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!