Friday, June 5, 2015

BEA'15 Recap Post

Hi everyone and welcome to the 2015 edition of my Book Expo America recap post.  This will be the first of two posts with part one focussing on the event itself, the authors & the bloggers. Stay tuned for my book haul recap post coming up for part two.  BEA'15 was once again held at the Javits Center in the phenomenal New-York City.  For more information on the event or to register for future events, visit the BEA website.
This year was my 3rd year attending Book Expo America in NYC (if you're curious and want to check out my previous recap posts, here's the links for BEA'14 and BEA'13) and this year, I almost felt like a seasoned pro going in and navigating the huge and glorious Javits Center. After the initial shock of attending on that first year, I find that you do get the hang of things pretty quickly - even for someone who has little to no sense of direction, like me. The building may be huge, but it's fairly easy to figure out. Plus, there are always volunteers and other attendants who are willing to help you out if you ever get lost/confused/overwhelmed LOL.

Sky-view of Javits with the Sun peaking out from my instagram

This year me and Giselle shared a room with two other bloggers at our hotel: Amy, Giselle's co-blogger at Xpresso Reads and Rashika from The Social Potato.  Both Amy and Rashika were first time BEA-attendees, so it was a blast to experience BEA for the first time through their eyes! However, rooming 4 girls in one hotel room meant we were pretty much in slumber-party mode throughout, which lead to very little sleep on our part.  The result was that I basically became a zombified version of myself throughout the expo, and generally sucked at: taking pictures, making conversation and looking even remotely human -.-

Thankfully, this year's BEA event seemed even more organized than the previous years, with an emphasis put on keeping long lines (for signings and galley drops) organized and under control. All events were well staffed and they made sure that there was room for people waiting in line, regardless of how early any of us got there. I can only think of one instance where the line management sort of turned crazy, but that was a reflection of the publisher and not the event itself. Otherwise, I have to say that the organizers and staff did a wonderful job keeping things tight and moving smoothly for the duration.  Kudos to everyone involved! *high-five*

Luckily BookCon was held as a completely separate event this year, which meant no craziness overflowed into our time there.  It did seem like BookCon got the (slightly) better end of the deal when it came to author presence, but I'm not complaining because there were a LOT of stellar authors in attendance for Book Expo as well.  We were all just thankful not to get caught in the mob scene that was BookCon last year. *whew*

As far as general advice for anyone thinking about attending upcoming BEA events, I would just repeat what I've said in the prior years: Wear comfortable shoes and professional, yet practical outfits. BEA simultaneously involves a lot of running around and a lot of standing and/or sitting on hard cement floors.  So keep that in mind when you pick out your wardrobe and footwear for the event.

Once again, the highlight of it all for me is meeting fellow bloggers. Whether they are old online friends, or new aquaintances, talking books with fellow book nerds, makes my life! ♥ Despite my lack of sleep and general zombieness this time around, I did manage to both chat up some new bloggers and be reunited with friends from BEA past, which is a treat. Coming back home always means feeling the distance between me and those bloggers, but last year I worked hard to keep in touch with them, and that still holds true to this day.  I will definitely be keeping the same practices this year :)  You guys are the best!

Alright. So below, I have my day-by-day recap, including pictures, but keep in mind that, I was in fact an actual zombie this year.  If I ramble on, or have little to no concrete details, that would be why.

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Waiting in line to enter the Exhibit Hall @ Javits

Day 1: Our first day at BEA was Wednesday. It was a half day, which meant that we were able to sleep in a bit. It also meant than we were able to ease into the event more comfortably since things felt more quiet compared to the first day last year and the year before.  Registration was a breeze, as always and before we knew it, we were sipping on our prefered caffeinated drinks and waiting for the doors to open. I didn't have that many signings to get to that day, but I managed to nab quite a few good books all the same.  The one sad-making moment was when confusion due to the time of the signing for Truthwitch by Susan Dennard between her publisher and herself caused us to miss the event completely *cries*  But the truth is, when you attend BEA, no matter how you meticulously plan your schedule, you have to expect delays, confusion and yes, missing coveted events.  On the plus side, I got to reunited with Nikki from There Were Books Involved and Octavia from Read Sleep Repeat, which lessened my heartbreak a bit.

Random shot of us heading to or back from Javits (credit to Amy)

Day 2: Thursday was an especially exhausting but action packed day. We made a few new blogger friends in line for the signing for Passenger by Alexandra Bracken, namely Sarah from What Sarah Read (+her friend which I didn't get her name :( Help?) and Grace of Words Like Silver.  I was also lucky enough to be reunited with my fellow Canadian Tiff of Mostly YA Lit again this year, which was awesome :D

Us with Tiff :D

I was also lucky enough to run into the lovely Nori from Nori's Closet again, but it was only for a quick second, since we both had to run to our respective line-ups. Speaking of line-ups, Thursday was also the day of the insane line for Lair of Dreams signing by Libba Bray, which ate up a good chunk of our time that day, but it was worth it! We all got lots of good books  that day and were all generally exhausted when it came to an end.  After our busy day Me, Giselle, Amy and Rashika got on the bus from hell - no, literally.  It was around 82 degrees outside but the inside of our bus registered a scorching 97 degrees!!  It seriously felt like the driver had parked it ON THE SUN before picking us up.  I was worried that someone on the bus would pass out from heatstroke but, we survived.
Amy and I melting/dying on the bus from Hell

After we got back to our hotel to freshen up (!!) and change, we went on a Manhattan trek for cupcakes and then we  had a nice late supper at Rockefeller Center. The supper quickly dissolved into a dirty-minded, barrel of laughs. A.k.a. a 'that's what she said' bonanza. We laughed so hard, I think we all got washboard stomachs from it XD

The lovely fountain at Rockefeller Center - we actually got splashed by the wind blowing water our way, which was a welcomed refresher from the heat+humidity

Me & Amy (left) - Amy, myself & Giselle (right) as floating heads - @ Rockefeller LOL (Credit to Giselle)

Day 3: Friday was the busiest day of all in terms of author signings.  I met a lot of AMAZING authors from my authors-to-meet bucket list, like Marissa Meyer, Maggie Stiefvater, Kelley Armstrong and Richelle Meade.

 Left: 1st in line for Maggie Stiefvater ♥♥♥ (credit to Rashika) Right: fangirling over Stiefvater & Jackson Pearce!

We also got a lot of fantastic books at book drops like Walk on Earth of Stranger by Rae Carson, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, Court of Fives by Kate Elliott, Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld and Firewalker by Josephine Angelini.  I also happened to spot my queen Sarah J. Maas chatting with Susan Dennard on my way to the bathroom but I was too chicken to freak out or go talk them. Regardless I still felt giddy just seeing them there, being all normal like they aren't the baddest bitches around. I think that Friday was my favorite day of them all in terms of excitement.  That also might be due to the fact that I got a bit more rest that previous night and felt less zombified, but who knows? I also ran into Nori again and chatted with her and some other nice people (including Kiersten from We Live and Breathe Books, and some other lovely bookish people who's name have slipped my mind - my bad!) in the line for Miss Stiefvater. All in all, it was a fantastic day!
Quick rest/nap while waiting in yet another line^^ (credit Rashika)

After that crazy day, BEA finally came to a close. We'd planned to hit up Books of Wonder afterwards but we all decided we were waaaayyy too exhausted, so after picking up a quick supper, we stayed in, chatted and had a silly, giggly evening in.

This^^ is what to expect after 3 days @ BEA. Done. Dying. Dead (credit Rashika)

Late, exhausted slumber party madness. LOL! (credit Amy)

And that's all there is!  If I regret one thing (other than missing Truthwitch by Miss Dennard) it's not asking the lovely Marissa Meyer for a selfie when she signed her book for me. Oh and not getting enough rest. I totally sound like an old lady, I know but man I'm SO not a teenager anymore! Other than that, the event was a massive success.  I already miss my roomies, blogger friends and the excitement that is BEA + NYC, but at the same time, I'm still recouping at the moment.  I might just be getting too old for all that excitement XD

*A BIG THANK YOU goes out to the BEA'15 organisers, the staff, the publishers who were in attendance and the authors who made this experience so very memorable!*

I hope you enjoyed my recap for BEA'15 - stay tuned for part two, where I'll share my haul!

36 comments:

  1. I love reading these BEA recaps. It looks like so much fun. I’d love to go someday.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. I do too AJ and since I'm not attending next year, I'll totally be living vicariously through everyone else's posts XD I hope that you'll get to attend someday soon! x

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  2. AWWWW, YOU GUYS LOOK ADORABLE! I'm so sad that I wasn't able to come this year. I would have loved to meet Giselle, Rashika, Amy, you, and the many authors and publishers. It must have been a blast lining up, reuniting with people, and getting signed copies or anticipated arcs! AND SLUMBER PARTIES?! WITH BOOKS?! Gaah! That sounds bloody incredible. I can't wait to have my own BEA experience next year! I'm already planning now so that I end up actually going for real ;)

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. Thanks Faye :D Rashika and Giselle were talking about you so I know we would have all enjoyed meeting you too! Yup, slumber parties with books were fantastic. Except when it came to waking up the next morning o_O That's awesome that you're planning on attending next year, I hope you'll get to go! *crossing my fingers for you*

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  3. Great recap and I loved looking at the photos :D I wish I could have been there to met you too, seems like you had a great time!

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    1. Thanks Mel! Oh I wish you could have attended too, I'd LOVE to meet you in real life ♥ Hopefully we get lucky with our travels soon and we get to meet up either on my end of the pond, or yours ;D

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  4. Looks like a great time! I know from the two years I went just how exhausting it can be. My sister lives in NYC so I stay with her when I go. But end up dying after the long subway ride and walks back to her apartment with suitcases full of books.

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    1. We really did Lisa! It seriously is ridiculously exhausting though, but it's worth it. You're lucky that your sister lives in NYC so you can stay with her, that would save a lot of $$$ plus you get to hang out with family :) But YES, I feel your pain with the hauling suitcases full of books over blocks and blocks, in the heat and humidity. Gah!

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  5. Looks like you had a great time! I'm so sad I couldn't make it this year but I'm looking forward to next year!

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    1. We totally had a blast Teresa! I'll be living vicariously through you next year then since I won't be attending!

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  6. Ah, I've always wanted to go! Though interesting to hear that BookCon is now a separate event at a separate location? Did it lessen the crowds a bit? What do you think is busier, BEA or BookCon?

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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    1. BookCon was a separate event but yes it was still at the same location. it just had it's own days without taking over BEA's time spot, which was nice. I feel like BookCon is more of a madhouse than BEA is, it certainly was that way last year but then again, they'd oversold it last year too O.O

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  7. I'm so excited to come to one of these things... at some point...when I'm out of college...

    In the meantime I'm loving reading everyone's recap posts! BEA sounds like a blast and I'm super excited about making it out to NYC at some point!

    - Kritika @ Snowflakes & Spider silk

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    1. I'm going to cross my fingers and toes that you get to attend one as soon as you're out of College! Hopefully by the time you go, I can attend again too XD Otherwise, I'll be reliving the memories through your posts and recaps haha!

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  8. OMG- you met Queen Maggie!!!!!! It sounds like you had an absolute blast- despite how exhausting visiting NYC is, lol. One thing I do not miss about the city all that much is riding the buses and subways during the warmer months, especially when the AC is busted! Can't wait to see your book haul!! :D

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    1. I DID!!! She was one of my absolute top authors TO meet this year! I was sooo happy :D Now all that's left is JKR XD You're right that NYC is always exhausting but this year felt worse, due to lack of sleep and I guess me getting older LOL And it's the humidity that kills you, I can't deal with it. Whew! ESPECIALLY with busted AC O.O Book haul will be coming up this Saturday^^ ♥

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  9. It looks like you had a ton of fun! I've never been but some year I plan to, and I think I'll have to get a room with other bloggers too and I'm excited!
    I heard from other people that it was a lot more organized too, which kind of scares me for next year since it's in a different city. Can't wait to see your haul! :)

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    1. I really did Kelsey! I hope that you get to attend some year soon! Rooming with other bloggers definitely helps, you don't feel as stressed heading out there on your own, plus you save $$$ on room costs. Hopefully they'll keep their organizational skills for next year - if it's the same staff there should be no problem :) I SO wish we had a Canadian equivalent, so we could ALL meet up somewhere with fellow canadian bloggers :D

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  10. I am sad that I missed BEA this year, but I'm loving living vicariously through these recap posts. I still remember hanging out with you after last year's BEA bloggers picnic and I'm so glad we've kept in touch! If you're willing to brave Chicago, I'll see you next year!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. I was sad you didn't make it out this year - especially since I doubt I'll be hitting up Chicago next year :( Oh well, I guess next year I'll be the one living vicariously through you ;)

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  11. It sounds like you had a fantastic time at BEA Micheline! Meeting bloggers is definitely the best part of conventions, even if it is exciting to meet authors as well. I'm not sure what to do about BEA next year... I want to go, and some bloggers I adore are going, but RT is going to be in Vegas, and my husband would even go with me!!
    Hopefully, we'll attend the same con one of these years, so we can share the nerdy silliness as well.

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. I really did Lexxie :) Meeting bloggers is the best but authors come in at a close second. They're like rock stars to us after all! Ooooh yeah you have quite the dilemma on your hands for next year. Good luck with decided and whichever one you pick, I'll be living it vicariously through you XD

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  12. Aww, I loved seeing these photos on social media and I loved your recap here. Especially all the photos of you ladies clearly having the best time (despite all the exhaustion, heh). That floating head picture - LOL!

    It's too bad about Truthwitch, but it really seems like that was THE book to get at the expo. I heard people started lining up for tickets for it at 6:30am and also stampeded to get their own? That's intense. Though it does make me very excited for it, as well as pleased for the author for all the attention she's getting! Anyways, thanks so much for sharing your BEA experiences with us yet again :)

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    1. hahaha thank you love^^ the floating head picture cracked us up really bad, but then again most of that supper experience did so too XD

      Truthwitch definitely was THE book of the year! It's funny, there's one every year but this was the first of my high priority ARCs that I actually missed. Ah well, hopefully the publisher gods will be good to us on that front ;) My pleasure Aylee^^ I wish we could get a Canadian Expo so all of us could meet up (FINALLY) ♥

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  13. Man, what fun. It sounds like it was an absolute blast, made all the better by great company. It gets up to 115 here in AZ but there isn't any humidity so I can definitely agree that bus ride would be hell. So happy you guys all had an amazing time <3

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    1. It was definitely a blast Alise and the company helped make it so! Yeah I can stand heat when it's dry, but humidity kills me, so that bus was basically hell on earth for me O.O Thank you!! xx

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  14. Aww I loved reading your recap! It looks like you had an amazing time!!! I'm so sad I couldn't make it this year but I love seeing everyone's pictures! Will you be going next year? I hope to try and make it to Chicago!

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    1. Thank you Wendy and it's a shame you weren't there again this year! It's still fun to live vicariously through other bloggers posts though, which is a good thing as I won't be going next year :( If you go, I'll totally be enjoying it indirectly through you haha!

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  15. It looks like you had an amazing time at BEA! And you got some INCREDIBLE books! I hope you love, love, love them all! I have never been to BEA. Maybe next year will be when I finally get to go :)

    I hope you have a fantastic week :) Happy Reading!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

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    1. I really did and yes the books are AWESOME :D Thank you and I hope you'll get to go to BEA soon, like next year ;) Thanks Michelle^^ x

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  16. I'm so glad I got to see you again!

    I got to cross so many authors off of my must-meet bucket list too! And just like you, I totally forgot to take pictures! And I super wish I took one with Marissa Meyer. Some authors wouldn't let you take pictures this year though. At one line I was told immediately, no pictures and no personalization...

    I can't wait to read more about your BEA adventures. Also, these pictures are hilarious! You definitely captured the exhaustion mixed with excitement felt at this thing.

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    1. I was thrilled to see you again too Nori! When we were driving up, I was like: I wonder if Nori is going to be there? I hope so! Yeah I sucked at pictures this year, and I also SUPER wish I'd taken one with MM^^ I didn't encounter any ones that wouldn't let us take pictures though, but I guess it's understandable.

      Next up will be a standard StS post with just my BEA books^^ And I agree about the pictures, especially since we were obviously exhausted and excited in all of them XD

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  17. I love that your post focuses on the connections and fun, rather than books. Let's face it, it is the thing that makes the trip worthwhile. I am glad that you had such a great time.

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    1. I agree, if it was only about the books, I'd just head to a bookstore. It's meeting the bloggers, chatting books, and of course seeing or version of rock stars, a.k.a. authors that make the trip worthwhile! Thanks Suzi^^

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  18. I really enjoyed reading this! It looks like you met a lot of lovely people and weren't too caught up in the galley grabs. Did you not go to Book Con?

    Can't wait for BEA to park it i Chicago!

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    1. Thanks Amber. And that's a big NO on BookCon. After the nightmare that was last year's BookCon, you couldn't have paid me to attend that again this year O.O I hope you'll have a blast in Chicago next year :D

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