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Day in the Life Archives: Anna Bernard

Bloomsbury Children’s Books; Publicist (March 6, 2019 Issue)

What does a day at BookExpo look like for a publicist?

BookExpo Day 3, Friday

9:00am – I arrive at the Javits Center! Trying to walk in when the floor officially opens was a mistake. I guess there’s some important ARC drop happening because everyone is running. I get to the Bloomsbury booth as quickly as I can before an unfortunate Lion King situation occurs.

9:30am – It’s our turn to drop a coveted ARC! This is the second drop of this title, so the line is less hectic than yesterday, but we still run out in two minutes.

10:00am – Booth duty! I tag-team with someone on the adult marketing team so between the two of us, we can pitch any title.

10:30am – My author arrives at the Javits Center, so I bring her badge over and escort her to the booth. We have a few hours before her signing, so she gets to wander around and see some friends. I give her a tip that Lupita Nyong’o is signing, if she wants to catch a glimpse.

11:20am – My schedule only allows for an early lunch, so I grab some Javits Chicken Strips. It’s the third day I’ve eaten Javits Chicken. It’s fine. Or is it delicious? My taste buds can’t tell any more.

12:00pm – I join the rest of the publicity team for a media meeting in our booth with a website’s Books Editor. We go over our Fall 2019 and Winter 2020 titles. Hopefully, she’ll cover some of the titles on her site!

12:30pm – I head to the Autographing Area “Green Room” with my author and her editor. John Cena is also in the Green Room, but I remain calm because I am a professional.

1::00pm – The signing begins! There’s already a big line, so I start having people write their names on post-its and stick it on the title page to expedite the signing process. When our publicity assistant arrives to help, I have her take over with the post-its, and I go to the front of the line to direct traffic and take pictures.

1:45pm – The line is still going strong! Where are all these people coming from? Someone asks if they can take two copies for a friend and I have to tell them no, since there are still lots of people still behind them in line.

2:15pm – We’ve gone 15 minutes over the allotted signing time, so we cut off the line. We have about 15 books left, but they are immediately claimed the moment we bring them back to the booth.

2:45pm – I call a Lyft to take my author to a stock signing downtown at Books of Wonder. Our Lyft arrives but doesn’t open the doors. We are confused! We look in the windows, and there are people already in the Lyft. We try to talk to the driver to find out what’s going on, and the doors open. The girls in the Lyft were just getting out to take several heavy boxes to their booth—and they know my author from her previous publisher! Only at BookExpo.

3:30pm – We are finished with the stock signing. My author has signed about 200 books today in total.

4:15pm – Back in the office, I start answering all the emails I’ve missed in the terrible Javits’ WiFi.

5:30pm – I make sure to leave on time because I have to prepare myself to work all day on a Saturday. BookCon 2019, y’all! I eagerly anticipate tomorrow’s Javits Chicken.

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