WHEW, back from BEA 2014 and I am still drained and catching up! It was so much fun but being a more introverted person, I am happy for the time to recoup and snag a little quiet time!
As predicted, one of my favorite parts was seeing all of my close blogger friends again, meeting bloggers for the first time, and meeting new bloggers that I hadn’t even known before! It was really so fantastic to just spend time with the people that I only get to see once a year at best and I’m so glad I got to come out to NYC and meet up with everyone! Once again, I didn’t take as MANY pictures as I should have with everyone but I definitely have more than last year so that’s a start!
I got into the city on Wednesday, flying straight into LaGuardia. I won’t tell you my taxi-this-isn’t-really-a-taxi story (could I BE more of a tourist?) but I made it safely to Grand Central to meet up with Alyssa (Books Take You Places)! I picked DANGEROUS GIRLS by Abigail Haas as my airport/plane read and I honestly started it in Midway and finished it at Grand Central. It was THAT GOOD. Seriously glad I chose to read that in one fell swoop! So Alyssa’s train arrived and we headed over to the hotel, grabbed a bite to eat, and then waiting for Amy (Tripping Over Books) to arrive and it was a joyous occasion when we were all finally united again!!!
We went to dinner with Estelle (Rather Be Reading) at Draught 55 because I needed Estelle to introduce me to a few NYC beer selections! We had such a great time catching up and it was so much fun to have us all together, especially since Estelle wasn’t actually attending the conference. It was such a perfect way to start out our BEA trip!
Thursday was probably the busiest day for me overall! We headed to BEA and started the day by scoping out some galley drops and I was fortunate to grab I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN (Jandy Nelson), BELZHAR (Meg Wolizer), and get ZODIAC (Romina Russell) signed, all before 9:45am! That really opened up my day a little bit because I had those on my “schedule” (which I ended up following VERY loosely) and I was able to sort of roam around instead of being “trapped” in autographing & galley drop lines! Thursday was a lot of galley drops and a handful of autographings and the first day was just a bit of a blur! I stalked a few autographings, hunted down a few galley drops, and that was pretty much the majority of my day! We also took our time to pace around the floor and make sure we also said hi to all our fellow bloggers there!
Thursday night was party night for me! I got to go to the Macmillan blogger happy hour over at Houndstooth Pub — YAY! I got back to the hotel around 4 or 4:30 so I had to get ready mildly quickly to book it on over there, so I got ready quickly and headed outside to catch a cab… Only it was rush hour. And there were no cabs. So I started walking (after being told by a cab driver that I “have to wait for one with the light on” because he’s “seen me three times trying to hail a cab” LOLLL no kidding, boss! I kept walking up the street trying to hail as I went to no avail) and literally found no cabs. I was already running late and didn’t want to be TOO late for the party, so at a certain point, I just called it quits and started hoofing it. Yep. That’s right. I hoofed it all the way there. I was mildly sweaty (sorry, guys) and thirsty by the time I arrived but I made it only 15 minutes late! I even got asked if I knew where the block with the fabric stores was so I guess I was convincing as a New Yorker with my fast walking!
The party was fun! My first BEA/blogger party and it was a blast! I got to finally meet the Macmillan staff that I’ve been talking to for so long — YAY! There were so many wonderful bloggers there too and I even met a few people first the first time like Kat, Steph, and Meg from Cuddlebuggery! I got to see some of my blogging friends there too, like Alexa (Alexa Loves Books), Sandie (Teen Lit Rocks), and Christina (Allodoxophobia)! It was so great to talk to them and spend time with them since I never get to see them in person and they are some of my FAVS! It was a lot of chatting and some good drinks, and then before I knew it, it was time to move onto the next party AHHH!
I then moved on to the YA Party hosted by Liza from WhoRuBlog, Andye from Reading Teen, & Hannah from The Irish Banana. What a party!! I got to see bloggers and authors alike with some publishing reps mixed in as well! It was such a great time (after I lost my Bingo card and then found it way too late) and I got to hang out with more wonderful bloggers and have great chats with Jenni from Live to Read, Love to Read, Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner, and Brianna from Paperback Princess! Lots of schmoozing & chatting and it was just so much fun to be able to talk with new and old friends alike.
Friday was much more laid-back. I thought it was going to be a busy day, but I actually did a lot of what I wanted on Friday and snagged my most coveted ARCs on Thursday too! We were able to get in line for the galley drop of LANDLINE (Rainbow Rowell) though which was one book I REALLY wanted to get. We also picked up a few great books in a Little, Brown galley drop and I got signed copies of EVEN IN PARADISE (Chelsey Philpot) and THE WALLED CITY (Ryan Graudin)!
At night, Alyssa, Amy and I walked over to a local theater to see Maleficent! It was really, really enjoyable and Angelina Jolie was just perfect for the role! I did have some minor complaints like… plot haha. I just wished they had hashed out Maleficent’s back story more and had less of a cross-over with the Sleeping Beauty plot because I feel like it sort of overshadowed Maleficent’s life and shifted the focus.
PHEW, Saturday was the last day and I was exhausted! It was a super chill day with not much to do on the main floor so we booked it straight to the line to meet Cary Elwes (Westley from The Princess Bride, for those of you who don’t know) who was there promoting his new book coming out in October, AS YOU WISH: INCONCEIVABLE TALES FROM THE MAKING OF THE PRINCESS BRIDE (Cary Elwes).
NAMES DROPPED: Bloggers
- Alyssa (Books Take You Places)
- Amy (Tripping Over Books)
- Estelle (Rather Be Reading)
- Alexa (Alexa Loves Books)
- Kat, Steph, and Meg (Cuddlebuggery)
- Sandie (Teen Lit Rocks)
- Christina (Allodoxophobia)
- Liza (WhoRuBlog)
- Andye (Reading Teen)
- Hannah (The Irish Banana)
- Jenni (Live to Read, Love to Read)
- Jamie (The Perpetual Page Turner)
- Brianna (Paperback Princess)
I SAW YOU BUT WHY DIDN’T I TAKE PICTURES WITH YOU?
- Nicole (The Quiet Concert)
- Rebecca (The Library Canary)
- Danielle (Love at First Page)
- Alexa (Alexa Loves Books)
- Andi (Andi ABCs)
- Rachel (As Told by Rachel)
- Gaby (Queen Ella Bee Reads)
NAMES DROPPED: Books
- I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN (Jandy Nelson)
- BELZHAR (Meg Wolizer)
- ZODIAC (Romina Russell)
- EVEN IN PARADISE (Chelsey Philpot)
- THE WALLED CITY (Ryan Graudin)
- AS YOU WISH: INCONCEIVABLE TALES FROM THE MAKING OF THE PRINCESS BRIDE (Cary Elwes)
So to sum up a long post, BEA this year was so much fun! It was definitely very different than last year, but mostly I’m just glad that I got to spend time with my besties, see some of my great blogger friends, and meet new people too! As usual, I didn’t network a lot because I’m just plain intimidated! I made sure to talk with the Macmillan contacts that I knew but other than that… I just chickened out! Sigh. I guess there’s always next year! I just never like approaching a publisher and handing them my card like I expect them to send me things. It feels strange! Whichever way you slice it, it was a total success and a blast! But even still, I’m glad to be home and relaxing, back in the swing of things!