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.
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)
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!