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Queries and Agents => Literary Agents => Topic started by: AlythiaB on May 27, 2015, 02:47:28 PM

Title: Anyone know why agents/publishing people complain about BEA?
Post by: AlythiaB on May 27, 2015, 02:47:28 PM
Hey guys,

So I'm getting the impression that publishing people aren't the biggest fans of BEA, or at least there's a lot of complaining. Some have tweeted about it being a 'captivity at javits center' event. One even claimed he was probably the only one in publishing who enjoyed it.

Anyone know why? Is it just all the work that goes into it, but they enjoy it later? Is it just overdone? Why would the publishing industry seem opposed (yet strong-armed) into an event for publishing? I'm sincerely not trying to be snarky. I'm just a little confused. I've also never attended. Maybe it's great once and only once? Thoughts?
Title: Re: Anyone know why agents/publishing people complain about BEA?
Post by: QuietWriter on May 27, 2015, 03:41:46 PM
It's an absolute zoo, according to people I know who've attended. They have pretty much no internet access, crowded bathrooms, it's hot, people coming up to you to make deals or give offers on the floor...it can be exhausting.
Title: Re: Anyone know why agents/publishing people complain about BEA?
Post by: AlythiaB on May 27, 2015, 04:13:06 PM
It's an absolute zoo, according to people I know who've attended. They have pretty much no internet access, crowded bathrooms, it's hot, people coming up to you to make deals or give offers on the floor...it can be exhausting.

Makes sense. This was kinda what I figured. I wonder why people go then. There are probably many other (smaller scale) events to network. Interesting.
Title: Re: Anyone know why agents/publishing people complain about BEA?
Post by: munley on May 27, 2015, 09:30:15 PM
No idea what BEA is.
Title: Re: Anyone know why agents/publishing people complain about BEA?
Post by: InvisibleInk on May 28, 2015, 08:32:56 AM
Jessica Sinsheimer and Roseanne Wells talked about it on the last PubTalkTv (which if you don't watch, you should!).  Apparently, yes, it's crazy and exhausting. But there's also a lot of networking and events they'd miss out on if they didn't go. So it's a mix of dread and not wanting to be the only one who missed all the fabulous opportunities.
Title: Re: Anyone know why agents/publishing people complain about BEA?
Post by: QuietWriter on May 28, 2015, 09:18:26 AM
Yeah, for as much of a headache as it can be, you kind of have to go if you're an industry professional. You get to see what books publishers are launching and excited about. It's a chance to get ARCs and see editors and other various colleagues in person. Film and other subrights people will be there to scope out what's hot, but you as an agent can stay in the forefront of their mind by going, "Hey, John Hollywood, let's grab a drink later tonight. I've got this great project you might be interested in." One of my friend's books that had actually been pulled from being subbed to American publishers had her book receive an offer while on the floor of BEA. A British publisher who didn't get the memo about the pulled sub ran into our mutual agent and said, "We want this book. Let's talk." That book came out yesterday and has received starred reviews. So amazing things do happen at BEA.
Title: Re: Anyone know why agents/publishing people complain about BEA?
Post by: Falthor on May 28, 2015, 10:42:21 AM
BEA = BookExpo America
Title: Re: Anyone know why agents/publishing people complain about BEA?
Post by: Doggy Teng on May 28, 2015, 12:52:09 PM
No idea what BEA is.
I didn't know what it was either. ;D  I had to go look it up . . .

BEA = BookExpo America
Thanks for clarifying that for anyone else who might not be familiar with it! :)
Title: Re: Anyone know why agents/publishing people complain about BEA?
Post by: AlythiaB on May 28, 2015, 01:20:11 PM
You guys make great points! Thanks for sharing! I'd love to go to an event like this one in the future.
Title: Re: Anyone know why agents/publishing people complain about BEA?
Post by: munley on May 28, 2015, 02:21:34 PM
BEA = BookExpo America

Thanks.
Title: Re: Anyone know why agents/publishing people complain about BEA?
Post by: Falthor on May 28, 2015, 02:32:34 PM
i think ti's funny that the Canadian knows what it is...  :-)

not sure I'd like to go to something like this or not.  the networking would be hampered by how many people are cramming in...  if you get what I mean.
Title: Re: Anyone know why agents/publishing people complain about BEA?
Post by: KimE on May 28, 2015, 03:03:58 PM
I've wanted to go to but I've never been clear whether authors are welcome to come on their own or whether you have to be invited or be an agent/publisher to attend
Title: Re: Anyone know why agents/publishing people complain about BEA?
Post by: Sarah Ahiers (Falen) on May 28, 2015, 03:20:34 PM
I've wanted to go to but I've never been clear whether authors are welcome to come on their own or whether you have to be invited or be an agent/publisher to attend

oh no, anyone can go. I've always wanted to go just for all the free books and stuff (and I've always secretly wanted to do a signing there)
Title: Re: Anyone know why agents/publishing people complain about BEA?
Post by: Falthor on May 28, 2015, 03:44:03 PM
well, I'll be signing book tonight at my local Chapters...  at least until mall security kicks me out...   :-)
Title: Re: Anyone know why agents/publishing people complain about BEA?
Post by: gckatz on May 28, 2015, 03:55:18 PM
It seems like it would be loads of fun if it was low-commitment for you, like if you were an author and just had to sit at a table and sign/talk about your book, or if you just went as a reader to get freebies and stuff. (Assuming you don't mind crowds.)

But if you were actually there to work and had things you needed to get done, that's high pressure. Like if you're an agent with a book that you've been having trouble selling and this is your last good opportunity to pitch it, it would be super stressful and you wouldn't have any chance to relax and enjoy the fun aspects of it.
Title: Re: Anyone know why agents/publishing people complain about BEA?
Post by: Tabris on May 28, 2015, 07:11:31 PM
Like if you're an agent with a book that you've been having trouble selling and this is your last good opportunity to pitch it, it would be super stressful and you wouldn't have any chance to relax and enjoy the fun aspects of it.

Do agents actually pitch books at BEA?
Title: Re: Anyone know why agents/publishing people complain about BEA?
Post by: gckatz on May 28, 2015, 07:32:12 PM
How would I know? I've never gone.
Title: Re: Anyone know why agents/publishing people complain about BEA?
Post by: Tabris on May 28, 2015, 07:51:46 PM
How would I know? I've never gone.

Oh, okay, you're just speculating. It sounded as if this was a standard practice.
Title: Re: Anyone know why agents/publishing people complain about BEA?
Post by: Tabris on May 28, 2015, 07:55:42 PM
Ah, apparently it is: http://carlywatters.com/2012/05/31/book-expo-america-12/  This is from three years ago, but she had 40 meetings set up over 4 days.
Title: Re: Anyone know why agents/publishing people complain about BEA?
Post by: Sarah Ahiers (Falen) on May 29, 2015, 07:57:04 AM
Yeah there's definite pitching that happens at BEA
Title: Re: Anyone know why agents/publishing people complain about BEA?
Post by: Fleetwood75 on June 23, 2015, 02:49:09 PM
I've only been once, but for a writer it was a blast! You do a signing, a little press, meet a bunch of authors you've long admired, and then go to some really fun parties. For everyone else, I'm sure those days feel like they are never-ending. All the support staff looked completely stressed. The editors were trying to keep their authors happy (I know it's hard to believe, but some people can be divas!) while squeezing in a million meetings. All the big-wigs were there, looking over everyone's shoulder. It's super crowded and folks waiting in line can get a little squirrelly. After running around all day they've got to plaster on some smiles and work their way through cocktail meet-and-greets. Then, they have to get up the next morning and do it all over again. They all looked so exhausted.

(And yeah, there's a lot of pitching going on. I have a friend who sold over a lunchtime pitch meeting at BEA!)
Title: Re: Anyone know why agents/publishing people complain about BEA?
Post by: MaryL on June 24, 2015, 12:33:21 AM
There are also foreign rights sales going on... not on the scale of Frankfurt, but still occurring. Publishers set up booths and authors are sometimes invited to sign. It varies by publisher. It's truly a trade show. This last one had a strange appearance by a Chinese publisher that garnered some attention. I'm sure if you google Chinese publisher BEA, it will pop up.

I don't go because I'm claustrophobic. BEA is pretty intense. I do ALA (Lots of librarians!), RT, RWA and sometimes TLA. I have some blogger friends who love BEA. It's a real crush. I'm sure it's taxing on the publishers and agents.
Title: Re: Anyone know why agents/publishing people complain about BEA?
Post by: paddler on June 24, 2015, 03:06:16 PM
Apparently there was a format change at BEA last year. The era of tons of free books is over. Janet Reid made a comment that the talk this year by New York Agents was that it would not be worth it to go to the one in Chicago next year.
Title: Re: Anyone know why agents/publishing people complain about BEA?
Post by: AlythiaB on June 26, 2015, 09:15:32 PM
Oh, you guys! The chaos sounds like so much fun! I still wanna go :D
Title: Re: Anyone know why agents/publishing people complain about BEA?
Post by: maryj59 on July 07, 2015, 04:59:54 PM
I've gone - as a librarian, not as a writer - for the last three years. The best thing we did (my sister and fellow librarian got me into this) was the booksellers' speed dating luncheon and the author tea. It's got to be exhausting for the authors, but we met Jesse Andrews and Kevin Henkes, among others, and Kevin Henkes showed us the ENITRE PROCESS of creating and revising one of his picture books. It was beyond awesome! :) And, both this year and last, we learned about books that the kids in our libraries would love. And we got lots of free copies.

I was feeling sad that I couldn't go to Chicago, but we'd have to do it on our own time and money, and I don't see that happening. If anyone is in the Chicago area, I really would advise it.

One thing: If you have a blog, peoples' eyes light up. I've really got to redo my business cards to emphasize that I'm a blogger as well as a writer and librarian. So - if you go, and you blog at all, be sure to let people know! Whether there will be as many ARCS I don't know, but I know publishers and authors are always looking for book reviews!
Title: Re: Anyone know why agents/publishing people complain about BEA?
Post by: Pandean on July 07, 2015, 05:03:37 PM
-skimming and saw the word Chicago- what's in Chicago I live in Chicago.
Title: Re: Anyone know why agents/publishing people complain about BEA?
Post by: Sarah Ahiers (Falen) on July 07, 2015, 05:20:56 PM
BEA next year!

You should definitely go, since you're right there! Free books. FREE BOOKS!
Title: Re: Anyone know why agents/publishing people complain about BEA?
Post by: Pandean on July 07, 2015, 05:23:00 PM
Oooh. That's a good idea. I'll probably have my drivers license and stuff too!