The Book Expo of America (BEA) is one of the biggest book conventions in the country. Founded in the 1940s, it’s also one of the oldest book conventions around. It takes place over the course of four days, is always held in a major city, and is a great way for authors and publishers to connect with booksellers, readers, librarians and other people in the industry. This year BEA is being held in Chicago from May 11-14 and hundreds of authors and readers will be attending.
The first three days of BEA are a trade show, and mostly geared toward people in the publishing industry. Which is why we’re most excited about the final day, BookCon, a full day event where all of the BEA authors come together to greet fans and promote their new works. There are panels, giant book signings, games, prizes, meet & greets, and passionate readers everywhere.
BookCon takes place on May 14 and some of our favorite writers will be there, chatting with fans and signing their work. Here are the authors we’re most excited to see – and the new books they’ll be promoting at this crazy-fun event.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips, First Star I See Tonight (William Morrow, August 23, 2016)
Phillips is one of the best contemporary romance novelists around. Her writing is funny, quick, smart, sweet and filled with so much chemistry you’ll be fanning yourself by the fifth page. I adore her writing and can’t wait to read her newest book. It’s part of the Chicago Stars series (yay!!) and tells the story of a former quarterback and a spunky detective falling in love. Phillips will be signing books at BookCon, so be sure to bring all of her treasured romances with you to Chicago.
Ann M. Martin, Missy Piggle-Wiggle and the Whatever Cure (Feiwel& Friends, September 6, 2016)
I have only three words for you: The Babysitter’s Club. As a child of the ’90s, I grew up on tales of Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia and Stacey, and their babysitting adventures. Martin has always been a personal hero, and I can’t believe she’ll be at BookCon this year. She’s promoting her latest children’s book, another fun Missy Piggle-Wiggle read. Look for her on her panel: “Beyond the Babysitter’s Club,” which takes place at 11:15.
Hannah Hart, Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded (Dey Street Books, October 18, 2016)
My Drunk Kitchen might be the funniest thing to happen to the Internet since cat videos were invented. Author Hart seems charismatic, fun and the kind of person you’d like to just get a beer with. Or seven. And then attempt to make cookies. She already has a cookbook out featuring all of her drunken recipes, but her latest nonfiction book comes out in October. Based on Hart’s journals, this collection of stories dives into her life as she examines her childhood, sexuality, fame, etc. She’s so popular that her Meet & Greet at BookCon requires tickets! Get yours here.
Justin Cronin, The City of Mirrors (Ballantine Books, May 24, 2016)
I’m a sucker for a well-written post-apocalyptic tale, and Cronin’s Passenger Trilogy more than fits the bill. Exciting, creepy and praised by authors like Stephen King, Cronin is poised to become the next big thing in sci-fi/fantasy. The City of Mirrors is the final book in the trilogy and Cronin will be autographing books at BookCon, as well as appearing on the panel “Unwritten: Stories You Haven’t Heard (Yet).”
Emily Giffin, First Comes Love (Ballantine Books, June 28, 2016)
Giffin is the queen of heartfelt novels with heroines you can’t help but root for, even when they’re not the most likeable characters around. I fell hard for her writing in Something Borrowed, a story about a woman who falls in love with her best friend’s fiancé. Her newest novel focuses on two sisters who find their way back to each other after their tenuous bond is torn apart by tragedy. Giffin won’t physically be at BookCon this year, but her book is one of the promoted galleys of the convention, which means anyone who attends could get a chance to pick up an early copy of this must-read book of the summer!