Chit Chat

Emma and Nicole’s Five Tips for BEA (2014)

Now that May is here, it’s time to start planning in earnest for Book Expo America (BEA)–a publishing convention that takes place every year where publishers can showcase their fall releases.

Real life bestie Nicole and I have been going to BEA for three years now. With our fourth trip to BEA quickly approaching, we thought we’d share some BEA tips to help anyone attending get ready. Be sure to check out her blog today as well to see her tips.

Below I answer five question that (hopefully) share some of my sound advice for BEA. Here are the questions which I’ll tackle in depth below:

  1. What should I bring to BEA?
  2. What should I wear to BEA?
  3. How should I plan my day(s)?
  4. What should I expect at BEA?
  5. What’s the one thing everyone should remember when planning BEA?

1. What should I bring to BEA?

Now, I live in New York and BEA is in New York, so I’m skipping over the expected travel things to bring if you are making a whole trip to NYC. Here’s what you should bring along to the Javits Center:

  • Paperwork: DON’T FORGET YOUR REGISTRATION BADGE! I also print out spreadsheets for the schedule to have an easy reference. If you want spreadsheets of the show you can find some from Jenna Does Books who made a lovely (thorough) spreadsheet of all the YA signings to be had at BEA. Nicole from YA Interrobang also made a google doc of all the of the YA events to be had.
  • Cell Phone: I keep my entire BEA schedule on my phone for easy access and to see it plotted out in my calendar. Since Nicole and I sometimes split up this is also a great way to keep track of each other. I also use my phone to live tweet the show, take pictures for my recap post, and have a reference for the BEA site if something on the schedule changes. BEA also offers a Show Planner app to download to smartphones (iOS and Android I think) which is another helpful thing to have.
  • Charger: Javits has terrible wifi. Your phone will run down. This is life. Be sure to start the day with a fully charged phone. Also bring some kind of portable charger.
  • Cash: It’s just easier to get lunch with cash whether you are at the Food Court or elsewhere. Also easier for cab fare and everything else. You will also want some cash on hand to donate at the autographing area.
  • A small bag: This is not the time for a giant hold-everything monster purse. Just the essentials (wallet, ID, paperwork, phone, etc.)
  • Business cards: If you have a blog, tell people! I give cards to authors, to publicists who seem nice, bloggers I meet. Be sure to have a stack.
  • Water: It’s sometimes hard to get somewhere in the Javits when the place is gearing up for the day so I usually just bring a bottle and refill it at the water fountains during the day.
  • Snacks: Just in case lunch proves elusive and you need to refuel.
  • A rolling suitcase and a tote bag: More on these later!

2. What should I wear to BEA?

  • Clothes: The short answer is whatever makes you comfortable. The longer answer is that BEA is a professional convention and it’s nice to look semi-professional too. I tend to do business casual leaning more toward casual. I’d also say dress in layers with some kind of lightweight sweater because air conditioning works more fully in some areas than others.
  • Shoes: Comfortable shoes. If that means sneakers, fine. If it means something else, go for it. You will likely be on your feet for eight hours and you will be walking for a lot of that.

3. How should I plan my day(s)?

  • Obviously all that paperwork I mentioned in question one is going to come in handy here. Beyond that, what you do at BEA is up to you. This year I am registered as Press (still get a thrill saying that!) and I go on my own time. That means I have no obligations except to do what I want and document it. And I want to go to signings. I plot out the signing schedules for any authors I am interested in–first in the autographing area, then the in-booth signings (which should be up soon). I also make a mental note of galley drops (publishers usually give out schedules for drops daily).
  • Prioritize: The key is to note when everything you want to do is happening. In any given time slot it’s likely you can do multiple things, but sometimes you can’t. Know what is most important to you and know how much time you want to spend on it–generally I pick some books and say to myself “Okay, this is why I’m at BEA today.” and that determines what else happens at BEA that day.
  • Make time to eat: Seriously. I tend to frequent the food court, but really eating anywhere is fine. Food is important and you won’t make it through the day otherwise.
  • Bags: Remember that tote and rolling suitcase you’re bringing? The tote will be used on the show floor (where no rolling luggage is allowed) to hold galleys you pick up. There is a 100% chance you will get totes throughout BEA but it’s always good to have a sturdy one you already like–just in case. The suitcase is literally the MOST important thing to bring. Before the show starts, drop the suitcase in a coat check area for five bucks. Now, throughout the day, you can drop your books into the suitcase. At the end of the day you can roll your suitcase home or to your hotel. Easy.

4. What should I expect at BEA?

  • Fun: If you love books, BEA is a great time. It’s a little overwhelming but there is lots of fun to be had.
  • Books: No matter how many books you think you will take home, know that you will be getting more than that. (Thus the rolling bag.)
  • Lines: I can’t speak to how the panels and talks are at BEA because I never go to them but the signings are a blast. You will wait on lines for a lot of BEA but mostly it’s worth it.

5. What’s the one thing everyone should remember when planning BEA?

  • Talk to everyone: I’m better at this now, but don’t be afraid to say hi to people. If you see someone from Twitter, wave. If you love a book and see the author, say hello. If a publicist just made your day finding the last ARC for the only book you wanted that day, let them know. Pass out cards, make friends. Find contacts. I’m not saying you’re going to get a new job at BEA. But you might make some new friends–especially if you hang out with the bloggers.

Those are all of the tips I have to share for a successful BEA. If you have more (or have some questions I didn’t answer), let’s chat in the comments!

Chit Chat

In which I join the Sunshine Blogger Challenge

A couple of months ago I was tapped for the Sunshine Blogger Challenge. (And I was so excited I made a cute button for it.)

SunshineBloggerChallenge

Here’s the rundown:

Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
 Share 11 random facts about yourself.
 Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
 List 11 bloggers.  They should be bloggers you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love!
 Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. (You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you.)

So first, thank you to The Styling Librarian for tagging me.

Here are 11 facts about me:

  1. I watch a lot of TV. New shows, old shows, 1950s Westerns, documentaries. My mom and I recently made our way through The Men Who Built America. It was really good!
  2. I have an interest in art history and New York City history and those were two of my three minors in college.
  3. I love getting mail! It’s the biggest reason I joined PostCrossing. (I also love writing email and sending cards.)
  4. I accidentally became a book collector when I started grad school and still  go to a lot of book events–so if you’re in NYC you might see me around.
  5. I’m a professional storyteller. I competed in story telling competitions in high school, studied story telling in grad school, and worked as a story teller at two of my past jobs.
  6. I can wiggle my ears and all of my fingers are double jointed except my left thumb.
  7. My favorite color is pink! (I always add an exclamation point so it’s “pink!”)
  8. My mom was a doll collector and I’m interested in dolls so I know a lot about collectible dolls. (My mom and I still get the Barbie Collector catalog.)
  9. There is a 90% chance I will buy cute things I find that relate to the book Emma or otherwise have my name on them. Emma wasn’t such a common name when I was a kid so I’ve been trying to fill that void ever since.
  10. When it comes to zombies vs. unicorns I am always Team Unicorn.
  11. I’ve been part of an online gaming community site since I was 14 and run a guild there now. Part of that involves making banners and buttons so I really love playing with graphics online. (I’m still working on teaching myself how to make .gif buttons but it’s hard.)

Here are her questions for me along with my answers:

  1. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Places I’ve been before: Disney World. I’m a sucker for all the rides and fun. It’s the site for a lot of my favorite memories.
    New places: Italy or maybe England
  2. What have you recently procrastinated doing that you’re going to deal with, within the next week? So many things. I’ve been trying to establish a writing habit and I’ve been trying to get more blog posts up. I’d say cleaning out my closet but it’s probably not going to happen until later in the spring.
  3. Last time you laughed aloud was…. I was watching a silly documentary with my mom. I don’t remember what was so funny though!
  4. What was a movie that has stuck with you for longer than a week?
    I actually don’t watch a ton of new movies. Maybe Frozen?
  5. What genre do you need to read more of? Mysteries because of a professional obligation. Contemporary just because it balances all the fantasies I read.
  6. What makes a book 5 out of 5 stars?
    Is it a book I think about after I finished it? Was it smart? With good writing? Well-rounded characters including strong female ones? It’s definitely a moving target but those are some recurring questions.
  7. What do you wish you could be braver about?
    Not a lot. I feel like I’m brave enough. Maybe just not being so self-conscious about everything.
  8. If someone were to describe your personal style, what would they say? Oh man. I have no idea. I have eclectic tastes and lots of accessories. I’m trying to “rebrand” my style currently so I’ll have to get back to you!
  9. What is your favorite recreational activity, (besides reading)?
    Making things! I crochet, fold paper (book sculptures and origami), and I’m trying to get into other things. I also write.
  10. How do you “give back” to your community? I’m not sure I do? I support local stores and libraries. That might be it.
  11. Fill in the blank: If I only had one book I could bring and share with a new group of students, __________________ would be it.
    Picture Book: something by Chris Van Allsburg. Older: I have no idea. It depends on the students!

Here are the bloggers I’m nominating:

  1. Nicole at The Book Bandit’s Blog
  2.  Andi at Andi’s ABCs
  3. Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner
  4. Kayla at The Thousand Lives
  5. Steph at Steph Su Reads
  6. Cecelia at Adventures of Cecelia Bedelia
  7. Amanda at Maestra Amanda
  8. Amy at Tripping Over Books

And here are my 11 questions for them:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What’s the last movie you saw or one you’re looking forward to seeing?
  3. When I’m not blogging or reading, I’m ________________
  4. What’s one book you’ve read that everyone else should read RIGHT now?
  5. Favorite moment as a blogger?
  6. One author you’d really love to meet or maybe already have?
  7. What’s your favorite outfit?
  8. Favorite color?
  9. What makes a book impossible to finish?
  10. What makes a book an all-out winner?
  11. What’s your favorite genre to read? What’s one you’d like to read more of?
Chit Chat

Winter Break Book Blogger Challenge 16: Books you are looking forward to reading in 2014

My blogger/twitter friends Andi and Amanda are hosting a blogger challenge this winter and I’m participating so for the next few days you can admire their lovely challenge graphic and follow along with my posts:

Books you are looking forward to reading in 2014

Here are some books I’m looking forward to in this wonderfully new year:

  1. The One by Kiera Cass
  2. Split Second by Kasie West
  3. The Strange Maid by Tessa Gratton
  4. Bad Luck Girl by Sarah Zettel
  5. The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

We made it guys! This is the last day of Andi and Amanda’s Winter Book Blogger Challenge!

Want to follow along with the challenge? All of my entries can be found linked on this post.

Chit Chat

Winter Break Book Blogger Challenge 15: Favorite book to movie adaption(s)

My blogger/twitter friends Andi and Amanda are hosting a blogger challenge this winter and I’m participating so for the next few days you can admire their lovely challenge graphic and follow along with my posts:

Favorite book to movie adaption(s)

Like every blogger you’ll meet, I’m picky about book-to-movie adaptations. That said, I really loved the movie Eragon. The book isn’t the best and in retrospect maybe the movie wasn’t either. But I loved it! Dragons! Drama! Action! Dragons! Jeremy Irons! Rachel Weisz! Dragons! It was great even if it was wildly unlike the book and not quite enough to convince me to read more of the series.

After that there are the more obvious suspects: The Hunger Games, Beautiful Creatures, Silver Linings Playbook and so on. BUT for movies I liked more than the book there is only one answer and that answer is Eragon.

Eragon cover

Click here to read my review of Eragon by Christopher Paolini.

Want to follow along with the challenge? All of my entries can be found linked on this post.

Chit Chat

Winter Break Book Blogger Challenge 14: Bookish Buyables

My blogger/twitter friends Andi and Amanda are hosting a blogger challenge this winter and I’m participating so for the next few days you can admire their lovely challenge graphic and follow along with my posts:

Find a Bookish item that you would like to buy (decoration, clothes, jewelry, etc)

Easy. So easy. I want something (or all the things) from Litographs which are designs made with the text of the book printed in an appropriate image. I particularly want something from their Emma line for obvious reasons.

Want to follow along with the challenge? All of my entries can be found linked on this post.

Chit Chat

Winter Break Book Blogger Challenge 13: My Life outside of Books

My blogger/twitter friends Andi and Amanda are hosting a blogger challenge this winter and I’m participating so for the next few days you can admire their lovely challenge graphic and follow along with my posts:

Pic of your Life Outside of Books

Hmmm. I couldn’t pick just one picture so here is a mini photo essay from photos out of my twitter feed:

I have too many handbags. But I like them all. My feet are size  ten (wide!) so my mom’s theory is I buy bags because I can’t buy shoes. Also: I like prints. Polka dots, plaids, stripes, checks, florals. Any print. So a lot of my bags are prints like the ones above or Vera Bradley or Kipling designs. My mom painted plaids and other patterns for her work as a textile artist when I was little so that’s one  theory for why.

I paint my nails regularly (and take pictures of them to show people on Twitter). I also like wearing rings and Hello Kitty–sometimes at the same time.

I’m very good at that carnival game where you use a water gun to shoot at a target and get a stuffed animal to reach the top of the board or whatever. Case in point: that time I won a giant cupcake at the San Gennaro feast.

I love ice cream and whipped cream (or milkshakes, or smoothies, or pudding!) any time of year. Sometimes I’ll go awhile without eating any and them I’ll just be forced to re-evaluate all of my life choices because why did I stop? Also: bonus points for novelty dessert bowl/mug please?

I wear a lot of boots in the winter. These are my newest favorite pair because they are red and roomy.

Sometimes I cook things like Fried Eggplant. Sometimes those things are delicious. Sometimes they are not.

Sometimes I make things out of paper like this flower ball. Sometimes I make other things but not as often.

I have a lot of random toys and knick knacks that make me happy (and a 6.5 foot Christmas tree that is but one of my many decorations I put up every year). This little guy is Marcel. He is hoping to be a dragon soon. Mom said he looked like a fish. He’s taking that in stride.

Want to follow along with the challenge? All of my entries can be found linked on this post.

Chit Chat

Winter Break Book Blogger Challenge 12: New Year’s Day!

My blogger/twitter friends Andi and Amanda are hosting a blogger challenge this winter and I’m participating so for the next few days you can admire their lovely challenge graphic and follow along with my posts:

New Year’s Reading Resolutions Goals – IE the number of books you plan to read, a certain daunting book(s) you want to tackle, rereads planned

  • My to read goal is a moving target (mainly because I count picture books) but I generally start small at 100 books which I have again for 2014.
  • I am, however, on a YALSA book committee–not sure if I can say which yet?–so I think my reading count will end up being higher.
  • I would like to get to a lot of weightier (literally) books I’ve been putting off like Froi of the Exiles and Life After Life.
  • I also want to finish out some series I’ve started including Clockwork Princess (from the Infernal Devices) and Linger and Forever.
  • Since starting Shiny New Job I have been acquiring books from the office at an alarming rate (and giving some away but not as many nor as alarming) so my big, big, big 2014 bookish goal is actually to get rid of books. I want to read a lot of the books I have on hand and, hopefully, the thought of parting with them will not make me feel terrible and I can release some with bookcrossing, swap some at booksfreeswap, give some away here and bring some to work. Right now I have two tote bags of books to read, a stack of books to read, and a bookcase of . . . you guessed it . . . books to read! My goal which I will probably not meet is to get rid of 50% of those books before BEA 2014 (at which point I will acquire other books that can take up those spaces because this is the life I have chosen).
  • Then in non-book goals I want to continue blogging semi-regularly because I find I am enjoying that clip. I want to continue growing professionally (maybe into a full time job?!). And I am going to try to start writing using Victoria Schwab’s progress and reward system (basically using stickers on a calendar to mark progress daily). I already have my calendar and star and OWL stickers so I’m ready. I just need to pick a daily goal. Since I haven’t written for a few months I’m thinking I want to start small maybe 500 words a day when I sit down and aiming for 3 days a week at first? What do you think?
  • And, of course, I hope me and mine (and you and yours!) can stay happy and healthy moving forward in this shiny new year.

Want to follow along with the challenge? All of my entries can be found linked on this post.

Chit Chat

Winter Break Book Blogger Challenge 11: New Year’s Eve!

My blogger/twitter friends Andi and Amanda are hosting a blogger challenge this winter and I’m participating so for the next few days you can admire their lovely challenge graphic and follow along with my posts:

Which book character would you like to spend NYE with?

After giving the matter some thought, I’ve decided I would like to spend New Year’s Eve with Lola and Cricket from Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins because you just know they will be throwing an amazing party somewhere.

Lola and the Boy Next Door cover

Want to follow along with the challenge? All of my entries can be found linked on this post.

Chit Chat

Winter Break Book Blogger Challenge 10: Look Back – Did you meet any goals set for yourself?

My blogger/twitter friends Andi and Amanda are hosting a blogger challenge this winter and I’m participating so for the next few days you can admire their lovely challenge graphic and follow along with my posts:

I didn’t set a lot of goals for myself this year personally or as a blogger. It’s not my thing. All I have really wanted (beyond the usual good job, good health, etc.) is to build a community for myself–something I’ve been actively working on for the last few years because 2009 and 2010 were two of the worst years and some of the loneliest times–and I never wanted to feel like that again. Happily that is a goal I am slowly meeting.

I’m starting 2014 with a few more traditional goals which I’ll mention in my January 1st post for this challenge.

But returning to 2013 I’m actually really proud of  the work I did as a blogger this year.

There were a lot of cool things that happened like my interview with Gabrielle Zevin appearing in the paperback editions of All These Things I’ve Done and Because it is My Blood. I also got to meet a slew of my favorite authors in person at events and BEA which was fantastic and a bit humbling because some of them also knew who I was (still one of the coolest feelings ever). And, thanks to Twitter, I even am sort-of-but-probably-not-really friends with a few of my favorite authors which is another nice feeling.

I decided this year to go big or go home for author interviews. I reached out to authors I wouldn’t usually bother to approach because of an expected rejection. I even asked on Twitter sometimes. And, you know what? Most of the authors said yes. And it was awesome.

I also decided back when this year was starting that I wanted to blog more and maybe about non-book things sometimes. Those goals fell off a bit in the last couple of months because of everything else BUT overall I did meet my goal and I think it really shows in the quality of work I’m putting out with every post.

Want to follow along with the challenge? All of my entries can be found linked on this post.

Chit Chat

Winter Break Book Blogger Challenge 9: Look Back – Favorite Reads/Reviews/Posts of the last year

My blogger/twitter friends Andi and Amanda are hosting a blogger challenge this winter and I’m participating so for the next few days you can admire their lovely challenge graphic and follow along with my posts:

Ah, an end of year favorites post.

For books, I usually try to narrow it down to 10 or so. You can read that list tomorrow here: http://wp.me/p6kfM-39e

Until then, I will tease you with my Pinterest board for my favorites: http://www.pinterest.com/missemmaprint/13-for-2013/

I also also tell you some of my favorites were In the Age of Love and Chocolate by Gabrielle Zevin, The Archived (and/or Vicious) by Victoria Schwab, Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel, Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers, and Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.

Although it has been a horrible year on every level personally, it has been a pretty fantastic year for the blog and I’m proud of a lot of my posts:

In terms of “other” posts my favorite booklist is definitely my 10 Best and Worst Summer Vacations and maybe my Spooky Reads.

This year I was also proud of myself for being able to share more about what I was going through with my mom in the past few months–not because it was good blogging but because it was good for me personally and somehow talking about it here made it easier to talk about it to my friends.

Then, finally, I think my favorite post of the entire year is probably my response to an article about Manic Pixie Dream Girls. My post “Anyone Could be a Manic Pixie Dream Girl” is one that I like to think it well-written and compelling and it’s about a lot of things that are close to my heart. And I got to say nice things about my mom. I’m just very, very proud of it.

Want to follow along with the challenge? All of my entries can be found linked on this post.