My trip to New York during the first weekend in June was short, but overall, it was extremely productive.
I attended Book Expo America for a number of reasons, the top one being to find an agent for my new project, "Polos to Ties." I communicated with a number of agents, some beforehand on the BEA's social networking site. The biggest mistake I made was not attempting to schedule appointments with agents beforehand. But considering that I haven't completely finished the manuscript, maybe that wasn't such a big deal.
One strange thing about the event was that not all of the meeting rooms were marked on the BEA layout of the Jacob Javits Convention Center. That made for an interesting time in finding a handful of daily sessions.
If I had to guess, I probably spoke with somewhere between 100-150 people during my two days there. All of the big players in the book industry, from publishers to comic book distributors, were there. Some big-time authors were there, but I can't say I saw anyone too famous. In general, it was time to see how other people promote their material. My distributor had a pretty good location, which was on the main floor near some of the larger publishing houses. The bad news was that there wasn't much room for space, so "The Developers" stayed concealed in the back.
Just about everyone was super nice, despite the fact that I didn't buy anything. A lot of people just come to the show to obtain free stuff. But you have to be careful to make sure you are actually picking up something that's free. Usually, if there's a cash register within 10 feet of the book you just picked up, it's probably for sale.
Walking around New York was fun as well. The Italian restaurant we ate at was decent; the pizza place (right across from Madison Square Garden) was awesome.
I'm looking forward to attending next year's BEA in Los Angeles. Until then, I have a lot of work to do with my book!