WOW!! What a week! I don't think I've ever walked so much and slept so little in my entire life!! But it was absolutely amazing. I loved every minute. So, I thought I'd give you a little taste of what BEA was like for me (and kinda Kit since she was with me most of the time).
We set off Sunday morning at butt-crack o'clock and drove (yes I said DROVE) to NYC. We met Susan (Wastepaper Prose) and Stacey (Page Turners Blog) and followed them through the mad streets of NYC until we got to Casa De Blogger in Brooklyn. The house was gorgeous, and Amy, Austin, Kit, Gabrielle, Tirzah and I got our very own loft, complete with bedroom, living area, kitchen area, and access to the roof!! It was so nice! We stayed in the house with:
This is a picture from the roof, where Kit and Austin spent most of their time.
Monday we hit the streets of Times Square early with our blogging "daughter" Gabrielle (The Mod Podge Bookshelf)....
to see Harry Potter the Exhibition!!! We were so freaking excited to go here it was not even funny! We were all walking around the place with our jaws open! Kit and I both got sorted into Gryffindor, of course, because we are so brave and awesome, then we tried and sometimes failed to not touch any of the things on display. They had the INVISIBILITY CLOAK for heaven's sake!! Unfortunately, they won't let you take any pics, so this was all we got, but it was SO good!
That evening we headed to the NYPL on Mulberry for Teen Author Carnival, where we saw so many amazing authors I can't even name them all. Among them were Andrea Cremer, Courtney Allison Moulton, Kristen Hubbard, Michelle Hodkin, Carrie Jones, Elizabeth Scott and many many more.
This is where I got my hands on one of my most anticipated books, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, and got to listen to Michelle read a portion of the book!! I also got a "Who is Mara Dyer" t-shirt, and a lot of other awesome books!
Tuesday was the day the madness began. Here we are waiting in line to get onto the floor.
Here were a lot of the other bloggers that we were staying with at Casa De Blogger (waiting in line).
This was the line to get in.
I talk a ridiculous amount on Twitter, and I was so happy to finally meet some of the people that I talk to the most. If you came up and said hi to me, THANK YOU!! I love meeting people, and I'm so happy to finally put names with faces! This is Danielle Bunner (Frenzy of Noise), one of the sweetest people on earth!
And here are Jeffrey and Jeremy West (Novel Thoughts) with their BEA roomie Kelsey Dickson (Reading or Breathing). Let me just tell you that I don't think I've met a funnier group of people. They had me cracking up laughing every moment I was with them.
One of the people I was most excited about meeting was my Twitter friend and book Guru, Livia (Wishing a Book). If Livia tells me to read a book, I read it. She knows what books I will love, plus she has "Lumos" tattooed on her wrist, so anything she says is LAW!! She was just as sweet in person as she is on Twitter and I'm so happy I got to meet her!
Of course we also stood in LOTS and LOTS of lines. There were lines to get in, lines for books, lines for food, and lines for autographs. I got so many autographed books, I can't even remember them all, but I did snap a few pictures. One I didn't get that I'm really mad about was Melissa Marr. I don't know how I didn't get a pic, but somehow it slipped my mind. But here are a few I did get:
Alexandra Bracken (Brightly Woven) LOVE
Cinda Williams-Chima (The Seven Realms) Love so much it hurts!
Ally Carter (Uncommon Criminals) Also love
Nancy Holder (Crusade) Ok, I know this is getting old, but I love this one too!
Lauren Oliver (Delirium, Leisle and Po) Delirium is an all-time favorite!
And then there was the famous Clockwork Prince reveal! Amy snagged me a t-shirt and sample of the book while I swooned over Will.....
Wednesday night, Damaris (Good Choice Reading) and Yara (Once Upon a Twilight) hosted a blogger dinner for some of us bloggers to get together and meet each other. A couple of authors came as well.
A.M. Robinson (Vampire Crush), Damaris, Yara, Emma Michaels (The Thirteenth Chime), and Kristi Cook (Haven).
Thursday night we went to Scholastic's This is Teen event featuring Libba Bray, Meg Cabot, and Maggie Steifvater. These three ladies are some of the funniest authors I've ever encountered. They were a blast!
Tirzah (The Compulsive Reader), our roomie, at This is Teen VIP party.
Kit, Amy, Stacey, Maggie Steifvater
Libba Bray and Meg Cabot
Waiting in another line to get Libba's signature, we ended up getting slightly goofy, cracking up laughing, and possibly breaking a shelf....not that it was my fault or anything.
Then Libba Bray tried to eat me.
I'm not sure Maggie knew what to think of us. By the time we got to her line, we were so slap happy and ridiculous that she probably thought we were crazy....which we totally aren't, but she was so sweet!
After the event, we went to Soho Park and ate a fabulous dinner with a bunch of other
dorky awesome people.
Kit, Jeff, Mitali, Jeremy
Stacey, Lynsey, James, Susan, Emily, Tirzah
Friday we went to the Book Blogger Convention, which, sadly I didn't get any pictures of, but I met the AMAZINGLY sweet Shannon from Girls in the Stacks, who I'm quite sure I would be great friends with if I lived closer to. I also learned that publishers don't care when you put out reviews for books, as long as people can pre-order the book....so bite me blogger police!!
Kit and I spent the afternoon roaming the streets of New York with Yara and Mitali (Alley of Books). It was so nice out and so pretty in Central Park that I'm jealous of my former self for getting to be there.
That night Kit and I stayed in Times Square as long as we possibly could, not wanting to let it all end. This is when we decided to play "Where's Perry" which you may have played with us on Saturday. Here's one more pic, can you find Perry in this one?
Before we left on Saturday, I used my mad driving skills to drive us to Chinatown for a quick but amazing meal, and a new pair of sunglasses (and a purse for Kit). Then we said goodbye and headed home. :'(
I can't even begin to describe to you how amazing it all was. Yes, there were some exhausting times, and some low moments, but overwhelmingly I was just so impressed by people's kindness. I definitely think it was a bonus that we at Reading Teen got to go as a group. Having people there that can get in line for a book you want, while you're in line for another was so necessary, as many authors were signing at the same time. Or when we just got completely drained, we could tag team.
I want to say a BIG GIANT THANK YOU to Susan and Stacey. Without you're organization and offer for us to stay at Casa De Blogger, there would have been no way I could have afforded this trip. I owe you this experience! Also, thank you to MITALI!! Mitali was my NYC/BEA tour guide. Thanks for showing us around, making sure we were taken care of, and introducing us to lots of people! And another thank you to Yara! You were my girl this week and I'm so glad that I got to know you and spend so much time with you. You're an amazing person, and I can't wait to see you again one day!
And last but not least, thank you Amy, Austin, and Kit, for going with me, being amazing, and loving books enough to spend a fortune and trek to NY with me! I love you guys!
Want to see more pictures of BEA? Check out Andye's facebook page!
Things I learned:
- Make business cards. Everyone expects you to have a business card. You can carry them in the back of your BEA badge for easy access.
- Try renting a house with a bunch of other people. SUCH a money saver!! We spent $120 (I think) on housing for the ENTIRE week!! That is not a daily price....that was the whole week!!! Because we rented a house with 25 other bloggers.
- Get there the day before, at least, if you can. You'll need time to get oriented, get your badge, buy your subway pass and prepare for the madness that follows.
- Get a week long subway pass. You will use it constantly. And get a subway app on your phone, or buy a map. You will need it.
- Write a schedule. There are a ton of authors signing books, and you'll need to figure out when you want to see who, and who takes priority.
- Dress nice but casual. Prepare to be on your feet all day. You will be tired! Wear your most comfortable shoes. Bring band-aids!!
- Get to the convention center early, but not too early. We got there about 10-20 minutes before they opened the gates, and we didn't have any trouble getting the books everyone wanted.
- Get a buddy. Stand in line for each other, and get each other line tickets whenever possible. There's no way you'll make it to all the lines otherwise.
- EVERY LINE SHOULD BE TICKETED!!! This would do away with so much confusion, line jumping, and standing in line for no reason.
- Don't eat at the Convention Center. There's a hot dog stand right outside, a McDonald's very close, and we ate at a great Pizza place for $4 a couple of blocks up 34th street.
- Talk to publishers. You can get a whole pile of books, but if you don't meet the publicists and make contacts, you're missing a huge point of the Convention. Show them how you are different than other blogs. Let them see that you're truly interested in working with them, and not just there for free books.
- Ask the publicists when/if a book will be put out. They will tell you the exact time they plan on "dropping" it on the floor.
- Talk to people!! There are so many amazing people there, and it's much more fun to stand in line with people you've met than to stand there alone. Especially when you may be there for an hour!
- Leave time for sight-seeing, even if it's just hanging out in Times Square. You will be sad if you don't.
- Eat at Carmines! They have family style pasta dishes and one dish can feed many. We ate one of the best pasta meals for only $6 a piece.
- Enjoy yourself! It can get overwhelming at times, but it's important to remember that you don't have to get everything or see everyone, it will be OK!! Relax. Enjoy the whirlwind.