Hi hi hi again! And welcome back to Bully's Adventures at BookExpo America, the only place this weekend you're going to find such illuminaries as George McGovern, Bob Newhart, Kaye Ballard, Dave Barry, Jim Belushi, Ted Kennedy, Rupert from Survivor, Captain Jack Sparrow, and the Pillsbury Doughboy, all wandering the aisles promoting their new or upcoming books. It's the ideal place to learn about publishers' fall and holiday lists, meet editors and salespeople from various companies, hear informative and entertaining seminars on running bookstores, and...
Oh heck! My favorite part of BEA is the free stuff!
Stroll up and down each aisle and you'll be bombarded with a cornucopia of freebies, giveaways, complimentary copies and just plain cool stuff you're allowed to take. There are plenty of ARCs (advance reading copies: paperback versions of upcoming books so you can read it before the book is published), free copies of finished books, toys, magnets, notecards, magazines, stuffed animals, catalogues, posters, pins, stickers, candy, pens, tote bags, and so much more!
As Miss Manners (also a BEA guest!) might point out, however, you'll be a good BEA guest if you obey a few simple rules of etiquette. Don't be grabby: if things are offered for free, please take one and not a handful. Some things are intended for "blue badges" (booksellers) only: Different types of guests at BEA wear different colors of identification badges. The most valuable guests to the publishers exhibiting are "blue badges": the owners and staff of bookstores around the country. It's most useful for publishers to get ARCs or free books into the hands of these people as they are the ones who are selling and promoting them! If you have a different colored badge like my yellow (exhibitor's) badge, they may ask you politely not to take one as they are intended for booksellers. Be cool, folks! Again, don't get grabby! Not everything you see in a publisher's booth is free: Multiple copies of a book stacked in front of the booth are generally for a giveaway. Books displayed on shelves or walls are usually not. If you're unsure, it is cool to ask politely if this is a complimentary item. Again...don't get grabby! Finally, don't take every book that's offered for free. You aren't gonna read 'em all and you'll wear yourself out carrying them around. Plus, you do know that publishers and other booksellers laugh at the sort of scavengers who, thirty minutes after the show opens, are dragging five or six crammed-full tote bags full of galleys, don't you? (I'm completely serious. This really happens. All the time.) You know the drill by now: don't be grabby!
Whew! That may seem like an awful lot of rules but I think you can see now that BEA boils 'em down into: don't get grabby. And believe me, you can still get an awful lot of cool stuff. Why, here's some of the fun items I picked up:
One of the hot galley giveaways at this show was The Book of Fate, Brad Meltzer's new thriller novel. The tag line is: "Washington DC has a 200 year-old secret." Golly. I sure hope it's not that something horrible happened to Martha Washington, and so the Founding Fathers all banded together and decided to lobotomize the culprit. Then, years later, it all comes back to haunt them...That would be jus' plain unbelievable as a plot!
The kids' book giveaway that was getting the most attention was the late CrossGen's sole surviving legacy to publishing, J. M. DeMatteis and Mike Ploog's Abadazad from Hyperion. It's now an illustrated prose novel with pages from the comic interspersed throughout the book, which makes it a bit uneven. See the white lanyard? This was the BEA badge lanyard given to all attendees of the BEA show, so nearly everyone at the show was a walking advertisement for Abadazad. (That's not a free BEA service: that's paid advertising funded by Hyperion).
Stop by the graphic novel pavilion and you can pick up quite a few free comics and some graphic novels. DC was giving away copies of V for Vendetta at one point! And finally I got my Free Comic Book Day copy of Owly!:
I was allowed to take a complete set of the classic Peanuts Happiness is a Warm Puppy series at the Sterling booth. Thanks, guys!:
Don't tell anyone who I am behind this mask, because I have to preserve my secret identity. Luckily Reader's Digest were giving away Spider-Man and Hulk paper masks to promote Marvel storybooks, playsets and puzzle books coming out this fall!
But here's my very favorite BEA giveaway: a set of three buttons from Yale University Press to promote Ivan Brunetti's October book An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories. That's artwork on the buttons by Ivan, Seth, and Dan Clowes, by the way. I betcha anything you'll see these buttons on eBay next week but not from me! I'm keepin' 'em and awarding 'em the title of as the best giveaway at BEA 2006!:
More about the Yale University Press book and other upcoming graphic novel and comics publications I learned about at BEA...and which comics publisher prob'bly got the most out of BEA and which didn't (and why)...in my next exciting entry! You can't wait, can you?
Other BEA entries: Day 0 Day 1 Day 3