BEA Quick Tips: Dos and Don’ts

BEA-tipsYou’ve got your first first-ever (maybe last ever) trip to Book Expo America coming up, and you are rather overwhelmed. You’re searching the internet rather desperately for tips and yet you’re STILL overwhelmed. Sound familiar?

That was me before my first trip to BEA. Now, going back for a second year, I thought I’d share a few Dos and Don’ts based off my experience there. I hope this helps those of you who are going for your first time… and – BEA veterans – feel free to pitch in your advice if you think I missed something out!


1. Use the BEA bus system!

Even if you aren’t staying at one of the BEA partner hotels, you can use the BEA buses to take you away from the industrial Javitts area and back into civilisation. This was my biggest lesson from last year – and learning it saved me from hours of New York heat exposure!

2. Bring snacks

If you are anything like me, you will be too busy to go to lunch (even if it is only downstairs!). Bring your own snacks with you or hit up the Starbucks on the expo floor.

3. Bring a carry on bag (and check it!)

When everything fizzles down (somewhat) during lunchtime, you can got put away your books in your carry-on bag and head back up for more!

4. Use the BEA app to plan your trip BEFOREHAND

The BEA app is filled with info about author signings, talks, books – you name it! It is the perfect way to plan what to prioritize (especially if it turns out one of your favourite authors is ticketed!)

5. Be a chatty Cathy

Even if you are visiting with people you know, make sure you chat to your fellow attendees. You never know who you might run into in line and you never know what great tip will be thrown your way!



1. Take the subway!

Jarvitts is a long, long walk for the nearest subway stop and there are no tall buildings provide shade! Be smart and use the BEA buses.

2. Rely on the internet for everything

There are a lot of events at BEA that you will ONLY find out about through fliers and the daily Publishers Weekly about goings on at the Expo (it’s also an awesome souvenir!).

3. Queue jump

Nothing will get you glared at more than jumping a queue – even accidentally! This is easily done at BEA, where the lines zig zag all over the place. So make sure to take a good look around for a line whenever you see an author signing. There may be a queue of hundreds around the corner!

4. Bring bags or books with you

It’s like bringing water to the ocean: 3000% unnecessary! You will be getting all the books and tote bags you will ever need, so there’s no need to be adding any extra weight!

5. Don’t be shady

BEA is an amazing experience because of the people, not because of the books. Be as nice and helpful as you can be – and you will be repaid with kindness. So do as Mother Ru asks:

Don't be throwin' no Shade - RuPaul


But above all, make sure to have fun at BEA 2014! I hope to see you there!!

The post-Google Reader era: here’s where I’m headed

So, unless you’ve been hiding under a blogger-rock, you’ve probably heard that Google Reader will be shutting its doors on July 1st, 2013. Needless to say, everyone is rather pissed.

But, the show must go on. And, to be honest, this shutdown doesn’t have me in a meltdown. There are a lot of Reader alternatives out there, if you know where to look! Here are a few suggestions for those of you still trying to decide:

My Feedly subscriptions, "magazine" style

My Feedly subscriptions, “magazine” style

Kick it old school: RSS feed readers

Back in the day (read: 2009), I used to use a great RSS manager called FeedDemon (read about its demise here). It was brilliant – like a bloggy newspaper. Then, Google Reader went out and bought them and, though they “kept” the original software, I ended up stuck in Google Reader somehow.

But now there are a bunch of new alternatives out there now: like Feedly and The Old Reader

Personally, I am liking the look of Feedly. I was already using it on my iphone, and have since discovered that its Google Chrome and Firefox versions are just as super shiny. It is a super sleek, customizable way to read your feeds, and gives you lots and lots of reading-style options. Do you like your blogs magazine style? Image heavy? Text only? Feedly gives you those options. If you are interested in migrating over to Feedly, click here for a few tips!

The Old Reader is also pretty nifty. You do have to do a bit more clicking in order to get your google reader feeds imported into it, but it isn’t all that hard. You just need to export/import your RSS subscriptions, although there is quite a queue at the moment as we all start rushing about trying to find something new to use. Still give it a shot! I’ve been playing around with it and really love how “in control” of my feeds I am.

Bloglovin' page for Dead Book Darling.

Bloglovin’ page for Dead Book Darling.


Go new school: Bloglovin’, pulse, Flipboard


For all you hipsters, there are a tonne-and-a-half of sites out there delivering that  Pinterest-style look. I am not, admittedly, a big fan of most of them… but whatever keeps you reading! Check out: Bloglovin’, pulse, and flipboard (only for iphones/Androids).
Bloglovin’ is my favourite of these services so far.  It is one of those sites that – up until now – had been primarily used by beauty and fashion bloggers. It is very, very visual. It’s sleek and shiny and, well, pretty much everything Google Reader wasn’t. That said, I am not its biggest fan. As you have to have an “account” to follow your favourite blogs and to include your own feed on the site*, I feel rather like I’ve joined the blogger version of facebook. I prefer my readers a bit less social, to be honest.

But who knows – maybe it will grow on me.

* I feel like I may be wrong about that… correct me if I am?

We’re all still here!

Don’t hate me, but I’m actually kinda looking forward to the end of Google Reader. I am hoping it will help wean people off of GFC and Reader, and on to niftier platforms. I, for one, will be using Feedly and The Old Reader (I am still playing the field a bit). Whichever you choose, never fear – all your favourite bloggers are still here!