Tag Archives: BEA

#BEA15 — It’s been fun

May 30th 2015

Yesterday, I went to BEA (Book Expo America) in NYC for probably, the last time. (Next year, it’s in Chicago and I don’t see myself flying there to attend.) I picked up a friend at 6:30am and after hitting some of the worst traffic of my life (thank you very much, East Rutherford), we got to BEA at 11:30. We met up with my friend, Jill, and had lunch with our BookPage editor, Cat, who is as charming in real life as she is via email.

Finally getting on the ferry after hours of traffic.

Finally getting on the ferry after hours of traffic.

After lunch, my friends and I stopped at all the vendors and scrounged for ARCs. I’m always looking for new YA and this year there didn’t seem to be much. I got a ton of middle grade titles including Lauren DeStefano’s A Curious Tale of the In-Between which is off the hook. I found a few picture books for my boys and some new adult mysteries to check out. All in all, it was a very subdued BEA. Smaller crowds and fewer books. I wasn’t disappointed as BEA is my most favorite day of the year. But I wasn’t wowed like in years past where I scored Catching Fire, Ally Condie’s Matched, or a signed book by Holly Black.

I’ve been going to BEA for the past — I don’t know — seven years, maybe eight. The first year I went I was a library science student at Rutgers and I got free tickets. I came home with a few books, one on houseplants a vendor was nice enough to give me. As a student, I didn’t warrant too many freebies. After all, I wasn’t a librarian yet doing large book orders.

My paper badge

My paper badge

One of my favorite BEA memories was stumbling upon a book signing by the producer of Days of Our Lives a.k.a my mother’s most favorite soap opera in the world. And you know who else was there? Kristian Alfonso – the beautiful Hope Brady! I hopped in a relatively short line and got my mom a signed book about the soap. I was so excited I called my parent’s house right away and spoke to my very uninterested father because my mom was working at the time.

BEA has always made me feel like I was part of a special, albeit large, book club. I’d chat up other librarians on line and we’d talk about YA books we were excited about and we’d sound giddy talking about authors we wanted to meet. I had no qualms about marching up to publishers and telling them I loved their newest releases or that I wanted to see more YA mysteries. Just yesterday, I told Publishers Weekly that I loved that they’re reviewing indie books now, but that they need to email the authors to tell them the review it up. (I found mine by Googling.) Anyway, the point is, at BEA, librarians, authors, bloggers, reviewers can connect with publishers and book industry insiders.

Author signings!

Author signings!

Sadly, yesterday was probably my last BEA hurrah. I’m not gonna lie — I’m bummed.

I’m gonna miss all those free books.

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BEA Baby!

June 7th 2013

Last Saturday, I attended Book Expo in NYC. For me, BEA is equivalent to Christmas (or in my case, Hanukkah). Free books for the taking! It’s the best day of the year!

the spoils of BEA

the spoils of BEA

That pile may not look impressive, but it’s all YA, baby!  And it doesn’t include the four or five picture books I snagged for my boys.

Some of this year’s highlights (in no particular order):

I got to tell the Patricia Polacco how much The Keeping Quilt meant to my third-grade class of ESL students. That story stayed with them for a long time.

I met Ann Redisch Stampler, who signed an adorable picture book. Only later did I realize that I reviewed her YA book, Where It Began, for Bookpage.

I chatted up a lovely Month9Books author and got to say things like, “My book is coming out next year!” (I said this a lot actually to a bunch of people, but not all braggy as it sounds here.) I also met a book editor for a pop culture website who might review my book next year.

I scored a copy of The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater. Holy hell. The whole trip was worth that one book.

I met up with some old friends and ate lunch without anyone crying or asking me for things the minute I sat down.

I spent the entire day hanging out with my pal, Zoe, who flew in from the UK and who happily stood on lines for author she didn’t know so that I could score an ARC. She also took home her own books and shoved them into her suitcase, which she then weighed on my bathroom scale to make sure she didn’t go over the allotted 23 kilos.

Next year, I hope to attend BEA as a published author. I probably won’t be signing books at a booth, but no matter. I get to be part of something truly incredible — books — and everything they mean to a nerd like me.

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