Tag Archives: Book Expo America

BEA & BookCon 2018 Recap

After missing BEA last year, I was excited to be back again for 2018! This year was totally different from my previous years attending in many ways, starting with the fact that it was kind of a last-minute decision!

Now that Novelly Yours has become my main focus, I knew I wanted to attend BookCon to meet up with my candle reps, meet customers, and say hello to other bookish shops that were attending as vendors! My regular crew wasn’t attending BEA this year so I didn’t really have plans to attend but I still really wanted to. I managed to sneak in the last day of Book Expo with friend and rep Brittany (@bookswrotemystory) by my side and then we both hit BookCon with the rest of the rep crew!

BOOK EXPO (BEA)

    

In previous years, I focused a lot on all of the things that we did day-by-day and this year, I think I’m switching that up a bit because things felt very different this year. I noticed that there weren’t as many bloggers in attendance, which could be for a number of things. I know that the BookExpo team switched some things around and changed blogger/media attendance fees. I don’t know if this was to cut down on/discourage blogger attendance in actuality or if the community just kind of felt like it was (those were the rumblings we all heard within the last couple years), but it did seem like there were fewer people I knew there… But there’s also the fact that there are a lot of newer bloggers on the scene now and a lot of the veterans that I know have taken a step back from blogging, or at least to the extent where BEA is not a priority. In that sense, it did seem a little less familiar.

Meeting Kerri Maniscalco at BEA18

The pace of the conference is quite different from previous years as well. There are far fewer galley drops and books laying about the floor, free for the taking. Everything was much more scheduled and we had to line up for pretty much anything we wanted to do. I’m no stranger to standing in lines at BEA but I was also really looking forward to just walking around and trying to find some new, interesting reads this year and I couldn’t really even peep at any books. Everything was very protected, lots of secret drops that you had to be watching for on social media or things that were announced but the title kept a secret, and even more ticketed signings than in previous years. It’s not a bad thing — ticketed signings and and scheduled drops can help the organization process and keep things orderly, which I know was a concern among to blogging community if not all of the BEA attendees. It did make it difficult to do anything without a schedule and I was trying to be a bit more casual this year so those two concepts didn’t really work together, but I did manage to meet a few authors and grab a few ARCs that I really wanted to! I was surprised that there just weren’t really a lot of things to go and browse like there had been in previous years, not even with some of the smaller publishers. It was rare to see ARCs around on the floor to look at or take.

With Leigh Bardugo at the Macmillan blogger party

Another perk of attending the one day of BookExpo was that I was in town for the Macmillan blogger party! They’re one of my favorite publishers and I still treasure our working relationship and how well I’ve grown to know the team and even the authors! I somehow always manage to get there late (this time it was because Laini Taylor was the last signing of the day and we needed MUSE OF NIGHTMARES and then we had to check into our Airbnb after moving out of our hotel) so I was rushed again getting there, but I stayed until the very end! I got to say hello to Marissa Meyer again (though I neglected to get a photo with her) and chat with Leigh Bardugo! I saw the lovely faces of the Macmillan team, spent time chatting with bloggers, and even got to meet a couple new friends that I hadn’t met before! It’s always such a fun time and it’s one of my favorite parts of the conference!

BOOKCON

  

This was the first year that I attended BookCon since its inception so I had no idea what to expect!! The first year was kind of a hot mess and they seemed to have it down to a science now this year. It was nice having it on the same floor as BookExpo and I already knew where everything was. The upsides of BookCon were taking the time to meet some other vendors like OwlCrate, The Bookish Box, Book Beau, North Ave Candles, and Beacon Book Box. I’ve met some of the owners before but it was nice to say hello to people for the first time and make some new connections as well!! I had also made some candles to hand out around BookCon and that was really fun to be able to meet some people that way and hand out some fun goodies!

Other than attending as a vendor, I can’t say I’d ever go to BookCon as a regular attendee again. Every signing in the regular autographing area was ticketed and since I had a press pass and didn’t receive a BookCon badge ahead of time, I could register for any of them and a representative of BookCon didn’t get back to me to see if there was a way for me to do that. I didn’t push it because I knew I was going to BEA, plus I’ve attended many book events, so I didn’t want to take that opportunity away from someone else who really wanted to meet their favorite author! Most things on the floor were ticketed as well and I didn’t have desire to wait in a lot of those ticket lines so I just ended up walking around and hanging out with my friends most of the time, as well as making the time to chat with the aforementioned vendors!

Nearly everything at BookCon is something that’s available for purchase, as well, meaning that unless I was buying books, I likely wasn’t picking anything up. Knowing how many books I’d have to tote back home, I didn’t feel like it was necessary to buy something all the way out in NYC and take it back to IL. A lot of people purchased books for signings but since I own all of the books from my favorite authors and I didn’t attend that many signings at BookCon, there was no reason for me to buy those either. I guess when you’re spoiled by BEA and ALA, getting books at BookCon felt silly (as weird as that sounds) but I also think the event is designed much more for consumers and the general public and not so much someone who can attend BEA or other book conferences like ALA. I think I ended up with 2 or 3 books from BookCon vs the other stack that I was able to obtain from BEA.

 

I definitely had fun meeting the people and hanging out with my friends at BookCon but I don’t think I’d pay to attend just for me. Hopefully in years to come, I can participate in more of a vendor fashion, whether that’s having a booth or collaborating with another vendor!

Did you attend BEA or BookCon this year? Have you attended in previous years? What did you think?

Looking for more BEA news? You can check out my recaps from previous years I attended!
BEA 2013 | BEA 2014 | BEA 2015 | BEA2016

BEA 2016 Recap!

Book Expo America 2016 was in Chicago this year so it was a given that I’d attend! My other halves (other thirds?), Alyssa from Books Take You Places and Amy from Tripping Over Books, came out to Chicago and we all headed out to BEA together on Tuesday afternoon! The trip was excellent, as always, and it was so amazing to spend time with all of the wonderful bookish people I’ve come to know throughout the years!

TUESDAY, MAY 10TH

Tuesday we headed into the city and met up with some fellow bloggers to go see The Bean (official name: Cloud Gate) in Millennium Park! I’ve visited a few times being a Chicago suburbanite but it was so much fun to see everyone experience it for the first time and it’s always fun to feel free to be touristy, even when it’s a city I know well! We took some requisite Bean selfies and other photos before we headed off to dinner for some deep dish pizza! Lou Malnati’s is my favorite place to grab deep dish and I’m never, ever disappointed. The pizza was delicious and the company was wonderful!

WEDNESDAY, MAY 11TH

Due to a family emergency, I got to the floor late on Wednesday so I really didn’t pick up too many books! I did end up getting REPLICA by Lauren Oliver which was something I really wanted to snag. The story has two different narrators but the two sides can either be read entirely one and then the other or alternating. I did get a copy of REPLICA from Edelweiss but if I’m going to read it in alternating POVs, that really doesn’t work reading it on my Kindle! I haven’t decided how I’m going to do it yet but I can’t wait to read this one!

After the conference, we headed out to dinner at Carnivale with a group of blogger besties! We were looking for something unique with a fun atmosphere and Carnivale was a delight! It wasn’t crowded since we came on a Wednesday and it looks like they get into some pretty cool shows on the weekends, complete with aerial performances! I got jerk ribs (I love ribs) and they were so good! We split a chocolate cigar for dessert and it actually looked like cigar. The service was great, atmosphere was fun, and company was top notch!

THURSDAY, MAY 12TH

Thursday was the busiest day! We spent a bunch of time trying to grab our most-coveted ARCs and were able to see so many amazing authors! I haven’t read the Miss Peregrine series yet (I am starting it soon!) but we met Ransom Riggs and got a chapter sampler signed for his upcoming release Tales of the Peculiar. I got to say hello again to Gayle Forman and get an ARC of her adult novel, Leave Me! I absolutely love Gayle and all of her young adult books so although I don’t really read adult contemporary, I can’t wait to see what this book has in store for readers! I met Jennifer Niven and received a copy of her upcoming release, Holding up the Universe, as well as Adam Gidwitz for his latest MG novel. I was able to pick up a bunch of ARCs I’ve been looking forward to from the NOVL, a cute contemporary from HarperTeen, and the first in a new series called Stalking Jack the Ripper!

Thursday night held some publisher parties for us! I met up with the Bloomsbury team and some of their authors for food and drinks! It was great to see Lizzy, Erica, and the rest of the Bloomsbury ladies in attendance! I also got to meet Elizabeth Eulberg who is so sweet as well as author Danielle Paige. Jeff Giles wasn’t able to make it to the party due to a flight delay but I did get to meet him the next day! It was the first time I had seen my blurb in the ARC of The Edge of Everything so that was SUCH a cool experience!!

The Edge of Everything Jeff Giles The Book Addict's Guide

After Bloomsbury we conveniently walked two blocks to the Macmillan/Fierce Reads party at Berghoff! It was such a delight to hang out with more blogger friends and I was overjoyed to be able to really spend some time with Marissa Meyer! We chatted for a bit with Mary from Macmillan and a gentleman who I later found out is the president of Macmillan! (I hope I didn’t say anything TOO embarrassing in front of him. We were all talking about truth or dare so…) I got to say hello to the lovely and fierce Leigh Bardugo and meet Caleb Roehrig who has a debut coming out in the fall! The party was great and I’m so glad I was able to attend, especially since I missed it last year!!

Leigh Barudgo Macmillan B & Marissa

FRIDAY, MAY 13TH

Friday was all about obtaining an ARC of Gemina!! Penguin Random House didn’t really do ANY drops at all except for the one that was scheduled on Friday at 3:30pm so we meandered around the floor for most of the day, meeting a few authors and grabbing a few books, but we made sure to SET UP for Gemina! In the meantime, we happened to somehow stumble into Laini Taylor’s signing and there was mysteriously (miraculously?) NO LINE. We just walked right up and got to meet her! As usual I was quite flabbergasted and made an idiot of myself in front of a huge author but she was very sweet and I’m so excited I got to meet her because she was one of the author’s I’ve wanted to meet but she hadn’t come to town yet!

It was finally Gemina time and we almost didn’t even know it! Around 1pm, we ran out of places we really wanted to be so we figured why not go line up early for the ARC drop? It was a good thing we headed over there because there was already a line forming!! There had to have been hundreds and hundreds of people by the time it was time for the drop. Yes, we waited two and a half hours to grab this book! We are that excited for it. We heard that Jay Kristoff was walking around and if you gave him a secret keyword, he had ARCs of his latest solo release Nevernight! Girls literally went RUNNING. I want that book so badly and Kristina from Gone Pecan got one! He had limited ARCs since they were just in his messenger bag so we are convincing her to share ;D But really it was just super neat to meet him and he was so tickled with how many people were in line for Gemina!

All was well, we easily made it within the number range to grab Gemina (I think most people did!) and that was it for BEA 2016!

See my full photo album from the trip on my blog’s Facebook page!

Did you go to BEA this year? What was your favorite part of the conference? If you didn’t go to BEA, what are some books that were there that you’re dying to read!?

Looking for more BEA news? You can check out my recaps from previous years I attended!
BEA 2013 | BEA 2014 | BEA 2015

BEA Part of It | Chicago Edition 2016

BEA CHICAGO

Traveling to Chicago for BEA this year? Totally new to the city and don’t know what to do/where to go? Then this Chicago edition of the BEA Part of It series is just what you need!

Four years ago, Estelle from Rather Be Reading started the BEA Part of It series — a little guide for everyone who was travelling to NYC for BEA. She wanted to share her home with everyone who was visiting and point out some of her favorite spots, give ideas for places to go, and recommend things to do. Since BEA is in Chicago this year, I thought it would be a nice tradition to continue for first-time/infrequent visitors to the Windy City and with Estelle’s blessing, BEA Part of it, Chicago edition was in the works!

This year, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite Chicago attractions along with some other Chicago area friends: Katie & Kylie from The Polished Page Turners, Heidi from YA Bibliophile, and Jaime & Erin from Fiction Fare! Keep your eyes peeled for their Chicago-themed posts throughout the rest of April and into May!


I grew up in (and still currently live in) the Chicago suburbs so I’ve been in and out of the city pretty much all of my life! I wanted to share some of my favorite spots and recommendations for things to see while you’re in the city for BEA this year!

THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT CHICAGO

WELCOME TO CHICAGO

  • It’s not really that windy. The “Windy City” actually was a reference to “hot-air” politicians back in the 1800s. (Although that might still be true today.)
  • Weather. May in Chicago… could be anything! Chicago weather is a bit unpredictable but I’d say bet on nice spring weather (50s, 60s).
  • Chicagoans. Most of the “Chicago accents” you hear on TV are extremely exaggerated! Though I have been told I do have a slight Chicago accent.
  • Public transit. The Metra and the El (the subway/elevated train) are commonly used forms of public transit. I’d say for most things you can probably use a taxi or an Uber to get from place to place. Unless you’re going a fair distance, you probably won’t need to use the trains and I don’t really recommend the bus system. (Also in part because I’ve just never taken it.)
  • McCormick Place. If you’re trying to find places around the conference center, I’ll be honest… it’s kind of in a dead zone. There aren’t a lot of restaurants or places nearby and you’ll likely have to take a cab/Uber to get places. It’ll be a pretty long (and possibly unsafe) walk if you try to hoof it anywhere from McCormick! (Trust a person who has accidentally made a nine mile walk down the lakeshore once time… Just take a cab.)
  • Like New York, Chicago has many different neighborhoods. If you’re looking for places near McCormick, I’d suggest looking in: South Loop (NOT THE SOUTH SIDE), The Loop, Magnificent Mile, River North, West Loop.

PLACES TO EAT

  • Pizza. Chicago is known for its deep dish pizza! If you want to try some, my favorite place is Lou Malnati’s. Another option is Gino’s East (which is also great but I like Lou’s a bit more). If you’re staying near McCormick, I recommend the Lou Malnati’s on State Street. There are also locations for both in River North.
  • Burgers, Sandwiches, Hot Dogs. One place I’ve been to several times is Rockit Bar & Grill in River North. It’s a few miles from McCormick but I’ve always loved the food (standard American fare) and there’s a great beer selection too. They have a fun rock & roll theme going on and the menus are bookended in old record covers. Buddy Guy’s Legends is a little bit closer and there’s a strong cajun & blues theme. There’s live music (actual shows at night that may require tickets but free during the day/dinner time). Another Chicago staple is Portillo’s, famous for their hot dogs and cake shakes! They’ve expanded into a few places now  but it’s almost strictly a Chicago establishment.
  • Italian. Quartino Ristorante is a fantastic place for Italian and it’s also a wine bar. The dishes here are meant to be shared! Order any plate off the menu and you’ll get a medium sized sampling (it probably won’t fill you up) and the idea is to order a whole bunch of different things and share them with the table. We went here for a birthday recently and it was a lot of fun! It’s a little bit fancier than just casual dining (price and attire).

THINGS TO DO

chicago attractions

  • Attractions.
    • Museums. The Art Institute is the museum I’ve frequented the most (usually because we went there for many school field trips). It’s really neat to explore — plus, you can pretend you’re in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Also near by is the Museum Campus — The Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, and Adler Planetarium are all right next to each other. (Also by Soldier Field!)
    • Millennium Park. Millennium Park is a great place to walk around and see some traditional Chicago staples like The Bean, Grant Park, and Buckingham Fountain. It also surrounds the Art Institute! You can also take a walk down the lakeshore and just enjoy the view.
    • Navy Pier. I haven’t really been to Navy Pier as a destination (mostly walked through it) but it’s a classic Chicago attraction! Check out the Ferris Wheel!
    • The Sears Tower. Okay, so they renamed it The Willis Tower. It’ll always be the Sears Tower to me.
  • Nightlife. Howl at the Moon is a dueling piano bar in River North. I’ve never been but I know several people who have been many times!
  • Baseball. The Cubs are in town during BEA week! There’s a night game on Wednesday the 11th and an afternoon came on Saturday the 14th if you’re still in town. Wrigley Field is a little far but easily accessible by El (That’s how I get there!) and if you’re a big baseball fan, Wrigley is such a historic landmark (and just a really fun place overall). 
  • Shopping. The Magnificent Mile is famous for its shopping! There are tons of stores to choose from, lots of restaurants in the area, and other attractions.
  • Theater. Check out a comedy show at Second City, a showing of Chicago at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, or Disenchanted at Broadway in Chicago!
  • The Beach. Yes, the lake does have a couple beaches! The water will still be freezing so I don’t recommend getting in the water but you can visit Oak Street Beach or North Avenue Beach on the North Side!

wrigley field


I feel like that’s a lot of info and so little info all at the same time! There’s so much more to Chicago BUT other museums, restaurants, and attractions are just so far away from McCormick Place and I’m guessing most people in town won’t want to travel TOO far in a city that they don’t know well. And truthfully, BEA takes up so much of the day and every year I’ve been I usually want to see people at night so this should be plenty to fill your Chicago time throughout BEA week! Hope these help! I can’t wait to hear about some first-time Chicago experiences!!

And if you’re going to BEA for the first time ever, I also have a post sharing my own personal experiences and tips for what to wear/bring/do!
So You’re Going to BEA For the First Time?

BEA 2015 Recap!

Well, I did BEA a little differently this year! For those of you who don’t know me or know me as well, I got married this past November so after taking a week and a half off for a wedding + honeymoon, I was trying not to take another full week of for BEA. Plus, after discussing with my BFFs Amy & Alyssa, we decided to put the focus of our trip more on spending time with each other (since we only see each other in person twice a year) and only attending one day of Book Expo America.

With the new schedule this year (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday conference), Friday was our day of choice and the timing worked out really well! I actually flew out Thursday to Connecticut to stay with Alyssa and grab some best friend time… especially since we’d have to get up super early for the conference on Friday! Amy was already there and the three of us just had a nice, relaxing day in CT. We, of course, made a visit to the Book Barn in Niantic which is still my favorite used book store that I’ve been fortunate enough to visit! (I actually grabbed more books at the Book Barn than at BEA. Oops?)

Book Barn Niantic

Friday morning we got up before the crack of dawn (literally. My alarm got me up at 4:15am) and got ready to hop the train from CT to NYC. I say hop, but really it’s a two hour train ride! BUT we’ve done it before and it’s a really nice way to save money instead of shelling out hundreds of dollars to stay in a hotel in NYC for a night! We were willing to sacrifice time (and sleep) to save a little money and it worked out nicely! We also got to meet Lauren from Bookmark Lit who is also from Connecticut so she carpooled with us to the train station and we headed to the conference together! After we taxied it to Javits (I’ll tell ya… sitting in the front seat of a cap was an experience), we were ready to take on BEA!

This being my third year, Alyssa’s fourth, and Amy’s fifth attending BEA, we had a bit more chill of an approach. We fully planned on plopping ourselves in the signing line for Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo but since that wasn’t until 10:30, we casually scanned the floor and walked around to check out the booths like we usually do. I was trying to limit myself to what I picked up on the floor and I grabbed a hardcover ARC of Illuminae by Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff which I’ve been curious about for a while! Plus… hardcover ARC!? Has anyone even heard of that before? I’m even more interested now! The book looks crazy, full of artwork, illustrations, notes, emails, logs, etc so I am definitely anxious to see what this is all about!

bea2015

Getting in line for Six of Crows was our priority really for the whole day so on to the line we went! We hopped in just at the right time (a little over an hour beforehand) because it started filling in pretty quickly after that and with this being our only real “must-have” book, it was worth the time to make sure we got a copy AND got it signed! There was a bit of Drama with a capital D when people got miscounted and were told they weren’t going to get books. Macmillan only had 100 copies reserved for the signing and several people came through to count the line (two line admins from BEA and the publicist from Macmillan) and people who were once “safe” ended up getting cut. There were a few stories going around but from what we saw and from what others heard as well, it sounded like they miscounted and let too many people in the line and then on top of that, an unexpected number of people used their “jump the line” passes (which I forget about every year) so that took away books from the people who were in line. Fortunately, my friends and I were safe but there were several people who got cut who were VERY unhappy. I totally understand because I would have been really upset if I had gotten cut BUT drama ensued when one lady took it way too far and started screaming at the poor publicist (whose fault it was not) and from what I hear, security was almost called on her after we left that part of the line. What people will do for these books, man. It’s intense. But long story short, it worked out for us and it was so lovely to see Leigh again because she’s just one of my favorite authors all-around.

bea2015-1

After Leigh, we didn’t really have too many other plans! I kept circling the floor with Lauren throughout the day and Alyssa and Amy ended up in line to meet Mindy Kaling (who we didn’t realize would be at the conference (I thought she was going to be at BookCon)) and I picked up a couple other books here and there. I met a few other bloggers in line, passed by Rainbow Rowell (who we couldn’t get in line for since we were waiting for Six of Crows) and totally forgot about Marissa Meyer’s signing to my dismay!! It was for Fairest which I do already own (but not signed) and since she’s one of my favorite authors, I was hoping to meet her again there at the conference but with all of our “chill” plans, I forgot all about her signing! I tried to hop in just to say hello but they wouldn’t allow it. (Thankfully Andi from Andi’s ABCs said hello to her for me at the Macmillan blogger party the night before (which I was also sad to miss but had to since I wasn’t staying in NYC) and Marissa even remembered who I was! Woo!)

We wandered some more, found a few more bloggers, and I stopped by some publisher booths to say hello to Erica and Emily from Bloomsbury and Ksenia who’s now over at Simon & Schuster! We chatted a bit, made some plans, and then finally left BEA at around 3pm in search of food and refreshments!

bea2015-3

After food, it was on to meet up with some of our very best blogger friends! The conference was fun but we were more importantly attending to see some of the most wonderful people that we only get to see once a year at events like these! We gathered in Bryant Park just to talk and hang out and it was honestly the BEST time I’ve had at BEA. Publisher parties are fun and exciting and glamorous but to have all of your very closest blogger friends in one place? That’s priceless.

We had a great time just talking about anything and everything — from what was going on with us to what happened on the conference — and I think we were all so excited just to be hanging out and not running around BEA trying to sneak in friend time! Nothing too out of the ordinary happened but it was just perfect that way. I got to chat with some great people and we were all very relaxed after a long day (for us, week for them!) until the party started to disperse for food, events, and even a date! 060215-6 060215-5

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We thought about stopping by The Strand after the day was done but we were just plain tired (and didn’t need to buy more books) so home we went! We stopped at Magnolia Bakery (as is tradition when we’re in Grand Central) and I got a nice iced coffee to quench my thirst and two cupcakes for the road! Two more hours back home on the train, another 40 minutes back to Alyssa’s house and it was time to crash!

The rest of the weekend was nice too! I got to spend more time with Alyssa and Amy just relaxing, talking, and getting Thai for dinner on Saturday after we went to go see Pitch Perfect 2! It was a really great weekend and as always, I was sad to say goodbye, especially since we never know when we’ll see each other again in person! BUT I did miss my husband and sadly, I had to get back to the real world after a BEA and BFF hangover.

My flight home got delayed but only by an hour so it wasn’t too bad (I seem to always have delays at Bradley?) so I hung out with Alyssa and her boyfriend for part of the day after we dropped Amy off at the train station. I got the airport a bit early and had to say another teary goodbye (it’s always hard) but then I had a nice time just decompressing after a busy few days with Six of Crows (yes, I already started reading) and a couple Yuenglings since I can’t get those in Illinois! I finally got on the plane and headed home, with my book in tow and another beverage since my sister had a free drink coupon that was going to go to waste! Not a bad way to end a great weekend!

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Did you go to BEA this year? Do you plan on going next year in Chicago? You know I’ll be there since I live in the ‘burbs!

Looking for more BEA news? You can check out my recaps from previous years I attended!
BEA 2013 | BEA 2014

BEA 2014 Recap!

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!

WEDNESDAY:
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!

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THURSDAY:
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.

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IMG_2929(photo courtesy of Sandie from Teen Lit Rocks)

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Jamie, Scott Westerfield, and me (photo courtesy of Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner) 

FRIDAY:
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.

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IMG_2941Maleficent viewing! (photo courtesy of Alyssa at Books Take You Places) 

SATURDAY:
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

I SAW YOU BUT WHY DIDN’T I TAKE PICTURES WITH YOU?

NAMES DROPPED: Books

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!

Heads up for all you #LitLush fans! I grabbed a bunch of ARCs for On the Same Page ARC tours! Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for new ARC tours being announced on the On the Same Page page and Twitter!! If you have any ARCs from BEA (or otherwise) that you’re already finished with or don’t need to keep, please consider donating them to the ARC tours! We try to collect as many as possible on our own but I cannot tell you how much blogger donations help and how much we appreciate them!

BEA 2013 Recap!

Oh, BEA 2013 and fellow bloggers… I already miss you! BEA was incredibly exhausting but exponentially more rewarding!! Being my first time at BEA, I had no idea what to expect except for what I’d heard from fellow bloggers as well as helpful posts, so yes, I was a bit intimidated! Fortunately for me, I had fellow blogger and now IRL best friend Alyssa (Books Take You Places) to guide me along!

WEDNESDAY 5/29

Wednesday started off at 4am, which was how early I needed to wake up to get to the airport. I was super excited though so that really took precedence over sleepiness! I arrived at Boston Logan Airport at around 10:30am and finally got to meet Alyssa in person after talking for about a year and let me tell you, friends. She’s kind of super amazing. We were meant to be BFFs, that’s for sure.
I know what you’re thinking… Why the hell did I fly into Boston? Well, it was cheaper than La Guardia AND way cheaper than flying into Hartford because we stayed in Connecticut and took the train into NYC each day. I know from all the BEA posts with tips and tricks, almost all of them said to stay as close to Javits as possible but you know what? I kind of loved staying in CT. The train ride in was about an hour and a half so yes, it did take time to get there and back, but I literally read 500 pages of A Clash of Kings throughout my commutes and majorly caught up for #SOIFRA!  It was rough getting up early and yes, if you plan on doing things in the city or going to parties, CT may not be the best option for you but it was a great money saver for us and I honestly didn’t mind at all.
Anyhoo. After Alyssa picked me up at the airport, we went to the legendary Book Barn! I was super excited to go because I always hear about it from Alyssa. They have tons of books, and this is not your regular book store! There are quite a few really new titles as well as old and the books fill up quite a few different buildings. I was in heaven although trying to pace myself because I knew I still had to save room in my suitcases for BEA books too! Then we just went to the hotel, relaxed, grabbed some dinner and a bottle of wine for the hotel room (yeah, we’re classy like that) and went to bed excited for the morning!

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THURSDAY 5/30

Thursday was an early morning, but I was just jonesing to get to BEA already! We finally made it through the doors when they opened at 9am and I kind of felt like Harry Potter when he first walks into Diagon Alley… Like, “YES. THIS is where I’m supposed to be and this is what it’s all about!” So it doesn’t sound glorious, but basically at the actual conference part of BEA there are four main things to do: Attend a panel (which I actually didn’t end up doing because there were so many places I wanted to be at once), stand in line for a signing in the autographing area, stand in line for an in-booth signing, or stand in line for a galley drop. Or just walk around and wander/talk to people. Most of BEA was standing in line, but I didn’t mind it in the least! Despite all the waiting, the days actually went by really quickly for me!

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I try not to be touristy and I get like, one picture of New York out of a taxi cab window….

I think we headed straight for the autographing area on Day 1 because there was a signing we really wanted to go to… What it was, I can’t even remember because so many times just blur together that I can’t even keep the days straight half the time! (After consulting my pictures, I realized it was Kendare Blake/Antigoddess!) Regardless, we started off the day with a few signings and then roamed to check out the rest of what was happening. I probably picked up more galleys than I needed to on the first day but it’s so hard to say no when people hand them to you! I definitely got choosier on Days Two and Three.
IMG_1399Anywho… We had a MAJOR line mishap when Alyssa, our new (mysterious) friend “Shelver M” from Bookshelvers Anonymous, and I were in line for Veronica Rossi. We were told we were the first in line and folks on the other side of the room were told they were the first in line. We kind of got shafted by being stuck in the back and somehow I was the last person to get a book and my other two friends got cut off because they ran out of time. Needless to say that after that mishap, everything was MUCH more organized on day two! I was SO nervous about talking to authors, but Veronica Rossi was so nice yet still intimidating because GOSH, she is gorgeous!!! My picture clearly doesn’t do her justice because, hello, my iPhone’s camera is truly appalling but it was such a honor to meet her!

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This picture is actually from Sandie’s phone but I saved it on mine and just had to include it!

One of the best parts about BEA is MEETING THE BLOGGERS. Not gonna lie. That was truly my favorite part. I’m going to TRY and chronicle all the lovely ladies that I met but I’m truly sorry if I forget anyone! We met up with Heidi from Bunbury in the Stacks and also met Asher from Paranormal Indulgence and Mandee from Vegan YA Nerds/The Bookish Manicurist. I finally got to meet Sandie from Teen Lit Rocks who is also my fellow Selective Collective member! It was SO great to finally meet in person even though it was so short.
I briefly met Alexa (Alexa Loves Books), Jamie (The Perpetual Page Turner), and got to see Anna (Anna Reads) again since we’d met before in Chicago. They were all so cute and I was sad we didn’t get to see more of each other but it’s just seriously so busy at BEA! I also got to meet Gaby (Queen Ella Bee Reads) and we ran into each other in a few different lines throughout the conference!

We headed back to Grand Central after we were done at the conference for the day, grabbed a cupcake from Magnolia Bakery, and headed back to the hotel. Day One was a success and I felt pretty good about the first day’s haul!

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FRIDAY 5/31

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Rainbow + Fangirl!!

Much more hanging out with bloggers, autographing, and of course standing in lines! I felt like I picked up a ton of must-have titles on Friday, the most exciting of which was FANGIRL!!!! I finally got to meet Rainbow Rowell after her event was most upsettingly cancelled in IL the other month. Once again, my camera phone takes crappy pictures, but so be it. I was also way too lazy/busy/shy to actually take pictures WITH authors. I also didn’t want to hold up these amazingly long lines! I actually ended up standing right next to Christina from Allodoxophobia: The Fear of Opinions at the Rainbow Rowell signing and had no idea until she saw my badge and said hello! Maybe I should have done a “faces of me” post like Jamie had because I don’t think I’ve had a ton of pictures of myself up on the blog. Maybe next year I will make myself more recognizable!
Alyssa and I actually split up most of Friday because I had a long list of places I wanted to be and people I wanted to see, but our schedules didn’t mash up. No worries though because by day two, I felt like a pro! This is another part where I can barely remember what events I went to which day and you don’t really want me to list them all out anyway 🙂 I just know that I left feeling so happy that I made it to a lot of things that I REALLY wanted to be at.
We actually didn’t end up making it to the Book Blogger Picnic we were sad about but we got some MUCH needed rest & relaxation and just felt so much better after days one and two kind of physically kicked us in the butt! We didn’t even stop at Magnolia Bakery for another cupcake. THAT says something haha!

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Day Two haul! Let column = signed, right column = other galleys 🙂

SATURDAY 6/1

IMG_1414Saturday was the last day of BEA and I was so sad that it was already ending! Alyssa went to go see Neil Gaiman at 10 so I hopped over to the autographing lines because I really, really wanted to meet Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds) AND pick up book two in the series! Saturday was a Power Reader day, meaning it was open to the public, but really it wasn’t as crowded as I thought it was going to be. In fact, the lines were actually much shorter with the exception of the Alexandra Bracken line! I was worried that my suitcases would be overweight with all the books I was bringing home (I brought two empty suitcases to transport my books) so I hadn’t planned on picking up a ton more books on the last day, but the lines were so short that I couldn’t resist!

IMG_1416After Alyssa was done at Gaiman and I was done with autographing, there really wasn’t too much going on so we jetted out at around 12 for an afternoon in the city! First up, we headed to The Strand with Heidi, Asher, Mandee, and met Estelle from Rather Be Reading! Estelle and I had talked about meeting up so I was SO glad she was there because it was just so crazy trying to meet everyone! I bought a few books at The Strand since they are such great deals and Estelle took these awesome photos of all of us blogger girls 🙂

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(These pictures stolen from Estelle!)

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After The Strand, we went in search of true New York pizza because my boyfriend (who used to live on the east coast) insisted that it wasn’t a real New York trip if I didn’t have New York pizza! We stopped at a place, but Heidi and Alyssa let me know that even if the pizza was still delicious, it wasn’t quite NY pizza! That’s okay. I took some pictures anyway and… it half counts.

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After our bellies were full (I stuffed myself a little too much), we popped over to Books of Wonder! I had to see what this place was all about. It was so cool to be at a “famous” NYC book store. IMG_1423I just see so much about it that it was cool to finally be there. ALSO, I found a paperback copy of SISTERS IN SANITY for the Gayle Forman read along so that was kind of perfect timing!

We said goodbye to our blogger friends and headed home to pack up and crash before I had to leave the next day.

 

SUNDAY 6/2

IMG_1449Sunday was bittersweet. I was excited to go home with all my books and to see my boyfriend again, but I was so sad to say goodbye to Alyssa! We had such a great time hanging out in person and really becoming IRL best friends. I was ready to go home and rest, but also didn’t want to say goodbye to BEA!
After some crazy delays at the airport (which actually only took an hour and I was so glad I was just heading straight to Chicago and not connecting there), I finally made it home.

(Alyssa may not like this picture but I do (even with the wind whipping her hair in her face)! It’s us at the airport, right before I left wearing our awesome BEA shirts. Gotta represent BEA shirts and BFF time!)

BEA was such an amazing experience and I cannot wait to go back next year! Is it bad that I’m already thinking about it?