Today is the last day of Book Expo America, or BEA for those in the know — or better yet — “Heaven on Earth” for English majors.
For three days in June every year all the major and minor publishing houses set up shop in New York City, host author signings and talks and run giveaways of their upcoming fall titles. It’s so fun to wander around the booths, check out all the famous names and faces, and of course get your hands on some swag!
This year people lined up for hours to get autographs from notable names like cookbook author Ina Garten, comedian Michael Ian Black and bestselling novelist Chris Bohjalian. Other cool sightings included Neil Young in conversation with Patti Smith, and “Sh*t Girls Say” creator Justin Halpern dressed in drag to build buzz around his upcoming book based on the popular Twitter feed.
BEA is primarily an opportunity for booksellers, librarians, agents and authors to get a sense of what publishers have in the pipeline for the next season. For those in the book industry (like us BBL editors), it’s a great chance to see what all the publishing houses are working on and get our hands on advance copies of hotly anticipated books.
At the Random House booth, people clamored for copies of Gillian Flynn’s smash hit Gone Girl, The Happiness Project writer Gretchen Rubin’s new book Happier at Home, and Justin Cronin’s hotly anticipated The Twelve, book 2 of The Passage trilogy.
The Expo is open to the public, so for all you bibliophiles out there, start planning your trip to NYC for next year!