Well, I registered for BEA. As much as I love to go, there is always that moment of anxiety when I'm completing the registration and click the submit button. Am I doing the right thing? Ho will my feet and back handle the stress? Will I have a good time? It's a chunk of change, do I really want to do this? The questions come and go and in the end, I click the button, because, let's face it, I am a book geek. I love being around books, touching books, smelling books (weird I know) and I love meeting fellow bloggers, authors and other industry professionals. It's a great place to go and immerse myself in book culture for a few days.
So I pre-registered and was actually a little disappointed after the fact. I blogged ad nauseum last year about the horrors of Book Con and how crowded it was. I had heard rumors last year, that Book Con would be made into a two day event. I thought, that's great! It won't be so crowded if it is spread out over two days. I saw the first announcements and the two day even was confirmed. Book Con would be held Saturday and Sunday. I though, fantastic. What was a four day event is now a five day event.
Oh, Tammy, you are so naive. It's amusing, really.
What I realized after I registered for BEA is that BEA is still a three day event, but it now coincides with the Book Blogger's Con. The Book Blogger's Con is Wednesday, May 27 and BEA is from May 27 - May 29. It ends Friday. Last year, BEA went until Saturday and the one day Book Con was included. The Javitt's Center was basically split in two. Now however, if I want to go to Book Con, I have to purchase separate tickets. There is no combined two day price. It is a daily ticket for each day. There is a VIP pass which costs almost double the price with lots of perks, first seating at special events, etc, but that is sold out. So now if I want to go to Book Con, it will cost me an additional $65.00 for both days on top of the admission price for BEA.
I'm not sure how I feel about this, but I'm fairly sure I'm not happy about it. BEA is for book people by book people and it is an industry show. There has been something sacred about it. It's the Holy Grail of book cons, but for special people. And while I realize I am not an industry professional and am naught but a lowly book blogger, I would like to believe that there is a deserved place for me at BEA. But I feel now that BEA is being overshadowed by the dog and pony show that Book Con is becoming. I am afraid it is all about money and not so much about books. Have you seen the celebrity guest list for the weekend? So now something that was sacred and holy and only available to the lucky population of book industry people (book bloggers included), it has now been stripped of significance in the wake of Book Con 2015.
Will I attend? Probably, but now I have to ruminate on it before I purchase tickets. It would help if I knew everything that was scheduled at Book Con, what authors, etc, but if I register, it will be on speculation.