Thursday, June 7, 2012

BEA 2012

Well, another BookExpoAmerica has come and gone.  This was the second year I attended and had a great time.  Some highlights from this year were:

1- Monday's Book Blogger Convention - blogger con was taken over by BEA this year and it was very nice to see and hear Jennifer Weiner's opening talk, I kind of felt that it was geared more towards the authors who participated than the bloggers.  In other words, there was very little interaction among bloggers.  I did like the first session: Blogging Today: What You Need to Know and What's Next.  The topic of plagiarism came up which is something that does need to be addressed in the blogging world. The two afternoon session that I attended were Critical Reviews: Fine Tuning Your Craft and  Creating Community and Driving Engagement.  I picked up pointers from both sessions as well as useful handouts.  Each panel of four had at least two bloggers, though I would have preferred all bloggers.  Who better to help with blogging questions and advice that a fellow more experienced blogger.

2- Books.  Like everyone else, I came home each night with a load of books.  This year I decided to bring a rolling backpack, which I checked each morning for $3.00.  Around noon, I would put in the books I have gotten that morning, so I didn't have to carry them around on the floor all day.  If you have been to the Javits Center, you know how big it is.  The drawback was, of course, not being the encumbered of the morning loot, you tend to let yourself accept books that you might not have otherwise.

3- Authors.  I met some of my favorites. Among them were Malinda Lo signing a galley of her new book Adaptation; Doreen Rappaport who wrote Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust; Melissa Mar with Carnival of Souls; Erin Morgenstern with a paperback copy of The Night Circus; Marie Lu signing Prodigy; and I was very excited to finally meet Susan Elia MacNeal.  She has a spy series out whose heroine's name is Maggie Hope. I just finished the first one called Mr. Churchill's Secretary in time for a signed of the next book Princess Elizabeth's Spy.

4- Breakfast and Tickets.  I went to the Children's Book and Author Breakfast on Wednesday morning because John Green and Lois Lowry were speaking, along with Chris Colfer, Kadir Nelson and Walter Dean Myers.  The speakers were wonderful and we were given copies of books by Green, Lowry and Colfer, but if you are going for the food and not the speakers, you will be disappointed.  It was just muffins, bagels, coffee, tea and orange juice or maybe Tang, I'm not sure.
If you wanted books sign by certain authors, you had to line up at 7:00 AM each day to receive tickets that give you admittance to an area separate from the general exhibit floor.  I never even considered doing this because I know if I said I was going to do this, I was lying to myself.  But lots of people do do it.  More power to them.

4- New friends and old.  Well, standing on long long lines does lead to chatting and exchanging business cards.  And I ran into some of the folks I met last year and had a chance to chat with them.  On Tuesday night, some of the Kidlit people got together and went to the Houndstooth Pub for drinks and dinner and it was nice seeing them again.  This year was very international - I met people from places like Australia, Canada, and England as well as some fellow New Yorkers.

5- One big Surprise.  At 5:00 AM Wednesday, I got a phone call from my kiddo in China to tell me she is coming home after two years.  On August 26, 2010, I wrote a post about her leaving for China and, oh boy, how times have changed.  Then, I was kind of melancholy about her leaving.  Now, my reaction about her return was Oy Vey, are you sure you want to do that?  Of course, I will be glad to see her; after all, I still miss her...sometimes.

This afternoon I took one more walk around the exhibit floor of the Javits Center, ate lots of candy that had been put out for people, said some good-byes, got on the bus and came home - tired and pleased.

Thinking about attending BEA 2013?  Dates are June 3-6, at the Javits Center.  See you there!


  1. Lovely honest post, Alex. Sounds like you had a great time. Looking forward to seeing you putting those book blogging tips into action (will you tag them?). Lowry & Green! Haven't read either but they're at top of my lists@ one's on the shelf. And who knows, maybe I will meet you next year? :)

  2. BEA is always lots of fun and really tiring (carrying all those books around) It would be fun to see you too next year.

  3. The BEA sounds like such fun! I hope I get to go next year. I enjoyed reading about your time there.

    I am happy that you will get to see your daughter soon. Isn't it amazing how fast time flies and the different perspecitives we have? :)