As an author and one who loves to write, anything associated with books and writing is on my must-do, must-learn, must-attend list.
That’s why I’ll be at BookExpo this week in New York City.
I’ve spoken with several writers and authors asking if they plan to attend in case we can compare notes or see some exhibits together.
Everyone answered with a version of no, I’m not attending.
They either don’t know about the event or are busy with day jobs.
I can understand the latter reason. However, if you aren’t familiar with an event highlighting your favorite pastime or venture, you’re not allowing yourself permission to fully enjoy your passion, and that’s a shame.
This is true about every adventure.
- If tennis is your thing, you know about and want to be at Wimbleton.
- Is technology your business? Then the Consumer Electronics Show is on your radar.
- How about your passion for music? SXSW is where you want to be.
- Crafts are for you? Creativation is the place for crafty people.
Dig deep for total enjoyment
When I entered the gift industry, I researched all of the gift conferences and found the closest one in a neighboring state. I’m lucky to not have needed an airline to get there, but if I did, I’d have flown to participate. BookExpo is in Chicago next year, and I’ll fly to get there.
You might not be able to attend every gathering, but it’s important to you lifestyle to learn about events and consider being at one when time allows. It’s where your tribe hangs out and how you become more immersed in that passion.
This is why I attend BookExpo.
There are lots and lots of books, and taking canvas bags available free of charge from publishers is another aspect (I saw one man with bags on his arm from wrist to shoulder). The real reasons I attend are ones that allow me to be a better writer and bring more value to my buyers and followers.
In just 20 minutes, you can learn more than you know now about general writing, e-books, and marketing.
Seeing what authors and publishers create as handouts to promote their books unleashes a stack of ideas to create my own.
What Publishers Want
Representatives are in each booth, and sometimes you’ll find editors who review book proposals. You won’t find them unless you’re at the event.
Schools and universities often exhibit. I’ll visit these booths to learn how I can propose a class as part of their facility’s in-person education.
Of course, I’ll bring books back to my office, but I’m selective about what I choose. You can take as much as publishers offer. However, you must have a method to bring it back to your office without straining your muscles (unless you enjoy pain).
Take the easy route
The years I’ve attended this grand event have taught me to make wise decisions. One choice is taking public transportation to the event and reserving a car service to bring me back to the office. I refuse to lug books and other materials through New York City streets before lifting it all onto a bus. Those days are officially over.
When you immerse yourself in something you truly love and want to continue, find the events that connect you with the venture and like-minded people.
There may be more than one event or conference, so be thorough in your research.
Make time to plan, especially if the event is months away. That time helps you map out a monthly savings plan to get to the destination without taxing your budget.
Set your sights this year on enjoying whatever you choose. Find your tribe, make friends, and create your joy.