BEA, ALA. Have you ever been before? If you've been before, share your experiences; both pro & con. If you haven't gone before, do you participate in online events like Armchair BEA? Do you hope to go one day? Do you feel too intimidated to go? Are you jealous of the big book hauls and tweets during the events?
I have been to two big book related events that span over a few days. The first was RT – Romantic Times Book Lovers Convention. Lots of fantastic panels head up by authors followed by theme parties held at night and sprinkled with signings throughout the con and ending with a huge signing at the end. Lots of fun and I definitely recommend it for writers and aspiring writers. I am not a writer but I attended the con with a friend who wants to be an author and the whole thing was a blast. I enjoyed listening to authors not only talk about writing but also their books current and upcoming. The great thing about RT was that it very informative, you get a lot of books and free swag to take home, you mingle with authors at dinners and parties and get to ask them questions in the panels or for a bit at the signings. The con is that RT is $$$. I can’t exactly remember the cost but it was in the hundreds so if you are planning to attend except to shell out a good amount of dough, another con for me is that the location changes every year. The year I went it was in Ohio and the following year it was in California and a lot further away from me so I couldn’t go. But I think its well worth attending at least once; it’s a very fun atmosphere.
I attended BEA last year and it was amazing, it was hectic, busy, crowded and there was a LOT of waiting – standing in line, sitting in line. After the first day my feet were KILLING me and they hurt me for the rest of the week (I was pretty miserable about that but I sucked it up) but it was such a great experience. Do not go to BEA alone, you are going to need friends to help you get through the event to help you grab books, or save spots for you in line, it’s also great to have other booklovers to chat books and authors with. My book haul at BEA was very impressive and it was filled with more books that I actually wanted to read as opposed to RT which did have YA books but was mostly offering romance novels. BEA for me because I am (was) a blogger was free. The only thing I paid for were my travel expenses but the con didn’t cost me a dime.
I want to go to BEA again and was planning on going this year but I ended up in a reading rut and blogging rut and although I wanted to go to NY and meet up with some bloggers I didn’t feel right going and grabbing books I wouldn’t read. Also I doubted I’d be able to get in for free again with the lack of updates on my blog xD.