Wednesday, June 4, 2014

BEA2014 Recap Part 1: The Purpose

 Book Expo Of America 2014 Recap

I've been to NYC several times this year already, but last Tuesday my purpose was Book Expo of America 2014. This year I road tripped it to BEA with Andye from Reading Teen and Hannah from The Irish Banana. I packed for my trip accordingly; comfy clothes, cute shoes and cupcakes. 8 dozen to be exact.

 We headed to Brooklyn first to hang out until it was time to check into our hotel. We visited the Brooklyn Bridge Park, walked the Promenade and ate pizza in a restaurant that played Michael Jackson songs the entire time. I did what any self-respecting child of the 80s would do, and danced in my chair to Billy Jean and Beat It much to the horror amusement of Hannah and Andye. 

After lunch, Hannah left to meet up with Nicole from Paperback Princess while Andye and I walked the Brooklyn Bridge and took in the amazing view of the NYC skyline. We wandered around for a little while longer until we found a good place to leave the car for the week, hopped on the subway and got our Steak 'N Shake on.

And then we checked into our hotel. 

Which looked like this... 

 And reminded Andye and I of this...
Redrum, much? 

Fun facts: You can actually park your car in Brooklyn for free. 
The walkway at the Brooklyn Bridge Park is actually a suspension bridge, something Hannah and Andye failed to mention. That is, until they started jumping up and down and almost double bounced me too my death. Not really. Maybe.

Day 2: Wednesday: Little Brown/Hachette Blogger Brunch hosted by The Novl
Our day kicked off with a hotel switch for Hannah and I. No worries, this was preplanned and had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I was 99% sure our first room was inhabited by roommates we couldn't see. But after we stowed our bags, we hopped in a cab and made our way over to the Little Brown/Hachette offices. Their lobby is encased in glass and one of the coolest places you'll ever visit. 

 We had the chance to meet some online blogger friends like, Jenna (Jenna Does Books) and her mom, and Katie (Katie's Book Blog). Then The Novl treated us all to a delicious brunch, books and cool swag, like our pink and black sunglasses.

(L-R, Jenna's Mom, Jenna, Hannah, Katie, Me, Jen and Faye Bi - Little Brown/Hachette Publicist made of Awesome!)

And I got to see my fellow YABCer, Erica again!

 While we ate and sipped mimosas, we listened to several Editors and Publicists pimp out the books they're most excited for.

Young World by Chris Wietz 
(Be sure to check out the tumblr for this one for fun stuff and a cool sweepstakes.)
Wildlife by Fiona Wood
(A thinking girls YA novel.)
Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper
(This one is a whaling Island/witches/magic/historical paranormal.)
The Walled City by Ryan Graudin 
(Ryan is actually a "she". This is a realistic fiction gender bending story.)
We Should Hang Out Someitme by Josh Sundquist
(This is based on his own life and sounds like so much fun!)
Famous In Love by Rebecca Searle
(I'm really excited to read this one - for reasons. Secret reasons.)

Thank you Faye and everyone else at Little Brown!

At lunch we met up with Hannah's cousin and co-blogger, Gabby.
Then we headed to our Penguin/Berkley Publicity Meet Up #1: A Chocolate Date
Erin and Courtney, two of Penguin/Berkley's awesome Publicists, took time out of their busy schedules to meet with us and talk about books. We also discussed what makes for a successful working partnership between Bloggers and Publicists while sipping hot chocolate and eating ice cream cookie sandwiches. It was so nice to put a face with a name and I really enjoyed my time with both of these two ladies! Thanks again, Erin and Courtney!

  The Javitz Center to grab our badges.
 I'm not gonna lie, seeing my blog name on my badge was pretty awesome!

*cue Welcome To The Jungle by Guns 'N Roses*

HarlequinTEEN Breakfast
 We started our day at the HarlequinTEEN Breakfast. They did the round robin style again, giving each table a chance to spend five minutes with each author - Jennifer L. Armentrout, Alexandra Adornetto, Robin Talley, Julie Kagawa and Adi Alsaid. We also chatted with Senior Editor Margo Lipshultz, Editor Annie Stone, PR Extraordinaire Lisa Wray, Assistant Publicity Manager Jennifer Abbotts, and Executive Editor Natashya Wilson. 

Talking to authors is a great way for me to connect with their stories. Often times, if I'm on the fence about whether or not I want to read a book, hearing why the author loves it so much is what convinces me to give it a chance. Alexandra Adornetto is a perfect example of this. I'm not usually a fan of ghost stories but after talking to her about her new book, Ghost House, I'm excited to read it!
Thank you, Lisa and everyone else at HarlequinTEEN!
Then it was time to hit the floor of the Javitz running.
The first difference I noticed about this year was that it seemed as if the BEA organizers scheduled a lot of the big name author signings at the same time. This made it difficult for attendees to make it to everyone on their schedules and created an air of frustration and disappointment in quite a few people. I spent several hours hustling from one line to the next and thankfully managed to score some books.
 Publicity Meet Up #2 
 I took a quick lunch break to meet up with Katie Olson from Little Bird Publicity. She and Sarah Burningham (Owner of LBP) are two people I've had the immense pleasure of working with over the past couple of years. I met Sarah at BEA last year and it was so great to spend some time with Katie too. We talked books, kids, publishing, homeschooling and gushed about our shared love of all things Kristan Higgins! 
Thank you, Katie for everything!

Then it was back to the Exhibition floor for me. Here are some of the people I had the opportunity to meet...

Karen Kingsbury

 David Baldacci. My Mom was totally jealous. ;)

 I did a little dancing with myself while stalking Billy Idol from across the aisle. As you do.

 And my trip would not have been complete without an impromptu make-out session with one of Jen Armentrout's book covers. This one took some stealthy moves because not only did I have to time it right, but I had to stand on a chair in the Harper Collins booth. People stared. I regret nothing.

I met a slew of bloggers too but I'm saving those pictures for Part III. 

Day 4: Friday BEA involved more authors, more signings and more time to chill with awesome people. Like these two ladies who I LOVE!
Karen and Joanne Rock aka J.K. Rock are the co-authors of the Camp Boyfriend series which is published by Spencer Hill Contemporary. If you haven't read their books yet and you like funny, swoony stories about camp and boys and kissing then you should definitely check them out. 
Even if you don't like those kinds of books, you should still check them out because I said so. ;)

And then there was that time I crashed the Simon Teen Blogger Lunch. 
I'm kidding! Sort of. What actually happened was, several of my bloggers friends were like, "You should come!" So I went. And then I had to wait and see if there was room left. Thankfully there was and the kind ladies at the door waved me in.

We listened to authors like Becca Fitzpatrick, Scott Westerfeld, and Christina Lauren discuss their upcoming books. Kresley Cole and Martina Boone were there as well and I came away with copies of all of their books and the desire to read them RIGHT THEN!

Scott Westerfeld showing the AFTERWORLDS trailer.

Martina Boone sharing her research for COMPULSION.

Kresley Cole and Andy's sandwich which was delish!
Christina Lauren talking about SUBLIME.

Did I mention that on the way to lunch, I ran into Julie Kagawa who just HAPPENED to have all the baby dragons from her TALON Dragon Hunt? 
She let me hold them. 
But the knowledge that she can kill me with a stick was never far from my mind which is why I stood perfectly still. :D

My day ended with hanging out with my friend, Jen, the Books of Wonder Signing where I tweeted like a mad woman and a delicious dinner here...

surrounded by some really interesting, unique and truly delightful industry people. I felt honored that they let me hang out with them!

Come back tomorrow for BEA2014 Recap: Part II: The Parties


  1. I loved this! I was living vicariously through your IG feed, but it was really awesome to read the recap. I'm really hoping to go next year.

    Thank you for sharing!!

  2. WOW I'm starting to get jealous! Only time & money will tell when I can come to BEA. But I'm rooting for Chicago BEA since it's closer to me (A state and down a long interstate closer) can't wait for round two!

  3. Definitely didn't disappoint!! <3
    some thoughts,
    1. I fall more in love with you hair every time I see your photo!!
    2. Where did those 8 dozen cupcakes go?!? or is that part II? ;)
    4. You just seem like so much fun....thanks for taking me along your trip to BEA so that I can live vicariously

    can't wait to read the next parts! <3
    xo, Christine

  4. SO many good things. Such a great time! I want to relive it again!

  5. I loved reading your recap. Its so nice to get everyone's input on BEA. It sounds like you had an amazing time..ya for crashing parties ;)

  6. Oh, I'm so jealous now! Would have loved to been there too! Well, next year for sure!

  7. Loved reading your recap!! I'm pretty sure I was there at the harper booth when you were taking that picture bc I told you how I wanted to kiss the Theo James life size cut out. :) can't wait for part 2!! And umm seriously your first hotel looks creepily exactly the same as in the shining !! Yikes.

  8. Thank you for all of your comments! :D