This is the Booklikes profile to my blog AYA M. Productions.
For those of you who don't know me, I'm a bookseller, post graduate job seeker, avid reader, and a blogger. :)
This was my 2nd year at Book Expo America, and it was my 1st year where I could stay to the end. (Last year I only attended 1 day of BEA.) All-in-all, I'd say it was a success. I went a bit overboard with the books. However, what I loved best about this year was that I actually networked a bit. :) I enjoyed BEA a lot! & Was money well spent. (Seriously. NYC is not cheap!)
This is going to be a bit of a lengthly post. I thought I'd dump all my thoughts into one post instead of filling your feeds with BEA posts all week. I'll try to structure it so that you can read just the parts you would like to read. I hope you enjoy my recap! :)
In years past, the Bloggers Convention for BEA hasn't been well received. I remember there being a panel last year that did not sit well with the audience simply because of the way it was advertised. (That caused a ton of drama. Yikes!) & For the most part, this year didn't work out all that well either.
Firstly, Bloggers Con was scheduled to happen at the same time as the first 1/2 day of the show room floor being open. What does that mean? That means that all the panels after lunch (the show room opened at 1 pm) were completely empty. To be guilty I missed 1 of the 4 panel sessions because I wanted to check out the show room, but I did feel terrible for the presenters and all the hard work they put into creating these panels. Granted, I don't think I learned much from most of the panels, but there were a few good tidbits.
My personal favorite panel was the one that delved a bit into HTML and CSS with Ashely from NoseGraze, Stephanie from These Paper Hearts, and Hazel from Stay Bookish. It was a bit difficult to follow at times, but I loved that they did live demonstrations with a test site.
One thing that obviously didn't work at Bloggers Con was their giveaway of ARCs. Getting ARCs and swag isn't what Bloggers Con is there for. So I wasn't really disappointed that they had a smaller selection this year compared to years past. However, I was terribly disappointed in their lack of organization for giving them out. I would have assumed with a smaller selection, one where you can't guarantee a copy of every ARC for each attendee, there would have been a more structured way of giving them out opposed to having them all laid out on a table as a free for all. There didn't seem to be any regulation at all about how many a person took, and it literally was a situation where everyone ended up shoving their way through to get stuff. I was quite disappointed.
BEA generally always has a great selection of authors that sign at their autographing stages. Much like last year though, I don't think they were that great at organizing lines. For highly popular authors, you generally have to start a line early, and people actually try starting "unofficial lines" 1 - 1.5 hours before the autographing session. It's a FACT. So I just could not understand why I kept getting the "we generally don't start lines until 15 min before the signing" response from volunteers running the autographing stages. So of course I end up just hanging out in the area waiting in an "unofficial line." The issue with "unofficial lines" though is that since it's unofficial, there's really no guarantee that your position as #5 in line will not become #15 or worse.
The Publisher Booths:
Overall, I really liked the publisher booths.
I really liked that Little, Brown for Young Readers had galley drops where you could only grab 1 of 3 titles, which allowed a lot more people the opportunity to grab a book they really want. & If you really wanted all 3, they did allow you to get in line more than once.
I love that Harlequin did their signings in batches, where you stand in one line to meet 4-5 authors. The signings were both on Thursday and Friday and split into Teen, Romance, and Women's Fiction. It was a great way to meet many authors at once, and they were generally highly popular authors.
I just know that not all publisher booths were really situated in an area where they could have long lines. I think Penguin Random House had the best location. They were situated in a corner with lots of space to organize lines without blocking off walkways. Other publisher booths, however, weren't as well situated, and I often wondered if I was in people's way.
My favorite publisher booth of all of them was definitely Sourcebooks. I loved them the best because I thought they were extremely highly staffed and they had display copies of most of their upcoming titles. It allowed for great in depth conversations regarding their upcoming books and networking opportunities. I think I ended up talking to 3 different employees at the Sourcebooks booth and heard about a lot of great titles and why each of them were particularly excited about that title. I loved the honest opinions I received. If I was on the fence about whether or not to pick up a book, they definitely swayed me.
Some other booths just didn't seem as welcoming, in my opinion. There wasn't enough staff, or they were constantly busy. Some of the booths that I actually got the opportunity to talk to someone ended up with canned responses like "Well the books that are being given out are the books we're promoting" or "What am I excited for? Our newsletter! You should sign up for our newsletter!" Umm... Not really what I was looking for and also not very welcoming.
I only attended one panel session at BEA and that was the Young Adult Editors' Buzz Panel. I LOVED IT! It was amazing hearing the editors that directly worked on a book talk about it. They discussed their first experience with the manuscript, the process acquiring it, and why they desperately wanted to work on it. It was an aspect of publishing I really don't have much familiarity with. I'm not personal friends with any editors after all. Also many of the titles were titles I wasn't very familiar with, and I walked out of there definitely interested in most of them. A simply amazing panel. The ARCs they provided of the titles was also a plus, and something I wasn't expecting.
As you probably already know, there are TONS of books at BEA up for grabs. I even saw people collecting a suitcase full a day. Crazy right! Overall, I only got 32 titles, and ended up having to ship a box of books because of lack of space in my suitcase. 32 books was more than I was planning on getting, but still a modest number, I think. (All the titles listed below link to their Goodreads page.)
Those Girls by Lauren Saft (6/9)
A Million Miles Away by Lara Avery (7/7)
Awake by Natasha Preston (8/4)
After the Red Rain by Barry Lyga, Peter Facinelli, and Robert DeFranco (8/4)
The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak (8/4)
Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon (9/1)
Dream Things True by Marie Marquardt (9/1)
A Whole New World by Liz Braswell (9/1)
Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith (9/1)
The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands (9/8)
The Doldrums by Nicholas Gannon (9/29)
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness (10/6)
A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston (10/6)
The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow (10/6)
Illuminate by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (10/20)
The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Volume 1 by Daniel Kraus (10/27)
This Raging Light by Estelle Laure (1/5)
This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp (1/5)
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
Signed ARCs/Finished Copies:
Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid (8/4)
Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman (8/25)
Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines (8/25)
Truly Madly Famously by Rebecca Serle (10/13)
Traffick by Ellen Hopkins (11/3)
Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Premiere anthology by Romance Writers of America
Invisible by Dawn Metcalf
City Love by Susane Colasanti
Nowhere but Here by Katie McGarry
I am also hosting a post BEA giveaway on my main blog. Feel free to check it out if you're interested.