Sitting at Starbucks – Tips for BookExpo America

New Books

Just one new book this week but I’m INSANELY excited for it!!! I adore Lauren Miller.

Free to Fall by Lauren Miller
Free to Fall by Lauren Miller

Blog Designs

Jessie Marie Reads (client work)

Jessie Marie Reads blog design

I feel weird for fangirling over my own design, but I LOVE THIS THEME! I had the absolute pleasure of working with Jessica from Jessie Marie Reads to create a new design for her blog. Jessica was one of my very first book blogger clients over a year ago when I created a theme for her blog, The Daily Bookmark. Jessica wanted something fresh, new, and exciting for her new blog name, Jessie Marie Reads.

As always, it was a pleasure to work with her and we’re both super in love with the outcome!

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Business Cards for BEA

I got my business cards for BookExpo America! This year I made cards for both Nose Graze and Creative Whim. I’ve had a few people ask me for my business card when they want web design services, but I never had one. But now I do!

It’s hard to tell from the lighting in the photo, but the Nose Graze cards have red edges. They look so dark in the photos, but they’re actually kind of a bright/lighter red.

Nose Graze Business Cards from Moo

Business cards with red edges

Creative Whim Business Cards

Business cards for Ashley Gibson

BookExpo America Tips

I already wrote a post about things I’m glad I did and things I learned about BookExpo America, but I had a few other random tips to share.

Don’t try to memorize booth numbers

When I made my spreadsheet last year, I wrote the booth number down for all the in-booth signings. After actually arriving at the convention, I realized that booth numbers are kind of pointless. You don’t need them to find the big publishers! All of the big name publisher booths (Random House, HarperCollins, Harlequin, Penguin, etc.) have huuuuge signs that practically go up to the ceiling! So you can see the sign for “Penguin” from practically across the room. There’s no need to know the booth number, because when you’re actually there, you won’t be looking at the teeny tiny booth number labels. You’ll be looking upwards at the huge banners with the publishers’ names.

Don’t spend hours trying to memorize the map/layout

Similarly, don’t spend hours looking over the map. You don’t need it! Those huge banners I talked about will guide you. It might be helpful to glance at the map once or twice to get the following:

  • Find the general location of the autographing area. Is it in the very back from when you walk in? Off to the left? That vague direction is all you need to know.
  • Get a vague idea of where your favourite publisher booths are. And when I say “vague”, I seriously mean vague. Like “walk in, and they’re kind of off to the left”. Or, “walk in, and they’re kind of straight ahead”.

The only thing you really need to know is: once I walk in, which direction should I turn in? From there, those big banners that reach up to the ceiling will guide you.

Prioritize & prepare to miss some signings

The more popular the author, the earlier you need to get in line. For example, Sarah Maas is signing Heir of Fire at 11:00am. If you want to have a chance of getting a copy, you need to be in line at like 10:00am. Any later and you’re most likely going to be at the very back of the line and you may not even get a copy!

But because of this, it means you probably won’t be able to make it to any signings in between 10am and 11am, so plan accordingly.

Don’t forget to eat.. and/or bring snacks

Last year it’s like I completely forgot that eating is required in life. I certainly didn’t factor that into my crazy BEA spreadsheet. I had entries for 7 hours straight with no breaks. I think I would have passed out or died of starvation had I not been able to much on Eileen’s cookies.

Eat a good breakfast beforehand, and at the very least, bring snacks with you that you can eat throughout the day. Even better, pencil in some time to take a break for lunch.

If you’re going to BEA, what are some of the authors/books that you can’t wait to see?

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I'm a 30-something California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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  1. I’m going to BEA with a friend on Saturday and though I’m thrilled to go, I’m a complete noob. We’re just hoping to get to one signing (she wants Jen Armintrout) and I want anyone who writes young adult.
    On that note, I love your business cards and I will get I touch with you if my book ever gets published for a website design!!!

  2. Those cards are so lovely! And great tips! I do have one question…not sure if you have any advice:) I’ll be commuting in daily on the train. How in the world should I handle/attempt going to any end of day events (Book blogger picnic/parties, etc)? I can’t change and I’ll have my suitcase with me….

    1. I’m not really sure because I don’t know New York that well. 🙁 You could at least bring a change of clothes in your suitcase if you want and just change in one of the bathrooms at BEA. As for your suitcase.. I don’t know. Maybe there’s a place in New York where you could store it for a few hours? I don’t know about NYC but there are a few places like that in England, just train stations and stuff where you can have your bag stored.

      Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful D:

    1. Most people don’t really know what they want other than:

      * Something whimsical
      * Something simple
      * A girl sitting on a book
      * Something with butterflies

      When people fill out my hire me form I do ask them to select styles they like, any colours they want, and examples of design/styles they like. That way I can at least feel like I have a starting point. But a lot of it is just me coming up with something that fits within vague parameters. 🙂

  3. Is it weird that sometimes, I’ll catch myself just scrolling up and down Jessie Marie Reads, ADORING all the things? If that’s weird, I’d have it no other way. Seriously, you’re just fantastic.

    In other news, your BEA tip is priceless. This year will be my first and I can already tell that food is dropping to the bottom of my priorities. But if I don’t heed that necessity, I’ll be dropping to the floor… unconscious. And I also have to resolve myself to the fact that I might not get ALL the books or opportunities with ALL the authors. Got to prioritize. : )

    Jessie Marie @ Jessie Marie Reads recently posted: Make Something Monday: Out of Eretz

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