Monday, 2 June 2014

BEA 14: Wrap-Up Edition

It's that time again! And this year, I'm doing it almost immediately so go me!
Tuesday

This year, a lot of people didn't fly in until Tuesday/Wednesday, so "my" BEA started later.

I got to take it easy until later in the evening when the co-authors who make up the Christina Lauren team (Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings) were having a casual get together at a bar in midtown. As I love them, I went and got to see them and squeal over their first BEA with them and meet some other lovely ladies from Twilight fanfic days. Lots of water, lots of squealings, lots of hugging, lots of breaking in new shoes.

Wednesday

As I mentioned in my reaction post, BEA was only selling 4 day passes and BloggerCon passes, so I bought a BloggerCon pass (as it was cheaper). I had to be at Teen Author Carnival around 1 and I wanted to pick up my badge first and Maureen Johnson was doing the keynote, so I showed up around 9:15, got my badge, picked up my complimentary tote bag, and went in.

Maureen's keynote was hilarious, as you'd expect. It was full of stories about her dog, a story about her own review class when she was studying for her MFA, and her own admiration of bloggers. I loved every minute of it.

After, there were panels for Design 101 and Design 201, broken down on level of advancement and including a helpful tip about how long you've been blogging as a deciding factor. But I was chatting with people who went into 101 and my friend, Jeremy, was on the panel, so I sat my butt down. It was super informative, but I knew a decent amount of it already. And I liked the organization they had this year.

Sadly, none of the other panels interested me (except one of the last ones which I obviously couldn't make), but Jeremy wanted to go grab lunch since he had to help set up a booth at 1 and the official lunch hour wasn't until 12:30. Outside, we stopped to chat with one of the BEA employees who was super sweet and fun. While there, another blogger stopped and said something was wrong with the lunch vouchers, so while that was being fixed, we chatted with her and eventually went to the Javitz cafeteria with her and ate lunch. She was German, but living in the UK, and this was her first BEA, but I never caught her name, even with the badges (I'm that oblivious, shush). 

As people began filing in for lunch, I had to go, Jeremy had to get ready for set up, and the other blogger wanted to head to the West Village, which was where I was going, so we went took the trip together and parted ways.

I got to the Jefferson Market Library a little after 1. Things were in full-out set up mode, so I jumped right into the organizing. Putting together the door prizes - which had to be repeatedly rearranged as we got new books in - setting up author goodie bags, deciding how things were going to be operated, and finally moving furniture and setting up the spaces.

Time After Time Panel
People began filing in around 5 and I was basically upstairs from then until the end of the last panel at 8. I don't know how everything went downstairs, but things were incredible upstairs! The rooms were full, there were questions galore, things flowed well, and the panelists all seemed to have fun. There was disappointment about less door prizes this year, but there's only so much we can do about that.

Come Together Panel
I flitted around to different authors since lines were all over the place during the signing time. I got my ARCs of Talon, Like No Other, and Five Summers signed and I was able to nab an ARC of Afterworlds and Blonde Ops. I also got to say hi to Jennifer Smith and Robin Talley, who I kind of fangirled all over. And I got to chat with editor extraordinaire, Natashya Wilson, as well as Kelly Simmons, aka the world's most amazing publicist. We've been trying to meet for AGES.

I think the most fun part for me was how many people walked up to me and said "Julie! Hi!" And I just kind of cocked my head in a confused manner while waiting to see how they knew who I was. Because it's totally cool that you guys recognize me from the internet! But I'm not the greatest at that and when you're a teenage girl and have a bunch of people just KNOW WHO YOU ARE, it gets kinda awkward. Sorry if I seemed rude/unwelcoming/whatever when you started introducing yourselves like that. It also happened...a LOT on Wednesday. 

Thursday

 This year, I was again invited to an event bright and early, but I actually made it! It helped that I had another blogger, Meredith, staying with me who was also going. So, we were up around 6:30 to catch the train by 7:30 for the HarlequinTeen breakfast at 8. We JUST BARELY made it because I took us the wrong direction at first (oops), so I checked our bags while Meredith got us seats. We got to sit with Nicole of Interrobang YA!? fame, John from Scott Reads It, two bloggers I never got names for, Hafsah and Asma from Icey Books.

While eating pastries and fruit, Natashya Wilson introduced us all to the authors, who introduced us to their books, and then we had a Round Robin, where the editors, publicists, and authors would sit at our table for 5 minutes and talk about whatever. I knew and have seen a lot of them before, but it was still a lot of fun hearing what they're excited about and how they pitch their books.

After, we were given goodie bags with most of their books in it, so I took my copy of Lies We Tell Ourselves to Robin Talley (since Roommate is borrowing my copy, now she can keep it) and gushed at her again. I also picked up an ARC of Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer Armentrout and got that signed.

I did a quick lap of the floor to see where things were and say hellos, then ran back downstairs for the buzz panel. The editors were talking about The Jewel by Amy Ewing, Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley, The Walled City by Ryan Graudin, I'm Glad I Did by Cynthia Wells, and King Dork Approximately by Frank Portman. 

I already had Lies We Tell Ourselves (obviously) and King Dork Approximately is a sequel, but the other three piqued my interest, so I fought the mob to grab those, then went quickly upstairs to hop in line for A.S. King's line. I got there half an hour early, but was able to wait with some friends to get Glory O'Brien's History of the Future signed (because come on it sounds amazing).

After that, I wandered. I didn't have many set, must-do plans for Thursday. I was able to ask for a copy of Playing for the Commandant by Suzy Zail, which reminded me of Prisoners of Night and Fog and Elizabeth Wein's book, so I WANTED it.

I continued doing rounds, chatting with publicist friends when I found them and blogger friends when I found them. Eventually, my feet got tired and I found Macmillan Digital Marketing friend, Stephanie, working alone at a table with chairs and she told me I could sit there, so I worked the Macmillan booth as an honorary-employee with her for half an hour, chatting.

Once her shift ended, we went and did the rounds. I got in line with her for The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Connor. I got a tip off about books from the BloggerCon after party that were ONLY supposed to be at the after party being down in the room where the keynote was, so we hurried down and I was able to pick up This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner, Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis, and Jackaby by William Ritter. We found Hero Complex by Margaux Froley, which included a comparison to Veronica Mars, so Stephanie and I OBVIOUSLY needed it. Bonus Points: It's a sequel, but everything indicates you don't need to read the first book. I went to a giveaway of Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth, then we got on line for Rebecca Serle signing Famous in Love. We did some more rounds, got in line for Throne of Glass tote bags at Bloomsbury, then finally got in line for champagne, cookies, Four samples, and Divergent series posters at Harper, then retreated downstairs for sitting time. 

After like half an hour, the floor was about to close, so I had to get my bag, and Stephanie was supposed to go to the Macmillan Blogger Party nearby. I wasn't officially invited, but as I know most of the Macmillan publicity team, we figured I'd be okay to go and there wasn't any issues. So, I got to chat with more bloggers and grab some food. At the end of the night, they gave all of us ARCs of A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall, which is the first SwoonReads book.

This all worked out quite nicely because Meredith was eating at a restaurant a few blocks away and finished around the same time the party wound down. I had been hoping to go to drinks with some friends after, but we were both way too wiped out.

Friday

I'd known as soon as I started planning my schedule that Friday was going to be nuts. It seems like every publisher planned everything to happen at 11 or 3 on Friday. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. It was an honest to God conspiracy.

*ahem*

Meredith and I grabbed the subway, ran to a Starbucks for bagels and water, then took a cab to Javitz since she was going home that night and had ALL her stuff (plus it's just a long ass walk). We checked bags and were able to walk straight to the floor at 9:02. I did a super quick run by of a couple publishers to see if there were any drops, then went straight to the Christina Lauren Sublime signing. It was like 10 after and there was already a line and I was SO proud of my girls. I fought the urge to be a creep and take pictures of them signing other people's books...barely.

This was the line where I had the awful people grabbing books they didn't even know the name of and duplicates and cutting lines. So I may have made a point of hugging Christina and Lauren extra tight and chatting with them when they walked by/we got up to their table (also because I love them, obvs). Because screw you and your unfair practices, I'm cooler because these are my NYT Bestselling FRIENDS.

My next signing, obviously, wasn't until 11, so I did a quick lap and picked up Hook's Revenge by Heidi Schulz and Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts. Then I met up with a bunch of bloggers also waiting to line up for this signing, so we chatted with each other and other publicists before going to make the line for I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. I ended up being like tenth in line, which was great. And Jandy KNEW WHO I WAS which was super exciting and she was so sweet.

I did another lap and was able to pick up H20 by Virginia Bergin, Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally, The Magician's Lie by Greer Macallister, and The End of Innocence by Allegra Goodman at Sourcebooks. Right around noon, I got on line for J. Lynn and Cora Carmack, who I got a hug from, and I picked up signed copies of Finding It, The Lux: Beginnings, and Wait for You.

For those who lost track: Signed books are on the right
I had a bit of a lull after that, just going around and chatting with people. At some point in that lull was a signing for Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang. I also managed to pick up We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sundquist and Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper. I charged up my phone a bit and saw some corgis, hopped in line for Love is the Drug by Alaya Dawn Johnson since it was moving super quickly, then really settled in to wait for my first 3 o'clock signing with Hannah from The Irish Banana. 

I got my copy of Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios signed, then booked it over to Spencer Hill, where I had a ticket to get a signed copy of Behind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler. While waiting, I saw Heidi Schulz and asked her to sign my ARC of Hook's Revenge. They were super short on copies of Damsel Distressed, so I decided to come back around 4, then got on line for Starry Night by Isabel Gillies. This was the only book I went for that was from the imprint I worked at, so I got to see some of the senior editors I worked under this past semester. I ran into a friend who wanted to go through the line, so I went through again, then stopped by Spencer Hill as it was 4 and they had two copies of Damsel Distressed that were unclaimed. Mine was also special in that it was missing a title page.

I ended up in a couple of conversations, and therefore hanging around longer than I anticipated, but that meant I got to say goodbye to Meredith before she got her ride to the bus station, then I took the shuttle to the subway with Mitali, Gaby of Queen Ella Bee Reads, and Rachel from As Told By Rachel. Then I went home, ordered pizza, and collapsed in a heap.


 Saturday

There wasn't much on the line up for Saturday, which at first confused me. Last year's Power Reader day was pretty quiet, but still had some stuff I was really excited about. This year, all of the signings were stuff I wouldn't mind missing. Authors who lived in NYC, or I hadn't read their books yet, or I hoped to/was able to get at a drop.

I had a breakfast with Scholastic first thing to celebrate Cassandra Clare and Holly Black's MG, The Iron Trials, and Maggie Stiefvater's Sinner. I wasn't hugely interested in either book (I never finished the Shiver series and I have feelings about Cassandra Clare), but free food and friend time was a go. I never talked to Cassie or Holly, but Maggie was SO fun to chat with and she signed the little badges they gave us.

Then I ran straight downstairs for the #WeNeedDiverseBooks panel, which was absolutely amazing. The room was full to capacity, but Nicole was already in the room and when the woman saw me trying to communicate with her via hand gestures, she let me in. I had to sit on the floor.

Ellen Oh discussing future plans
I teared up several times listening to the passion this panel had for diversifying books and the struggles they had finding themselves in books as they grew up. The question period was mostly people commenting and thanking them for that they had done, which inspired so many. When it ended, I was able to spring up and hug Ellen Oh and Aisha Saeed, two of the panelists, but then they were quickly mobbed and I ran out of there because I really, really don't like being crowded in.



After, I'd talked to both fabulous publicist Lizzy and fabulous publicist KP about meeting them at the line for The Fire Artist by Daisy Whitney. And that was my first experience with BookCon.

I walked in, thinking it wouldn't be a big deal, then saw the mobs and mobs of people. Publisher booths were now set up along autographing lines set up along places where people were trying to walk. I ended up walking into Libba Bray's line because it was a solid wall of people, not moving an inch. I finally got to the line for Daisy and briefly saw Lizzy, but then she had to go cut off the line after like 10 people got on behind me. I got my book signed, then immediately ran to the quiet safety of the BEA floor. 

I hung around there for most of the afternoon with other bloggers and publicists. I happened to be at Harper chatting when they decided to clear out everything and I picked up a finished copy of The One by Kiera Cass and Endgame by James Frey.

Around 1:30, I ventured back hesitantly into BookCon, which was about half as crazy as before. I stopped by the #WeNeedDiverseBooks table, but neither Ellen nor Aisha were there and most of the swag was gone. I ventured on to find the Zola Books table, where Morgan Matson was signing at 2. We'd had MANY near misses on meeting each other since I moved here, so she wanted to see me and this was our best shot. I found her just before the signing began and we got in a hug and a selfie, then I had to clear out for her signing to begin.

At that point, I met up with Jeremy, Jeffrey, Jen, Charlee, Megan, and two BookTubers who I also didn't catch their names, and we decided to go to a diner that wasn't too far away for a late lunch. After, Jen and I waited for her friend, then all went on a venture to find ice cream before heading home. Jen and I were so caught up in talking, that she stayed at my apartment for a few hours, ordered pizza, then finally caught a cab home. I fell asleep not long after.

So, that was my BEA. I hid out in my apartment all day yesterday and I haven't left yet today either, though I think I might go to grab ice cream because reasons. I might be willing to interact with people again by like...Thursday. Though, I've also kind of lost my voice? I was losing my voice by the end of each day, but the rest restored me enough to get through until the very end. I've only talked out loud for like 5 minutes yesterday to Roommate, so I might be okay now? I'm not sure I wanna check.

I will do a video book haul to talk more about the books if that's a thing people want since I didn't include links to anything (See all these people and books? HOW LONG WOULD IT TAKE ME TO LINK ALL OF THESE? TOO LONG FOR MY MENTAL CAPACITY) and I can also answer questions in the comments. Otherwise, I'll just throw these onto my next regular book haul.

How was your BEA? Anything good? If you didn't go, anything you're excited about? Have a good weekend? Did you sleep? And eat meals at regular times? What's that LIKE?

--Julie

2 comments:

  1. I feel like I saw you for like 5 minutes at BEA, if that? IDK, I'm always flitting here and there. For the most part, it looks like you had a nice BEA. I love how you describe the BEA trade show floor as being a place of safety from BookCon, I totally agree!

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