BEA in Brief

Book Expo America was something of a working vacation; I was there to promote Zoe’s Tale and Agent to the Stars, but since it was in LA, I also had a chance to see a bunch of friends, and BEA being where every book publisher in the US was trotting out their big titles for the year, it was pretty much book geek heaven. I fought mightily against snapping up every book I saw because I have enough books sent to me already, and I think Krissy might injure me if I came home with boxes and boxes more. But just being near all those books was sufficient for a contact high. And I did take home some books, so clearly my discipline needs disciplining.

I already mentioned the librarian’s dinner on Thursday and Friday’s panel with Cory Doctorow and Markos Moulitsas, but Sunday was also a working day for me; I had two podcasts talking about ZT (when I track them down I will link to them, no worries) and then I also had a signing, which was gratifyingly busy; there was a line of folks queued up before I got there, which made me feel pretty.

It also made for an amusing incident: Ken Hite, gaming legend and a friend of mine from the University of Chicago, was standing in line in order to say hi to me, so I stopped and chatted with him, joining my own signing line as I did so. As I was chatting with him, another guy came up and asked me “is this the line for the John Scalzi signing?” To which I replied “why yes, I think it is,” so he joined the line behind us. Later, after I left to go to my signing spot, Ken filled him in on who he’d asked the question to. A good laugh was had by all.

The irony: The guy who asked me is not unfamous himself, in Web cartooning circles (not to mention among librarians).

Aside from Ken, who I was delighted to see (interestingly, the last time I saw him was at another BEA, in Chicago, in 2003) I saw other authors/editors/bookfolk of my acquaintance including Doselle Young, Josh Conviser, Wil Wheaton, Brandon Sanderson (who unfortunately I didn’t spend enough time with), Kelly Link and Gavin Grant. I also finally met David Anthony Durham in the flesh after doing the “online pal” thing for a while, and was entirely unsurprised to find him an excellent fellow in real life. Really, it’s just an excuse to geek out with folks, and while I don’t really need an excuse to do that, it’s nice to have one.

I also did some actual business with folks, too — who knew you could do that at BEA? — with some new projects being discussed and so on and so forth. All of that is in a very rudimentary, proto stage, and there’s lots that will have to happen before they become actual projects, and then even more before I can actually tell you about them. But if they pan out, we will all be awash in coolosity. Which would not be a bad thing.

So there you have it: BEA. Good fun, good business, and I stood in my own signing line, which seems very meta. I could not ask for more.

15 Comments on “BEA in Brief”

  1. Jonathan Tweet said he’s sorry he missed you. He also had a lot to do at the show, and your paths just never crossed.

    When it comes to excess books, always remember you can contact me via email for my snailmail address.

  2. Sounds like a cool time. I met David Anthony Durham at a party at WFC last year, but I was (unusually for me in a public setting) tipsy, and I’m pretty sure he thought I was a real weirdo. Much to my regret, since I liked the heck out of him.

  3. “clearly my discipline needs disciplining” Picturing Krissi in high-heel boots with a whip.

  4. My mother is a bookseller who goes to BEA, and she often has fun stories about authors suddenly also acting as fans. It seems like a nice side effect of something so large.

  5. Glad you had a great trip, John. But remember, the sexy sex scene collaboration is mine.

    Rest up ;-). These trips take a lot out of one.

  6. I was hanging out there with Brandon on Saturday, and picked up the Agent to the Stars ARC. (I hadn’t read it before; almost done now and enjoying it thoroughly. Noticed a few tight lines and typos, plus a pretty glaring sentence revision error in your new intro. I don’t suppose you want page numbers for any of that?) Should have got you to sign it, but after being so tongue-tied talking to Patrick, it completely slipped my mind.

    It was only after I got back home that I remembered the .hack shirt Krissy was wearing during the Campbell-cheese-cutting-board photos and realized perhaps you might have enjoyed one of the .hack//XXXX copies I was lugging around to give out. Alas. Perhaps next time, in Denver?

  7. Am I a starved book geek for having a contact high through the ‘net?Cause that’s exactly what happened.Also, if/when I stay in the US during the end of may I know exactly where to go for my book fix:).

    PS.Are the free books only in the main hotel?Inquiring minds want to know…

  8. Peter Ahlstrom:

    The ARCs have known bugs — those get ironed out before final publication. So no worries.


    The free books are generally at the show floor, not the hotels. And since BEA membership is actually relatively expensive, in the end “free” is a relative term (unless you have someone else pay for you to go to BEA).

  9. I was absolutely delighted to bump into you. I just wish I’d had the presence of mind to extract a signed copy of Zoe’s Tale, but in truth, I was a little overwhelmed with all the book signing and smiling I was having to do that I wasn’t thinking all that clearly.

    Dancing with them whut brung ya, and all.

    So great to see you!

  10. Hello — I was one of the folks attending the librarian’s dinner. It was the first time in a long time that someone from Ohioana attended BEA and it was a great pleasure to sit at my table and say, “See that John Scalzi guy? He’s from OHIO! Isn’t that cool???”

    I can’t wait for my big, big boxes to come home from LA, because Zoe’s Tale is in there.


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