I'd say this year was definitely a huge learning experience, even moreso than last year, because I got to view it from a blogger's perspective rather than just a consumer who had no idea what it would be like and really just wanted to be surrounded by books.
A lot of the big highlights that come to mind involve meeting people and authors I really look up to. I spent a lot of this weekend starstruck because I got the chance to meet people I've admired for so long. Some authors I met literally shaped my childhood. I met Lemony Snicket and told him all about how his writing style for A Series of Unfortunate Events blew my mind and really got me thinking about how plot wasn't everything when it came to writing and voice mattered so much and I mentioned how I also loved his first novel, The Basic Eight, which he published under his real name, Daniel Handler, and he said I was "a woman after his own heart" and I just about died.
I also was really looking forward to meeting Scott Westerfeld. He has been one of my writing idols since middle school. You know how I mentioned Lemony Snicket and how his voice blew my mind? Scott Westerfeld's plot blew my mind for every single book he's written and I cannot for the life of me understand how he does it. Even though I already had a copy of the book he was signing, I really just wanted to meet him and figured that even if I didn't get a signed book -- the line was getting reaaaaaaallly long -- I didn't care as long as I got to speak to him (I ended up getting the book and the conversation, which was fabulous). And of course, it goes without saying that I was super excited for signings by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare.
Oh, and another huge person I was excited to meet, who isn't an author in the traditional sense was Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York. I've been obsessively in love with his project for such a long time now and when I learned he would be at BEA, I was so excited to get a chance to meet him. On Friday, he was signing a poster and I got the chance to talk to him for a bit and let him know how much I love what he does. He posed for a picture with me, but Amrutha didn't understand how cameras work so she didn't get the shot, although she got one I liked from behind where he looked engaged in what I was saying. I wasn't hung up about it, because hey, I had a signed poster and I had a chance to meet and speak to him. But then on Saturday, he did a panel which I really wanted to go, so I did, and he was interviewed by David Karp, the founder of Tumblr, and it was so interesting to hear about the way he started the blog and how his photographing process works and it was a very in-depth and intriguing look into his perspective. After his panel, I managed to get a selfie with him, which was totally awesome and made me very happy!
It's strange to think about, isn't it? I started making a highlights post and I've just been going on and on about how starstruck I've been and how thrilled I was to meet certain people and how I could feel my heart reverberating inside my chest like a speaker turned up too loud. But they're just people. They are literally just human being who happened to sit at computer screens and type a lot and then edit a lot and then type some more and then other people liked what they typed and now they line up so they can write their names on stacks of paper on which there are printed words that they wrote. We hype people up to be more than human beings and I am definitely one of the many people who gets caught up in the moment and finds herself unable to breathe around these people but after meeting them and seeing how weary and tired they look from signing hundreds of books, it's an interesting experience to see that they aren't two levels above the rest of us on the human scale. They might be a hundred levels above us on the awesome scale but they're still just normal people.
Anyway, some of the other highlights from the past few days involved meeting people I didn't have to stand in a line for. BEA was just full of some really interesting people who had great things to say. I met some cool people on line for things or literally bumped into some others. We even made a new friend (shoutout to Zoe if you're reading this) who might do a guest post for us some time. I was completely overwhelmed by how friendly and approachable people were and how genuinely interested they seemed in our conversations.
I learned a lot even from a day-to-day basis. Like, the first day I stood in a lot of lines and didn't go to as many galley drops, which I thought wasn't a great decision, so I did the opposite the next two days, although there were still a fair amount of lines there, but for big authors I refused to miss. I played a lot of it by ear, but it was definitely an experience that was worth it.
The last two events that stick out in my mind are both actually panels involving movies. The first is the Bookcon kickoff event with Tina Fey for the upcoming movie This is Where I Leave You and featured the author, director, a couple of the actors, and showed some scenes from the movie and how they compared to the book and overall hyped up the movie. As someone who hasn't read the book or heard much about it, the panel really made me want to both read it and see the movie, so overall I enjoyed it.
The final event I'll speak about is the final event of our weekend: the panel with John Green for The Fault in Our Stars. It was full of laughs and great comments and some more serious questions too and I was personally very partial to the presence of a particular Nat Wolff. They showed us some scenes from the movie, which I am so excited about seeing, and it made my heart hurt out of a combination of excitement and pain and something unidentified. Even though it was a crazy mob of people swarming the entrance trying to form a line, it was definitely a panel that was worth it.
Like I said before, this whole weekend was a learning experience. I might have went off and rambled a bit with some of my highlights but I had a great weekend and although there are some things I definitely would have changed (cough bookcon) I'm glad I got the opportunity to meet the people I did and to do all the things I got to do. I'd say BEA 2014 was a success!
Going to BookExpo America this year as a blogger was such a wonderful experience - not only did it allow me to attend the convention for not just one day but three, but it also allowed me to meet so many great people and get so many awesome books!
I cannot tell you how many lines I waited on... SO MANY! But, in the end, it was so worth it. Here are some of the books/authors I waited for that I felt were most worth it:
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas - To say I waited on line for this was an understatement... I got on line at approximately 9:50 and the signing wasn't until 11:30. Yea. And I waited on that line until about 12:30 since I was around 95th in line. But Sarah J. Maas is so nice and beautiful and I was really excited to get a copy of Heir of Fire!
The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O'Brien - I'm very much intrigued by the concept of this book and it's one of my top priority reads this summer! On top of that, Caragh M. O'Brien was so nice and she even asked for my business card! (!!!!!) It was extremely exciting because it was one of the first business cards I gave out and made me feel super official.
RICK RIORDAN!!! - While I didn't much care what book I was receiving (I already had The Mark of Athena on Kindle), it was so exciting to meet the man behind such brilliant stories! Rick Riordan was soooooo nice. Like, I know I keep saying this about all the authors but he was SOOOOOO nice! I also met the artist who did the Percy Jackson covers (John Rocco), which was really exciting since I did a whole Cover Cosmetics about it. I showed him my makeup and he said it was awesome, which was super cool!
The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare - Even though I just met Holly Black and Cassandra Clare at the City of Heavenly Fire book launch, it was still awesome to see them again and get a copy of The Iron Trial! I feel like I've known about The Iron Trial FOREVER and it was one of my most desired books for the weekend, which made me feel very accomplished! I also brought my deluxe Shadowhunter's Codex and waited on line for Cassandra Clare right before getting on line for The Iron Trial and Cassie complimented my t-shirt and said we had a cool blog name! It was so exciting. I love her endlessly.
GRUMPY CAT!!!!!!!!!!!!...!!!!!!!! - All the exclamation points in the world are not enough to portray my extreme love of Grumpy Cat. (One might reference my Grumpy Cat Stuffed Animal Saturday post). This was honestly the most important event of the weekend to me and my life has been made due to meeting this glorious cat. I hope that in the future I will get to gaze upon her beauty once more.
Some honorable mention selfies:
As you can tell, I'm the queen of selfies with people who aren't paying attention to the selfies. Of course, these are not the only awesome books I got! To see a full list, check out my shelf on Goodreads here!
Besides meeting awesome authors and getting awesome books, I met some of my favorite bloggers and some new friends (shout out to Zoe!). Some highlights include Steph and Kat from Cuddlebuggery, Katie from Mundie Moms, and talking to Ariel Bissett and Kat from Katytastic some more!
Oh, and I also made some badass t-shirts for us to wear. The ombré dying and embroidering took FOREVER, but it was worth it.
Overall, BEA 2014 was extremely successful and I look forward to even more fun next year!
Oh my gosh guys, guess what I spent last Thursday through Saturday doing? Roaming around Book Expo America, which is a huge book conference for those in the book industry (including Kiersten, Noor, Marlon, and me) where we are able to meet authors and actors, interact with big names in publishing, and get free books. It is honestly one of the most rewarding experiences and it is safe to say that I cannot wait until next year.
What an exhilarating experience. My last experience with BEA, although surreal, was only a few hours long, as I came to the conference on Saturday (the last day) as a Power Reader (fancy word for consumer) after SATs. This year, going as a blogger with a few of my favorite people was incredible, both as a learning opportunity and a fun time.
A few big highlights of mine are as follows:
1) Waking up at the crack of dawn and chilling out for hours on end for tickets and to get into the conference. Just kidding, this is probably the only part of the conference when we were all extenuated and grouchy and just felt like scarfing down hash browns.
3) Selfie with Neil Patrick Harris. (He's made of awesome, even if I barely got to interact with him).
4) Crazy galley drops, which are when big publishing companies give away already published/yet to be published books by both up-and-coming and famous authors. This one publisher from the Hachette group gave me some pretty rad books by some incredibly famous authors (i.e. James Patterson/James Mott ARCs). S/O to him. ILY.
5. Meeting super cool bloggers and authors and stalking the Spencer Hill Press signings. They have some really interesting YA books and by the 6th time I stopped by, the people began to recognize me.
6. Tote bags. 'Nough said, I got like 20+ of them and a lot of them are really cute. S/O to the "People Tools" tote bag which came with a USB drive. That's pretty awesome.
8. Cool signings for YA books I can't wait to read, like by Morgan Matson or Sarah J. Maas (looking at you Kiersten, I'm trying to borrow that book, please and thank you). Also having Marlon get me Be With Me, by J. Lynn (if you haven't read my review of Wait for You, do it, it's hysterical).
11. Going to some awesome panels, like one with Tina Fey and Jason Bateman, and another with Nat Wolf and the author I have been obsessed with for years, John Green. Both panels discussed upcoming movies and while the panels were awesome, it was even better just to be breathing the same air as John Green.
12. Meeting up with Nicole on Book Con day and showing her the ropes as though I was a seasoned professional or something. I mean, I kind of am, you guys should probably take notes or something.
14. Just piles and piles of free books. It was a crazy ride and now I have like a billion and seven books to remember it by.
In summation: BEA was an amazing experience and I recommend to anyone who loves books and gets the chance to go and enjoy all the craziness themselves. Just be sure not to download the app for BEA because wow it is the worst. Regardless though, probably one of the most rewarding experiences I've had in a long time, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to go.
Damn damn damn. A lot different than last year, let me tell you that. Last year, it was all about the galley drops, all about the signings. I was new, can you blame me? I latched on to the Convention rather than the Conference. This year . . . this year was a lot of networking, a massive learning experience I'm overwhelmingly grateful for. Trying to get a blog out there is a tough job, but made a whole lot easier when you have business cards! Thanks Kiersten. Much of the networking involves the authors themselves, along with their agents, marketers, lots of other bloggers, that whole ordeal. However, what really sticks out in our minds, are the authors we've been dying to meet forever.
Last year, I missed Rick Riordan. This year, I think I more than made up for that.
Last year, I missed Rick Riordan. This year, I think I more than made up for that.
WAIT LET'S TALK FOR A SECOND ABOUT HOW I MET THE ARTIFICERS OF MY LOVE FOR LITERATURE.
|(Ok but seriously why can't|
I take a good picture . . .
Before it gets too crazy, I'll cut it off there.
I met a few bloggers, like Jennifer James, who apparently already knew about WLABB? Kind of awesome!
The list is kind of endless . . . so let's stop, eh? There's almost too much to say. I had an amazing time. Well . . . I mean bookcon kind of tore my heart out and stomped on it, but then again I also met Cassandra Clare and Holly Black and Kelly Link twice in a week because of that day, so . . .
I also met some amazing people, like Gone author Michael Grant, some dude named John Green, whoever that is, and piles of others that would kind of make this post unbearably long! HOLLY BLACK FOLLOWED ME ON TWITTER ALONG WITH KELLY LINK. LIKE. ARE YOU SERIOUS?
Also Noor and I did a thing. You may know this thing from a certain pair of popular booktubers:
BEA 2014 WAS AMAZING. Hope to do it again next year!
Did you go to BEA? What are some of your highlights?
Let us know in the comments!