As a new book author, I was in for a pleasant surprise when I stepped through the doors of the Jacob Javits Center to attend the 2011 Book Expo America (BEA), held on May 24 to 26. This exciting event was filled to the brim with book publishers, book sellers, authors, librarians, agents, and people interested in learning about the newest books from recently published or future published authors. Thousands attended the event, and attendees were not only from New York, they came from cities across the nation and countries around the globe.
While I was a little apprehensive in the beginning, I found that the first day was a learning curve, and a time to get acclimated to my surroundings. The Jacob Javits Center seemed like a giant maze and a little hard to navigate at first. By the second day, I knew my way around just as if I had worked there for years. It felt good to answer questions from passersby who looked as lost as I was on the first day.
Having the opportunity to speak to publishers and other authors during the three days of BEA was invaluable. This was a great learning experience for new authors and even for veteran authors with second, third and fourth books.
The most exciting part of the whole experience occured on the third and last day-when I had the opportunity to sign my books in my publisher’s booth (Legwork Team Publishing) and at the autographing area. As a new author, I was sure that I’d come home with many books. After all, I was a new author, and who really knew about my book anyway? When my time came to autograph, there was already a long line of people waiting to talk to me and have their books signed. That was encouraging! For the entire hour allotted for signing, there was a steady stream of people on my line, which continued to the end. The hour went by too quickly, and it was so much fun! Not to mention that I met many interesting people and made many wonderful contacts. That’s always good.
I look forward to next year’s BEA. It’s an event not to be missed!