I survived the first day of BEA 2011!
Exhausted, starving, and in pain, but I survived! And what a day it was! My plan was to get there early enough to snag some tickets for the autographings, but I forgot about the traffic on 495, so made it to the ferry much later than planned. By the time I arrived, all but one of the authors I wanted were sold out. That was the first of many disappointments for the day.
Much to my relief, getting into the exhibit floor was orderly and calm. No pushing or shoving or being trampled like the horror stories I heard last year. As I made my way to my first stop, I swung by several booths. Apparently, publishers put out all the really good stuff first thing in the morning. Huge piles of ARCs just sitting there for the taking, and publishers handing out tote bags like there was no tomorrow! Book lovers heaven!
My first stop was the Romance Writers of America booth, to get autographed books from Jana Oliver and Jeri Smith-Ready. I was number six in line! Woot! I adore Jeri and will read anything she writes, and have heard nothing but good things about Jana!
Next stop was the autographing chutes, where I spent most of my day. Seems like the crowds were heavier this year, as almost every line I waited in was HUGE. Huge as in wrapped around and down and never-ending. So huge, that I had to make gut-wrenching decisions on who to skip as no way could I make it to them all. Dear Authors, please do not chat with the fans when there are huge lines, but keep the freaking line moving! Where are the publicists? Isn't it their job to keep things moving? Grrrr!
Okay. Deep breath. I'm calmer now....
Ran from huge line in the autographing area to the Harlequin booth for their paranormal signings. Okay, I walked briskly since I can't run, whatever... :p Another huge line. For some reason, they decided to have one line for over a half dozen authors, so you can imagine how long that line was! You would think they would know better as their signings were chaos last year, but guess not.
So I finally get up within sight of the authors, only to hear one of the publicists announce that they are ALL OUT OF BOOKS! Excuse me? Seeing the huge line, don't you think one of you could have taken a count of remaining copies, then a headcount of fans and let us know so we didn't waste our time standing there for nothing? Not even an apology, just sorry guys you're SOL. I am NOT a big fan of Harlequin right now... They didn't even offer to mail us copies to make up for waiting so long for nothing. :(
Having learned my lesson, I decided to get to my next autographing early. Made it to Tahereh Mafi's autographing 15 minutes early! Very proud of myself....until they closed the line 7 minutes after she started signing. Someone took a headcount and realized they hadn't brought enough books with them. WHAT? Denied again! Somehow, I must have generated some bad book karma, as I'm beginning to feel like the book gods are out to get me.
Am exhausted by now, so go to my first panel of the day: the YA Book Buzz. Standing room only, and I snagged one of the last seats. Felt sooooo good to finally sit down! The host was awesome. The editors were all awesome. The books sounded super awesome. But I had to leave during the Q&A period as I had to go to the bathroom really, really bad. Came back in time for the ending, but was disappointed that they weren't handing out ARCs the way they did for the Editor's Buzz panel for adult books. What? YA fans have to hunt down the ARCs? Denied again! I'm sensing a theme here.... *paranoia sets in*
Head to the Penguin booth, where apparently they know how to present an author signing. Kudos to Penguin! They had a very nice lady at the end of the humongous line, handing out tickets to ensure that they had enough books for everyone. And Richelle Mead couldn't have been nicer! She posed for pictures and made polite chit chat, but kept her line moving. And BTW....what a gorgeous woman!
Winding down, I made it to a few more signings before calling it quits. BTW, guess who ran out of books? Leigh Fallon, one of the YA Book Buzz authors. Hello? Your book is being hyped and the publisher doesn't make sure there are enough copies? Major fail!
Freed my suitcase from the suitcase corral, repacked, then limped my way to the ferry for the journey home. Very glad that I had worn my knee brace today, as all that standing around is a killer! I had knee surgery last November and my knee is still wonky. Iced it as soon as I got home, so I should be fine for another round of BEA tomorrow!
Totally forgot I had my camera with me, so didn't take any pictures. Will try to take some tomorrow. I did tweet throughout the day, both intentionally and unintentionally. I sent a few pocket tweets, as I didn't know I shouldn't put the Blackberry in my front pocket, then sit down! Oops! Lesson learned. ;)