It’s hard for me to figure out how to even BEGIN this post. So much goes on at BEA, and it’s hard to put it all into words. For me, the absolute best part of the conference is meeting other bloggers and getting to know them (or getting to know them better, if I’ve already met them somehow). That goal was definitely achieved!
The first day was Blogger Con. My mom and I drove into the city and got there at around 8:30 (two hour drive at that time of the morning because of the traffic, but it was totally worth it).
If I’m being honest, I wasn’t all that excited about the keynote speaker for Blogger Con – she was a great speaker and her story was interesting, but it just didn’t feel very relevant because she’s not a book blogger. And her story about her rise to HGTV fame didn’t really apply to me much – let’s face it, I’m not rising to ANY sort of fame. I would have rather heard a “regular” book blogger who’s found some level of success talk about that.
Anyway, after the keynote, we headed to a break-out about relationships with publishers. I found that break-out extremely interesting. Here were my biggest takeaways from this session:
- If you contact the publisher to request a book and don’t hear back, try again. Both publishing contacts (from MacMillan and Bloomsbury) said that they ALWAYS respond with a yes or a no, so if you don’t hear back, you’ve probably somehow gotten lost in the shuffle. (This was good to know, since I’ve always assumed that no news was bad news.)
- Feel free to contact your current publisher contacts AND the main contact when requesting a book. Even if your current contact has no direct relationship to the book you’re requesting, they can hook you up with someone who does – they said to use whatever contacts you can to increase your chances!
- Include all pertinent stats AND your address in all requests. (I knew this but thought I’d include it in case someone didn’t think of it.)
- If you’re willing to accept Netgalley or Edelweiss, say so – you’re much more likely to get approved. (Again, I knew this, but …)
The second break-out was about creative ideas and different platforms. Honestly, I thought it was interesting and enjoyed the session, but I can’t remember any specific takeaways that I got out of it – except basically play to your strengths and do the things you enjoy!
After the morning break-outs we had lunch and then decided to head up to the BEA floor for a little while. We picked up a lot more books than I expected to! We were going to try to get back for one of the round table discussions, but our timing was messed up and we ended up getting back in the middle of a session, so we gave up and headed back to the BEA floor.
Later, we went to the Blogger Con cocktail party, where we managed to snag Gemina (YAY!!!) and Nicola Yoon’s latest – The Sun is Also a Star – from First in Line. Oh, and the highlight – Jennifer Niven was there signing Holding Up the Universe!! I ADORED All the Bright Places (I read it on my birthday and celebrated by sobbing), so I’m SO excited for this one! I’m already a member of First in Line, but I have to admit I haven’t been really utilizing it to its full potential. If anyone out there is, can you give me some advice on the best way to use it? We also got Jay Asher’s What Light and Our Chemical Hearts, a debut by Krystal Sutherland that the publicist told me is fantastic!
Other highlights – I managed to get Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin (had to roll a die and land on it, so I was very worried – and very excited when I got it!) and we sat with the co-authors of Hatred Day at Blogger Con – a book that I have to confess I probably wouldn’t have paid much attention to, but now that I have it and I’ve read a bit about it, I’m excited to read it!
Bloggers I met on Day One:
- Amy from The Byrne List – Amy is a librarian and a new blogger. Check out her blog and give her a hearty welcome!
- Samantha from Book Minx – Samantha is a local blogger (local to me, that is), and I’m always super excited to meet local bloggers! Hopefully I’ll be running into her often!
- Karen from Kissin’ Blue Karen – If you’ve been around my blog for long, I’m sure you’ve seen Karen’s name floating around here. It was great to meet her in person, even if we only got to chat for a little while.
- Lexxie from (un)Conventional Book Views – I met Lexxie at BEA two years ago, so it was great to catch up with her again.
- Ashley from Nose Graze – Since Ashley’s my hosting provider (and creator of my theme and the amazing UBB plug-in – these are affiliate links, by the way), I was excited to chat with her!
- Laura from 125 Pages – I spent lots of day one hanging out with Laura – she’s such a fun and an amazing blogger (I don’t know how she gets so much done!), so check her out if you haven’t!
- Mishma from Chasing Faerytales – I ended up spending A LOT of time with Mishma over the three days of BEA. We ran into each other often and then wandered together when we didn’t have anywhere specific we were trying to be. She’s adorable and sweet, and my mom and I totally want to be her American mom and grandma (she flew all the way out from Sri Lanka – 21 hours of travel!!). (By the way, all the authors thought Mishma was adorable too!)
- I’m sure I’m missing a few people …
Some photo Highlights of Day One:
Day One Books:
Like I said, we picked up more than I expected on the first day of BEA. With my mom and I both roaming the floor, it made things a lot easier! I wanted to be super strict and only pick up the books I KNEW I definitely wanted, but you’d be amazed how hard it is to stick to that. I’d be in line and someone would tell me how amazing such and such book is, and I’d decide to get it. Or you’d see a gorgeous cover and not be able to resist!
One thing we did try hard to do was only get one copy of each book, even if we had the opportunity for both me and my mom to grab one. We did end up with a FEW duplicates over the course of the weekend, but we gave a couple away and managed not to hoard. We didn’t want to be greedy book-grabbers!
Here’s what we got on Day One (Click on the book cover to see it on Goodreads):
Middle Grade (mostly for my kids, but I’ll probably read most of these too so I can review them) –
I’m planning to do a giveaway for each of my BEA wrap-ups. This is just the first!
For the Day One giveaway, I picked up When Joss Met Matt and got it signed, because I LOVED this book (click the link to see my review)! It’s New Adult, so this giveaway is just for 18+ (don’t worry, I’ll have YA the other two days).
Did you attend BEA? Have a recap post? Leave me a link – I want to see it!
Didn’t attend BEA? Tell me about your favorite book or author event!
I just love all of these recap posts! I have a bit scheduled this week, so mine probably won’t go up until the weekend. We’ll see if I can fit things in one post, might be too long for that…haha
Glad you had fun on the first day! I’ve heard mixed things from other bloggers. I’ve never made it to Blogger Con before.
I’ll be looking forward to reading your recap posts!
I love this post! I’ve never been to BEA and know nothing about it since I wasn’t even a blogger yet when it took place last year, so I’ve been waiting for some posts that would actually talk about it more in-depth. The tips about relationships with publishers is great. I always assumed no response just meant no too.
Glad you had fun the first day, and I’m looking forward to the rest of your posts!
Yeah, I just always figured that if the publisher didn’t get back to you, that meant No, but I guess that’s not the case!!
Awwww, sounds like day one was a success!! I’ve never met Lexxie but I’d love too, especially seeing you both would have been wonderful! And YAY FOR GEMINA! I want that bad boy like air 😀 Congrats on all the great blogger meet ups and all the awesome books ♥
Lexxie’s super sweet – just an all-around great person!
Oh my your day one sounds amazing!! So many awesome books and people and authors met. Those tips for requesting a book from a publisher are so good. I am still too chicken to actually email a request though but maybe one day. Can’t wait to see the other day recaps!
I’ve actually only emailed requests a few times – mostly I’ve just been happy with getting books via NetGalley and Edelweiss. But these tips are still really helpful for when there IS a book I really want to request!
Laura is so great right. i wish I could get done a tenth of what she gets done. Mishma is a sweetheart. I didn’t go to the cocktail party wish i had. I was wiped and went back to the hotel.
some great grabs too.
Yes, I don’t even know how Laura manages to survive with everything she does. It’s kind of crazy!!
It was great meeting you as well. I’m excited to know another blogger relatively close to me! If you’re ever in Chicago again, feel free to hit me up.
I also grabbed a copy of The Pug List. I couldn’t resist especially when the author was there with the pug. (Who had his own little badge and was wearing a bowtie.)
I don’t usually read middle grade books but I grabbed a copy of The Secret Keepers too. I read The Mysterious Benedict Society a few years ago and really enjoyed it. So, I’m excited to read that one.
I didn’t actually see the pug – that’s so adorable! I totally would have been won over by the badge and bowtie wearing pup!!
Hey Nicole! I love this wrap up. I so meant to go to to the end of blogger con party, but then I didn’t. I am going to post a wrap up, which will likely include all those regretful things I missed, and the things I did catch. I lost you at the last drop and I looked for you, but should of got your number, I also should of gotten a picture with you. Belle was being a little weird (and maybe I was too?) Gah! Gemina was at the party, just kill me!
I am looking forward to your other wrap up posts!
I know – everything was so crazy hectic and it was hard to get everything you wanted to get done in. Hope you guys had a fantastic time! I’m looking forward to your recap post!
I’m addicted to all of these BEA wrap-up posts. I’m living vicariously through other bloggers. I’ll get there someday. 🙂
I hope you make it – and glad that you’re enjoying living vicariously (I love to do that too)!
Looks like a super fun time! Yay!
It was really fantastic!
I really enjoyed Day 1 post. I would love to be able to go to many of these expos to meet authors and especially bloggers!! I will be watching for the rest of your posts.
Such a fun time – meeting people is the best part!
I would be hopping from one author to another! You got a great selection of books.
I definitely was!
Nice! Blogger Con sounds a bit more detailed than I thought it would be! Glad you had fun there!!
I enjoyed it – I still haven’t figured out if it’s worth the money, but I’m glad I went this year.
I haven’t been to BEA yet but I plan to one of these years. Looks like you had a blast though!
Hope you make it someday soon!
AHHHH I’m LOVING reading the BEA recap posts 😀 I mean, of course I wasn’t there *glares at Australia for not having anything like this* but eeeep it looks so exciting. AND YAY FOR BOOKS! Also Mishma is the best <33 and congrats on getting Gemina!! 😀
Mishma IS the best! I’m glad you can appreciate that. 🙂
And Gemina was awesome! It was the first thing I read when I got home from BEA. I couldn’t resist!
I’m glad you had a good time ♡ love your pictures. I haven’t been to a book event yet, hopefully in the future. Thank you
Hope you make it to one someday! They’re so much fun!
Ah! You snagged so many awesome books!
Yes! BEA was definitely a treasure trove of books!
Thanks for the tips, Nicole! I thought no reply was not a good thing! I’ll try that this time! Again, I love that you were able to meet up a lot of bloggers and yes, I am super jealous that you were able to go the BEA…but maybe I’ll have my chance soon! 🙂
Yeah, it just seemed to me that if I hadn’t heard from them, that meant no. I was glad to know that I should try again!
I am trying not be crazy jealous of all the books you got! I hope I get to BEA one day. Sigh. Living in Italy makes it kind of tough. Great post!
I’m surprised there aren’t more European book events – it seems to be a uniquely American thing!
You received so many great books! It sounds like BEA was a total blast 🙂
It was so much fun!!
I want the book! Lol, I’ve been wanting to read it and a signed copy would be awesome.
I’m glad you guys had a good time. I would have to take my sister if I went. I can’t imagine my mom in the middle of a book event. She would look so lost lol.
My mom loved every minute of it! I was worried that she’d feel out of place, but … nope! Not at all!!
I’m so glad I got to meet you Nicole! Also great tips on the publishers! I kind of wish I attended Blogger Con now aha!
That panel was definitely the most informative, as far as I was concerned. I have always been so cautious when it comes to approaching publishers or requesting things, but I think this panel gave me more confidence to just go for it!
I write a WHOLE BIG COMMENT and then… it disappeared because I took too long. I said something about you and Mishma being lost in the same vortex for most of BEA, and that these tips from BloggerCon sound FABULOUS and really helpful- and that I wish I had gone, but mostly for the cocktail situation 😉 And then I complimented your collage, and said that I am sad that we didn’t get a picture, and then I rambled on some more. Maybe this is your comment section’s way of cutting me off 😀
Apparently, my blog was also conspiring to not allow me to see your comment because I just now saw it, three days later. Bad blog!!
Oh, I love this recap post! BEA sounds beyond fabulous and I’m so happy for you that you got to attend, meet so many people and grab so many amazing books! I can’t wait to see what you think of Gemina and Blood for Blood – I hope they are amazing 2nd books!
I already read Gemina (I couldn’t wait and read it first thing) and it was FABULOUS! I’m eagerly looking forward to reading Blood for Blood – might have to read that one next!
The various break out sessions sound useful. I love all the pics and thanks for sharing your adventure! I would love to go someday!
I hope you make it – it was a fantastic experience!
I’m not sure how I missed your recap post before, Nicole! It was great meeting you at Bloggercon, and fun to catch up again 🙂
I got many of the same books as you on day one, and I was really excited about Gemina! Like, I had heart-palpitations!
You have some great pictures, too 🙂 Thanks for sharing.
Nice haul there! I am super jealous!
I’d be disappointed in that speaker too, I’m like you … not rising to fame anytime soon!
Good to see you caught up with Lexxie again!
Yay! I’m so glad you had fun at BEA on your first day! I’m definitely thinking of going sometime, so hopefully we can meet! 😀