Yesterday I was lucky enough to attend the first day of Book Expo of America; I would say it was pretty enjoyable…
Since I come from New Jersey, I had to get up at five in the morning to get ready and take the bus in with my dad (he works in the city). I arrived at the Javits Center around
eight, got my press badge and then walked around. Even though it was eight in the morning, you could feel the excited buzz in the atmosphere. Let me tell you – that excited buzz is the best feeling.
At nine, I met up with my friend Michael. He and I actually met through Penguin Publishing three years ago. When we get the chance, we attend all things books together; and what other even would be better than BEA itself?
Right after that we got on line for Diana Peterfreund’s signing for her new novel Across a Star-Swept Sea. Diana was pretty cool, sporting a head band with a boat on it. I actually didn’t realize, but I saw her before the exhibit hall opened. Not only was that my first time meeting Diana, but it was also the first time ever holding one of her books. I’ve heard great things about her stuff, so I’m excited to read Across a Star-Swept Sea.
After, we just wandered through the different companies and publishers. Neither of us came with a plan for day, which meant that we just had to wing it. We checked out all of the more well-known publishers, especially Penguin, because honestly, we consider that our publisher since we are part of their teen research group. No worry though, because we did check out all of the booths. And when I say all the booths, I mean all the booths.
While doing so, I spoke to a few marketing and media coordinators and they were all very friendly and helpful. The two publishers that stood out to me were Omnific and David R. Godine. Before yesterday, I had never heard of David R. Godine publishing. I have heard of Omnific, though. Fun fact: a fan fiction called Boycotts & Barflies that was once very popular on fanfiction.net was published by Omnific. I actually saw the book Boycotts & Barflies by Victoria Michaels on the table, and that was the reason I stopped. Omnific is a pretty cool publishing house that focuses on romance. One of the coordinators explained their genre with the words “if Harlequin publishes it, we don’t.” This means that they don’t publish novels that fall into the cliché romance category. I found out about some of their books, and I have to agree with that quote; their stories sound unique and apart of the clichés of the romance genre.
Throughout the day, I also managed to meet a few other authors: Andrea Cremer, David Levithan, James L. Sutter and James Dashner. It was my second time meeting Andrea Cremer and James Dashner; the first time hearing about James L. Sutter; and my first time meeting David Levithan. Honestly, the highlight of my day was meeting David Levithan. I am a huge fan of his novels and I’m very excited to read Invisibility (it’s co-written with Andrea Cremer).
I also chatted with other bloggers. Last year, I met Shanese from The Bo0ki3, and I was able to see her again this year. On line, I spoke to the father of Emily Trunko, from On Emily’s Bookshelf and learned about this thirteen years old YA blogger who made it to BEA. I also met Alison Stover from Alison Can Read because we both spelled our names the same way! Last but not least, I met the West brothers from Novel Thoughts. I’m a fan of their blog and I kept seeing them everywhere and decided to introduce myself. Not gonna lie, they’re pretty awesome.
All in all, I had a wonderful time. No, I didn’t pick up as many books as years past, but I don’t mind. By not going in with any plans this year, I think I was able to enjoy myself more because I took the time to experience it all. I’m thankful for being able to attend BEA 2013. If you get the chance, go! It’s now open to the public, and will be next year too!