BEA Badges

26 May

My badge will say “Author” for the first time at Book Expo America (BEA). It’s a whole new experience for me and I wonder what the largest US book convention will have in store as I wear, nervously, this unfamiliar label. Every year for 21 years beginning with 1988, I was a faithful BEA trade show warrior, setting up the booth in a dingy tee and gym shorts and then transforming myself into “Trade-Show-Marianne,” donning my best biz attire and perpetual smile. It was an exhausting three-day annual ritual, hawking the books of those who employed me.

But this year will be different. I’ll be working the show for no one but me, talking about my own book, coming and going as I please. Will that make all the difference? Will it be easier to bury my taciturn tendencies, the introvert in me longing to escape to a quiet hallway after chatting up one person after another? (The better question, perhaps, is will anyone want to talk to me at all, besides my friends from the book world with whom I’ll reconnect?) Will my feet hurt any less after trolling the temporarily carpeted concrete floors looking for opportunities? Will I make any helpful connections at all? A book or travel blogger, perhaps? I’ve been away from the industry for five years now, and although much has changed, I suspect much will be the same: authors and books looking to find their audiences by doing the always necessary ritual dance of talking to endless “industry professionals” in the middle.


Posted by on May 26, 2015 in Publishing Process


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9 responses to “BEA Badges

  1. Donna Slaten

    May 27, 2015 at 12:20 am

    They’ll be scrambling over each other to talk to the fresh, new face in the literary world!!!! Irony is so ironic!!!! Knock ’em dead Mar!!!!


  2. Annie Tucker

    May 27, 2015 at 1:05 am

    I’m going to BEA on Friday, Marianne! See you there?


    • mcbohr

      May 27, 2015 at 5:26 am

      Yes! Definitely, Annie!


  3. Carole Bumpus

    May 27, 2015 at 10:32 am

    Loved your blog post and would be the one in the hallway getting a breather from the ‘maddening’ crowd. Enjoy your walk of fame and hold your head up high!! You’ve worked for it, you can appreciate it and you deserve it. Go et ’em!!


    • mcbohr

      May 27, 2015 at 9:34 pm

      Thanks for the pep talk, Carole!


  4. Kerri Muldowney Oman

    May 27, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    Congratulations Marianne! I am sure you will be fabulous in whatever role awaits you. Enjoy this special time!


  5. David Cole

    May 27, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Hi Marianne, my best advice is just to totally enjoy the experience. I spent a lot of years trolling the aisles, standing the whole time, as a dreaded consultant. The joy was getting to meet old friends and acquaintances and sharing. The best advice I got was from my wife who said, remember there will be 25,000 people there. You don’t have shake hands with all of them. You will have the pleasure of lots of people who will be overjoyed to see you with your new badge. Have a great time.


    • mcbohr

      May 27, 2015 at 9:31 pm

      You’re always such a pro, David. Thanks for the advice!


  6. Noreen

    May 28, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    There are no words, my dear friend! See you later…..



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