(Publisher's booths: Barron's, Penguin, RWA, Harper Collins, HQN and ....a pig)
Book Expo America Is the largest publishing event in North America where authors, bloggers, librarians and others get together to discuss books and the future of the publishing industry. It's insanely chaotic and crazy but loads of fun.
I went last year and was pretty overwhelmed, so it was nice to go again and know what I was doing (sort of) It helped take some pressure off and I could enjoy it a little more. Every morning my husband and I met up with Noa from Paperback Dolls to have our Starbucks and strategize. The most important thing for conquering BEA is to have a plan and team up with others. Tori from Book Faery was there a few days (she even brought homemade cinnamon biscuits one morning for breakfast!) and I think I spent about 90% of my time with her. Nothing slipped past us! My husband Kevin - ever the organizer - kept us all on schedule and between the four of us I think we got almost everything we wanted.
(Thank you Noa & Tori for all your help!!)
For the most part things were more organized this year. Booths were numbered - YAY! That was a big problem last year. If you can't find the booth then you miss a signing. It was easier to pick up your badge and tickets for the big author signings, the phone app was very helpful for scheduling - although a few bloggers had problems accessing it during the day.
(Top left - The Future of Us by Jay Asher, Carolyn Mackler line, Top right - me - waiting in the Melissa Marr line (ready to konk someone in the head with my big bag if they try to cut me off! lol)
Bottom left: autographing area, Bottom right: Clockwork Prince cover reveal)
My one gripe would be the YA author signings. For some reason BEA still hasn't grasped how insanely popular and rabid YA fans are. They have authors like Melissa Marr & Richelle Mead signing in booths & then don't want long lines blocking the pathways. Ummm - then put them in the autographing area instead of booths. The Richelle Mead line was a cluster f*ck of epic proportions. They handed out #'d tickets in advance so you could leave instead of blocking the area. They told us to come back 15 minutes before the signing to get in place. When we did that they decided to scrap the # system and it became a free for all with 100's of angry people. Not pretty. (I just want to note here that it wasn't Richelle's fault in any way and she was VERY nice - once things got moving it was all good.) Lessons were learned and Aly Condie's signing at Penguin was the best of the best. Super long line....but in her case they had people all along the line keeping the paths clear, tickets were handed out. What seemed like an hour wait lasted only 10 minutes!
Here are some author signing pics:
(Aly Condie, Richelle Mead, Rachel Vincent, Scott Westerfield, Jeri Smith-Ready, Melissa Marr)
I also got to meet Clay and Susan Griffith and get The Greyfriar (Vampire Empire, Book 1) signed. I loved that book. They also had a cover reveal for The Rift Walker (Vampire Empire, Book 2) - book two in the series in the Prometheus publishing booth. Gorgeous! Here's their post on the BEA experience.
The line for The Future of Us by Jay Asher, Carolyn Mackler was interesting. PW Daily had an advertisement for an "unnamed book" that would be handed out at the Penguin booth at 2pm Wednesday. I figured I would wander by & see if it was worth grabbing. Then I see a tweet from Jay saying that it was his book. I loved Thirteen Reasons Why so I ran (um - no - walked briskly - NO running - LOL) and got first in line. Woot! By the time I grabbed my book the line was over 140 people! Like I said - do not underestimate the YA peeps. Just sayin. (to see a pic of the line look in the "lines & more lines" photo above)
I caught up with Kate from I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read. I met her last year and she is a good friend to have for those crazy ass Harlequin booth signings!
I had a mini Shift (Jeri Smith-Ready) Blog tour meet up!
I met Lindsi from Books, Sweets & Other Treats. We seemed to have a standing appointment at the Post Office each afternoon. LOL We were always there at the same time.
And I also got to meet Ana from The Book Smugglers who was at BEA all the way from England!
I got to meet longtime blogger/Twitter pals Jenny from Supernatural Snark and Pam from Midnyte Reader! I wish I got to see both of them more. It was more of a quick "OMG hi! So great to finally meet you - bye"
I'm sure I'm forgetting tons of things/people/authors but there you go!
I'll post about the books & swag next, then NYC and my obsession with the food! Words can't express how much I managed to eat that week.