June 24, 2012

Book Expo America 2012: The Experience


I have three words for you:  Book Expo America.
BEA is the largest book convention / trade fair / event [thing] in North America.  People come from all over the world.  For example:  I don't live in the United States and this is the second time I've attended.
There are authors, publishers, bloggers, librarians, booksellers, literary agents, (I'm sure I've left out some sort of category), and all of them are book lovers.  Or, at least I hope they are.

On June 4th my Mom and I headed to NYC.  We both went for the first time last year and immediately fell in love with the city.  My primary reason to go last year was BEA.  This year it was still BEA, but I wanted to see the city again and see some friends that I couldn't see otherwise.
I had fantastic time and didn't really want to leave.  BEA was ah-maz-ing!  It was three days of no sleep, a lot of books, even more people, and so much fun that I'll remember it for a long, long time.  I could ramble about all the awesomeness, but you probably wouldn't want to hear it all.  (I can ramble for a LONG time, and this post is long enough as it is).


Waiting in the airport.  I was very anxious to get to NYC.  Also, I'm terrified of flying.

Oh look, the view from our hotel!


Onto BEA!

You could take a picture in Ally Condie's Reached.  I haven't read the series yet, but this was a lot of fun!

Photo taken by Courtney Sheinmel
Lauren Oliver was signing ARCs of The Spindlers in the Autograph Area!  I met Lauren last May at a book signing in Toronto.  She's wonderful to talk to.  This photo was taken by Courtney Sheinmel who I met when I went to say hi to Lauren.  I had the pleasure of talking to Courtney while we were waiting to get our copies of The Spindlers.

From Lauren's line it was straight to Melissa Marr's!  I was SO excited to get a copy of her upcoming YA novel, Carnival of Souls -- Note: the mask.  I even ran into some friends in line!  That's me with Victoria Schwab on the left, and Danielle (from Frenzy of Noise) took the picture!

On Tuesday night, (still June 5th), we went to the Teen Author Carnival which was being held at the Jefferson Market Library in Greenwich Village.  TAC was full of YA authors that spoke in panels, answered questions, and signed our books.  Basically, it was so much fun!
Over 30 authors participated, but I've only read a couple of them.  (Yes, there are now many more books added to my to-read pile.  I mean that somewhat literally because I won some books while I was there).
On the left, I'm standing beside the sign for TAC.  
One of the authors speaking on the panels was Victoria Schwab, and she brought an ARC of The Archived along with her.  Now, I only got to hold The Archived for this picture.  There are no ARCs out in the world yet, and this one was Victoria's personal copy, so I had to, (reluctantly), hand it over about 5 seconds after this picture was taken.  (I'm so excited for The Archived after reading the excerpt in The Near Witch paperback, unfortunately its release isn't until January 2013).
Michelle Hodkin was also at TAC.  The last time I saw Michelle was last year at BEA, and it was so nice to see her again.
During one of the panels the mediator asked a question about book covers, but many of the authors didn't have their books on them.  I happened to be reading Gone, Gone, Gone by Hannah Moskowitz, and Hannah was on that panel.  I gave my copy to Hannah and she immediately flipped it open to where my bookmark was to see what part I was at.  Despite what she says, Hannah is great on panels.
I learned that Barry Lyga doesn't watch Criminal Minds, but Jackson Pearce does.  (Yes, we fangirl-ed a *little* bit over Dr. Spencer Reid).


Wednesday was the craziest day.  I say that in all seriousness.
It was up at 4am and on to the Javits Centre by 6:20am.  (No, there isn't a lot I will get up this early for).  We headed there so early mainly because John Green's signing was ticketed, and I wasn't sure what time the tickets were being given out -- other than EARLY.  Also, Chris Colfer was supposed to be signing ARCs of his debut, The Land of Stories:  The Wishing Spell, and I figured it HAD to be ticketed.
EARLY ended up being just before 7am, because the line already had over 100 people in it.  (I could be exaggerating.  That morning was very fuzzy.  I don't drink coffee.  However, if I'm exaggerating it's not by much.  On second thought, I think there were more than 100 people in that line).
Mom and I got tickets to John Green's signing, (YAY), but the BEA staff had no idea what I was talking about when I asked for a ticket to Chris Colfer's signing.  (You'll find out why soon enough).

The Children's Author Breakfast was on June 6th from 8am - 9:30am.  Chris Colfer, John Green, Lois Lowry and Kadir Nelson were speaking, and Chris was also the Master of Ceremonies.  (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)  I sat with Captain Awesome AKA @indigogreenroom, Jen from Misbehavin' Librarian and Jenn from Lost in a Great Book.  Woot for Canadians!
You have to pay to attend any of the breakfasts offered at BEA.  I paid to sit a table, and on each seat was a hardcover copy of The Fault in Our Stars, an ARC of Son, an ARC of The Land of Stories and a Land of Stories tote bag.  The Land of Stories ARC made me fangirl so much and it's in such pretty packaging!
Before the breakfast began, (the speaking portion), I spotted Veronica Roth sitting at a HarperCollins table.  I was debating back and forth, but Veronica is the sweetest and I wanted to go say hi, so I did!

Veronica Roth & I

My first thought as the authors came out was, "Aw, Chris Colfer's wearing a suit."  My second thought was something about puff levels that would really take too long to explain.  (I'm sure there's an explanation in various vlogbrothers videos).*  John Green and Chris Colfer exchanged some jokes involving fanfiction which were ridiculously funny.  Many people know Chris Colfer from Glee, (yes, I heart Klaine too), but in this avenue I got to see him as an author.  He'd wanted to write this story since he was a kid and he was so excited to share this book with us.  It made me excited for him.  John Green was his awesome self.  I can't remember in detail what he said, but he talked about decreasing world suck and nerdfighteria.  (I was geeking out, and at this point all I can remember is that I was really happy).  Lois Lowry's speech made a lot of people cry.  She talked about the son she lost and how much her upcoming book meant to her.  Kadir Nelson talked about Dr. Martin Luther King Junior and showed some of his beautiful artwork on the projection screen.  I can tell you that the speeches were hilarious, emotional, inspirational, and I'm not the only one who thought so.

Proof that I actually met Chris Colfer!
In the picture on the left I'm blurry, but he's smiling at me so I'm happy!

Now for the story behind the pictures ...
I had been battling a very big problem.  Remember, we had already gotten tickets to John Green's signing which was from 10:30-11:30 in the morning.  Chris Colfer was signing from 11am-12pm.  (Do you see the problem yet)?  I already had a copy of both books, and I didn't care about getting another copy.  I just wanted to meet John Green.  But I wanted to meet Chris Colfer too.  Their signings overlapped for half an hour which isn't a lot of time at BEA, but it ended up being the luckiest thing for me ever.
I was still at the Author Breakfast when the exhibit floor opened, but my Mom, (Super Mom from now on), went to the Random House booth to ask what was happening for Chris' signing.  After the breakfast I found Super Mom and she told me that the line-up was starting at 10:30, and we were extremely surprised the line was to begin so close to the actual signing.
In fact, people started lining up right from 9am.  It was an unofficial line, but eventually unofficial became official.  Around 10:30 numbers were given out, and out of 200 I was #2, Super Mom was #3 and @indigogreenroom was #4.  I would have been nowhere near there if it wasn't for Super Mom.
At 11:17am Chris Colfer appeared!  At this point I was hoping and praying that John Green was still signing, and that 10 minutes was enough time to get from the Random House booth to the Autograph Area.

Back to Chris Colfer!
The first 5 people in line told Chris to come do a book signing in Canada :)
I got to tell Chris that I loved his speech and he told me he was nervous about it.  Super Mom wanted to mother him, and I admit, I wanted to give him a hug too.
Then for the running ... Well, not really running.

Yes, after meeting Chris Colfer around 11:20am (I kept checking the time because I was freaking out that this *points at photo* wasn't going to happen) we practically ran to where John Green was signing and HE WAS STILL SIGNING!  (I was and still am really happy about that).  I'm pretty sure I embarrassed myself a little bit because I was so excited, so I hope he doesn't remember me ... but it's okay because I'm just happy I got to meet him.
I get all smiley when I look at the picture.
After I walked out of line in a daze Super Mom and I pass our John Green tickets to two girls who really wanted the chance to meet him.
Mom asked me what I wanted to do then.  I said I didn't care because I was so happy that it didn't even matter.

I can't exactly remember what happened after that.
There was so much excitement that I think we took a little bit of a breather, but not long after we were back on the show floor.

Katie McGarry & I
A couple months ago Harlequin sent me this ARC of Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry.  I hadn't even heard of it at the time, but it sounded like a book I'd really enjoy.
I loved Pushing the Limits so much that I contacted Katie within 10 minutes of finishing it.
It was so nice to meet her and I don't even remember everything we talked about, but she signed my book with the sweetest message.

James Dasher & I
I wanted to meet James Dashner to ask him a couple things about The Death Cure.  He wasn't signing anything Maze Runner related.  In fact, the book he was signing, Infinity Ring:  A Mutiny in Time, isn't even with the same publisher as The Maze Runner trilogy.  I was talking to Scholastic about The Maze Runner trilogy, and I believe my exact words were, "They were horrifying and fantastic and I couldn't stop reading".  I can say that I enjoyed talking to him and that I'm really grateful I was able to express how I felt about The Death Cure.  Also, Infinity Ring looks really good ...

The last day of BEA! :(
Super Mom was a placeholder for me in Victoria Schwab's The Near Witch (paperback) line as I went to grab an excerpt of The Kill Order by James Dashner and a copy of Shine by Jeri Smith-Ready.  Yay for Mom!  The first five people in Victoria's line got a key which is redeemable for The Archived swag!

Jeri Smith-Ready and I
I haven't read Shine yet!  I feel so behind.

There are a couple things I don't have pictures for.
I waited in line for a copy of Breathe by Sarah Crossan.  This book sounds really good, and both Sarah and her publisher were so nice!  I want to read this book more now that I've met her.
I didn't think I'd have a chance to get a copy of The Curiosities:  A Collection of Stories by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton and Brenna Yovanoff, but Super Mom thought otherwise.  Super Mom snagged me the last copy while I somehow started the line for David Levithan.  I wasn't feeling too great that day, so I'm truly surprised that these things happened.  I actually went through the line for Every Day by David Levithan twice, because I promised to get a copy for Cait from Escape Through the Pages (her flight was that afternoon, and she had to leave BEA early).

Saying goodbye to BEA for another year.  Sitting in that chair felt so good.
Although you can't tell from the pictures, I was really sad to leave BEA.  It was what I looked forward to all year, and it was completely worth it.

BEA is only open until 3pm on the last day.  So, on Thursday, after my Mom pried me away from the Javits Center, (it was really hard to leave), we decided to go on top of the Rockefeller Center.
Now you can enjoy the photos with me :)

Photo taken from the Brooklyn Bridge on June 8th


Stuff we did:
- Walked the High Line.
- Had lunch in Union Square.
- Went to a Barnes & Noble (which looked more similar to Indigo than I was expecting).
- Saw and talked to Tom Pollock in Barnes & Noble.
- Walked the Brooklyn Bridge.

One view from the High Line.
Thank you to Susane Colasanti for recommending this.  We didn't have a chance to do it last year, but I'm glad we made time for it this year.

Manhattan looks teeny-tiny from the Brooklyn Bridge.

Some of the books I got at BEA and proof that they were actually in New York!

Saying goodbye to the view from our hotel room.

In summary:  I had a wonderful time in New York and I'm hoping to go to BEA again next year!

*I actually can explain that to you [re:  puff level] but I just want you to watch the vlogbrothers videos on YouTube.  Yes, I'm evil like that.



  1. I cannot thank you enough for Every Day! I definitely did a little dance when it showed up in my mailbox. Thank you so much! It was great running into you at TAC and finally meeting. I'm going to try and come up to TO in November, we'll have to get together :)

  2. You have got fresh lovely bubbling face!!!