Since no one has written about BEA yet, I thought I would be the trailblazer on this one.
My favorite thing about BEA (Besides, obviously the free totebags and galleys, oh, and also chocolate. There’s so much chocolate.), are the author signings. Some are celebrities, yes, and others are big name authors who already have a huge fan base, but there are also a large percentage of first time authors on the schedule, sitting at their respective booths with a big stack of galleys, a pen and a line of eager readers waiting for their copy.
Both the publishing industry and the readers it caters to are still excited about new talent—a good story and great writing can still beat out the name on the cover. What other chance will a reader have to chat, however briefly, with an author whose work they love, or whose story they identify with? Having that personal connection with the author of a book can enrich the reading experience, even if your conversation consisted solely of a discussion of your mutual love of glitter nail polish, which you both happened to be wearing. Yes, this was an actual conversation I had with an author at a book signing. And yes, it was great and yes, I enjoyed her book more for it.
Where in normal circumstances, you have to go out of your way to one bookstore to see one author and get one book signed, at BEA there are dozens of authors and dozens of books and everyone is equally as excited (if not more, in some cases—I’m looking at you, Chris Colfer fans) about the prospect of meeting multiple authors as you are.
What’s your greatest book signing/author meeting story? Did you find it changed your perception of the book at all? How great is glitter nail polish?