I’ll be honest, I didn’t think that I’d be able to afford BEA (Book Expo America) this year. I’m saving up for a car and didn’t think that I could save for both. But then I found out that next year, BEA is moving to Chicago and I nearly cried. For the past five years or so I’ve been living between Massachusetts with my father and New York with my boyfriend. Taking a plane to Chicago was DEFINITELY out of the question so I bit the bullet and looked up rates. A one-day blogger pass for Friday, Saturday, or Sunday was $100 dollars!!!
Yeah, you read right, one hundred dollars – my dreams of attending BEA were fading fast. Also, the site is ridiculously difficult to navigate so finding these rates took some digging. Then, low and behold, I found Power Reader Day. It allowed the public access to BEA for one day at only $30. I thought to myself, sure it’s going to be absolutely MOBBED that day but hey, it was probably going to be my only chance to attend BEA for the foreseeable future. So I bought my Power Reader pass without any plan of HOW I was getting there because I felt that determined to go.
This is a screenshot of the email I received after purchasing my Power Reader Day pass (notice the date, February 17th). So for the past month I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to travel between NYC and MA. Last night I even invited my boyfriend to join me at BEA even though he isn’t a voracious reader like me. He wants to get into graphic novels and he’s been really enjoying all my YA recommendations. Other bloggers like Jessica and Octavia know that we haven’t had the greatest relationship lately…being together at BEA would be the first time since the end of last October. To say that I was looking forward to BEA would be the biggest understatement. Then I got home from work today and found this in my email:
Then the stab in the heart…
I immediately proceeded to find a contact email for Book Con and sent this email:
Ignore the $75 dollars comment, I’ve since gone back and realized that for bloggers it is indeed $99 for a one-day pass to BEA. I went to Twitter and discovered minimal buzz about it, which surprised me. There were mixed emotions. Most people are convinced that BEA is simple changing the name to Book Con and it will be no different from Power Reader Day. I disagree wholeheartedly. It says plain as day that access to BEA is now prohibited and it is meant for “consumers”. This is clearly corporate-speak for we don’t want to give Average Jane/Joe any more freebies (i.e. ARCs/galleys) and would rather set up shop to sell books instead. I’m not going lie, I was looking forward to this perk, but it wasn’t my biggest grievance.
I paid to attend Book Expo America. I paid to meet up with other book bloggers who have the full BEA pass. I paid for book signings with the authors going to BEA. I paid for the publishers who had already committed to BEA and might not be able to get a booth for Book Con (an extra $1,000!). I feel cheated and talked down to because I can’t afford the $99 blogger one-day pass.
For MONTHS now, Book Expo America has been promoting Power Reader Day and selling tickets for it. I know what I paid for and Book Con is NOT it.
Has anyone else received this email? What is your take on the change from Power Reader Day to Book Con? Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? Please let me know in the comments below.