The annual behemoth of a conference, Book Expo America (BEA), could very well be the SXSW of the publishing world: kind of fun, pretty corporate, and lots of people wandering around, looking for a good wi-fi connection. (And to extend that metaphor, AWP would be Bonnaroo and the Brooklyn Book Festival would be Coachella.) With all these book people crowded together in the same place, there’s bound to be some interesting conversations going around. We eavesdropped on some choice tid-bits, and here they are, presented without comment.
Man: He basically called me up and said I was a dick. Because of my pants? Yes, because of my pants.
Woman 1: There’s a reason pop-up books give distributors the eebie-jeebies.
Woman 2: Totally. What’s next. Holograms?
Woman: They’re giving out free cookies. We don’t stand a chance.
Man: Is the author based in New York?
Woman: No, he lives in Chicago.
Man: That’s a shame. He’s cute for a writer.
Man: Do you publish speculative fiction? Do you know what it is? Do you want to know what it is?
Woman: There’s a reason why glittery book jackets never sell.
Woman 1: Are dogs allowed in here?
Woman 2: I assume so. I saw a collie in the bathroom earlier.
Woman 1: This is BEA though. There are books here.
Woman: That man was just hitting on me.
Man: Is he an author?
Woman: I think he works in marketing.
Man: That has possibilities.
Man: The vending machine was out of baked chips, so I got you Lifesavers instead. Same thing.
Man 1: They’re right next to the Mexico cluster.
Man 2: The what?
Man 1: Each country has a cluster of booths. I’m no racist!
Woman 1: I’m starving.
Woman 2: They’re giving away cookies five booths down.
Man: If I don’t meet R.L. Stine, I will be so fucking pissed.
Woman: Is this booth a wi-fi hotspot?
Man: I have no idea what you’re talking about, sorry.
Woman 1: Penguin always has the best looking booth.
Woman 2: It’s not just a booth. It’s a freakin’ colony.
Man: God, I’m late for the kids book auction.
Woman: Are you buying anything?
Man: Something for my son. Maybe for my wife, while I’m at it.