BEA Round-up – Sort of.

13 Jun

Ugh, it’s been well over week since I last posted, and several weeks since Book Expo America in NYC and I’m just now getting around to posting my thoughts? Blogger fail. I don’t know that I can bring myself to break down my entire BEA experience when 1) it’s been several weeks, 2) I’m terrible at taking notes/photos, and 3) there are some fantastic round-ups out there already, from some seriously fantastic bloggers who are way more on the ball than I am.

So. I’m not going to do it. If you haven’t read any round-ups yet, you probably don’t care about the minute-to-minute schedule of my week in NYC. But if you’re looking for some great synopses of the week, check these out:

Lori, my BEA buddy, and I did a lot of the same events, both on the Monday before BEA started and during the week. Check her posts here and here. (I could not have asked for a better partner to hit BEA and BBC week with. Seriously. She’s amazing! Especially since she let me tease her about taking the Subway.)

One of the splurges I let myself have during the week is getting theater-seating tickets for all the breakfasts (that means no food, but a seat in the back). This year, there were two Adult Author Breakfasts and one Children’s Author Breakfast. Beth Fish Reads also went to these events. Her recaps are here and here. My only notes are that I absolutely loved these events, but I was disappointed that during the first Adult breakfast, the only actual book they gave out was for Charlaine Harris. I’m not a Sookie fan at all and I didn’t even stay to see her talk since she was last on the docket. But Diane Keaton, Mindy Kaling and Jeffry Eugenides were absolutely fantastic and I’m looking forward to all three of their books.

As for the second Adult breakfast, I have a particular affinity for Jim Lehrer considering I live and work in DC, in a branch of the news business. My news-junkie self was all aflutter. His book looks great, and I have a feeling I’ll be cracking it open closer to the 2012 election cycle. The highlight of the breakfast though was Roger Ebert. I teared up several times, laughed even more, and got goosebumps. What an honor, seriously. I’m also excited for both Anne Enright’s book The Forgotten Waltz (release date: Oct. ’11) and Erik Larsen’s newest novel, In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin (currently on sale).

The Children’s Author breakfast was a highlight across the board. Every author – Sarah Dessen, Brian Selznick, Kevin Henkes and moderator (and actress) Julianne Moore – was enthusiastic and intelligent. Katharine Paterson, author of one of my favorites, Bridge to Terabithia and the upcoming Brother Sun, Sister Moon, also made an appearance and very aptly made this comment: “No one ever tweeted her way to wisdom.” Maybe my favorite soundbite of the week.

As for other events during the week, one of the conference sessions I most look forward to is the Editor’s Buzz Panel, but that session fell on Monday and I already had publisher events all day and had to miss the session. But BEA released the titles that would be highlighted, and I managed to snag every single one over the course of the week during autograph sessions. Dawn at She Is Too Fond of Books highlighted them here. I’m super excited that I got copies of every single book since some of them were HOT commodities, like Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus.

Also, when I went to meet Justin Torres, debut author of We the Animals, he was so excited about the buzz and attention his book was getting, he was practically jumping up and down. How refreshing to meet an author that is just as psyched as everyone else is. He was so sweet and gracious and I’m insanely excited to read his novel, out September 1st.

Most of my BEA week – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday – were a flurry of author signings, Insight events, and meeting publishers. Some highlights:

    • Jane Lynch talking about her new book Happy Accidents and the amazing time she’s having on GLEE!
    • Tweeting to Scott Westerfeld (@ScottWesterfeld) because I just barely missed getting tickets to his signing for Goliath, the third in his awesome steampunk Levithian trilogy. AND HIM TWEETING ME BACK. AND RETWEETING MY REQUEST FOR A TICKET. Sadly, no one offered a ticket, but still…he tweeted back. Starstruck!
    • Another author Twitter moment – Emily St. John Mandel (@EmilyMandel) tweeted about my semicolon tattoo!
    • Having a chance to put names and faces together especially with some of my favorite publishing contacts.
    • Hitting WORD in Brooklyn on Friday for the launch of new publisher Red Lemonade, complete with readings, with possibly my new favorite blogger, Kit from Books are My Boyfriends – her blog about BBC and then our adventure is here. (Go read her! She’s amazing!)
    • The books, of course! (I’ll be posting later this week about some of my most anticipated BEA books so look out for that!)

Finally, the week culminated with Friday’s Book Blogger Convention. I loved the sessions, but I was more impacted by the contacts I made and the bloggers I met.  Meg and Kim had great roundups (linked to their names) of the actual sessions and other events. I will say, keynote speaker, Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books has made me think just a little bit harder about adding romance novels into my repertoire. Maybe. She was funny and smart (obvi) and a really fantastic choice to keynote the day. Quote of the day (about having an opinion or idea): “Run it up the flagpole and see who salutes.” Swoony face. (BTW, I’ve now got that on a Post-it at work. Excellent advice for all aspects of our lives, don’t you think?)

For me, this BEA felt really different from last year’s. I was there for books, yes, but it was much more about the people – the authors, the bloggers, the publicists and other publishing professionals – that I got to meet and interact with and learn from. I gave out far more business cards this year than last, proof that I was doing more networking than ever. I also got to meet the (ever elusive and not nearly as scary as he seems on the interwebs) Reading Ape, who recapped his BEA experience here and BBC here.

All in all, I had a wonderful week. I brought home more books than I would like to admit to, but I’m genuinely excited about all of them. I met some wonderful people who I look forward to working with and collaborating with and squeeing over some squee-worthy books with.

Did you go to BEA and/or BBC? Did you have totally different highlights than me? What did I miss??


9 Responses to “BEA Round-up – Sort of.”

  1. Greg Zimmerman June 13, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

    Just started In the Garden of Beasts – it’s really good so far. Just when you think Larson’s getting a little heavy-handed with the history, he starts explaining the flirty escapades of the 24-year-old daughter – so, as usual with Larson, there’s enough to keep just about everybody entertained.

    Also, how awesome is that cover? One of the better ones I’ve seen in awhile. Chilling.

  2. William Torgerson June 13, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

    What was the subway teasing? I’d like to hear more about that. 🙂

    I was out of gas by Friday and didn’t make Word and the Lemonade launch. Dang it!

    • Rachel June 13, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

      Ha Lori is not a fan of the Subway. I was the navigator 🙂

  3. Colleen June 13, 2011 at 9:00 pm #

    I had much more fun at BEA this year too and it was all about the people I met.

    I am jealous that you got to hear Anne Enright speak at the author’s breakfast but I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC of Forgotten Waltz.

  4. Jason G. June 13, 2011 at 9:46 pm #

    I am really looking forward to In The Garden of Beasts!

    Man would have loved to been at BEA! Soon!

  5. Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) June 13, 2011 at 10:45 pm #

    Thanks for linking to my BBC recap! I am really curious about Erin Morgenstern’s book — I hope it’s good!

  6. Dawn - She Is Too Fond of Books June 14, 2011 at 10:42 pm #

    sounds like I really missed out by leaving the city on Thursday. We had another event to get to that weekend, so I missed BBC … hopefully will make it to the 2012 edition 🙂

    Yes, I have so many more ideas for posts I’d like to write about BEA – where *does* the time go!?

    Like Colleen, one of my favorite parts of BEA was connecting with all the people – meeting them for the first time, seeing people I had met last year … bloggers, authors, publicists … lots of fun!

    Thanks for linking to my post about Editor’s Buzz (much of the info came from talking w/publicists, as I didn’t attend that session).

  7. The Reading Ape June 17, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    Man, I am losing all my street cred. Not nearly as scary, huh? Drat.

    Anyway, thanks for the mention and the blog redesign is amazing. Huge fan and slightly jealous.


  1. Spotlight: BEA Books « a home between pages - June 20, 2011

    […] mentioned in my BEA wrap up post that I brought home quite a few books from New York, but I wanted to highlight a few that I’m […]

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