The past week was a whirlwind. Was so fun to reconnect with old friends and make new friends! I feel like I haven’t had a chance to even get my information together to add people on twitter and facebook, or my blog feed yet. Hopefully by the time this has posted I will!
Since it was my first time at BEA I really didn’t know what to expect. I remember seeing Danny, Pushy and Heather tweeting and posting pics last year and I knew I had made a mistake on NOT going. So now that I scrimped and saved and finagled my husband’s schedule so I could go, I kinda forgot to actually plan on what and who I was going to do or see!
Thankfully Pushy took mercy on me and helped me out with the BEA site. Plus they had there BEA U2 sessions that also really helped this newbie out. Since I’m one of the least bloggy reviewers, I did decide to skip the Blogger Conference (I will try to change that now that I have figured out a way to blog more in hopefully a little less time) and instead had Monday to see the city a bit as well as take part in a few of the seminars they were offering through BEA.
So – here’s is my quick and dirty and more importantly if you’re a blogger WHY you should go to BEA at least once!
Monday– I went to the Museum of Modern Art to get my culture in. Lots of fun and experienced a psychic cabbie on the way over. *insert Twilight Zone theme* I had planned two sessions that afternoon, one on SEO work (Search Engine Optimization) and the other about Pinterest. There I had a lightbulb moment (hey, you need to THINK about what you’re nameing a post!) and WTH is about Pinterest and how can it help out a blog site. Well, my chickens, it turns out I’m going to be trying out a Pinterest feature on the Bookworms- so be looking for that soon……Heather and I also went to a little Indie Publishing event, and that was fun to chat with new people and pick up a few books.
Tuesday – We woke up way early to head out to the opening day of BEA. Aka: get used to standing in lines! Heather and I were in line for the opening and did a pretty good job snagging a couple of books at the drop over at Hyperion and I got the new book by Deborah Harkness signed to me! Very exciting! Then we made our way scoring some sweet looking bags and books….in the end I grabbed WAY TOO MANY. *gulp* like 50 or so?
Lesson learned: Be choosy…don’t make eye contact unless you want the book….and just enjoy yourself!
That evening after the really cool Teen Carnival (which Danny already blogged about) I was able to reunite with a couple of old friends from high school and college at a nice little restaurant and unwind a bit. But it was a loooong day!
Wednesday – I feel like it’s “Dear Diary” but let me tell you, my eyes were SO OVER my contacts at this point, but my glasses are loose, so I was worried they would fall off my head in a frenzy…So I stabbed my contacts in and away we went! The good thing about Wednesday is I kinda knew the layout and what I had missed. I had a great time meeting people while waiting in line at the autograph booths, as well as find a few other books that I was looking forward to. Some of my book karma paid off and I was able to trade a book with a fellow blogger, as I had something she really wanted and vice versa. Whoo hooo for book karma! Oh and I ate lunch with Patti Smith and Neil Young. No big…
That evening Danny and Pushy were able to add us to their Penguin Party invite and Heather and I had fun chatting with even more bloggers and authors (and the nice spread and open bar wasn’t too bad either!) By some stroke of luck (I’m blaming psychic cabbie) I won a gift certificate to Penguin Classics… Sweet!
Thursday – So tired, but I was up by 6 to get to the Javis Center by 7am to stand in line (sensing a theme here, friends?) for the Author Breakfast. I would like to say I went so I could see the great Pulitzer Prize winners: Michael Chabon and J.R. Moehringer. But I didn’t, I went to see Jimmy Fallon!
But surprise, surprise, I enjoyed hearing from the moderator, Kirstie Alley, as well as Chabon, Moehringer and Zadie Smith. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from her speech:
“What’s more common in writers is this introverted extroversion. And in this now I come to think of it, booksellers and writers are fundamentally similar. We are all introverted extroverts; we are all readers. My favorite kind of bookseller is that nervous young woman who mangles a perfectly straightforward conversation about the weather, or last night’s television, then suddenly coming to life, brilliant and articulate and newly beautiful, because you happened to have picked off the shelf a book close to her heart. That’s your classic introvert/extrovert. Someone for whom an enthusiasm is a way of expressing intimacy. And hand selling a book to a customer is such an intimate transaction. It demands an introvert has to admit an enthusiasm to another introvert.” -Zadie Smith
Hands down it was the workshops and the author meetings that meant the most to me during BEA. What great stories and insight to their writing process as well as why and how they wrote their most recent books. And guess what – you can watch the breakfast HERE! (Note to younger viewers, or those with little ears around, they do swear…and they swear the Big Ones…so be careful.)
Finally it was time to wrap up the day with a couple more signings and then off to the midwest in a plane. I’ll have all my books updated on my Goodreads very soon!
So, was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY! Will I go again, I most certainly hope so! Should you go if you blog or are a buying, or even just a lover of books? YES! I don’t think there is anywhere else where you can learn so much about the entire spectrum of books. I met other bloggers, young and old librarians, owners of small bookstores, book buyers for big and small bookstores, publishers, PR directors, authors, dabblers, readers, and fans. I learned something new from all of them. And I just loved it.
The pile of books I took home is daunting, but I will do my best to make a dent and post my reviews!