BEA an insider schmooze fest?

I woke up this morning to quite an interesting conversation happening on Twitter. I am reading that the Book Expo America and those who go there are going for a shmooze fest. They are going only for the free ARC’s. They are going because the only people who read their blog are publishing folks.

I am going to BEA this year. I do not know much about the free books. I am going to meet other bloggers and share ideas on blogging. To meet the publishers I have been working with this year.

I do tend to agree that publishers need to change their vetting systems for their own good. They need to know how the person does on social media and the hits the site has. Technorati, Alexa, and Google Page Rank are out of date. Even Google says do not pay attention to PR. Has this person amassed some kind of following that doesn’t only include other bloggers?

@bsandusky Let’s all be honest here: #BEA is an industry schmooze-fest. That is all.

I will be tweeting from BEA and you all know that honesty spews from my fingers even when it shouldn’t. So lets see how I find it. What are your opinions? Have you been? How do you perceive it?

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13 Responses so far

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    Well, if I was going only for the free books, it would cost me a $1000 to get there in the first place. So while the books are a great perk that’s not what is getting there. It’s the connections, the meeting of the minds, etc. that will hold the most value for me personally.

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    Agreed there is no way I would go there for free books. I mean it’s not like you can carry a lot of stuff home with new luggage rules.

    I am going for the same reasons as you, so does that mean we are going to have a schmooze-fest?

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    Isn’t that one of the points of going to an event like this? To talk to people face to face meet others and solidify connections that you have already made and gather relevant information.

    You can call it “schmoozing” and try to cheapen it but networking does have it’s value and like Natasha says with the investment that most will have to put in to attend, it’s hardly free. The books were a bit overwhelming after awhile, but I don’t regret a single moment spent with the people I met.

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    Agreed I have been to several conferences not book related and it is fun. Networking to better thyself.

  5. Gravatar

    This’ll be my third BEA.

    My first BEA (in 2007) I attended quite by accident. I forget how I found out about it, but I was like–I want to go! I wasn’t blogging then, at least I was only blogging on a personal level, and all I really saw was ‘BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS’ and on a lesser scale ‘AUTHORS’ (you have to understand until that point I had only met two authors–Anne McCaffrey and Maria V. Snyder. They were still something of a new experience that I could go up to them and talk to them and fangirl on them and not be considered a freak.). I didn’t know anything about book bloggers. About publishers or networking or even ARC’s. I did go and network with some children’s publishers (I was working at a daycare center then) and received catalogues and the like to see what the center should order, but that’s about it. The free books and ARC’s? Total surprise to me.

    My second BEA (in 2009) was more of a learning ground for me as a blogger. Originally my intent was to go for all 3 days, go to panels, network with publishers, all sorts of stuff. Except I ran out of money, could only afford to visit the city for one day and was still ‘new’ to the blogging world and scared witless of people. I was in the audience for the blogger panel and in complete AWE of the folks up there. I did achieve several goals however–I managed my time better, so I was able to talk to smaller presses and meet with publicists, plus I was able to get almost all the autographs and meet the authors I wanted to meet that year.

    I didn’t meet any bloggers though, too scared to go up to them or to seek them out.

    THIS YEAR THOUGH I have a plan. I get to spend all 3 days there, I’m going to the Teen Author Carnival AND the BloggerCon, I will have business cards, I will look the part of a business casual AND I have many bloggers I want to meet! I want to meet with publishers and get interviews with authors and network. Technically, this counts as schmoozing–but that’s what being out in the world and socializing is all about. Heck that’s what any Conference or Convention is about–making connections, gaining allies and learning how to be a better whatever you are there for.

  6. Gravatar

    I haven’t been the BEA, but I think these types of events are always a little “schmoozy” at the very least. But so what? As long as you have fun and meet people, it’s all good.

  7. Gravatar

    Hi. This is going to be my first time to both the Book Expo and the Blogger convention. I have only been lit-blogging since dec’09, but while I am new to this, I am an old hat when it comes to talking the lit talk. Ive been moderating TNBBC on goodreads since I created it back in ’07.

    I am really excited about attending this. I will be going on the two author days (26/27th) and will try to map out who I want to see to make the most of what time I have.

    I created business cards, and am excited to meet some of the authors, publishers, and literary agents I have been working with.

    I am certainly NOT in it for the free books, although that is a wonderful perk… but more for the social networking aspect. I have alot to learn when it comes to blogging and expanding my readership, and I look forward to gaining knowledge on that front!

  8. Gravatar

    i will be at the event again this year. Last year, I was intimidated by all the booths and people, but this year, I’m better prepared to make the most of it and to learn more about the industry, etc.

    Free books are hardly a reason to spend $1000 or more on hotel and airfare, etc. Not enough of an incentive, but since I write for a day job and would rather make connections in the book publishing world to move myself out of my current industry, this is the event to do it.

    I want to meet more bloggers, share secrets, and learn…That’s my main motivation…and because I get to see more of NYC this time around.

  9. Gravatar

    This year will be the second time I’ve attended BEA. For me, it’s never been about the free books. I had a blast meeting and hanging out with my blog buddies, meeting the publicists I’ve worked with, meeting the authors whose books I’ve enjoyed, and learning more about the workings of the publishing industry. I don’t think anyone would pay $1,000-plus for free books. That would be crazy.

  10. Gravatar

    Sounds like we are all going for the same reasons. Relationship building. I like what Nicole said no need to cheapen it. Can’t wait to see you all!

  11. Gravatar

    I went to BEA last year and got to meet fellow book bloggers and people in the publishing industry. ARC’s were nice, although I only took the ones I intended to read. For me, it was a way to connect a face to the names that I have been e-mailing and blogging with for years.

  12. Gravatar

    BEA isn’t unique from every industry event. There is always a certain degree of “schmoozing” going on. But I’d hesitate to say that it is the only reason to go and lets not even start on the free book thing. I’m sure most know that I’m attending this year and I’m super excited to go and meet up with some great bloggers I’ve already met in person and am looking forward to meeting people I’ve been “schmoozing” with online (bloggers and publicists and industry types alike).

    I’ll be there, I’ll be proud to be there, I’ll be picking up some free books that interest me, I’ll be meeting new people and I’ll be educating myself on interesting tips and tricks for blogging. If that’s offensive then let me offend away!

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