Monday, October 21, 2013

Recap: Pub Crawl 2013

Hey, thanks for stopping by!  

In case you don't know what Pub Crawl 2013 is, you can find out more about it by clicking HERE.

Let me first say a HUGE thank you to everyone who helped make Pub Crawl happen!  All five of the houses we visited were incredibly generous not just with their time, but their staff and resources too. Hannah and I both had a great day and enjoyed meeting all of you! Thanks to everyone who followed us on Twitter too!

Our day began at the butt crack of dawn. On a bus. In coordinating outfits which was completely unplanned. This was my first experience with Megabus and for the most part it went smoothly. I will say that trying to use the bathroom on a Megabus is a lot like trying to pee while riding a roller coaster.  

Hannah and I.

Pub Stop #1 - Macmillan 
(Located in the uber cool and historic Flatiron Building) 

Ksenia Winnicki met us outside while Hannah and I were taking pictures, and then we headed into Argo for some delicious refreshments while we chatted about books. I had heard a lot of wonderful things about Ksenia prior to meeting her, and I can assure you they're all true. Ksenia is one of those people I could spend all day with!

After Argo, we headed up to take a look around Ksenia's office.  She introduced us to a few people, showed us her bookshelves (yes, there are multiple) and then she took us up and showed us the view from Jon Sargeant's (CEO of Macmillan Publishing) personal balcony. I set aside my fear of heights because the view was just amazing!

Ksenia and I
Bookshelf full of 2014 titles

Pub Stop #2 - Bloomsbury

While at Bloomsbury Walker, we were greeted by the fabulous Lizzy Mason, who I'd had the chance to meet back at BEA when she was still with Disney-Hyperion. Lizzy took us around and introduced us to a TON of people, all of whom were so nice!  Then we met with several other wonderful publicists Bridget, Erica and Emily and talked books, bloggers and cupcakes while Murray and Co. looked on. 

Erica and Lizzy took us to lunch at LT Burger where we met up with fellow blogger, Nicole from Paperback Princess. The food was delish but the company was my favorite part! I think Erica and I spent 99% of our time fangirling over Trish Doller and her books. ;) 

All of the conference rooms are labeled a different city.

(L-R) Me, Erica, Hannah, Nicole, Lizzy

Pub Stop #3 - Disney Publishing Worldwide
The lobby of this building had really cool lighting and a metro-like turn style security checkpoint. (fancy) It also has an elevator system that was straight out of a Sci-Fi novel and I half expected to step out as a clone of my former self. Nobody bothered to tell us that you have to input the number on the outside, before entering the correct elevator. (Yes, there is a right one and a wrong one. Choose wisely my friends.)

We eventually made it and enjoyed a nice visit with the super efficient Cassie McGinty. Not only did she show us what she does all day, (which is the equivalent of three people) but we also had the chance to meet and chat with people in the Editorial, Marketing, and Art Departments. It was informative and it was awesome!

Elevator made of weird.
(L-R) Hannah, Minnie, Cassie, Mickey and Me.

Pub Stop #4 - Harlequin

It took us longer than expected to get to Harlequin because our taxi driver dropped us off on the wrong street which ended up being four blocks in the opposite direction of where we needed to be. 

Well played taxi driver.  

Once we finally made it to the Harlequin offices, it was a GREAT time! We met up with Executive Editor, Natashya Wilson (who we forgot to take a picture with - boo!) and Senior Editor, Margo Lipschultz, both of whom I'd met at BEA. We talked about books, books and more books and Natashya even gave us a sneak peek at a couple of upcoming covers.

Margo and I

Then it was on to our final stop but not without a few shenanigans in the back of yet another taxi first. 
I blame the caffeine deficiency.

It was a little windy in the cab.

Selfie of a selfie because that's how we entertain ourselves.

Pub Stop #5 - Little Brown/Hachette Book Group

The fantastic Faye Bi greeted us and showed us around the office, introducing us to some of the hardworking people at LB/Hachette, and the ridiculously cool glass doors (see Hannah's post for pics) and the conference table that transforms into a pool table. 

Then Faye rendered both Hannah and myself speechless... 
After Hannah and I each had our seven minutes in Heaven in the galley closet with the books, we headed off to dinner at an Irish pub (perfect way to end our Pub Crawl) where Nicole joined us again.

Let's discuss that book acquisition over a game of pool, shall we?
Looking down on the little people in the lobby. ;)

 The Galley Closet *insert angelic singing*
We said our goodbyes and climbed into the backseat of another taxi with a driver who thought we were filming a scene from Final Destination. Seriously, I didn't know taxis could go that fast! Apparently, neither did the twenty people he almost took out in the crosswalk. (There may have been gasping for breath and bracing for impact on my part. Maybe.)

What Bloggers Should Know

1. We Matter to Publishers - We do! Everyone we spoke to said how important bloggers are to the publishing industry.

2. ARCs - A lot of bloggers (new and seasoned alike) wanted to know how to go about getting an advanced review copy. The short answer is to follow the guidelines set by each publisher. Don't request too early and don't request the same title more than once. When you DO request, please keep it professional and respectful. Publicists are always happy to interact with bloggers but this is their job, they are busy and you are not the only blogger contacting them, nor are you entitled to an ARC just because you're a blogger.

3. Post Content and the Numbers Games - One of the questions I had for the publicists was, "Do you really check the post links?" The answer was, "Yes!" publicists DO check your social media numbers and they check to see what's on your blog as well. For example, if you have 5,000 followers, and 100,000 unique page views but little or no content i.e. only post memes or giveaways, those numbers aren't necessarily going to work in your favor. You need to be interacting with other bloggers and posting actual reviews of the books you're receiving. And if a publisher asks (again) for your stats, it's most likely because they want to update your profile in their system.

4. Quality Matters - When reviewing especially on Netgalley or Edelweiss, make sure the quality of your review is where it should be. Simply rating a book 4 stars and saying, "I liked it!" won't cut it. Publishers are looking for people who genuinely love reading and who are willing to push their book for them. 

5. Negative vs. Snarky Reviews - While most people get a good laugh at the snarky reviews, not all Publishers find them as humorous especially when they cross the line. Everyone we spoke to said that while some snark is okay, most publicists are looking for honest, professional reviews of books. It's okay if you didn't like a book, just back it up with reasons and be respectful about it.
  6. Ebook vs. Traditional - Quite a few publishers are moving into the digital age with ARCs because it's more cost effective and enables them to get the book in front of more bloggers. Personally, I prefer traditional books (they're much easier to snuggle) BUT if it's a matter of getting an ARC I desperately want to read vs. not getting one, you won't hear me complaining. 

  7. Social Media Matters - All of the publishers are using social media now and some even use it as a means to find bloggers they think will be a good fit for a specific blog tour or book promotion. Others use it to see how bloggers interact with one another, do they only tweet about their own posts? Or do they help promote their fellow bloggers, etc. 

8. Respect and Professionalism go a long way. This is true if you're just starting out or you've been blogging forever.

 Interview with Hannah from The Irish Banana 

Best part: Visiting Jon Sargent's office (he's the CEO of Macmillan). They let us out on his balcony which has an insanely gorgeous view of NYC. Who needs the Empire State Building when you have this? Runner up would be the impromptu selfie photo shoot Jen and I had in the back of a windy taxi, cruising down FDR Drive, next to the East River. We were ridiculously slap-happy at this point.

Worst part: Arriving at Disney a full 3 hours early because I mixed up addresses. *headdesk* Then we had to power walk through NYC to make it to where we were supposed to be.

Unexpected moment: How excited everyone was to see us! Not just the publicists and editors we had arranged to see - but people in their office knew who we were and what we were there to do and they were so happy about it!

Interesting tidbit: Learning that these publicists aren't just sitting around organizing blog tours and approving/denying NetGalley requests. They have so much that they're juggling at the same time, I was exhausted just hearing about it.

Wish I had more time for: Breathing. We hit the ground running at 10 am and didn't stop until we were waiting in line for the bus home at 8:20 that night. I felt like there was a big countdown clock hanging over our heads during each visit because our time was so limited.


  1. I love how totally similar our posts are, but at the same time you caught several things I missed in mine. :) I had a total blast and would Pub Crawl with you any day, girl!

  2. AHHH this is so cool! It's really cool how you guys made this happen!

  3. Reading this was second best to being there with you. It makes me so happy to know that you had such a fabulous time. I appreciated your Twitter updates and love the photos. Thanks for sharing. xxxxx Liza