Book Expo America and the Book Blogger Convention are going to be wonderful. It is going to be FABULOUS to see EVERYBODY and we will probably all explode from HAPPINESS by the time that the week is out. So now that I have stated the obvious, enough with the introductions, and on to being in the know.
Don’t be shy. You just think most people don’t know you or your blog, but I am going to go out on a limb and say that you are being modest and a bit paranoid. It’s okay. I thought the same exact thing! People whom I never thought knew boo about my blog gave me warm handshakes and hugs and knew my blog’s name even if they had no idea what I looked like or that my name was Nicole. And they were always thrilled to see me, or hid it very well if they weren’t! Between prior blog posts, tweeting and listening in on who was planning to be there I had an idea of whom I could expect to meet. It will be the same for you! Of course not everyone will know who you are, but we ignore pesky little facts like that, and welcome you anyway.
- Be someone else. You thought your name was Jane Public, but you will quickly become Jane from That Blog About
Books. While we know who you are (see #1), sometimes we don’t pay as much attention to what we should be calling you. Don’t worry, we love you anyway! It was very weird for me to introduce myself as Nicole from Linus’s Blanket but by the end of the week I was as comfortable with that as I am with my given name. We adapt! I suspect I will be answering to or offering my Twitter handle as a means of identifying myself as well this year, which will increase the hilarity as we all try to sort out our identities while meeting new people. Trish from Hey Lady Whatcha’ Readin’? came over and introduced herself to me after someone told her that I was Linus’s Blanket. Hilarious.
- Plan ahead. I was very guilty of not doing this last year. I’m from New York, so it was very easy for me to not think about anything before the actual start of the conference. I just showed up and wandered around. Thankfully I had Lenore from Presenting Lenore to take me in hand, tell me where to be and get me some autographs and all the hottest ARCs. If she makes it out this year, I definitely plan on having her in my arsenal of valuable resources. You can’t have her (insert *neener, neener, neener* here) but definitely make the BEA and Blogger Con websites your friend. Trust me, there will be way too much to see and do so you will want to study the schedules and maps ahead of time to make sure you are where you want to be. Same thing with people you want to meet, wine and dine. Make a plan. You can always throw it the window if something comes up, but at least start with one.
- Be comfortable. Everyone has said something about comfort, yet not one of us can say it enough. Wear your comfy shoes. Take this as a command from God or whatever deity or idol you swear by and worship. This is not the time to be cute! Invest in a pair of comfortable walking shoes. Know before hand that they are indeed comfortable. This is not the time to break in new shoes that you thought were comfortable in the store. Seriously, you are going to be on your feet for the better part of three days walking the lengths of a massive convention center. Have water to drink, have a snack, business cards and extra batteries for your camera.
- Splurge. There should be at least one night or one activity where you go all out an spend more than you normally would spend. Hopefully you will come here and visit me again, but if you think this might be your only chance for a while in the big city, make sure you do it up in whatever way that you can. If you usually do pizza, treat yourself to a great sandwich. I recently went to Katz’s Deli and their pastrami sandwiches, while pricey at 15 bucks, were pretty good and along with a side of tasty fries fed me and three friends. Jennifer from Book Club Girl had a terrific suggestion yesterday about scoring inexpensive Broadway tickets, and museums, galleries, fine dining and nightlife are abundant. Do it up!
- Don’t be afraid to leave Times Square and Midtown Manhattan. (see #5 and Katz’s Deli, which is in the East Village) They can be pretty great. But believe me it’s even greater outside of those boundaries.
- Ask questions of everybody(if you have them). New Yorkers are much friendlier and nosier than we are given credit for being. I have had people eavesdrop and interrupt me when I was giving directions. I guess we just really want to help.
For even more great tips check out Jacqueline’s post at SmallPressWorld.com.
Have fun! And drop me a line if you need suggestions or advice about where to go and what to do in the city. Especially what to eat! I’ll have a few posts like that in the future too so look out for them.