BEA 2007- To the Book Expo, and Back Again

The planets aligned and Eric and I were able to go to the BEA (Book Expo America) in NYC for a day.
We left on Friday afternoon, for the usually 3-hr. ride into the city. It took about 4 and a half hours this time because of traffic. Oh, well, you can never bet on what the ride will be like.

We walked down to the Landmark Tavern, where Fuse 8 had mentioned a Kid Lit Drink Nite. I haven’t been to the Landmark in a long time, so I thought it would be fun to check it out again. Here are some interesting scenes on the way there:


That bathtub window “decor” is about the creepiest thing I’ve seen in a while! But the diner sign was neat. There used to be a good diner between the Javits and the Landmark called, interestingly enough, The Good Diner. It’s a Starbucks now- wah!!

Here’s Eric outside the Landmark:


We were sort of late getting there, but saw the always effervescent and slightly wacky Meghan McCarthy and met Jeannine Garsee, a new YA author who’s book Before, After, and Somebody in Between is coming out in 2 weeks. Jeannine is also a full-time nurse, which I thought was fascinating. It seems so different, and mentally taxing, from writing! My editor was surprisingly there, too!
We had a good dinner while there, and 2, count ’em 2, cranberry juices because it was party time, oh yeah!

Here’s the view from our hotel that night:


We coulda had McDonald’s, DVDs, OR drugs at any time, they were all available 24 hours a day!
I woke up at 3:15, and yes! The shops were still open! So weird compared to the frog noise I’m used to at night.

Now, I have been to NYC many a time for shows. I have been to the Javits Center for the Toy Fair, Gift Fair, and Stationery Show lots of times.
But I have NEVER seen any show like this! It looks unassuming on the outside:


But look out, inside! This is the multi-tiered lobby:


Lots of people milling around, wondering where to go (like us) or devising a plan of attack (which seems impossible).
It’s hot in here, the Greenhouse Effect on a somewhat smaller scale. I think this adds to the confusion of the experience.
It also adds to what I like to call JCH, or Javits Center Headache, which I get every time upon walking in here. Is it the heat? The air? The complete sensory overload? I’m not sure, but I don’t leave home without Tylenol.

But, oh! The wonders within! Picture hundreds and hundreds of people handing you free books, often times signing them on the spot. Not just books, but bookbags, bookmarks, cds, catalogs, pins, magnets, all kinds of promotional things.


There were probably about 50 people signing books at any given time (probably more, now that I think of it). The “official” lines looked something like this:


Yup, there were a lot of famous people there, all with books coming out. There’s Tiki Barber signing, but the lines were very long for some people, and short for others- a real mixed bag of participants! I did manage to get a lot of signed books, but a sort of random assortment based on where we were at the time, and who was doing them at the time.
I have to say, I do like the totally random nature of this expo!
It is impossible to do everything you think you want to do here, but everywhere you go is interesting and unexpected.


No, we didn’t expect to see Dora the Explorer and Diego, but I am not the type to miss a chance at posing with a giant-headed cartoon character.
Speaking of which, we met Phil Yeh, too (hehehe):


Phil is a very fun, very chatty cartoonist who’s been making good, positive comic books for a looong time. He’s got a lot of ideas about spreading literacy and generally hopeful messages to kids to counterattack the commercial assault they are hit with every day.
Yay- I’m all for that, big time.
Check out his Winged Tiger website for lots of great comic book options for kids.

Here’s another unexpected sight:


Nope, we didn’t expect to see twin retired teachers who wrote abook about The Teacher Who Would Not Retire. Here are the fun Sustrin Twins and their book, which they signed to our twins!

Here’s the very well-regarded (in our house) author Valerie Tripp, writer of the American Girl “Molly” series, amongst many other AG books. We’ve got ’em all!


Also at the AG booth was Megan McDonald, who has written the new books for the not-released-yet 70’s doll, Julie Albright.


Megan also writes the Judy Moody series, so this was a pretty big occurence according for our girls.
I also happen to be excited about the 1974 doll, I just might need that one myself- if only for the miniature bell-bottoms and ponchos!
Ah, sweet childhood.
I am not sure how I feel about 1974 being referred to as “historical”, though. Does that make me an antique? Hehe.
It’s actually brilliant. They will capture the imagination of not only all the girls out there, but the MOMS.

Shout out to my awesome Critique Group!! Looky what I found:


Here’s the CarolRhoda/Lerner Books booth, with both Joe’s and Anne’s books on display. I didn’t even notice the poster until I saw this picture, Joe! Anne’s books just so happen to have about 5 different award bookmarks sticking out of them!

And there’s Becky’s book, Morris and Buddy, in the Albert Whitman booth! It’s the first time I have seen the real book, and it’s a beautiful thing!

It was really fun seeing friends’ books out there…just rounding a corner, and going OH!! I know that book!
Also seen at the Expo:


Many people exercising their rights to secure rights!
Not quite sure what kinda deals were going down in there, since we didn’t attempt to go in.


I was feeling a bit MAD by the end of the show, in the insane sense.
As fun as it is, I couldn’t wait to get out of there.
How do people do THREE DAYS of this??
If you go to the Book Expo, you will end up like this:


That was a pretty nasty sidewalk, but I couldn’t stand up for one more second with the 100-lb. bags on my shoulders.
The pretzel guy in front of me was laughing, but I didn’t care.
I would definitely do it again, though!

12 comments on “BEA 2007- To the Book Expo, and Back Again

  • on Sunday, June 3, 2007 at 2:30 pm, sharon holm said:

    very cool! Thanks for sharing all of it with us! 1974-antique? You are still a kid! I graduated high school in 1974!! I tend to get sensory over load at the Javitts, went to the surtex show the week before.That was enough,also no more room at this house for more books….right

  • on Sunday, June 3, 2007 at 3:00 pm, Laraine said:

    Way too cool, Liz! I think you were very brave tackling parcels that look (in the picture anyay) bigger than you are. But then the photographer did that deliberately didn’t he, just to get our sympathy? πŸ˜‰ Enjoy the books. You deserve to. πŸ™‚

  • on Sunday, June 3, 2007 at 3:56 pm, John Nez said:

    There you go… I was waiting for that final snapshot that showed you exhausted and loaded down with 50 lbs of junk. I see you did it one better by collapsing on the sidewalk!

    I guess Albert Whitman didn’t have MY book on display! Hurmphhh!



  • on Sunday, June 3, 2007 at 4:05 pm, Liz said:

    Sharon- I happen to think 1974 was very recent! American Girl decided to use it as a “historical” timeframe for the new doll- go figure!

    Laraine- I think my husband just wanted to laugh at me, too- just like the pretzel guy!

    John- it may have been there- I admit to being bleary-eyed and missing LOTS of things!

  • on Sunday, June 3, 2007 at 6:06 pm, Sandra Alonzo said:


    Great event! And what a great blog. Seeing it here kind of makes me glad that I’m seeing it HERE! The whole thing looks a little overwhelming (but fun.)


  • on Sunday, June 3, 2007 at 6:31 pm, Nancy White Cassidy said:

    I’m so jealous! I’ve been to BEA in L.A. and in NYC (two years ago), and it’s such a great event. But a hint for whomever wants to go: BRING A SUITCASE! One on wheels (I use the size that you can bring on board an airplane). You check the suitcase in the baggage area, and bring your books/catalogues/brochures every so often to the bag you checked and dump them in. And before you leave, go to a common area, go through everything you collected and get rid of whatever it is you’ll never use before you leave.

    When I went to the L.A. BEA, I bought a shipping box in the UPS section and had everything shipped home. A whole lot easier on your shoulders and back!

  • on Sunday, June 3, 2007 at 7:06 pm, Liz said:

    Very good strategies, Nancy! I did see a LOT of carry-on type bags at the checked bag zone…they obviously knew how to do this show- not like us fools!

  • on Sunday, June 3, 2007 at 10:29 pm, Pamela Ross said:

    This was a great read. Thanks for sharing this in-depth and witty re-cap of your BEA-tiful Day. ;}

    I have been to Javits for the Stationery Show (fun, networking) and for the NY Bar Exam (not fun, brain crushing). ;> I will make sure I get to the 2009 NYC BEA. I am so sorry I missed it this time around. Sounds like a terrific time was had by all.

    -Pamela Ross
    (followed your link from the NE SCBWI list; didn’t we just meet again at the Nashua conference?)

  • on Monday, June 4, 2007 at 8:49 am, Laurel Snyder said:

    Oh, I am SOOOOOOOOOOOO jealous. I wanted to plan a visit to NY around this, and instead I’m having a baby in 3 weeks. Which is fun, but does NOT come with loads of awesome free books



  • on Monday, June 4, 2007 at 8:58 am, Liz said:

    Hmm, no free books, Laurel- but, as I recall, usually some free formula and diapers from the hospital! You should go to BEA next year and get 50 pounds of baby/toddler books- best wishes for an easy birth!

  • on Monday, June 4, 2007 at 3:29 pm, gail said:

    Great pictures! Thanks for letting us join you on your adventure. How did you carry that many books! My feet and hands hurt just thinking about it. Looks like a great time. I can’t imagine that many books in one place.


  • on Friday, June 15, 2007 at 11:41 am, Jennifer Hirsch said:

    Hi Liz–I’m the editor on the new Julie (1974) series at AG, and I remember you coming through the author signing line (I was sitting next to Valerie & Megan prepping the books for signing πŸ™‚ Great blog & pics! I’m sharing it with my husband, who wished he could be at BEA too. I also LOVE your illustration of the frog & snake sale–just adorable.
    It was eye-opening treating the 1970s as history. I grew up then so it seems awfully recent to me, but I realized when writing the Looking Backs that it’s actually a very important chapter in our country’s history–one that’s still having a big impact on our society today. Hopefully, this will come through in the Julie books.

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