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Do not pay a third party to "promote" your book at BEA. It's like flushing money down the toilet.
This advice is for self-published authors, independent authors, and possibly traditionally published authors who seek to hire assistance in the marketing and promotion of their books. Do not pay to ha...
Lorri Hopping's profile photoJane Friedman's profile photoLynette Young's profile photoLiz Isaacs (Liz Who Motivates)'s profile photo
I'm curious if you think indie authors are wasting their time even attending? Would they attend 'hoping' to get picked up by a larger publisher? Do you think the genre of the book makes any difference? Last year I saw a good number of publicist wheeling around carts of their clients books (for what purpose I am not sure) and it struck me as a 'used car salesman' tactic. With so many newer (and quite frankly, better) ways of marketing yourself & book online, it just doesn't seem cost- or time-effective for an indie author to walk around such a large trade expo and hope to get noticed.

I am genuinely curious, thanks so much Jane!
+Lynette Young - Indie authors who already have some contacts or relationships with people who attend BEA /might/ be justified in the expense of attending. But BEA just isn't a likely place to have your book picked up … by anyone. When I worked my publisher's booth, everyone ran away from the indie authors (or their publicists) trying to sell their book. They're a despised class of people at BEA—primarily because it's an inappropriate venue to be pitching your book to strangers.
Sad this needs to be said at all, but glad you did. There's simply no excuse to be ignorant about the publishing business these days, especially since it seems like the number of predatory "author services" businesses has seen exponential growth over the past five years.

Makes you miss the quaint old days of straightforward vanity publishing scams. :-(
I'm a traditionally published author with 50 titles, a couple of which have sold into the high 100's of thousands, and attended BEA for the first time last year—mainly because the Authors Guild made it dirt cheap and I was in town anyway. My plan was reconnaissance and networking—and I did meet/run into some editors and fellow authors I know and met a couple of new folks. But, unless you're a Big Name author or your big publisher is actively promoting your book, this event is NOT author-friendly. It's aimed at booksellers. If you own a bookstore or know someone who does, that's the badge to have.
Does BEA solicit attendance to indie's or is it something they are kind of doing on their own? I know of BEA because they are co-located with BlogWorld (which I attend & speak at). As a soon to be published author myself I'm fascinated by the inner workings of the industry.
+Lynette Young I don't know what BEA's strategy is these days to keep the show strong, but certainly the education portion (including co-located conferences) has grown tremendously, and that's one great reason to be on the scene.

But as far as the benefits of being on the trade show floor? It's a losing money proposition even for major publishers, who have cut back on their BEA expenditures, because sales just don't happen there. But it remains one of the biggest networking scenes of the year.
Good to hear about the education part (I was asked to do a session there on the benefits of Google+ specifically for self-promotion!). Trade floors are always hard I think. My assumption is that shows need the money from selling booths to offset the ticket price. Having vendors that are hyper-targeted to one type of attendee leaves out the rest of us, and a broad and 'shallow' vendor list doesn't serve any one particular attendee well.

This is why I'll stick to writing and spinning my own wheels ;) Jane this is really great info, and now I'm going back and reading a lot of your other posts - THANKS!
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