I just got back from attending the Book Expo America convention in New York and WOW! What an eye opening experience.
It was completely overwhelming walking through the doors of the Javits Center and into the bowels of the business. Overwhelming and scary, when you see all these authors, publishers, agents, publicists, sellers, buyers, and wow, like I said it’s overwhelming.
How will I ever get to be on the inside looking out when there are so many insiders? Why would anyone ever be interested in reading what I have to write when there are so many proven authors out there already? It was almost like a punch in the gut walking through the halls, and yet at the same time it was pure adrenalin. Intense excitement and extreme hope. Because while I wondered how or who would ever want to publish my stuff, I kept reminding myself that every one of the authors here must have gone through the same wonderment at some stage.
It was great to be able to meander through the publishers’ booths picking up ARC’s at random and having the publishers almost beg you to take it, and read it, and blog about it, or spread the word about what a great novel it was. Talk about a surreal turn around. So I did just that: I idly stood at some booths and perused their offerings as I would in a bookstore. When I placed some back on the pile, I was asked, “Is there something wrong with it?” “What’s not appealing about it?” Others were immediately stuffed into my backpack and then squirrelled away into the box that Fed-Ex was packing for me on the upper level.
There were over six hundred author signings this year from John Green, Jerry Spinelli, and Spencer Quinn (Patty’s favorite author who she got to meet and chat at length with) to obscure Russian and Middle Eastern authors. Here's what really intrigued me: with all these wonderful authors mingling with the general public, touting their latest greatest tome, the longest lines were for the dude from HGTV’s Holmes on Homes. Yep, the big guy Mike Holmes was there signing. Talk about a war for the ages. It seemed like the biggest WWF tag team match in decades as the Librarians body slammed the Educators while the Agents snuck in the back door to be first in line for his autograph. His line literally snaked around about fifteen booths, which was great because I was able to get in a line of about ten people for a handshake and signed copy of Will Schwalbe’s ARC The End of Your Life Book Club.
|Patty Egan with author Spencer Quinn|
I probably won’t attend another B.E.A. until I’m sitting on the other side of the table, pen in hand, smiling and thanking the eager attendee who’s holding a copy of my latest novel for reading my stuff. (One can dream right?) But if you get the chance to attend, no matter if you are a reader or a writer, you should. It’s definitely an eye opener and a glimpse into the belly of the beast.