Having so much fun hopping around the blogosphere, reading about everyone's BEA adventures! It was such a huge event, it's almost like we all had a different experience. Just wanted to share a few final thoughts about my BEA adventure, so promise that this will be my last post on the subject. :)
I somehow managed to miss the crazy pushing and shoving and mad grabs for books in the morning. Not that I'm complaining about not being trampled, but really BEA...really? I thought book lovers were better than that. And I keep reading about publishers handing out books left and right. Where was I during this magic period? I didn't see anyone handing out books and swag, but most were very nice when I went up to the booths and politely asked. In fact, only ran into one pub rep who sort of sneered when I told her I was a blogger, then claimed she didn't have any books. Not sure what that stack behind her was if they weren't books, but okaaaaaaay.....whatever. Everyone else was lovely, even after running out of books, so I still had a good time!
Could never find an answer to one of my pre-BEA concerns about whether or not I should bring my own lanyard. Found out that yes, BEA provided a lanyard with my badge. Saw a few publishers handing out lanyards as well, so no need to bring your own next year.
Was happy to discover that there was a large coat check area where you could leave your bags for only $3 per item. There were a few coats there, but it was mostly suitcases. They didn't mind you dropping off books throughout the day, but they did stop me to check my claim ticket both days as I was leaving, so I felt that it was a secure area. All of the ladies there were very nice, and even helped me find where they put my suitcase on the first day. So glad I listened to past participants and brought a small suitcase with me, as no way could I have carried everything in totebags!
It's funny how so many BEA wrap-up posts mention how nervous everyone was, and how there are so many shy, introverted bloggers out there. Believe it or not, I'm very shy and quiet until I get to know someone, and crowds are not my favorite thing. So imagine my surprise when I somehow lost my shyness at BEA! I'm not saying I turned into an extrovert, but there I was, comfortably talking to total strangers while waiting in various lines. My family and friends wouldn't have recognized me! *L*
Think I may have frightened a few people though, as I was so excited to finally meet them in person! On my way to my very first autographing, who do I run into but Sheila from Book Journey! I wasn't looking for anyone, just trying to find the right line, when her name jumped out at me from her badge. I believe I may have squealed. I also may have grabbed her in an unexpected hug. Sorry if I startled you Sheila, but running into you took me totally by surprise, and I was thrilled to finally meet you!
It was funny how many people I ran into randomly, yet could never seem to hook up with the people I had made plans with. For instance, after lunch on Thursday, I was resting on a bench by the entrance, plotting my afternoon, not really paying attention to the people coming and going around me. The two women who had been sitting next to me got up to leave, and stopped by to let me know about BookTrib. Didn't sound familiar but was interesting, so I took the information. Then we exchanged business cards, and it was Tricia and Sarah from Meryl L. Moss Media! I've reviewed books for them! How cool was that?
I saw several people in various lines over the two days who looked familiar, but I'm terrible with names and didn't want to go up and ask them who they were. Mostly I chatted with librarians and booksellers, and everyone was very easy to talk to! Have I mentioned how much I dislike small talk and crowds? No problem at BEA, as I felt like everyone spoke my language!
Tried to describe the experience to my husband. Told him BEA was like my Woodstock, and the authors were my rock stars. Or better yet, BEA was how he would feel playing the Old Course at St Andrews (he likes golf). He found that hard to believe, but I think that's a good comparison. It was heaven for a book lover like me, and I'm already dreaming about going back next year!
Despite having my camera within easy reach in my tote bag, I kept forgetting to take pictures. And I also forgot that I had my business cards with me, so may have lost a few opportunities with publishers. Kept forgetting to ask for business cards as well. Next year I'll know better! Got my business cards from Vistaprint, and was very happy with how they turned out. They constantly have specials, so I wound up getting my cards for free and just had to pay for shipping. Very nice cards too, so too bad I kept forgetting about them! :(
Didn't realize you could ask for just an autograph without getting the book personalized until I overheard the person in front of me make the request. So I started getting the books without my name (unless it was one of my rock star authors). My thinking was that I could offer the books for a giveaway after I read them, unless I fell in love and wanted to keep the book. Couldn't figure out why some pub reps were giving me the stink-eye until I read about the eBay scandal a few days ago, where autographed ARCs from BEA were showing up for sale. I promise that I would never sell a review copy or ARC Mr. Publicist! I just thought that an autographed copy would make for a cool contest. Honest!
Saw quite a few people with spreadsheets and notes. Mine proved invaluable, as it helped me with my planning each day. Was hard trying to decide who to skip when the line I was in was moving too slow or was too long, but prioritizing was definitely necessary! Wanted to say thanks to Kristi from The Story Siren, as I used her YA spreadsheet as a starting point. Saved me a lot of work, so thanks again Kristi! I also picked up a sheet from an information booth listing all of the autographings by time, so I could see who was available if my plans changed for any reason. Even with all my planning, I still missed so much! Hoping that having BEA spread out over 3 days next year will help. Fingers crossed I can attend next year!
Overall, I think I was able to get almost all of the books on my list. Tried to only take what I thought I would read and enjoy instead of grabbing everything not nailed down! Most regret that I missed out on Room by Emma Donoghue, and Zombies vs Unicorns by Holly Black & Justine Larbalestier. If anyone managed to pick up extra copies, please send me an email! Let's talk!
Have you posted about your BEA experiences? Would love to hear all about it, so please leave a comment and I'll be sure to stop by. Thanks!