Monday, May 30, 2011

BEA & BBC wrap-up !!

My feet have returned to normal size and my shoulders no longer ache. That must mean I can finally tell you of my adventures at BookExpo America. Hang in there with me, this will be a long post.

Tuesday: When that alarm went off at 7:00 a.m., I thought, "It's morning already!" I work at night, and seeing the sun rise is a bit of a shock for me. An hour later I hop on the train. After snaking my way through the chipper Manhattan rush hour crowd, I made the walk towards the convention center.

I thought I was being good by arriving at the Javits Convention Center for 9:00 a.m., but I was wrong. The tickets for ticketed author signings were already GONE!! What's up with that? I really, really, really wanted to meet Temple Grandin, but they were all gone. I also wanted to meet Ice-T, but not because he's an inspirational figure like Temple Grandin. I just wanted to meet a celebrity!!

A little bummed, I registered and checked in my suitcase. Yes, a suitcase. I learned from last year. Books are great things, but walking around with a bag full of them feel like a ton of bricks. I've heard that checked suitcases were looted last year. But, I really had no choice but to check it. I made sure not to leave any signed books or books I really, really wanted in the suitcase.

My first signing of the day was Kristan Higgins. As soon as I showed her my badge, she remembered my blog!! How awesome is that ! She said she would come back to my blog any time!

My first conference session was, Online Book Discovery. Think about how you heard about the last book you read. Was it online? It was for me. You hear about it on Twitter, GoodReads, or another blog. What drew your attention? A picture? A rich description? An eye-catching widget? All of those things were discussed, and I have to say that's all true for me.

I heard about L.A. Weatherly's book, Angel Burn from another blog. I made sure to get a signed book earlier in the day. According to this panel, books are right behind movies and weather in online searches. You learn something new everyday!

Now on to the fun stuff!!! Pictures!!

Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books signing her book Everything I Know About Love I Learned from Romance Novels. Could be some good advice in there !!

Leigh Fallon signing copies of The Carrier of the Mark. I went to the Young Adult Editors buzz just before the signing. Her book was heavily hyped. I made sure to get on line for the signing just after the talk. The room where the panel was located was standing room only. I managed to get a seat in the front corner. I couldn't see the editors' faces, but it was worth it. I enjoyed the panel, but I heard it was marred by the behavior of some. I left to go upstairs for Leigh Fallon's signing, but apparently there were some sealed boxes of the books discussed in the back of the room. They were then pilfered, without permission, by some rather eager people. It's sad. That snatch and grab attitude is giving bloggers and librarians a bad name. The behavior even made Publisher's Weekly.

My legs were like rubber at the end of the day, but I made it home.

Wednesday: This day I came armed with an ice pack. Yes Javits is air conditioned, but all the walking can get to you. My first signing of the day was for Lauren Oliver. I was in a bit of shock that line was already LONG at 9:00 a.m. It was worth it because she was very nice.

Next came a talk by Michelle Hodkin, author of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, and Kristi from The Story Siren. Michelle's book was also hyped at the Young Adult Editors buzz. A girl gets in a car accident and can't remember what happened. Or what killed her friends. I'm intrigued. I didn't get a copy here, but I managed to snag one at Book Blogger Convention.

Then it was on to Maureen Johnson's signing. I follow her on Twitter, and she's hilarious. I confess, I haven't read her books yet. But I will.

I got off of Maureen's line a little late. I missed the bulk of the Dear Bully panel. I was little bummed, but Ellen Hopkins (in the blue) made up for it. She gave me a copy of Dear Bully. Ellen is awesome.

I browsed around for awhile before getting a signed book by Candace Cameron Bure. I wanted to say, "I got to meet D.J. Tanner!" I didn't call her D.J., all I could get out was thank you. After that I moved on to the Chely Wright (above) line. I saw her on Oprah, and wanted to read her book. She was very, very nice. She even asked about my blog, and hoped for a good review!! I won't be swayed by kindness, but I always try to give a good review.

After going to the Audiobook Tea, I want to listen to an audiobook. That's not the best picture, but I was little tired. The tea was at the end of the day. Star Jones (standing at the podium), Tony Horwitz, Karin Slaughter and Brad Meltzer were on the panel. I've heard of Karin Slaughter and Brad Meltzer, but I have never read their books. Brad Meltzer was very funny!!

Thursday: This day was much lighter. I only got the books I really wanted. I went straight for the Maureen Johnson line. Yes another Maureen Johnson book. I must stress I was there about 42 minutes before the actually signing! If I didn't want to read The Name of the Star, I wouldn't have sat on that dirty floor. It was a good thing, because I got to talk to some fellow bloggers, including Elin from The Norwegian Book Girl.

I missed some talks, but I did get to meet Jane Fonda!! I went to her talk. She was saying how at 73, she was happier than she's ever been. Granted not everything she spoke about applied to me, but she's a great actress. I got her book Prime Time for my mother, and when I told her that she said, "That's nice!" A celebrity talked to me!!

I wrapped up the day the day at the Book Blogger Reception. That's me with M.L. Malcolm author of Heart of Lies and Heart of Deception. She wears some fabulous hats and fascinators!!

Friday: The grand finale was the Book Blogger Convention. As keynote speaker Sarah Wendell said, it's awesome that we have our own convention.

Sarah took her blog took the next level, turning it into her job and eventually books. What I got out of her speech is it's up to me elevate my blog. I can make it what I want. In the beginning it was about having a place to express myself creatively. Now, I don't know what I want.  I love books. I love what I'm doing. How to make it something more, I'm not sure yet.

The ask a Publisher/Publicist panel was great. I've always wondered when publishers want reviews of books posted. I have alot of ARCs that won't be published until late in the year. I usually wait until it's close to publication. Apparently, if it's available for pre-order you can post your review. I used to be afraid to approach the big publishers for ARCs, but they really want us to approach them. They want to know what they can do for us! Some questions from the audience, like NetGalley expiration dates, were a little unnecessary.

The Grey Areas of Book Blogging, was the best of the bunch. What I got out of it was, "review the book and not the author."

The last two panels were lacking. Blogging for a Niche Market had too many people on it. It should have been smaller. For those of us not attached to a particular market, including myself, it would have helped to have less people. Too many ideas leads to too much confusion. I missed most of the Technology panel, but I've heard I didn't miss much. WordPress vs. Blogger? I'm thinking of switching, but that's down the road.

I wrapped up the day at the day at the Planned Television Arts party. I don't know how, but outside of staff I was the only one there. Perhaps people were tired, forgot, or had something else to do. Too bad you missed out on the lobster, foie gras, steak and champagne!!!!

Note: A video of my book haul will be posted on Sunday. It's pretty big!!


  1. I love reading all of the BEA wrap up posts. It is so neat that everyone has a completely different experience. I was bummed that I didn't get to meet Temple Grandin too. And OMG you got to meet Candace Camerson Bure? That is so awesome! I totally missed out on that signing & I loved Full House back when I was growing up!

  2. Every Friday growing up, it was Full House and Family Matters. It was nice to meet someone you watched growing up. I have to read your post, I saw the link on Twitter. I'm off to read it now.

  3. It just hit me Mandy, we were on the same line for someone. I think it was Lauren Oliver?

  4. What WAS up with those Net Galley expiration questions at the Ask a Publicist event?! Totally agree with you on that. I think my favorite part was Friday, since Wednesday seemed much kore difficult to interact with publicists, etc. And as far as my own feet - mine are still recovering!