Continuing my very long play by play recap of BEA 2010 (Read here for my first post)
Wednesday, May 25th - It was the first day of the exhibitions opening at BEA. I left Brooklyn at 8am, and by the time I walked over to the Javits it was around 8:45. I got in a very long line to get into the exhibitions area. While I was standing in line, the guy in front of me saw my blog name and proceeded to have a discussion with me about how social media is not very useful. I told him about how even historians and archivists are now turning to social media to help them with their research but he seemed to disagree about this. When the floodgates opened, there was a mad rush to get it. I, however, started walking into the place with this look of awe and slight confusion. I had a map but I still didn't know really where to start off at. I was on the left side of the floor near the children's side but I just kept walking around, looking at all the booths and seeing what was being offered. I eventually made my way towards the big names where I picked up my first book at the Hachette table of ROOM. That book would be just the first of many.
One of the goals I had during BEA, since one of the main focuses of my blog is reviewing Christian fiction, was to meet up with the Christian publishers that would be there. I wanted to introduce myself with them and see what they had to say about book bloggers. Well, first off most of the Christian publishers there seemed to only send their marketing folks and not their publicity ones. I guess that they mainly concentrate on ICRS or other solely Christian trade shows. The ones that I did meet up with seemed to be mixed in how they represented themselves.
Abingdon Press - Picked up some ARCs, talked with the marketing representative that was there, he was aware of book bloggers and promised to pass my card along to the publicists who did work with them Baker Publishing (Revell/Bethany House) - Did not approach, the representatives were only marketing and did not look very friendly. B & H - Finally got to meet Julie (who sends me great stuff) and was really excited to meet with her. She introduced to me to author John Aubrey Anderson, as one of her prolific book bloggers. They were giving away a great set of books from their new Fidelis line, in a really nice messenger bag. They love book bloggers. David C. Cook - Had a really good conversation with the marketing representative about edgy Christian fiction and how they are dealing with the genre. While they don't have a book blogger program, they know the impact that we've had Faithwords - Didn't get a chance to speak with anyone there because the entire Hachette booth was packed the entire convention Guideposts - Very friendly :), learned about how they are moving more into the trade paperback market and less from their previous domination on mail order book clubs. Very excited to hear that Beth Pattillo has two new books in the works for next year. They love the impact book bloggers have had with Beth's books because it's really reached out into the general market world through word of mouth. Harvest House - Nice conversation with the representative about the newest books coming out, told me to keep working with the publicists as they don't have a book blogger program yet Howard Books - Alas by the time I inquired about speaking to someone there, they had left Moody - Did not approach, they didn't look very friendly Steeple Hill - the Harlequin booth was one of the busier ones and didn't get to speak with anyone on the line. There was only one Steeple Hill author during all their signings. Thomas Nelson - nowhere to be found at BEA other than a "Bargain books" booth, a bit surprising but not really since apparently they are not showing up at ICRS either Tyndale - finally got to meet Adam who I have talked to on Twitter. I liked how their booth was next to the L. Ron Hubbard booths...Scientology next to a Christian publisher. They do have a book blogger program. Zondervan - the representative didn't blink an eye when I said I was a book blogger
I picked up several good books (THREE huge bags worth) but of course now I can't remember what they are. Since many of the Christian publishers weren't giving away books, I focused on the other genres I do review and picked up LOTS of great YA books. In fact it got to the point where I was pretty much introducing myself as a chick lit/ YA book reviewer. I was excited to talk with folks at Egmont and Bloomsbury. Also I was really excited to meet with Nancy from DK Publishing because 1) I love their books 2) I talk with her on twitter and was glad to finally meet her in person 3) I had just won the Clone Wars DVD and their new character encyclopedia the other day.
Lunch was spent with the awesome chick lit and YA author Anne Dayton and My Friend Amy. We went to a place I think in Chelsea (NY neighborhoods confuse me) that I can't remember the name but had a lovely large chicken dish. She was super nice and we had a great conversation about pretty much everything and even though I was super geeked and had several fangirl moments, I don't think we scared her. I've been a huge fan of her and May Vanderbilt (her co-writer) for years, as shown by the number of reviews of theirs I have on this blog, so it was like meeting an old friend.
Getting back to the center, the three of us got into line to get signed books from Lauren Oliver. When I got up to her, I gushed when talking to her and was beyond thrilled to get a HB copy of Before I Fall (which I loved as said here) and a just finished ARC of her new book Delirium which doesn't even come out til spring of next year! Then to make things even more fun, I was fifth in line (I let Alea cut in line so we could talk while we waited) to meet Cecily Von Ziegesar. I was really really excited about meeting her as I have loved the Gossip Girl and It Girl books for several years. Although when I finally got up to her, some foreign chick came out of nowhere with a camera and proceeded to cut me off so she could talk to Cecily for about 5 minutes. It was all good because then Cecily and I had a nice conversation AND I got to give her my business card (doubt she'll use it, but nice to know that she had it!) AND I got her newest book, Cum Laude signed! And right next to her booth was Aidan Donnelley Rowley who was signing her book, Life After Yes. I didn't know she was going to be there but was THRILLED because I really wanted to read that book after seeing it offered on TLC Book Tours so it was fabulous to meet her. (By the way, authors and publishers LOVE TLC Book Tours so congrats to Lisa and Trish for doing such a great job)
My only regret was that I had been planning on going to the two panels about food writing but missed out on them due to standing in lines for the signings. I was really sad when I found out later that Adam Richman from Man Vs Food (ABSOLUTELY LOVE THAT SHOW) was at the panels. I wish there had been two of me.
Then it was off to dinner with my brother in law at HB Burger in Times Square, where I had an absolutely delish turkey burger (my second of the week) and so not so delish diet root beer (which they said they brew themselves but it was rather yucky). After dinner, I headed a couple streets over to the Algonquin Hotel for the Book Blogger Reception that was hosted by HarperCollins. There were TONS of book bloggers in the room and it was lovely to meet everyone. There were way too many people to list, so I'm sorry that I can't mention everyone but if you gave me your business card, I will be following you on your blog and twitter if I haven't already! The most awesome thing was to learn that there are people who DO read your blog and DO know who you are. I know that people said beforehand that you're going to surprised when you learn that, but it was still a nice surprise/shock that there are people who actually care about what you say. The folks at HarperCollins were really nice and it was great to meet Jennifer from Book Club Girl. It's also amazing how loud a room full of 95% women can get! I do want to say that two bloggers I was so thrilled to FINALLY meet were Julie from Booking Mama and Kathy from Bermuda Onion's Weblog. We've been talking on Twitter forever so when we finally met, it felt like I had known them for years already.
On the way back to Brooklyn, I was exhausted due to carrying those HUGE bags of books and having to walk long distances to the subway stations. I made a promise NOT to get as many the next day. Did I keep my promise? Find out tomorrow...