June 2, 2014

BEA '14: A Tale of Books, Publishers, Authors + Bloggers (Part 1)

Last week was BEA week! This is one of the events I look forward to attending most every year, especially after having been able to go for the first time in 2012, and a second time in 2013. It's a gigantic gathering of publishers, authors, librarians, teachers, and bookish people held in the Javits Center, and it's overwhelming, exciting, exhausting, wonderful. I love it so, and am so grateful that I get to go and be a part of it.

Each of my experiences at BEA has been very different, especially with the wisdom I've gained from the year before it. This was actually a very relaxed year for me, as I spent a lot of time wandering around the floor and hanging out with other bloggers. Yet, I still managed to squeeze a ton of things in -- and get every single book I really wanted! I dressed well, chatted up quite a few people, handed out business cards, took quite a few photos (seriously, you'll see below), tried not to stress too much about schedule and tried to just enjoy being there in the moment. (So yes, these are the basic tips and tricks I'd leave you with still!)

I actually didn't witness too much awful behavior, though I did hear about a few cringe-worthy instances. Luckily, most of my experience was on the positive side! I think my only really "bad" experience was during BookCon. It was disorganized overall, which was kind of sad given how well everything had been going during the first two days of BEA. I think it also didn't help that there were too many people in such a tiny space! Surely, after this year, the organizers will take all these things into consideration.

Okay, now here's the actual recap of what happened! You may (lovingly) yell at me if I get your name/blog wrong, which I blame on my memory skills. [Please note that I don't mind if you grab a photo you're in! But please, please don't forget to include credit.] 

May 27: Momofuku Milk Bar

Prior to the actual beginning of BEA, Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) and I decided to get together and have Momofuku. We opened it up to other bloggers, and were really excited to hang out a bit with Elena (Novel Sounds), Faye (A Daydreamer’s Thoughts), Caroline (Big Book, Little Book), Luna (Luna’s Little Library) and Debbie (Snuggling on Sofa). It was a nice night of chatting, and eating yummy desserts!
Debbie, me, Elena, Jamie, Luna, Caroline, Faye (Photo credit: Jamie)

May 28: Teen Author Carnival

Honestly, I have started thinking of the Teen Author Carnival as my official kick-off event for BEA since last year. It's a great event, comprised of panels + signing, organized by fellow booklovers and held at the Jefferson Market Library. I was actually able to catch a panel this year - Time After Time (with Gayle Forman, Una LaMarche, Tiffany Schmidt, Lauren Morrill, Adi Alsaid, Jennifer E. Smith). The authors talked a bit about their timelines (in books and writing), writing processes and other fun things. Plus, they graced us with a rendition of Time After Time!

Gayle Forman, Una LaMarche, Tiffany Schmidt, Lauren Morrill, Adi Alsaid & Jennifer E. Smith
I spy Mitali moderating this panel!
I hung around the signing area, just so I could say to the always lovely Rebecca Serle. I've said this multiple times, but Rebecca is one of my favorite authors. I enjoyed both her books - When You Were Mine and The Edge of Falling - and am so looking forward to her release later this year, Famous in Love.

Betty, Hannah, Katelyn & I
Hannah, Betty, me, Katelyn & Briana
selfie while trying to hail a cab!
Also, I was reunited with Katelyn (Kate's Tales of Books and Bands) (She was also my roomie for the entire BEA experience!), Betty (Book Rock Betty), Elena, Gaby (Queen Ella Bee Reads), Britta, Mitali, Brianna (Paperback Princess) and Julie (Bloggers Heart Books)! And, best of all, I got to meet some of my blogging friends in real life - Hannah (So Obsessed With), Wendy (Book Scents), Danielle (Love at First Page), Chelsea (Starbucks & Books Obsession), Cece (Cece Reads), Jessica (Lovin' Los Libros) & Tonyalee (Lily Bloom Books). A bunch of us headed over to Chipotle to grab a late dinner, and we were joined by Lauren (Love is Not a Triangle)! All in all, a very fun night, and a great start to BEA week!

May 29: BEA, Day 1

Thursday morning was bright and early for me, which was easy enough considering how excited I was! I walked from our hotel (The Jane Hotel, which is teeny and adorable) along the Hudson River towards the Javits Center. It was a long walk, but the lovely view and my conversation with Judith (Paperiot) on WhatsApp certainly kept me occupied.

I reached the Javits pretty early, so the wait to claim my official BEA badge was not long at all. I ran into Elena right away, as well as LaurenRachel (Hello Chelly) showed up shortly after, and she, Lauren and I went off in search of the room where the Harlequin Teen BEA Breakfast was being held.

It was my second time attending the breakfast! I took full advantage of the pastries + fruit + coffee, munching as the authors (Alexandra Adornetto, Robin Talley, Adi Alsaid, Julie Kagawa, Jennifer L. Armentrout) were introduced by Natashya Wilson, executive editor from Harlequin Teen. There was a “round robin” (where the authors + Harlequin Teen staff went from table to table), and it was really fun! I liked learning more about the authors and their books, and hearing more about Harlequin too. Rachel and I were also really lucky, and able to snag signed copies of Stone Cold Touch too!

Jennifer L. Armentrout, Alexandra Adornetto, Robin Talley, Julie Kagawa, Adi Alsaid
Rachel and I headed on up to the main exhibit area, and began to wander around the booths. It was a treat to visit all my old favorites, and to have time to linger over their displays. I didn’t have a really packed schedule for this day, so there was definitely a more relaxed vibe for me! I ran into Alyssa (Books Take YouPlaces), Amy (Tripping Over Books), Brittany (TheBook Addict’s Guide), Lindsey, Steph, Katie and Jen (The Bevy Bibliotheque), Debby (Snuggly Oranges), Tiffany (MostlyYA Lit), and Lili (Lili Reflects). I did pick up a galley I really wanted (Mortal Heart), and managed to hop into two signing lines (Jennifer L. Armentrout for Lux: Beginnings and Rebecca Serle for Famous in Love).
Alyssa & Amy
Rebecca Serle
Rainbow Rowell
Neil Patrick Harris
After an hour or so at Dunkin Donuts, Rachel and I popped over to Houndstooth Pub for Macmillan Happy Hour. It was a treat to see Ksenia Winnicki and the rest of the Macmillan team. I also got a chance to chat with my friends Jen (author of Threats of Sky & Sea and member of The Bevy Bibliotheque), Brittany, Brianna, Rachel, Julie, Heidi (Bunbury in the Stacks) and Bonnie (A Backwards Story). I also got to meet and chat with Kat (Cuddlebuggery), who is seriously one of the sweetest, friendliest people I’ve ever met! There were a lot of familiar faces there, including Elena, Jamie, April (Good Books & Good Wine), Steph (Cuddlebuggery) and more. (I'm pretty sure Steph has the ONLY photo of me at that event!)

I ducked out early to drop the stuff I had at the hotel and meet Katelyn before we headed over to the YA Party. It was nice to grab a drink, some snacks, play bingo (a pretty cool icebreaker!) and hang out with a few bloggers, including Jamie, April, Katelyn, Brittany, Rachel (As Told By Rachel), Jenni (Live to Read, Love to Read), Danny (Bewitched Bookworms), Heidi (YA Bibliophile), Jen (Jenuine Cupcakes), Andye (Reading Teen), and Liza (Who R U Blog). I also finally got to meet the wonderful Dahlia Adler, adorable debut author Amy Zhang and one of my favorite authors Miranda Kenneally. There were definitely a lot of other authors there (I actually chatted a bit with Michelle Madow, Cara Lynn Shultz, and Heather Demetrios) and bloggers too, and the mingling was pretty great!
Katelyn, Jenni, Brittany
Amy Zhang
Dahlia Adler
cupcakes with Amy Zhang's book cover for Falling into Place
Whew! That was quite a lot of things that happened -- and this is just the first two days (and an evening outing!) Come back tomorrow to find out what happened next in part 2 of my recap!


  1. Whoa, you got to meet a lot of people! So sad that I didn't go up to you to say hi on Saturday but maybe next time? :)

  2. you are the best picture taker ever! seriously-- i think you got one with everybody! i agree about the teen author carnival-- the perfect kickoff for BEA!! i'm so glad we got to hang out that first night!!

  3. Wow...sounds like you had an amazing time! You did ALL the things...I can't believe there is a part two! LOL! You're definitely inspiring me to make the trip next year!

  4. Lovely recap post, it was awesome to meet you at the Harlequin Book Blogger Breakfast and I wanted to thank you for organizing the Book Blogger Picnic and welcoming me :D It was a wonderful event with lots of amazing people...not to mention CAKE! It was awesome to see so many fantastic pics of familiar faces in all your gorgeous pictures! I also got excited that you were lucky enough to see NPH that close up! Eeeep :D I already can't wait for part 2

    New follower via Bloglovin' Feedly & Twitter
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

  5. I love seeing all the awesome pictures and seeing how everyone had a great time.

  6. I know I'm going backwards but I LOVE ALL THESE PICTURES!!!!! They are so awesome! Dude, I totally need to read When You Were Mine, right? If she's one of your favorite authors I need to get on this.

  7. Love seeing all your photos with the bloggers! Looked like so much fun getting to hang out with everyone. Ahh :)

  8. The Author Carnival is the kick-off for me, too! I was sad that the times online said 6:30 and we got there and it had all been going on, though. Boo! We went to the Us Vs Them panel. You stayed at a hotel? I thought you lived close enough to go home each night, lol!

  9. So I am leaving you really long comments on all of these recaps but I just want to say one more thing! I notice a difference between how my time was spent last year compared to this year. Last year I ran around like a chicken with its head cut off snatching all of the books. This year I still kept busy but I had a plan and I prioritized what I wanted was way more relaxed. I cut down the number of books I took home by like half. I imagine next year I will cut back even more, and do more exploring, relaxing, enjoying - kind of like how your experience is changing over the years. I'm excited!

    Ash and I are finally starting to interact more with publishers (just scratching the surface really) but maybe by next year we'll get to go to some of these post-BEA events :) *fingers crossed*

    Ok I think I'm done :) Great recaps!

  10. Looks like you had a blast! Nice recap!

  11. I totally do not even remember being in that picture with you, but it's so nice! YAY!

    ALSO! It was super fun hanging out. I am so glad you got your hands on Mortal Heart (and told me to read it because I am reading it RIGHT NOW yo).


  12. Yayyyy I'm so glad you take so many pictures because I am so TERRIBLE at it, even after promising to be better! So glad you had a lovely time and met so many fantastic bloggers! I met a few new people this year and it was such a blast!

  13. I love that you got so many pictures!! Next year I definitely have to be better about taking pics!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  14. Oh, I forgot to mention - the person you have labeled as Danielle is actually Chelsea from Starbucks & Books Obsession. :-)


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