Wednesday, June 13, 2012
BEA 2012 Wrap-up……Part 1
I’m back from Book Expo America 2012! I’m still recovering and needed a few days to process and unwind before starting my wrap-up posts.
It’s one of those events that nearly kills you and when you’re in the thick of it almost have a near breakdown but look back on it fondly afterwards and can’t wait to do it again.
This was my third year attending BEA and as always I brought my husband Kevin. I honestly don’t know how anyone accomplishes anything without a Kevin of their own. He’s just the best! He waits in lines patiently, knows all the books/authors, keeps me organized and on schedule. He also really doesn’t want more than 1 or 2 books for himself so that helps since he doesn’t need to go to his own signings. I make sure I find a few good zombie books for him though!
A few things were different this year. They are always adjusting, adapting and changing a few things. Some things make it easier, some things make BEA a clusterf*ck of epic proportions.
It seems to me that BEA and the publishers continually underestimate the popularity of YA books and their authors. The lines to get a YA book or attend a signing are INSANE. Especially for the more popular authors like Mellissa Marr, Lauren Oliver, Veronica Roth etc. Speaking of Veronica Roth….who the heck’s idea was it to put FOUR popular YA authors at one signing in a booth in the middle of the BEA floor?
Harper’s Dark Days signing powerhouse hour with Elizabeth Norris, Veronica Roth, Bethany Griffin and Aprilynne Pike
Veronica was signing Insurgent along with Aprilynne Pike (Destined), Elizabeth Norris (Unraveling), Bethany Griffin (Masque of the Red Death). People started lining up about an 1 1/2hrs early for that signing and Harper seemed confused as to why we were there or how to keep us from blocking all the other booths. This happens every. single. year.
Harlequin signings with Maria V Snyder, Rachel Vincent, Aimee Carter, Julia Kagawa
Harlequin, who always has multiple author signings packed into a "*themed* hour, seemed to get their act together for the first Teen Hour giving everyone numbers, assigned people to keep the isles clear, and handed out goodies like ARC’s of Gena Showalter’s Alice in Zombeland and Speechless by Hannah Harrington along with swag. Even though you are still trapped in a line for over an hour it does ease the pain to know you’re guaranteed a book at some point. So I was completely baffled that none of the other Harlequin signings had this level of organization. Even other teen themed signings. Again – they were confused when people started showing up.
Oh well….maybe next year – they will understand the enthusiasm for YA.
Having said that – things went much smoother this year overall. I felt like the publishers were much nicer to bloggers, taking the time to explain upcoming releases or buzzworthy new authors. I saw several of the publishers reps talking to new bloggers and explaining their review requests process. That is very different from my experience last year where you said the word “blogger” and received a glare or glazed over look in return.
Books were handed out on a schedule which they had printed out for you at each publisher. Past BEA’s had the publishers dumping books on the floor throughout the day leading to mass hysteria and the infamous biting incidents. This new method really cut down on about 99% of all bad behavior.
Penguin’s bookdrop (aka: giveaway) and author signing booth schedule (sorry about my looming shadow)
It did take some getting used to though. Your day is already tightly (& over) booked because of all the scheduled signings. Adding in scheduled book drops when I didn’t know about them in advance made the first day of BEA crazy. I don’t think I saw my husband for more than 30 minutes all day. We just got our schedules, split up and got stuck in line after line all day. Days two and three went much better once we had the book drop schedules in hand.
I also got to catch up with my blogger pals and meet a few of my Twitter friends for the first time. It was so crazy though that there just wasn’t enough time to spend with everyone which always bums me out.
I got to see Lindsi – Books, Sweets & Other Treats, Pam – Midnyte Reader, Kate – I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read, Tori – Book Faery. And I got to meet for the first time The Norwegian Book Girl, Jen YA Romantics, Amber – The Musings of Almybnenr, Sandy - Scribing Shadows. Nikki – YAReads, Tegan Not Your Faerytale. (If I’m forgetting anyone I’m SO sorry and please remind me so I can add you!)
I did feel like people were nicer this year and the librarian/blogger rivalry seems to be coming to a close (I hope). I had great conversations with them and booksellers who were really interested in understanding exactly what it is we do and why we do it.
I’ll be posting more about BEA – the singings, the books and of course NYC and FOOD!!!!
P.S. Please forgive any mistakes and typos. I’m still not recovered from the trip and all the things I have to catch up now that I’m home. I hope to resume a regular blogging schedule this week. *crosses fingers*