I had such a good time at BEA 2011. This was my first time so I did not know what to expect. NYC was the perfect spot for such an event. There were so many booths... Simon & Schuster, Penguin, Scholastic, Harper Collins, Random House, Harlequin, Hachette, Perseus and Little Brown, just to name a few. Beautiful stacks and stacks of books to giveaway, cute/whimsy book bags to carry them in, swag galore and on occasion free donuts, cupcakes with sprinkles, mini bars with crackers, cheeses, fruit and wine for your pleasure. It felt like Christmas morning to me. The Book Expo was so massive it was overwhelming at times. I had to pace myself and not take everything that was just handed to me, for I could not carry it all. I of course got some young adult books, middle grade books, cookbooks and some boring school books. I was in heaven. It was a lot of work though, books are very heavy. (I know, I know, I bet you feel really sorry for me right about now :))
The Reading Teen crew stayed at Casa De Blogger, a beautiful home in Brooklyn. We met wonderful book bloggers and made some new friends. Susan with Wastepaper Prose blog did the cooking and did an amazing job. Thank you Susan for all your hard work, it was greatly appreciated :)
I will say though, if I never ride the subway back and forth from NYC to Brooklyn, that will be fine with me! Haha.
Organization... would be the key word right about now! Several times I would be standing in line waiting for a book signing and it was hectic. Crazy. Unorganized. When that many people are in one building with the same common goal... Organization is the key to success. I would say lines with certain book signings and publishing companies went more smoothly than others. For instance, lines that handed out tickets were way more successful than those who didn't. If you did not have a ticket... You did not get the free book. Simplicity at it's best! Line cutters were not a problem in ticketed lines.
Organization... Hundreds of people would be standing in line before the floor opened, BEA staff would walk by and tell us to leave space for food stands and other businesses, sometimes not in a very nice way. Why in the world would a crowd of people standing in line know to leave space for vendors to set up? Here's an idea: next year rope off a designated line and don't be rude to the attendees who have no way of knowing otherwise.
These are just some of the reasons BEA'11 did not run like a well oiled machine. However, it did not take away from the fact that I had the time of my life!
I'm about to step on some toes... so here it goes...
This is the first time I felt like I was in high school since I graduated. I was sometimes ashamed to call myself a blogger. I heard so much gossip, complaining, whining, back stabbing, and just plain mean, hurtful, angry, things from convention attendees. It was sad. Just standing in line, waiting for a book... I wanted to say, "hey guys, we are in line for free books about to be signed by authors, why so negative?". I tried to stay very quiet all week, just because I was observing and most of all did not want to be a part of all the juvenile antics. It was pathetic, most of us bloggers are adults and behaved like children. I actually heard people tattling on each other... I mean C'mon bloggers. Aren't we in this together? Shouldn't we stand together and be a classy group of people? Treat others as you want to be treated... right???
LINE CUTTING.... was so bad, way worse than at ALA'10. People who get in line early to get a book have paid their dues, so cutting in line "to talk to a friend" and staying is just plain wrong. It's sad really that the line cutters (you know who you are) just don't care about those who actually worked for the book. I'm sure everyone is guilty at some point and some more than others, but we must work hard to make a better name for ourselves. We want publishing companies and authors to respect us for what we do, we will never earn that respect by behaving this way. Ever. Don't kid yourself... this behavior is noticed more than we might think.
GREEEEEED... Many times publishing companies would stack books and ask us to wait for an extra five-ten minutes until they were done. Well, some did not care, they would just grab and run anyway. I can't tell you how many times I was pushed around or see someone else pushed so people could get to the front to grab a book instead of waiting with everyone else until the representatives from the publishing company would give their okay to begin the frenzy of noise. Haha... Danielle Frenzy of Noise, I needed your blog name.
In summary, it seems that in this economy, publishing companies need us more than ever before. We promote new books as effectively as (if not better than) professional advertising firms. Bloggers, keep up the good work with all the amazing reviews you do. All the hard work you put into them is much appreciated, by the entire industry. Let's strive for a better BEA'12. Let's put aside our differences, be nice, stop gossiping and just enjoy each other, work together for the greater good. Do the right thing and good things will come to you. We are all in this together, we want to be the 'go-to-guy' for publishing companies to get the word out about the books we love so much, let's not give them a reason to be annoyed with us. I look forward to seeing all the wonderful bloggers and friends next year that I met during this past week. Also, many thanks to the authors who attended the book expo and signed books for us to enjoy. A special thank you to all the publishing companies for all the great books and your patience. ~ AMY