortunate and really a waste of time. :/

  23. What a great post! And I agree that you (bloggers) do a really nice job promoting new books.

  24. Hear hear! I could not BELIEVE the way some people behaved! Humanity en masse is a very stupid breed. I actually unfollowed some people I saw acting badly at BEA. Nonetheless, it was a lot of fun -- despite the people who tried to ruin it for everyone.

    Dear BEA organizers -- ORGANIZATION is the KEY! (You are so right, Amy.)


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