Monday, June 18, 2012

My BEA Experience

Julie Kagawa and me
Okay, so this is going to be a long one, and I'm probably going to work on it for a few days.  First, let me say what a great experience it was.
 The first day was the Book Bloggers Day.  I don't feel that it was necessarily worth how much it cost.  Although I did get some really cool books, Legend by Marie Lu for instance.  But, I only really got to talk to one author I'd really heard of, or wanted to.  Was so disappointed because I sat at a table hoping to get to meet Siobhan Vivian, but she never made it to our table. One kind of fun and silly thing about my first table though, after exchanging business cards, some of us were tweeting each other at the same table during the speakers.  I did get to meet Julie Kagawa at my 2nd table, and that was really cool!
And I did enjoy the panel talking about relationships between bloggers and publishers.  I learned some good things.  I guess what I'm hearing, I need to make some actual contacts with publishers!  I've gotten lots of egalleys from Netgalley, and I get lots of ARCs from the bookstore where I work or from the Shelf Awareness newsletter.  But I've rarely actually contacted a person for an ARC.  I guess I will try doing that for specific ARCs that I want to read.  In fact, I already have an idea of a couple I want to get over the next year, so I guess I need to start figuring out who to contact!  The highlight really of that day, even more than meeting the authors, was all the great bloggers I got to meet!  I think I got business cards from most of them, and I've gone and followed all of them on their blogs or their Facebook pages or their Twitter accounts.
Cara Lynn Shultz, Nancy, Me and my sister Sarah

Oh yeah, I also got to meet up with one of my favorite authors, Cara Lynn Shultz, that evening at her husband's bar Idle Hands.  Also meet a friend of hers who is also a blogger, Nancy, who blogs at Nancy's Book Blog.

Me and Aimee Carter
Day 2 was a bit more disappointing of a day.  It was the first "real" day of BEA.  At the end of the day, I did go back to my sister's apartment and wasn't sure that I would do this whole thing again.  But all in all, I really learned a lot this day, and it helped over the next two days, and if I do go back, I did learn quite a bit for future reference.  The day started out a little bad for me.  I walked by a booth that had posters and stickers, and didn't seem like a book type booth, but since I'd been told by people who'd been in the past that there was stuff out there for you to take free, I thought I could take one of the cool posters because there was a ton of them!  I didn't get far from the
Rachel Vincent and me
booth before I was corrected, and not only was it not free, you couldn't even buy it, so I was really confused.  Now, two days later, they were selling the posters, so again, color me confused.  I also walked by a booth, that I won't mention by name, because they do have books I like to get from Netgalley, but they were also quite rude about what was being passed out and what they weren't.  The woman told me to come back the last day and I could probably get it then.  I did go back the last day, they said come back later in the day, and when I did, they'd already passed the book I really wanted out.  So, this day was just hugely disappointing.  I also stood in line for Harlequin Teen to meet some awesome authors, Rachel Vincent, and Aimee Carter.  I got to meet some great bloggers while I was in line for what seemed like forever.  But, about 10-15 people in line before me, they ran out of books!!  I was so devastated!  The great thing though, is that Harlequin Teen still let me walk up and get pictures with them.  And even cooler, Rachel Vincent saw my post about being disappointed on Twitter and saved me a copy of her book and left it at the Harlequin booth for me to pick up the next day!  I love Harlequin Teen and their authors are all so great!
Andrea Cremer and me
This wasn't the only thing I missed out on either.  But I'm trying to not dwell on that anymore, it was a lesson learned!  I still barely made it home with two full shoulder bags of books.  Had to take the subway and walk, and by the time I got to my sister's apartment, I had red marks on my shoulders that didn't go away for the rest of the week!  Other authors I met on Tuesday were:  Andrea Cremer, Ally Condie, Gabrielle Zevin, Judith Viorst, and for the 2nd time, Maggie Stiefvater.  Which, I have a story to tell about Maggie, but I'll save it for when read and do my review of The Raven Boys since it has to do with that.
Me and Ally Condie
Me and Gabrielle Zevin
Maggie Stiefvater and Me

Me and Judith Viorst

Chris Colfer
So, the 3rd day I was a bit more prepared,or so I thought.  The day started out really great with the Children's Books Breakfast.  This was something I went ahead and spent a ton of money on, so that I could sit at the reserved tables at the front, and it also said I got to be first in line.  Well, I thought the first in line meant for getting autographs, and since Chris Colfer was there, I was excited to get to meet him.  I also thought that I could do that there, then I wouldn't need to see him at his other autographing time later in the day since that was the same time as another AWESOME group of Harlequin Teen authors all at once.  But once again, I learned my lesson, if it sounds too good to be true, even if it costs a bunch of money, it probably is.  Listening to both John Green and Lois Lowry was also great, they all seemed to joke together with Chris Colfer very comfortably.  And the opening speech by Walter Dean Meyers was inspiring, I loved his quote that "Reading is not optional".  I doubt I'd spend that much again on the breakfast since I didn't get to actually meet the person I wanted to, and I then had to go wait in another REALLY long line to get Chris Colfer's autograph.  And, the line for him was so long they wouldn't let you get it personalized or take a picture with him.  I wish I'd been in line with some of my earlier met blogger friends, they could have taken the picture of me by the table as he was signing so it kind of would look like I had my picture taken "with" him.  But, again, because of waiting in that line, I missed the Harlequin Teen line again.  Well, I did go wait in it, but they said they knew they were going to run out of books before my part of the line got there, so they did give us an ARC, that was cool, and I texted Cara, and begged her to save a copy of her book for me, which she did, because she's awesome like that!  So I got to pick her book up at the same time as I got the one that Rachel had saved for me at the Harlequin booth.  I also got to sit and talk to Cara for a while.  Now, I did have another author I really was excited to meet that I didn't know would be there till almost the last minute, Jonathan Maberry, (who does school Skype visits for free!) and I was able to fit him in right before I got in line for Chris Colfer.  As soon as I figured out it would be a waste of time to continue standing  in the Harlequin Teen line since Cara was saving her book for me, I knew I HAD to go get in line to meet Maureen Johnson.  I do love her books, but I really, really, really love following her on Twitter.  She is sooooo funny.  I open up Twitter on my phone and almost always laugh out loud when reading her tweets.  So I finally got to meet her!  And she and Daphne Unfeasible as she is known on Twitter both recognized my Twitter handle when I told them who I was!  Such a great day!  Other authors I got to meet on Wednesday were:  Becca Fitzpatrick, Bill Amend, Rachel Cohn, and for my friend Kim, Harlan Coben.  I kind of met Eoin Colfer when he came over to meet Harlan Coben, and I had to take a picture of them together, so they posed for me!  My one really big disappointment of the day was that they ran out of Bill Amend's books, and his comic strip is one of my all-time favorites, Foxtrot.  Oh yeah, and I ended up spending money to take a cab home because I didn't want to cart all those books on the subway again, my shoulders still really, really hurt!
Me and Maureen Johnson
Becca Fitzpatrick and Me

Me and Jonathan Maberry

Me and Bill Amend
Rachel Cohn and Me
Eoin Colfer and Harlan Coben

This was the last day.  It was a little quieter day.  Not so many signings to try for, although there were some! The day was mostly over by about 1 pm.  But I stayed till the last bit it seemed, and because I did, I got to meet an author I didn't realize would be there again till the last minute!  First I got in line for Justin Halpern, author of Sh*! My Dad Says, because I love that book!  Not the tv show so much, which he and I did discuss our disappointment with.  After him I got to meet Aimee Carter again, and actually got her book this time!  Then I got to meet Ellen Datlow.  I also waited in line to meet Crissa-Jean Chappell, who I've been a big fan of since her book Total Constant Order.  One of the first ARCs I remember getting and contacting someone to get it.  Plus when I reviewed it, she even replied to my review online!  It was my staff rec at the bookstore for awhile too.  I got to meet Jeff Hirsch and I had just recently finished reading his book The Eleventh Plague.  I got to see Maggie Stiefvater again, along with Tessa Gratton and Brenna Yovanoff, who I had seen together in Kansas City last year.  Then I waited in line for Leanna Renee Hieber.  And the surprise author was Mike Mullin!  I loved his book Ashfall because it really felt like it was being told from a boy's point of view.  Perfect to recommend to my boy readers.  And I told him this when I talked to him.  So I did remember to bring a rolling suitcase today, and if I go again, I will bring it every day!  It was a good way to end the convention.  I hope I can attend sometime in the future, whether it is next year or not, we'll see.  But it was a great experience.
Tessa Gratton, Brenna Yovanoff, and Maggie Stiefvater
Leanna Renee Hieber and Me
Me and Mike Mullin
Ellen Datlow and Me
Jeff Hirsch and Me
Criss-Jean Chappell and Me
Justin Halpern and Me

I know all my pictures are kind of wonky, but that would be because I don't know how to fix them.  Oh well, hope you enjoyed looking at my pictures and hearing about my experiences.  I'll do an In My Mailbox or similar meme later this week with all the books I got from BEA, and some other ones too.


  1. It sounds like you had a wonderful time! Going to BEA is definitely going on my Bucket List. :D

    1. I guess I've marked it off my Bucket list now. I'd love to go again, but we'll have to weigh the expense and my finances next year. There are so many other places I want to go, is it really best for me to go again? It was definitely something all book lovers should do at least once in their life!

  2. Great review of BEA Lisa! You really worked it and covered a lot of ground. It was so much fun to meet you and hang out.

    1. I just wish you and I had been able to meet up at the actual convention! It was great to meet you too, and maybe when I am there in November to visit my sister and see Breaking Dawn part 2, we can all hang out again!


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