A Novelist’s Journey, Episode 9: Trade Show Jitters

LI head shot

With the BEA (Book Expo America/Javits Center, NYC) coming up really fast now (end of this month!) I feel a jumble of emotions: excitement, curiosity and a case of the nerves. I can mingle with the best of them but I have no idea what kind of reaction to expect from the exhibitors, the other authors and the buyers I’m going to meet there.

My hopes are that people will just keep asking about my book: what influenced me, how did I create the characters, what’s jazz got to do with it. Fascinated, they won’t be able to tear themselves away from me.

Something tells me that with so much going on, in a such a dense venue with millions of bodies milling about – so many authors, so many stories! – I’ll have to do something to stand out in the crowd.

Or do I? My publisher told me to have a handout ready; get some bookmarks printed up and give them out with a little spiel. Everyone will be stuffing their handouts into some BEA-logo’d canvas bag, only to sift through the mass of paperwork at some future date when there’s time to digest all this data about the new crop of books about to flood the market.

I posted a question on my writers’ LinkedIn groups about what to wear at such an event (comfy shoes! bright colors! bring a sweater in case the A/C’s up too high!) but far and away the best response was: a smile.

I’ll be wearing my thrilled-as-HELL-to-be-an-author-here-at-BEA smile. With my bulging canvas bag. Stay tuned!

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