As many of you know, I was lucky enough to get to Book Expo America again this year in early June. It was the third year Nicole from The Book Bandit’s Blog and I have gone and I’m not even kidding when I tell you that I started planning for this year’s BEA in March. There were calendar entries. There were schedule sheets. Readers, there were two spreadsheets. I almost crossed the line into planning too much because by the time BEA finally came it felt like I’d already gone. But, of course, the three days were still full of surprises and many, many good books.
Here’s the rundown (with photos taken by me and Nicole):
Day One: May 30
We started bright and early with Nicole meeting me downtown so that we could proceed to the Javits Center together. Then it was a journey to find registration and get ourselfs ready to go.
I should tell you right now that most of my BEA was spent tracking down authors and/or books. There were a lot of cool sessions and speakers but Nicole and I had our priorities. And, dear readers, those priorities were books.
The day started with a quick lap on the show floor to get a sense of where things were laid out. This was, unfortunately, difficult given the lack of enormous signage labeling booths. Last year it had felt easier to navigate the floor but maybe it was me.
The signing schedule this year was insanely awesome and left Nicole and I running around a lot. The day started with Kendare Blake and Antigoddess.
Then it was time for one of my highest priority people to see: Diana Peterfreund who had a crazy line and an EPIC hat. And, of course, Across a Star-Swept Sea which I am dying to read.
The morning also included some surprises with the delightful Dot Hutchinson who wins in terms of author follow up. (Regular readers might remember that A Wounded Name is on my top ten summer reads list!)
The afternoon got a little crazy with lots of signings and places to be in LOTS of different places including this slim read from Macmillan:
This is my first Lauren Myracle since reading Bliss in grad school and I’m really excited about it! Even cooler, Myracle was there all three days of BEA for signings. Talk about cool!
Then there was Little Brown booth where I was #141 in line to see Kami Garcia and her awesome sounding book Unbreakable.
Then Nicole and I were second and third in line to see Oliver Jeffers signing The Day the Crayons Quit–a very funny book that he illustrated.
And you bet Nicole got a picture!
I missed out on a few picture book authors as priorities shifted, but I’m going to go ahead and say I had a moment with Phillip and Erin Stead and we’re friends now. It’s written here so it must be true, right?
All in all, it was impressive how smoothly Day One went and how successful we were in most of our endeavors.
Which brings us to . . .
Day Two: May 31
Another early start (the hours I kept for BEA started to be a hardship for my mom too, but hey, at least it’s only three days!)
Day Two was hard because ALL of the authors were signing and it was really hard to guess who would have the biggest lines not to mention picking who would be highest priority.
In the morning, however, I had one and only objective: Meeting Alethea Kontis author of Enchanted and its sequel Hero.
It was touch and go but I’m happy to report the meeting did happen. AND in September you might want to stop by because the blog will be a stop on Alethea’s blog tour for Hero!
Before the Hero signing Nicole and I were also really really lucky and made it to see Soman Chainani and his awesome looking book The School for Good and Evil. (I’m an Ever. Nicole is a Never. Neither of us knows exactly how that works with the book yet but we have pins to declare our allegiance.)
Then things got really crazy because Rainbow Rowell was signing arcs of Fangirl at St. Martins Press.
I had not read Eleanor & Park at the time of BEA but I have now and I am REALLY excited to have Fangirl on deck. (You can see, perhaps, why picking my books to read is becoming this huge thing.)
After that it was a mad dash back to the crazy autographing area because my only other priority for the entire morning was meeting Elizabeth Wein because we talk sometimes on Twitter and I cried buckets while reading Code Name Verity and meeting her is the first step to becoming her best friend. I really didn’t think it would happen because the Autographing area was crazy (and Kareem Abdul Jabar was signing so I stood next to him for a little bit . . . that happened).
The afternoon of day two devolved into one long line as we waited to see Victoria Schwab signing copies of her adult book from Tor: Vicious.
It was insane and I really thought we were going to be turned away BUT Nicole and I made the cut which was really exciting. In terms of random, wacky things that happen to me thanks to twitter: one of my tweets was screenied in Victoria’s BEA recap post. Also, I saw Victoria a few times around BEA and recognized her which was fun. The surreal part was “talking” on twitter and hearing that SHE recognized ME. Random, wacky and awesome!
There were a lot of other books on Day Two because it was insane as I said. But these were definitely the highlights.
And then we have . . .
Day Three: June 1
Day Three of BEA is always the mellowest because the show closes earlier and there are generally fewer authors signing and things to do. This was a day to hunt down books we had missed previously and also to catch a few last authors.
Because the day was mellow and because I am obsessed with Alex Bracken, Nicole and I made a really easy decision: We would get to Alexandra Bracken’s line as soon as possible and wait an hour to meet her while she signed Never Fade. And believe it or not that wasn’t the crazy part. The crazy part was that other people had the same idea but even then we were among the first thirty people. I’d like to think that success helped start the day on a high note.
After running around the autographing area for a bit longer it was, happily, time for lunch.
The really great thing about Saturday was that after lunch we got to meet up with fellow blogger Cecelia from The Adventures of Cecelia Bedelia. We had met last year at BEA on Diana Peterfreund’s epic line and I was really excited to see her again.
With an afternoon that was wide open until Robin Wasserman’s 1:30 signing, I convinced everyone that we needed Cinders by Jan Brett in our lives. I mean, a chicken Cinderella? It was a total no brainer. Also, I have Brett’s book from when I was a kid so I was really excited to meet her. It was very fast because the line was long but it was awesome and the book is fantastic.
Then it was time for the last really long line: Robin Wasserman signing copies of The Waiting Dark.
The line was so long, in fact, that we had time to pose for a picture with Cecelia’s phone:
The line kept moving, we saw Robin Wasserman and her very cool dinosaur necklace. We picked up out last tote bags of books. We applauded our excellent planning. We went home and started thinking about what books we would read first.
And that, dear readers, is the rundown of my BEA 2013.