Yesterday was the day: the first day of BookExpo America 2015! In addition to being the first day of BEA, it was also Blogger's Conference!
We woke up bright and early to head to New York City and walk over to Javits, the venue of BEA. After we got there, we met up with some friends (aka Xander from Forever Bookish) and met some new friends as well! The Blogger's Conference was a great experience - we got to hear from many experienced panelists to learn more about the ins and outs of blogging. Don't be surprised it you see some interesting changes from WLABB!
The first day of the BEA conference started at one, during Blogger's Conference. We split up a bit and got some awesome ARCs and totes! My personal highlights are The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson, and Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid. It was really cool because WLABB has never gone to the first day of BEA before and it was a chiller vibe than the full days.
After the day was over and we had TONS of amazing books, we lugged out suitcases all the way back to Penn Station for some unexpected traveling difficulties. Unfortunately Amtrak was having a wire issue and all trains in and out of New York were delayed over an hour and a lot of trains were even getting canceled! The train station was so packed - it was the most packed I've ever seen the train station and the train.
Once we finally got on the train (we took a train that was meant to depart at 5:37 at around 6:45), it was quite the relief... until we got back to the craziness of our train station and all the people being picked up and leaving the parking lot. We waited at least a half hour just to get out of the parking lot to go home!
Even though the commute back was horrible, it was such a fun day! To see more of the fun the bloggers of WLABB had at BEA today, and for pictures since words are sometimes boring, check out our BEA hashtag on Twitter: #WLABBtakesBEA!
If you're going to be at BEA, we'd love to see you! Come say hi! (We'll actually already be at BEA when this post actually publishes, but I don't feel like getting into technicalities.)
Also, check out the highlights of the other bloggers below!
The Blogger's Conference was super fun. I loved hearing from incredible panelists like Katytastic, Sarah Moon, etc, and of course getting arcs like Another Day and The Copper Gauntlet. Woo. I loved meeting you fab authors - I'm talking to you Cait Reynolds! Food was actually not horrible... Commute was unexpectedly hell...
This is just going to be one long ramble because the train issues (which will be explained later) have tired me out so much to the point where I'm just going to be speaking in run-on sentences.
The day started out with some early rising and chilling in line and getting breakfast and meeting some fellow bloggers! It was a calm start to the day, which is much appreciated because the next few days are going to be hella crazy. Then, we got to hear some really cool blogging tips from our Keynote speaker panel -- they all talked about their experiences blogging and how those experiences extended to their professional careers, which was both extremely interesting and inspiring. We then saw two different panels, both hosted by some really adorable people with really unique experiences (one woman created the #YesAllWomen hashtag and had been harassed on social media and explained how to protect yourself on social media, while another woman discussed her experiences vlogging as opposed to traditional blogging).
After lunch (which involved so much walking and talking to someone about possibly posting about their dog on the blog (I'm not kidding it was a thing)) we finally got to go to some signings and grab some drops!! I got a copy of Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl that I'm super excited about! We all were also lucky enough to get a Holly Black/Cassie Clare much needed novel: The Copper Gauntlet. Between the four of us, we got to experience all of BEA Blogger Con, grab all of the books dropped, and even go to the signings we wanted to go to: all in all, successful day.
Now, after dragging our fifty pounds of books each back to the train station, we were met with hour delays and cancelations and more or less had to fight our way through the crowd and carry our piles of books up and down stairs and finally made it on to a bus were we got to stand, packed like sardines, so close that they couldn't even check our tickets. Finally, after getting home several hours after expected, we got to sit in the train station parking lot for an hour so we could finally exit, with all the traffic build up inside the parking lot itself. It was so fun! (Hint: it was not fun) (Hint 2: no really it was horrible we are all a little dead inside because of it) (Hint 3: Shoutout to amtrak for being the real baes and totally not messing things up and helping us even to get to our destination ahead of schedule) (Hint 4: we all hate amtrak)
Oh well, at least BEA Blogger Con was a success! See you all at BEA tomorrow bright (not bright, we're leaving when it's still dark out) and early!
I've been back home for a few hours now and honestly I can still feel the ache in my feet from today (which I'll suck up, because we have four more days of this and the next two involve waking up even earlier). I feel like this is the mark of a successful day.
The first half was spent at some very informative panels and I appreciated all the bloggers, authors, publicists, and everyone else who was up there and trying to help everyone get the most out of their blogging experiences. After lunch was when we kicked it into gear with the galley drops and signings (well not all four of us, we kept splitting up and meeting back up together and between everyone we have almost everything relevant book being given out yesterday.
The first book I got that really excited me was Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. I've been hearing more and more about it lately and it's all positive and I really wanted to read it and all of a sudden we walked past and there was a pile of them, neatly laid out in a circle on the floor for our taking. Before this, I had just grabbed books that sounded interesting or I vaguely was into but this was the first of the day I really got excited about.
My two favorite gems are Another Day by David Levithan, which I didn't know they would be dropping and then I found out a few hours prior and needed to have it, because he's one of my favorite authors and I've been looking forward to this book, and The Copper Gauntlet by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black, the value of which I feel like I don't even need to explain honestly (this was probably my favorite book from the day).
I'm also ready to crack open many of the other books I brought home! Siren's Fury by Mary Weber is the sequel to a book we triple reviewed a while back and all enjoyed, Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar is just by Louis Sachar and I didn't know he was writing anything new but he's cool so I'm down with it, and Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff is just beautiful aesthetically (I mean it looks interesting too).
Also, people waited in line at 8 AM for Truthwitch by Susan Dennard and I didn't know it was going to be relevant but the demand was insane and they only had 100 copies. None of us tried to get one but Xander (whose blog is mentioned above in Kiersten's section) did and while that's not an addition to my personal collection or anything, I just wanted to comment on the craziness.
You've heard the train situation and I don't wanna talk about it honestly. I'm pretty sure I was standing for like 14 hours. Can't wait for tomorrow though!!!! (Jk actually can't wait bc Jesse Eisenberg will be there and I will melt).