Book Expo America has once again come and gone, and I’m thrilled to have attended it this year. This was my second time at BEA, and I’m happy to say I had an even better time than I did last year. So much so that next year I’m going to try to attend for the whole week…one day just isn’t enough! Once again I went with book nerd extraordinaire Jenn N. and some of the lovely ladies from the Booksellers Without Borders NY blog
I attended on Tuesday, the opening day of the expo. My day started with getting up at 3:30 just to have time to get into New York and get to the ticketed author booth by 7:00. Yup, they start giving out tickets for reserved author signings two hours before the expo even opens, because they’re sadists like that. I was already running on little sleep from the previous day spent at the BEA Blogger Con, but in the end it was totally worth it. It was even worth paying zombiegeddon prices like $2.60 for a banana and $4.40 for a Diet Coke…thanks, Javits Center.
Picking up galleys and meeting authors is only part of what makes BEA so awesome. Some of the fun is just looking at the publishers’ displays and taking silly pictures:
No Arnold, I don’t want to get it on in the choppa with you…
And also picking up non-book swag, like this button which I’m totally going to wear to work on Election Day:
Hell, I’d vote for him!
YA was not surprisingly the big theme of this year’s expo. It seemed that almost every publisher I visited was promoting a YA title of some kind. While YA isn’t quite my specialty, last year I was greatly impressed with Ashes and of course The Hunger Games, so I grabbed some YA books that piqued my curiosity. Some of the titles I am most excited to read include Rachel’s Secret by Shelly Sanders, Call the Shots by Don Calame, and Perry’s Killer Playlist by Joe Schreiber. I actually got to meet Shelly Sanders when I picked up a copy of her book, and she gave me some more information about it. It strikes me as a deep and moving story, and I’m very excited to read it. The other YA titles I picked up seemed humorous and edgy, two of my favorite things when choosing a book to read.
Speaking of edgy, Jenn and I made sure to stop by the booths for Ellora’s Cave and Cleis Press, two publishers who specialize in erotica and sexuality. We grabbed some kinky looking books (like Best Erotic Romance by Kristina Wright) and posed for a picture with the “cavemen” of Ellora’s Cave (I’m in the middle):
Yes, THESE are the type of guys you can meet at book conventions!
We met a ton of authors; there are just too many to name. But the ones we were most excited to meet were Jennifer Weiner (who looked adorable in her polka dots) and RL Stine (who is super nice). I scored an autographed copy of Weiner’s 2011 release Then Came You, and an autographed copy of RL Stine’s upcoming book Red Rain. Stine is staying true to his roots in writing another horror story, only this one is for adults. Look for it in bookstores around Halloween!
For a horror writer, RL Stine is so non-scary in real life!
Then after a delicious but overpriced lunch, we were ready to get back out onto the expo floor and pick up some more galleys. I grabbed so many that I can’t name them all. But a few that I’m most excited about reading are Wilderness by Lance Weller (Bloomsbury), Conning Harvard by Julie Zauzmer (Lyons Press), The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers (Little, Brown), and Panorama City by Antoine Wilson (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).
Finally, at 3:00, we were ready to get in line for one of the ticketed author signings. The author we were in line to meet was none other than film icon Molly Ringwald! She was there promoting her upcoming title When It Happens to You. We weren’t allowed to actually pose for pictures with her, but I snapped one anyway while I was in line. However the picture doesn’t do her justice; she is still as pretty now as she was in her John Hughes days.
The fabulous Molly Ringwald signs her upcoming book
All in all, BEA 2012 was an exhausting but thrilling experience, and like I said before I’m going to try to attend for the whole week next year. It felt so amazing to feel connected to such a large community of book lovers, to spend an entire day talking about books and getting excited about new ideas. Unfortunately it also made going back to my ”day job” just that more dreadful. But reading and blogging are my passion, so look for me next time at BEA 2013!