Warning: This post is very long and is filled with rambling.
I apologize in advance.
This year was my second year attending Book Expo America. It was exciting, and fun, and so worth while. I’m so glad I was able to attend. Here is a glimpse into my week:
April and I woke up around 6:00am on Tuesday in order to get ready to catch our bus at 7:30am. I had spent the night at her and Tonyís place the night before so that we could have the earliest departure time. So after getting ready and a quick Dunkin Donuts run, we met our bus at the bus station and departed on our long journey to Port Authority. We arrived at the station around 1:00pm. From there, we navigated our way to the Times Square subway station, where we bought our Metro Cards for the week. Of course, April with her tiny suitcase had absolutely no problem getting through the subway terminal. Me on the other hand? Not so much. My giant suitcase wound up getting stuck resulting in me swearing to myself, and April laughing hysterically at me.
Ultimately, we made it to our hotel, The Wolcott Hotel, and discovered how gorgeous it was. Seriously, look at it! I still have trouble believing that we were able to stay in such a nice place.
We sat in the lobby for a little while waiting for Shanyn to arrive so that we could check into the hotel. We were also using this opportunity to dry off a bit seeing as how we had gotten caught in the rain as we were walking from the subway to the hotel. Finally, Shanyn arrived and we were reunited and were able to check into our hotel room (which was really nice). From there we struggled deciding what to wear that night to the Simon Teen Blogger Preview Party because the weather had put a damper on our previously planned outfits. Also, a very wet Jamie arrived to our room further alluding to the fact that it was indeed raining outside. Luckily all of us were able to figure something out, and soon enough we ventured off to the location of the party.
The Simon Teen Blogger Preview party was so much fun. Iím very grateful to April for asking and being able to get me added me to the invite list. After hearing all the stories from last year, I was so glad I was able to attend this year. I was able to finally meet Asheley and Estelle, re-unite with Tara, and talk to a few awesome publishers. Plus thanks to the Q&A format of the party, I felt like I really got to know the authors in attendance which were Suzanne Young and Cat Patrick (Just Like Fate), Amy Butler Greenfield (Chantress), Jason Reynolds (When I Was The Greatest), Corey Ann Haydu (OCD Love Story), and Siobhan Vivian and Jenny Han (Fire with Fire). Also, I was able to get really excited about a book (When I Was The Greatest) that I hadnít even heard of before. Note: I have since read it, and cannot wait to gush about it when the release date comes closer. After the party a group of us (April, Asheley, Estelle, Jamie, Tara, Shanyn, and I) stood outside the party location for like an hour having fun discussing books and life before going our separate ways, and preparing for the next day.
Wednesday was the day of the Book Blogger Convention, and after last year I was prepared not to get my hopes up too high, and honestly Iím glad I didnít. It wasnít bad I guess but it also wasnít exceptional by any means. Although Iím happy to say that even with barely any voice April rocked her panel on blogging platforms. I also got to meet Gaby which was awesome. But overall, I was very ďmehĒ about the convention, and wound up arriving late, and leaving early with April to grab some Pinkberry. I love Pinkberry! Wednesday night was the Harper Collins Blogger Party which was so much fun. Again, Iím very thankful that April was able to get me added to the invite list. I had the pleasure of talking to some awesome publishers and marketing managers. Also, I was able to meet Katie and hang out with the Team Epic Reads ladies (Aubry and Margot) as well as author Katie Sise (The Boyfriend App). All in all it was a good night.
Finally, it was officially time for BEA to start! Thursday was the first day that the expo was open for everyoneís walking, standing, and viewing pleasure. There was so much going on the first day of BEA that it is still kind of a blur. I did get to attend the YA Editors Buzz Panel which was being monitored by Suzanna from Oblong Books (sheís awesome). I loved hearing the editors talking about their picks, and hearing the excitement in their voices. It made me so excited to read them, especially Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan. It was a little crazy on the BEA floor but I managed to get a few books signed:† Professor Gargoyle by Charles Gilman, These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, and The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise. I was also able to pick up a copy of Crown of Midnight which I was a super excited about! Oh, and I was able to meet† Mandee and reunite with Anna and Tara so all in all it was a good first day.
After the first official day of BEA, I had a little down time, and a night to myself so whatís a girl to do? Go to a Broadway show! My pick: Nice Work If You Can Get It. Why? Honestly, I found out that there were discount tickets involved. But truthfully Iím so glad I decided to go see it. It was such a fun show. Set in the late 1920ís, it is filled with bootleggers, prohibitionists, chorus girls, and Gershwin music.† It is such a good time, and the whole cast is so talented, and so nice at the stage door too.
The next morning, I wound up waking up super early with Shanyn in order to go see New Kids on the Block, 98 Degrees, and Boys II Men in concert at the Today show. At first we thought we had gotten really good spots in the audience but once people started putting up their signs, it proved to be a different story. So we relocated a bit, and were able to find a spot where we were able to see better, and get some pictures. It was a bit crazy but a lot of fun!
After the concert Shanyn, Melissa, Flo, and I made our way to the Javits Center. My main mission for the day was to get a copy of Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein so shortly after arriving I made my way to the autograph area with the plan that I was just going to hang out and waiting for her signing at 11am. Lucky for me there were other bloggers with the same plan so I wasnít alone. Instead I got to hang out with Alyssa, Heidi, and Mandee. I also got to spot Amy as well although Iím not sure if she saw me or not. It was so busy! Getting my book signed by Elizabeth Wein was such a highlight. She was so nice, and immediately recognized the blog name after I mentioned it. I cannot wait to read Rose Under Fire! Other highlights for the second day of BEA included: †meeting Kristen Callihan and getting Winterblaze signed, seeing Grumpy Cat and getting a picture taken with her, and meeting Sara Farizan and getting a copy of If You Could Be Mine signed (so excited for it!).
After the day was finished for me, I made it back to the hotel to rest my tired feet before making it to the Book Blogger Picnic (albeit much later than I had originally intended), where I met some really nice bloggers including Alexa, Andrea, Katelyn, and Lauren. Hopefully we get to do something like that next year! After the picnic, I had dinner with April, Anna, Tara, Estelle, Sasha, Elena, Jamie and Shanyn which was so nice. It made me wish we had had more time to spend together this year!
Day #3 was more of a quiet day for me. I only planned on spending a couple of hours on the floor. Highlights included getting a copy of Nicholas Sparks newest novel The Longest Ride through a scavenger hunt ; getting a copy of Delirium through Epic Reads Spin to Win (so much fun) ; and finally Jim Gaffigan. †It was a relaxing final day on the floor, which was followed by a very HOT trip to the post office with April to mail all of our BEA books home. Luckily afterwards we were able to cool down somewhat with a delicious slice of pizza and a bottle of water before April had to depart to catch the bus home from Port Authority.
Wanting to end my trip on a happy positive note, I decided to splurge for tickets to Nice Work If You Can Get It again. This time around I was closer to the stage (Center Orchestra Row E), and able have a closer look at the show which was just as good the second time around. I loved being able to see things that I didnít necessarily get to see from the distance in the mezzanine. It was so worth the money spent! Also, this time around I got to see a couple of people at the stage door that I wasnít able to see the first time around. Honestly, Iím so sad this show is closing on June 15th.
Finally, it was time to leave NYC and return home. I was the one responsible for checking us out of the hotel in the morning which I did around 8:30am in order to catch a 9:30am bus home from Port Authority. I couldnít wait to get back home, and as much as I hated to admit it re-enter the real world. It had been fun. So much fun. But it was time to go home.
All in all, I had a wonderful time at BEA 2013, and am so glad I was able to go. I was able to reconnect with some awesome people, and meet so many new ones. Everything is still a bit of a blur right now so if I didnít mention you in this re-cap, Iím sorry! It doesnít mean I didnít like you. I swear, I did! Also, I was able to get some amazing looking books at BEA as well. I havenít had time to go through all of them yet but here are some of my favorites that I was able to get:
Öand that was my BEA 2013 experience!