Yesterday I was reading Brian Marggraf’s blog post on the guerrilla tactics he intends to use at the upcoming BEA and came away with two impressions: 1) Brian is kind of awesome and 2) I need to be more like Brian.
If you don’t know, BEA is the crazy huge Book Expo of America. My friend, Jess, who attended it with her Indy press a few times likened it to “being at a rave. You saw a bunch of pretty shiny things and can’t remember any of it.”
BEA is almost always held in a major city over four days in late May and/or early June and since 2009, has been in New York City at the Jacob Javits Center. Nearly all significant book publishers in the United States, and many from abroad, have booths at BEA, and use the fair as an opportunity to showcase upcoming titles, sell current books, socialize, and sell and buy subsidiary and international rights. You’ll also find authors, librarians, and buyers for book retailers at BEA.*
It’s basically a book lallapalooza and if you’ve got an extra $2000 sitting around to cop yourself a 5’x8′ booth, you should be there. Sadly, after paying for Dash’s summer camp, I am officially broke.
2014 BEA is not happening for this bitch.
Nor is it happening for Mr. Marggraf. At least not in the traditional sense. He won’t be inside, ensconced in a booth, selling his books. Instead, he’s printed a 1000 copies of his novel and will be outside, in the parking lot, handing out copies to people as they enter the Javitz Center, making his work one of the first they see.
Goddamn, that’s brilliant.
I wish I’d thought of it because it would be the perfect way to get The Girl and The Boy into people’s hands. But since it’s totally not my personality to get up in folks’ face about my work, there’s really no way I would have ever thought to do something quite so (what feels to me) aggressive.
But now that the idea has been planted, I’m thinking this might be the way to tackle the Brooklyn Book Fair and save the $500 table fee.
So if come September, you see me on the outskirts of Borough Hall with a ton of copies of The Girl and The Boy, it means I decided to get a little ballsy with my selling tactics for a change.
Stop by and holler at a girl.
*Thank you to the lovely folks at Wikipedia who provided all this handy-dandy info on BEA