On Tuesday, June 6th, I was lucky enough to attend the wonderful Book Expo America that is hosted at the Javits Center in New York City. Again, BEA is “the leading North American publishing event that brings you what’s new and what’s next in book publishing.” And dang, did it bring us what’s new and what’s next!
That day I got up bright and early to head over to the Javits Center. The place opened up at 9 A.M., but I got there right before it opened to check in and put my luggage in the coat check. There were lines of people just waiting for the expo to open. There were a ton of people, which was expected, but it still awed me that so many people were brought together though the power of books.
This year, I went to BEA by myself. I didn’t know how that was going to go, so I went in with my head held high and just went with it. I went up and down the aisles, making my way through the different publishers, taking everything in. Technically, I’m no longer a newbie that this because I’ve been to BEA before, but it’s all still overwhelming and amazing. I found out about a few publishers I’ve never heard of before, one of them being Galaxy Press. One of the representatives of Galaxy Press stopped me while I made one of my rounds and we started to talk. Galaxy Press is reprinting books by L. Ron Hubbard, which came out in the 1930s, and includes all the original artwork that was published with the original stories. She introduced me to her company and also let me listen to part of one of their audio books. Their audio books sound like old-time radios, and it was pretty cool to listen to something out of my generation.
Around 10-ish I got in line for a book signing and ended up talking to the people in line with me. I instantly connected with another blogger, Shanese from The Bo0ki3. Although neither of us ended up getting the book we were in line for, we ended up spending the whole day together. She’s pretty awesome, and if you haven’t heard of her blog before I suggest you go and check it out.
I met some pretty awesome authors, such as Julie Kagawa, Rachel Vincent, Maria V. Snyder, Aimee Carter, Melissa Marr and M.T. Anderson. When I met Aimee Carter, she asked me the title of my blog and when I told her she replied, “I’ve heard that name before.” You should have seen the smile on my face. My blog is pretty small and not as significant as the hundreds of others out there, so I was surprised that an author knew about me! It was very, very cool to hear that from her (:
Last year, I heard stories of rude and disrespectful people at BEA. However, I didn’t experience anyone like that the first time I went to BEA. This year, though, I did. Maybe it was the amazingness of the first-time experience of BEA and all, but I cannot believe I did not realize the rudeness in front of me. Although a lot of people acted professional, a lot of people also did not. People pushed and shoved past to get copies of ARCs and I also saw many take multiple copies of galleys. I ended up with two copies of one book on accident because one of the representatives handed me a copy when I went back to the booth, and I had forgotten I had already grabbed it. I feel kinda bad about it, too. But it wasn’t just bloggers that acted this way. I’ve heard that bloggers get a bad rep for acting this way, but plenty of other people who were educators, librarians, etc. acted this way. I don’t care who you are, you should act courteous and at least some-what professional at an event like this.
Overall, I had a great time. I was able to get pretty awesome books and meet some pretty awesome people. I also found out about some new upcoming releases that will definitely be instant hits. The one thing I remember the most is how happy publishers were to talk to a blogger. A lot of them asked about my blog and offered me copies of books, catalogues and information. It’s really nice to know that publishers do in fact like book bloggers; it’s even nicer to know they’d help in almost any way.
Book Expo of America is honestly every book lover’s dream. I only went one day, but you can imagine how much I wanted to go the two other days when NYC is only an hour and a half away. I’m thankful I got to experience this event a second year in a row and I hope to have the chance to go next year!