Book Expo America

June 4, 2011 Uncategorized 12

This was my first year attending Book Expo America and the Book Blogger Convention. I also went to the School Library Journal Day of Dialogue! I had never been to New York before so it was all an adventure. I had a great time. Yes, some people were crazy. I didn’t see much of the hitting/shoving/biting but I did see the line cutting. It was annoying. That’s all I’m going to say about that. I came home with many great books but more importantly a ton of fabulous memories. This post will be day by day highlights and pics :) I’ll talk about specific books in a separate post! 

SUNDAY: Arrive in NYC
- Met Anna, Tara, and Tara at the airport. Had a late lunch together. 
- I checked in to our hotel (turns out they didn’t take Discover so I had to clear out my checking account to pay for the room!)
- Met up for a fabulous dinner arranged by Anna. It was made up of awesome bloggers like Anna, Tara, Tara, Melanie, Carla, Jennifer, Jamie, April, Lindsi, Farrah, Britney and Casey.

MONDAY: School Library Journal’s Day of Dialogue

- Finally got to meet Cindy Pon.
- Daniel Handler (Lemony Snickett!) is as funny in person as you’d expect.
- Publishers were there with books and swag. I picked up many great titles and got a number signed!
- The panels of publishers highlighting upcoming titles were very helpful!
- Matt de la Pena and Adam Gidwitz are not only incredibly talented but also totally adorable.
- Had a yummy pizza dinner with a delightful group of bloggers!

TUESDAY: First BEA day!

- Children’s author breakfast. We had an awesome table full of bloggers. I took this pic of Tara and Anna with Daniel Handler’s back :)
- Went right from breakfast to the Scholastic booth to pick up a copy of Forever and The Scorpio Races (both by Maggie Stievater.)
- At the Scholastic booth I bumped in to Sarah Rees Brennan and Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Sarah and I had met before and chatted online. They let me tag along with them for a bit. I didn’t really pick up any books but we walked around and chatted. I got to say hello to people like Michelle Hodkin, Barry Goldblatt, Marie Lu, and Melissa Marr!
- Sarah, Jen Lynn, and I stood in line to get Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey.

Scholastic Event

- Did I mention that I got to hang out with SARAH RESS BRENNAN and JENNIFER LYNN BARNES?!?! Seriously. I was in book nerd heaven!
- While waiting to meet Melissa at the Penguin booth we saw Sarah Dessen. She smiled and waved at me. I like to pretend she recognized me from her signing the prior Tuesday ;)
- I left Sarah and Jen Lynn to stand in line for Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter
- Walked around by myself for most of the day but met up with Kristi for a bit before leaving for dinner.
- Had dinner with my wonderful roomies Erica and Dani as well as the ever delightful Melanie!
-Talked books for HOURS with Dani and Melanie (Erica ditched us for Broadway!)

WEDNESDAY: BEA day 2, Books of Wonder signing

- I was going to sleep in a bit but Kristi wanted to get a Clockwork Prince tee so Erica, Dani, and I decided to join her. We met up with Gail as well.
- Kristi and I walked around for a bit but then she had to go get ready and do an interview with Michelle Hodkin, author of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.
- I got books for Kristi and myself while she was on the panel. For the record, I explained the situation and asked for two ARCs at each booth. I didn’t just take them!
- Met Mary E. Pearson and got signed ARCs of The Fox Inheritance! The Adoration of Jenna Fox is one of my all time favorite books so this was so great!
- I stood in line for a number of signings this day and talked to a lot of people at the booths.

Scholastic Event

-I walked by the Brilliance Audio booth as Ally Carter was finishing up signing the Uncommon Criminals audiobook. She remembered me from the day before and introduced me to the Brilliance people. I love audiobooks so this was doubly exciting!
- Walked to the post office with the lovely Shanyn and Tara :) 
- Met up with Kristi for dinner at Shake Shack. Melanie joined us a bit later as well :) Great ladies, great conversation.
- Kristi and I headed to Books of Wonder for the Class of 2K11 signing. There were a number of other awesome bloggers there as well :) I bought The Lipstick Laws and OyMG.

THURSDAY: Final BEA day, Scholastic Event

My new BFF

- This was the day. The day all my dreams came true… Well, maybe not all of them but the dream of meeting Maureen Johnson and getting a signed copy of The Name of The Star (the book I wanted the most!) Dani and I waited THREE HOURS so that we’d be sure to get a book! We were the first in line! Well, Dani was first and I was second. However, MJ wrote that I am also number 1 in my book. She’d make a great school guidance counselor! On second thought that’s kind of frightening!


- After MJ’s line I waited in Melissa Marr’s signing line (also long!) to get copies of Enthralled and Darkest Mercy.
- By midday many exhibits were ready to pack up so I got a ton of “leftover” swag!
- The lady at the Flux booth was very generous with finished books and ARCs as well!
- I left BEA earlier than the other days. Dani, Erica, and I walked back to spend a few moments at the Book Blogger Con reception. I got to meet the delightful Chelsy from Big Honcho Media as well as a number of other really delightful people.
- We headed straight to the This is Teen event. We were all invited to the “pre-party” as well and it was amazing. You know… just chillin’ with some of my all time favorite bloggers as well as MEG CABOT, MAGGIE STIEFVATER, and LIBBA BRAY! David Levithan and Barry Goldblatt were also there. Meg Cabot recognized my blog and said she liked it! Well, at least she pretended to and that’s good enough for me!


 - Scholastic had yummy food like mini-cheesburgers, veggies and hummus, and sushi. They also had a “This-is-Tini” which was a fruity non-alcoholic drink.
- We were given awesome swag bags with copies of Forever (ARC), Abandon, Beauty Queens, Shiver, Strings Attached, and Pretty Bad Things (ARC.)
- The event itself was great. All three women are very funny and have a great rapport. There were a lot of people there!


- Scholastic split the ladies up for the signing part. I was wise and went to Libba’s line first. By the time I was done there the other two lines were MUCH shorter. I gave my card to the woman who was there with Libba and invited the ladies out to eat after the This is Teen event in Naperville. I figure they are likely busy and will be tired but I’d be kicking myself if they would have had the time and I didn’t ask!

FRIDAY: Book Blogger Convention
- Erica, Dani and I got there WAY early because we had heard that they would have copies of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. They did but not until later! Still, I got one :)
- I really enjoyed this day. I thought the publisher panel was great (but I was embarrassed by some of the questions bloggers asked!)
- Author speed dating was super fun :) I got to see Lisa McMann twice! They also had ARCs of her new middle grade novel. I think my students are going to love it! 
- After BBC Erica, Dani and I went to the Harry Potter exhibit. I loved it! Also, I bought this totally great Muggle shirt! 
- We picked up Kristi and then met Gail and some other lovelies for dinner. Although the pub was very nice Kristi, Erica and I just weren’t feeling it. We ended up heading to Juniors instead. I had been hearing great things about it and decided I had to try the cheesecake. It was fabulous.
- Apparently when Kristi, Erica and I get together we never shut up. We talked all through dinner and outside the restaurant. We then proceeded to spend another hour or so chatting in Kristi’s hotel room. It was one of my favorite nights!

SATURDAY: Homeward Bound
- In a stroke of genius I made sure that I didn’t fly out until 3!
- After helping Dani bring her stuff to the lobby to wait for her dad I headed out.
- I finally made it to Strand bookstore! Guess what? I didn’t buy a single book! I did buy two bags, a magnet, and some pins though! Seriously… I could spend forever in that store!
 - There was a fantasy panel at Books of Wonder. I couldn’t go for the whole thing or I would have missed my flight. Still, I wanted to see Gail Carson Levine and Sarah Rees Brennan (No joke… she is totally hilarious and oh so kind!) 
- I had to leave when they went to questions. As I was walking out I spotted Maureen Johnson at the back of the room!
- I managed to take the subway and then the bus to the airport. I got to my gate just as they started boarding my plane! It was a close call but it was kind of nice not to wait! 

Random Thoughts:
- YA bloggers and authors are the best.
- The Candlewick people were incredibly nice! 
- Erica and Dani are rockstar roommates!
- Michelle is so stinkin’ nice! 
-NYC subways and buses are not as intimidating as I anticipated.
- I really loved getting a chance to talk to people that I “know” from the internet. I got to spend extra time with Kristi and Melanie. It was fabulous. There were so many others I wish that I would have spent more time with too!
- I just have to say it one more time… Sarah Rees Brennan and Jennifer Lynn Barnes!
- You know you’re a geek when the two souvenirs you bring back from NYC are a “Muggle” t-shirt and a bag from a book store! 
- When faced with the decision I will buy a $4.25 Diet Coke for lunch rather than food.
- Not everyone has the same idea of what constitutes as “acceptable behavior.” All you can do is behave in a way that allows you to hold your head up and doesn’t compromise your integrity. 
- Meeting Maureen Johnson is totally worth the three hour wait!

12 Responses to “Book Expo America”

  1. Melanie

    Love the Muggle shirt!

    Also, I had never heard of Juniors until I got back, so clearly if I am in the city again anytime soon I need some cheesecake.

  2. the story siren

    I loved this post! so much fun! and i loved getting to experience nyc through your eyes! i think our night out to dinner with Erica was my favorite night!

    It was cool to see some of the ‘librarian’ things you got to go to too!

    so glad we got to hang out again!

  3. Michelle

    This makes me VERY sad that I didn’t get to go with you!!! :(

    Great post though. Looks like it was tons of fun. :)

  4. Liz

    Aww, this makes me sad that I couldn’t be there to meet everyone. However, I am glad that you had such a fun time! Thanks for sharing your experience with us! :D

  5. Erica

    I love this – Talking with you and Kristi was definitely probably my favorite night too (or maybe tie with seeing WICKED! lol). It was such a fabulous week. I am still jealous you got to walk around with JENNIFER LYNN BARNES!

  6. Michelle

    I’m so glad to have had the chance to meet you in person and spend a bit of time together. I hope we have the opportunity to do it again!

  7. April (BooksandWine)

    It looks like you had a fabulous time!

    It was very awesome meeting you at pizza :-) I don’t think I saw you too much on the floor of the Javits :-(

    But that said, awesome re-cap!

  8. Lynn Marie

    Great recap!! Hopefully Jen and I will be able to experience it with you guys next year! I’m so glad you had such a great time! :)

  9. Tara

    I want that Muggle shirt!!! So glad we got to see each other and hang out in NYC – I hope we have some Anderson events we can go to soon :)

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