Hey guys! As some of you know, last week, I attended Book Expo America for the second time. If you don’t know about it, BEA is the mecca of authors, publishers, industry people, and yes, bloggers held in New York each year (well, next year, it’ll be in Chicago).
So without further ado, here’s what happened this year for me (along with some tips – tips in bold).
This year I knew how BEA was going to go, so I started packing a bit early and decided that I would try to take my books home with me on the plane. I packed my clothes in one carry-on suitcase and put it inside a second, larger suitcase so that I wouldn’t pay extra baggage costs. This worked SO WELL for me.
I also created a spreadsheet on Google Docs and shared it with my roommate Sarah of You Should Read This, and we had a big Skype conversation on Sunday before where we hashed out what we would see and do. Because our time was going to be so packed, I wanted to make sure that we both knew what was happening (yes, I am that organized sometimes).
I flew in late on Tuesday to Newark and decided to take New Jersey Transit to the city. Big mistake. Trains were running late and it took me forever to get there lugging my big suitcase. Note to self: it’s worth it to pay for direct transportation to your hotel on the way in and back.
Unfortunately, I got in too late for the Teen Author Carnival, but luckily Sarah got to go and caught me up on everything over a late dinner at a diner (NYC diners are the best). After grabbing snacks for the next few days (NECESSARY), we headed back to our hotel, located less than 10 minutes from Javits (I learned my lesson last year when I commuted in from Brooklyn. COMPLETELY WORTH IT).
Sarah and I skipped Blogger Con to do some shopping (why isn’t there a Uniqlo in Toronto?) and silly tourist things, including playing the Big Piano at FAO Schwarz, and getting Shake Shack for lunch.
We got to BEA just in time to line up for a galley of Leila Sales’ Tonight the Streets Are Ours, our number one BEA book.
In the line, we got to meet Kristina (Gone Pecan) and Candice (Grown Up YA), and then Sarah (What Sarah Read) stopped by, followed by Estelle (Rather Be Reading) and it was total blogger love! WHY DIDN’T I TAKE A PICTURE?!
Sarah and I got our books, then ended up running into a couple bloggers: Tiffany (About to Read – my blogger twin because we have the same name, same wedding day, bought houses at the same time…!), Gail (Ticket to Anywhere), and Andi (Andi’s ABCs) – still no pics! Then we ended up chatting with some Penguin Random House Canada people, and some people at Bloomsbury (epic ice cream discussion with Emily Ritter, who is also a lactose-intolerant ice cream fanatic!).
We then went off to get Those Girls by Lauren Saft & met her! Finally, pics!
We stopped by the BEA Blogger Con end of day wrap up to see if anything was happening, and it was nuts – bloggers grabbing ARCs, no line up at all, people grabbing so many copies of things…it was horrible. We got out of there as quickly as possible, then I went to go meet Gail, Andi, and Tiffany so that we could go to a launch party off-site.
Grabbing an Uber proved a little difficult since it was rush hour and it took the car ages to get to Javits – should have just taken a taxi! We finally managed to get in and ended up at The Park, a gorgeous restaurant in Chelsea.
One of the wines served at the Eight Hundred Grapes party | Signage | The gorgeous indoor/outdoor restaurant where the party was held
There we got to meet Laura Dave, author of Eight Hundred Grapes, an adult novel about self-discovery and yes, a vineyard. Laura gave us a little tour of the different wines available (seriously delicious Prosecco & white – I didn’t try the red!) and we got to relax for a second with delicious hors d’oeuvres.
|Kaley, Tiffany, Me, Laura Dave, Andi, Gail & Melissa!
We had great chats about our favourite reads with Laura (who is so lovely), her agent, and Melissa (Chick Lit Central), as well as some great people from Simon & Schuster. It was a good moment to catch our breaths.
I was greeted with a nametag & raffle ticket, and then headed out to the swelteringly hot patio, where I immediately got to chat with Margot from Epic Reads, and Ottawa Blogettes Jess (Read My Breath Away), Emilie (Emilie’s Book World), Kathy (A Glass of Wine), Ciara (Lost at Midnight) and Katie (The Bevy Bibliotheque), as well as Jaime and Erin (Fiction Fare), and Alexa (Alexa Loves Books.
The party was really cute, with posters up asking people to write down their favourite literary crushes and villains, a photobooth, and raffle giveaways. I also got to chat more with Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) and meet the Forever Young Adult bloggers Sarah (Posh), Mandy W, Mandy C, and Jennie! Total bonding over the craziness of BEA, FYA book club picks (I’m the leader of the Toronto club), and Jessica Darling!
|Mandy Wan of Forever Young Adult & me!
Speaking of authors, they were everywhere! I had a great time meeting Kate Scelsa (Fans of the Impossible Life) and Marcy Beller Paul (Underneath Everything), and such a fun time chatting with author fave Heather Demetrios about her books Something Real, I’ll Meet You There, and the upcoming Lexie Project.
Oh yeah…and I met and hung out with PATRICK NESS (The Rest of Us Just Live Here and the AMAZING Chaos Walking trilogy, and several other awesome books), who is way funnier and more charming and more cool than you could possibly imagine.
I ended the night by chatting with Christina (A Reader of Fictions), Jessica (publicist) from Harper Teen, and Kim and Layla (The Midnight Garden) as we were heading out in the rain, which was honestly a welcome relief from the heat!
Thank you so much to the authors, publishers, and bloggers for making BEA Day 1 a blast for me!
Things To Learn/Keep in Mind from Day 1 of BEA:
- Do not be grabby or greedy about books; let’s keep some semblance of professionalism, bloggers!
- Downtime is good time, especially when it involves hanging with your blogger friends
- If you’re too excited to eat, eat anyway
- TAKE PHOTOS of your friends
- Having a great roommate who gets you is super important during BEA
Stay tuned for BEA Day 2 and 3 recaps, coming up Saturday & Sunday! Spoiler: MOAR BOOKS. MOAR AUTHORS.