It Would Seem BookExpo America is No Longer a Place for Book Bloggers

Be sure to read the followup post for updated information!

A few days ago, Publishers Weekly did a piece on a new direction for BookExpo America. In that article was this juicy snippet:

According to McDonald, the focus will be on drawing more book buyers, including booksellers, librarians, and buyers from a range of specialty retailers. Through a more rigorous application process, Reed will limit the numbers of bloggers, independent authors, and consultants. “We are not trying to be exclusionary,” McDonald said. “We are trying to ensure that we have the people in the aisles that our exhibitors want to meet with.”

And this one:

In other efforts to better focus the show, Reed has decided to not hold the conferences that had run in conjunction with BEA, such as the Book Bloggers and IDPF events

So far, no word has been given on how many bloggers will be allowed to attend, or what the criteria will be.

But to me, ditching the Book Blogger Conference and limiting bloggers suggests one big thing: they want book bloggers out. This makes me wonder what the future of BEA will be long term. If they want to focus on business deals with booksellers, librarians, etc. will they start cutting back on author signings too?

How many people will lose money because of this?

First and foremost, I’ve already booked my plane ticket for BookExpo (America) 2017. I also know several other bloggers who have also booked plane tickets and/or hotels. How many of us will now not be able to get a BEA pass?

This was a huge bomb to drop with not enough notice. Sure, seven months may not seem that bad on paper, but when you consider how long bloggers have been welcome and how many people need to book travel far in advance to get decent rates, it’s not enough time. If they want to change BEA, that sucks, but it’s ultimately their business. But the least they could do was announce now that it would be going into effect in 2018.

No, it’s not about the ARCs

I’m not upset about this change because of the “free” books I’ll miss out on. Far from it. After you consider the price of an international flight ($1k right there) plus a hotel in New York City, I’m in the red big time. I don’t spend all this money to get a bunch of “free” books before their publication date.

I do it because:

  • For me, BEA has been a huge community event each year. It’s my time to meet my fellow book bloggers in person.
  • I loved Blogger Con to network with other bloggers and meet awesome new people in a more relaxed environment (compared to the hectic BEA floor).
  • I get to meet new authors and see some old faces.
  • It’s fun and exciting to walk the aisles and find new and exciting books you may not have otherwise found.
  • It’s cool to talk to publishers and find out which books they’re excited about.

Most of the year, book blogging is a totally online space. Meet people online, talk to people online, write online… It’s all online.

But BEA brings that entire community into the “real world”. That’s what I’ll miss.

“Well, there’s BookCon!”

I definitely get the impression they’re trying to nudge book bloggers into BookCon. While I understand the reason for that, it’s not one I can personally buy into.

I went to BookCon the first year and since then I’ve skipped out but looked at the photos every year. BEA itself is pretty hectic, but BookCon is hectic x 1 million. The HUGE, OVERWHELMING crowds are not something I’m interested in braving. I did it once and I had to turn around and immediately leave. It was just a disgusting, panic-inducing sea of people. The photos I’ve looked at since confirm that nothing has changed in that regard (though perhaps the chaos is slightly more organized, but ultimately it’s still chaos).

And sure, BEA has some big lines, but the BookCon lines are again that times a million. It doesn’t even sound fun to me to drop thousands of dollars to get to NYC just so I can wait in even bigger lines… no thanks.

I guess what I’m saying is: I no longer feel like book bloggers have a home.

  • BEA was fabulous, but if we’re being pushed out or limited… Perhaps it will no longer be like it once was.
  • BookCon isn’t for me. It’s just too big, overwhelming, and crowded.
  • There’s ALA, which I’ve never attended, but each year I watch the drama unfold where some people like to put emphasis on the “librarian” part of the name (in other words, “book bloggers GTFO!”). Not everyone does this of course, but there seems to be drama about it every year.

I know there are a few other events, but the above three always felt like the big ones. Although I’m open to attending other events, I need to know that there will be plenty of “my people” there in order to make it worthwhile for me. I hope that doesn’t make me sound bratty, but I live in the UK and if I’m going to drop $1k+ to attend a US event, I want to be surrounded by a hoard (but not “BookCon hoard” levels) of my book blogging/Twitter friends. I’m not interested in flying all the way over there just to feel lost and alone.

Time will tell how drastic these changes are.

BEA17 will let us know how severely they’ll be limiting bloggers.

BEA18 will possibly tell us how much more of the event they’re looking to change (author signings?).

It saddens me a lot to think that BEA16 could have possibly been my last one without me even realizing it.

Are/were you planning to attend BEA 2017? What do you think of these changes?

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  1. In addition to RT Book Convention this year I was thinking of going to BEA since a lot of my blogger friends were going but once I saw that once everything added up the price range was the same as RT. So for this year I’ve opted out of going to BEA and instead will be going to RT

          1. I would push for RT too – but it’s so expensive and the lines are ridiculous. It’s not the same experience as BEA or ALA – with a show floor etc. It’s more intimate “Reader Panel” – which is what you might be interested in. The cons for readers. But again – these are for readers and not really for bloggers. There are a few of these type conventions. The problem with BEA and ALA are that they are industry conventions, so they are going to want the industry people to attend. And technically a lot of us are hobbyist, which is probably where they will draw the line. They used to put requirements on number of followers to join – to get a BEA ticket. They might do that again. Heck, they might want an EIN – because if you are going to file an LLC for your blog – they know you are have a goal of being a business and not a hobbyist. I’m rambling. We do need our own event. Book Blogger Con on it’s own.

            1. Yeah I suppose it’s a weird line when you’re a blogger. You’re sort of awkwardly straddling the consumer/reader and industry lines.

              Do you have any posts about RT? I believe you’ve attended several times.

  2. This is so sad! I was lucky enough to attend BEA a few times and met so many awesome people! It’s not just about the free books, but about meeting online friends in person and having the chance to tell favorite authors how much their work means to us. I can see tightening requirements so that just anyone can’t claim that they’re a book blogger in order to attend, but to exclude all of us? I thought that we were a vital part of the publicity machine and helped publishers get the word out about new titles? I hope they change their mind, as I was hoping to attend next year.

    1. They always did have a form for book bloggers where you fill out your blog URL and such. I have no idea if they ever actually looked at that info to confirm the person’s blog or anything.

  3. It’s also interesting to me that they say they’re going to limit the amount of independent authors they let in. I do get why they would want only the most successful indie authors there, but despite their claims of not wanting to be exclusionary, that’s an awful lot like what that sounds like.

    1. Yes it absolutely sounds exclusionary. :/ If I were an independent author, BEA would feel like a huge, fantastic networking opportunity to meet people who might be interested in my books.

    1. Yeah. πŸ™ But even if something new were created, I’d fear it wouldn’t quite have the same draw as BEA would and blogger attendance wouldn’t be quite as awesome.

  4. I was planning on attending BEA in the future, I wasn’t planning on attending 2017 mainly because I think I’m too young (from what I’ve heard you have to be at least 18). It’s a shame to see them limit the number of book bloggers attending the events. I wonder how the publishers have reacted to this news, and whether BEA will lose any money this year when it comes ticket sales?

    1. Well there is an implication in the article that this is what publishers (or “exhibitors” – many of which are publishers) want:

      “We are trying to ensure that we have the people in the aisles that our exhibitors want to meet with.”

      I can’t say for certain of course, but to me that almost says like exhibitors have been complaining about the bloggers running around and they don’t want us there (or want fewer of us).

  5. I was really sad to hear this news. I was planning to go in 2018 but I guess we’ll have to see what happens. Like you I want to go to meet other bloggers and the authors. There aren’t many book events where I live so I love the idea of seeing everyone. I did hear that some people were selling ARCs from last year so I wonder if that has anything to with this change. I think it is a shame that they don’t realize how big an impact the book blogging community has been for book sales.

    1. Yeah every year there are a few who sell ARCs or grab tons and tons of books. But I wish they would have just had the guts to ban those individuals. Some of their names/blog names were well known and it wouldn’t be hard to just refuse a ticket to them.

  6. This is all SO accurate. I feel the same way. I already had booked my hotel, and I am left wondering if me/my roommates will even be “allowed” to attend. Six months out is not a lot of time to suddenly throw an entire event into upheaval. I assume indie/self-pubbed authors are feeling the same sense of panic. The thing that gets me is, I have no idea what this all even means. Is he saying that they’re just going to check to make sure that people attending as bloggers ARE active bloggers (i.e., not someone’s kids and friends?) or is it that they are actually weeding out bloggers? The whole thing was so poorly phrased and announced that it leaves me reeling.

    One of the most confusing parts for me is that not only were bloggers welcome as recently as last year, but they (we) seemed appreciated! There were special events like the Blogger Conference, and now suddenly we are not wanted at ALL? What precipitated this change? That’s the thing- this vague bombshell was dropped, and then no one was around to field the questions (that frankly, should have been expected, since this is kind of a big deal). So yes, everyone started to freak out, because like you said- it’s so soon! People have money wrapped up in this, etc.

    As for BookCon, I think you’re completely spot on- and I feel the same as you. I won’t be attending, if that is my only option. I had a lot of panic at BookCon last year. It was overwhelming at best, and I didn’t feel like I got anything from it. I wanted to discuss books in a civilized and professional manner- NOT fight hoards of people to get an autograph or two. The best parts, like you said, were meeting (in PERSON!) like-minded people, people who I get to see, at best, once a year. Be that authors, bloggers, or anyone else I have come to know in the industry, it is nice to be able to convene. Hence, the conference!

    Anyway, I think you did a really great job here of talking about this from a VERY practical place- one that may have been lost in the initial reveal of this information. So thank you, for this post. I am glad you talked about the REAL reasons we attend conferences. “Free” books? Hardly- I am so glad you pointed that out, too! We’re ALL in the red after these events, it isn’t even a close call. It’s about the love of the industry, and the PEOPLE in it. Wonderful post, Ashley! I hope that we’ll get more information soon, and that hopefully things won’t be too changed for us all!

    1. I agree with all of this! I wish I’d had a chance to attend BEA before this announcement. I’d been planning to in the future, and I was so excited at the idea of being able to meet book blogger irl, but if their truly planning to weed out book bloggers… *Sigh*

    2. Yes I feel awful for indie authors too! I imagine BEA is a fantastic networking opportunity for them.

      I DESPISE that they released this bomb without more details. It’s definitely leaving us all in a panic. We could be all overreacting if they’re just verifying people are bloggers, but it’s totally on them for making us draw our own conclusions.

      There always has been a form on the registration page where you enter your blog name and URL but who knows if they ever checked that information.

      I wish they would have just banned the people who were clearly abusing BEA to take (and maybe sell) as many books as possible.

      Although I’m devastated by the change, I do respect that it’s their event and they have the right to take it in a different direction if they want (i.e. purely business/sales/deals). That’s their right and they have to do what’s best to keep BEA alive. Although I may not like it, I accept that they have to do what they feel is the right decision. But I still think it’s awful to just dump the news on us without enough notice. As you said – people have money tied up into this now.

      I know there are a few other events besides BEA and ALA but most of them feel a bit too small/niche. A big part of what my personality requires is being able to attend an event and meet people that I actually know online. If I attend an event where I don’t know ANYONE — not even in the online capacity — then it’s pretty much doomed to fail for me. (I’m too shy and suck at talking to people I don’t already know.)

      I guess I’ll just miss BEA if it’s in for massive changes and I’m mourning what it used to be. πŸ™

  7. I have never personally gone to BEA. I completely understand if industry professionals felt that the convention was becoming overwhelmed by non-professionals and wanted to refocus. (I do hear wild tales of people bringing their whole family, making up a fake blog to be able to attend, etc. I could at least understand vetting people to make sure they were serious about being bloggers.) And, while I do think book bloggers are amazing and do great marketing free, I do wonder how much we actually influence sales. It might make sense, business-wise. to refocus on booksellers, librarians, and major buyers.

    However, I also agree it would be helpful to make the change more gradually, give bloggers more warning, etc. I wonder how many independent authors were also planning on attending and now cannot.

    I have been to ALA once. My experience was definitely followed by people screaming on Twitter that non-librarians are not welcome and should not take ARCs if they do dare to show their faces. My issue with this is 1) non-librarians are specifically invited and sold tickets and 2) that ticket does NOT come with statement saying it’s not full admission and you aren’t allowed to take ARCs. As long as the publishers are willing to give ARCs out to non-librarians, I don’t think it makes sense for random Twitter uses to yell at other people for doing something they were 100% allowed to do. My personal experience at ALA was also that ARCs were not lacking. People were shoving all kinds of books into my hands (which I often turned down) because they were standing next to a mountain of ARCs that just weren’t moving. I was in exactly one line that ran out of books, but that was for finished copies. I simply didn’t get the impression librarians were suffering because I was offered and accepted some ARCs.

    That all said, I would love to see a conference where bloggers were truly welcome.

    1. Yes I respect that it’s their event, they can do what they want with it, and they have to act in the best interest of the event’s future. But:

      1) If this is about the people ‘abusing’ BEA, I wish they would have just considered banning those individuals. Most of them had their names (and/or blog names) clearly displayed. It’s not like they were anonymous.

      2) More advanced warning was definitely needed!

      So I respect what they feel they need to do, I’m just still saddened by the news and will mourn what I used to love about BEA.

      I totally agree with your comments about ALA. I’ve never attended but I’ve watched the drama unfold. It’s ridiculous that bloggers are obviously ‘invited’ but then get bitched at by other non-blogger attendees. *sigh*

  8. I wasn’t planning on going, but this news overall is horrible even from an outsider’s perspective. Bloggers are called “influencers” because they influence others to make purchases, and by cutting out an entire marketing method many publishers use, they’re cheating their vendors. Sometimes, it’s the bloggers who make the events as popular as they are—and it seems like they’re dumping you guys and taking advantage of all the stuff you’ve done for them.

    And pissing off bloggers isn’t a great idea. Will non-bloggers ever learn? ??

    Also, most book bloggers I follow buy the majority of what they review, anyway. But I guess BEA is following where they think the money is?

    1. I’m in Australia and haven’t attended BEA because it’d be super expensive to make the trip from here, but this is concerning. I’ll be interested to find out if they do just want to make sure that only active book bloggers attend (which seems fair), or if they’re trying to squeeze out bloggers altogether. If it’s the latter, I guess I’d have questions about whether the decision is coming from BEA or if there’s been pressure from publishers to exclude bloggers (which would be way more concerning and potentially have wider implications given a lot of us work closely with publishers). Yup, I read your post and jumped straight to paranoid. Keep us posted, Ashley!

  9. I haven’t bought a ticket or anything so I won’t be out money. I have to save up to be able to go if I decide to go anyway, but I really wanted to go. Last year was my first year and I got to meet some of my blogging friends for the first time and it was awesome, yes BEA was cool but it was hanging out with my friends and that was the best! I do think that it’s a few bad apples that are spoiling the batch because of those that go and get ARCs and then sell them on ebay. It makes bloggers look bad and that is sad because most of us just feel honored to get a book while they go purposely to make money. πŸ™

    1. Yes I hate how some people act at BEA. πŸ™ If that’s what influenced their decision then I really wish they would have just banned those individuals. A lot of the high profile ones (at least among us book bloggers) weren’t exactly anonymous. Their names and/or blog names were very clearly known. They should have just been refused tickets in future years!

  10. Wow, entitled much? I am a book blogger of almost ten years, and I have worked as a librarian and a bookseller. I have attended BEA under all three hats over the years, and I attend ALA and associated conferences when I can because I’m a degreed librarian with a track record in the profession. Did it ever occur to you that these conferences are professional meetings for people who do business in the book world, and not just social meet and greets for you and your friends? I get that you’re bummed that you bought a plane ticket for a show you might not be able to attend. But you and your friends can still come to NYC and see each other, go shopping, and attend the PUBLIC event that’s on offer (BookCon). The “drama” as you put it around ALA is that that is also a private professional conference that bloggers have been allowed into (along with the rest of the public, because anyone can buy an exhibit pass) as a courtesy. You are not entitled to a spot at either event. At the last BEA I attended (2 years ago in NYC) I felt a distinct chill from publishers large and small as a blogger- even companies I had worked closely with for years. They may be losing interest in our community to an extent. I think this was bound to happen frankly. These are businesses- they are not your friends. They want to see return on the investment that they have made in their marketing efforts and putting the benefit they get from bloggers on a balance sheet is not easy to do. If I were you I would apply for one of those spots at BEA that will still be available for bloggers, hope for the best and accept the results with a little more grace than you’re showing here.

    1. I’m sorry you think my sadness over these changes is entitlement because that’s certainly not how I see it. I don’t think I have any sort of “entitlement” to attend. I don’t think I have some divine right to be there. I fully respect that it’s their event and they can do whatever they please with it. But that doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to be a bit upset over the short notice. That doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to mourn what I used to love about BEA.

      I’m not saying bloggers “need” to be there.
      I’m not saying bloggers “deserve” to be there.

      The point of my post was, “It’s their choice, but I’m disappointed.” Disappointed != entitlement.

      1. It makes me sad. BEA was on my bucket list. Like you I’d be paying for an international flight so free books is hardly my objective. I can’t understand why they don’t take practical steps against those who sold arcs (i.e. Ban them from future events) and ensure single copies are given out. It has always been my dream networking event and I’m sad that it might never happen for me now.

      2. I’d like to compliment you on the classy way you responded to the above comment. And assure you that I didn’t read anything in the post that justified it.

  11. oh wow, so sad!! So glad I went to BEA for the first time this year in Chicago. the first day for book bloggers was awesome! Then we need to organize something just for book bloggers!! For me, meeting book bloggers in person was the highlight of BEA, more than getting free books. I get lots of free books from my public library, lol, and publishers send me a lot to.

    1. I’ll miss Blogger Con too. πŸ™ I’ve been involved in planning it and speaking the last few years and I’ll miss that. It was a great blogger networking environment.

      1. I didn’t realize you were involved in the planning, maybe time for you to plan something else just for us book bloggers ;-), maybe in coordination with some other large book event

        1. Perhaps! A lot of people are talking about blogboundcon, which I hadn’t heard of until recently. But it sounds like they’ll be lining up their 2017 get-together with BEA. So maybe we’ll see how that goes. πŸ™‚

  12. To be fair ALA is the professional conference for librarians so that is who publishers and sellers should prefer to interact with. Do you know what librarians get paid? Not much and having to compete with bloggers who treat ALA like a vacation and swell the lines for author meet and greets and signings and increase the already steep competition for limited arc copies that are meant for collection development purposes is difficult considering we have to balance collection development with professional sessions.
    That said the BEA changes are disappointing to say the least because it seems like it would be a natural fit for bloggers. These changes do seem short sighted, to say the least. But ALA is not the fit for bloggers and should not be viewed as a viable alternative.

  13. I am going, but this year I’ll get to go as a bookseller because I started working at an Independent bookstore. I’m so saddened by this announcement from BEA… I get wanting to maybe more thoroughly vet the Bloggers attending in order to cut down on the arc sellers. But totally ending the Blogger Con? That’s crazy! And I agree 100% with not wanting to settle for Book Content, because that craziness is not what book bloggers are looking for. Maybe we just need to set up our own event?

    1. Yeah I’m bummed about Blogger Con. πŸ™ I loved it for networking and meeting new bloggers (and seeing familiar faces). Plus, sharing knowledge is something I’m really passionate about!

  14. I’m a book blogger too and this was my first year to attend BEA (check on the bucket list!) and while I wasn’t planning to attend in 2017 I did want to try and attend another year. But I guess this means 2016 may have been my only chance to experience BEA. This makes me sad.

      1. Me too…we’ll see what BEA does. and I too am not in it for the ARCs. I was more into meeting the authors and making connections or meeting those I had already had connections with from my blogging.

  15. I didn’t make it to BEA 2015, but was planning to attend at least one day of BEA 2016 (the day of the Book Group Speed Dating event) since I live outside of NYC. This makes me so sad! I guess I’ll still try to get a ticket, but there are other bloggers who are much bigger than I am and have been attending BEA for much longer (2015 was my first year), so I’m not hopeful.

    I don’t care about ARCs either…I don’t even read hard copy books, so BEA ARCs are kind of worthless for me. I care about learning about new books I’d be interested in and I get a much better understanding of that at BEA than by perusing the online catalogs.

  16. I was planning to attend again this year since it will be back in NY (a lot closer for me) but now I will have to wait a bit to see where all this is going and if I’ll even be able to get in…especially considering I did not attend last year since it was in Chicago.

  17. I have mixed feelings about this announcement. As a blogger, I am sad and I admit, I think they could have handled the phase out as just that – a phase out and not spring it on us like this. Having said that, I have also seen horrible blogger behaviour at BEA to the point where I would have banned us if I could have. Let’s face it, *some* bloggers have given *all* bloggers a bad name.

    Also, as someone else mentioned, blogging, in my opinion, hit its peak a few years ago. I remember when we were the toast of the town, but now publishers are using other business models and are moving on – which I think is normal. Like everything else, blogging has a shelf life. I will continue to blog because I like it, but I will be curious to see how many people stop blogging, now that there are fewer perks associated with it.

    Again, all of this is just my personal opinion.

    1. I totally agree that some bloggers have really been awful. I guess I wish they would have focused on banning those individuals (at least at first). Some of the most high profile ones weren’t exactly anonymous.

      The publicity/marketing area has definitely seen some changes with booktubers and bookstagrammers.

      1. How do you define “bad actions” though? How do you decide where the line is that the behaviour was bad enough to “ban” these bloggers? and once banned, how easy would it be for these bloggers, to change email address and simply create a new blog and register under that one? I don’t see how BEA could keep up with this. Of course, the real problem is that bloggers should NEVER have behaved in this manner in the first place, but not much we can do about that now.

  18. I’ve never attended BEA, but always wanted to. Guess that might not ever happen now.

    I agree that they should have announces this year for changes in 2018, so everyone had enough notice. Hopefully you will get to attend still.

  19. This is exactly how I feel. And I totally feel you on the money spent just to attend. In the past, my husband, son, and I have flown from WA to TX so that my parents can watch my son, and then my husband and I fly from TX to NY. And then we do the opposite on the way back. That plus hotel = a LOT of money. This coming year we were planning on doing the same thing, but now we have another son, which means more money.

    I understand that BEA is a publishing conference and that book bloggers are a small, unofficial, unpaid slice of that industry, but I’m sad that this event which used to openly embrace bloggers with BloggerCon is now seeming to push bloggers out.

    1. Yeah it feels weird when one year they’re like, “We love you! We have this con just for you!” And literally the next they’re suddenly taking it all away. :/

      Whether people want to admit it or not, bloggers were part of BEA. Parts of it were designed for us. If they want to change that, I guess they can, but I think we can certainly feel upset about the changes. To say we “never belonged there anyway” just isn’t true. We were invited.

  20. I just saw this news and I totally agree. Not nearly enough notice, and it’s great they announced it in a trade publication but I wonder when they were going to notify prospective attendees in a proactive way- you know, the people like you that have already booked flights, hotels, etc. They have to know people have done that. So that wasn’t handled well. And yes they have the right to do what they want, but geez not nearly enough notice…

    I’ve never attended BEA so I can’t speak from experience but I was considering attending – and I’ve wondered about Bookcon too. I’m glad to see your thoughts on that because the chaos and long lines have sorta disabused me of that notion! I’ve been to GenCon numerous times and a few other cons, so I’ve seen the crowds thing- it would be nice to have a blogger con of sorts, but you’re right- getting that off the ground, it would have nowhere near the attendance of BEA and therefore would not be worth it (financially and time wise) for many. It definitely sucks. One hopes that maybe they’ll dial some of this back, phase it in as they look more at how it’s affecting people- yes 2018 would have made more sense if they’re truly going to phase out bloggers.

    1. Yes you’re totally right! It wasn’t even an official announcement at all.. it was just an interview on someone else’s website. So many people could easily just not have seen that!!

  21. Wow, I’m so disappointed to read this. I’ve been attending BEA for 7 years and have absolutely loved being around fellow book-lovers all day.
    I’m hoping it isn’t going to be as bad as we’re thinking and maybe they will just be vetting the blogs to make sure they are active and not just set up as a front to get into the show. It’s kind of weird because they talk about numbers for attendance and they definitely make money from us all attending, since most don’t get free press passes, but pay our own way into the show. More money than it would cost to attend BookCon – so it doesn’t make sense if they are just trying to push us into that. A couple of years ago they really started to limit bloggers getting press passes and maybe this is more of that? I’m with you about BookCon though – I had exactly the same experience the first year. I went for about 15 minutes and could not take the insanity. I will never go back even if they stop allowing us to go to BookExpo.
    As for ALA – I attended as a blogger for this first time earlier this year (ALA MW in Boston) and didn’t feel any disdain from publishers at all – in fact they seemed thrilled to talk to us because the show was pretty slow much of the time. I did overhear a couple of librarians complain about the bloggers, but no one was rude to me. My co-blogger and I are even thinking of making the trek to Atlanta because we loved the event so much last year.

  22. This is very disappointing. I love BEA and I’m planning to go next year. Luckily, I can drive or take a bus to NYC, but I already have hotel reservations. I hope that I can go, but the lack of events for bloggers is just sad. It seems like no book events want to have anything to do with us, but I think we provide a valuable service to the book industry just by reviewing and promoting in blogs, Goodreads, Amazon, Instragram, Twitter, etc.

  23. That’s so sad. I’ve actually never been to ANY bookish event, not even an author signing, but I really hope to go one day!

  24. BEA16 was my first – and possibly my last one, too, Ashley! And I loved the BloggerCon where I met so many fellow bloggers, several whom I already knew and had met in person, and even more I had only chatted with online before that.
    For those bloggers who read romance at all, there’s the RT convention, which is really nice. First of all because almost everybody is in the same hotels – authors, bloggers and publishers alike. And also because the authors who participate are there to interact with their readers. Not only during the convention stuff, but at the bar, or at a party as well. And that makes the interactions more personal and a lot of fun!
    I hadn’t planned on attending BEA17, which I am now very happy about! Because I tend to get my plane ticket and hotel reservation done very long in advance, too. Not to pay too big a fortune for it, you know? I’m going to Atlanta for the RT convention in 2017, and many of my favorite bloggers will be there, too, as will a ton of authors I read.
    I hope you’ll find another event that will work for you if bloggers are truly being squeezed out of BEA. And I can’t help but wonder what publishers will think about less bloggers at BEA. All the ones I met and spoke to in May were happy to meet bloggers, even smaller ones like me!

  25. I was planning to attend again this year since it will be back in NY (a lot closer for me) but now I will have to wait a bit to see where all this is going and if I’ll even be able to get in…especially considering I did not attend last year since it was in Chicago.

  26. I’ve never attended BEA, but I feel like this decision is a huge slap in the face to book bloggers. I know there are some book bloggers whose primary goal is to obtain as many ARCs as possible, but the majority of book bloggers do a HUGE service to the publishing community…which they don’t pay us for, something that would be expected in literally any other niche. The whole thing is kind of depressing.

  27. I was disappointed in this change since last year was my first BEA and Blogger Con experience and absolutely loved it. I met some amazing bloggers and learned a great deal about the industry. I opted out of this year’s because of the reasons you gave. I had not thought about BookCon and since it may return to Chicago next year (closer to where I live), I might do a day-pass to see if there’s hope for the blogging community. Thanks for sharing this!

    Courtney recently posted: May 2017 Recap!
  28. Bookcon 2017 was my first and probably my last. The crowds were absolutely insane. It’s way overcrowded and there was so much shoving going on from people trying to get in autograph lines. No real structure from booth workers or security. This year was my first year doing the book side of things at San Diego Comic Con. And if you’ve heard of sdcc, you know it gets crazy there with over 150,000 attendees. But the book side was awesome. Lines were organized, publishers were so nice and lines for authors and arc drops were not that bad. I picked up more arcs and fc’s at sdcc than I did at Bookcon. I just started a blog a few months ago and was hoping to go to BEA next year, but I guess that probably wont happen.

  29. A friend of mine and I applied to attend BEA this year. Based on the bulk of the questions, all they seemed to care about were numbers: How many follows do we have? How many visits per day to the site? How much reach across social media?

    On the one hand, I understand they believe a higher follower count = instant success for whatever book is featured on the site. In some ways, maybe this is true. Chuck the book out there and maybe 1000 peeps out of 500k bite. That’s a win-win, I guess. But I wish they didn’t base the worth of book bloggers on numbers. My friend admitted that she may have a large following, but she only interacts with a small fraction of them. As for me, I have a much smaller follower count on Twitter compared to hers and about 4k on my blog, but many of mine followers quite active when it comes to spreading book recs and generating buzz.

    My point is, there’s undeniable value in letting smaller blogs in. We may not have many followers, but we all TALK to each other. Our engagement rate is through the roof BECAUSE we’re smaller. We collaborate. We guest post. We boost each others’ articles. We need to engage with others in our community, which is part of our strength. I feel like BEA is overlooking the power of community here.

    The funny part is…..BEA ignores its own exclusivity. Neither of our applications were responded to (not even a denial), but we both received an email after the event THANKING us for joining them this year LOL We both continued to receive emails telling us how awesome the event was and thanking us for being part of it….except we weren’t big enough to be part of it. It was so exclusive that we couldn’t even get in as book editors…because we weren’t well known enough.

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