There's one book event that I make sure to get to every year: Book Expo America.
My reasons are simple:
1. Special "Librarian" Pricing: 3 days of exhibits, author panels, signings and sessions for $104. Absolute steal. You can also get a 1 day pass for a lower rate. There are rates for book bloggers and sellers too! If you're not a book professional, you can still attend. On Saturday, they're offering a "Power Reader" day pass.
2. Editor's Book Buzz: My favorite session of the expo. A first look at what's coming in the fall. Witty banter and book talks from the editors. And sometimes, free ARCs of the recommended titles!
3. ARCs: The first 30 minutes of BEA is the worst 30 minutes, because greedy rude people push and shove and mob publisher booths to get copies of ARCs. They don't tend to care what books they are getting, they just grab. I want no part in that, so I usually take this time to scout out a booth where they are giving away a large sturdy tote bag and then seek out smaller/less frantic publisher booths where I can try to snag a copy of one of the ARCs on my "priority" list. Then, after the initial mob scene, I work my way around to specific booths looking for other books on my list. If a book isn't on my list (usually ~25 books make the cut) I decline to take it unless it a) sounds so amazing that I can't figure out how I missed putting it on my list or b) sounds like something that one of my students would absolutely love and I can picture exactly who that is.
4. School Library Journal's Day of Dialog*: This is actually my favorite part about BEA, but I put it last because it's not technically part of BEA. This day-long librarian-only event happens the day before BEA. It's a day filled with panels and authors and it's all focused on children's and YA lit. I love it. So much. I think the best part is the happy hour where you can talk to authors and other librarians and make plans for hypothetical school visits and just talk YALit while munching and sipping.
Just writing this post is getting me excited for all that is to come. If you haven't already, make sure to register!
* Registration for SLJ DoD hasn't opened yet, but if you go to the "Librarian" page on the BEA website, you can sign up to be notified when it does.
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