Friday, June 06, 2014

Highlights from BEA 2014 - from a BEA Newbie

So I finally made it to BEA and it was fantastic!!! The books, the authors, the publishers/publicists, and of course, the book bloggers - it's overwhelming and yet so fun, I can't wait to go back next year!

I was super excited to finally meet (in real life) my blogging/twitter friend, Tamara (Traveling With T) who I would be rooming with for BEA. Unfortunately, her flight was delayed, so she got in much later than she anticipated and after all her travel woes, she was quite frazzeled by the time we did meet.

Highlight of the day:
Stephanie Evanovich & I at Harper Party
*Harper Collins Preview & Party - this was an amazing event and I was so excited to go. Basically, different divisions of Harper give previews of what books they have coming out. What was nice was that we had some of the books in front of us and Harper shipped those books home to us so we didn't have to lug them around. After that, we went downstairs for the get-together. This is where I really got to mingle with some of the bloggers I have been chatting with online for a while as well as meet some new-to-me bloggers. The reps from Harper were there as well and I chatted with a bunch of them. A few authors popped in as well - Dorothea Benton Frank, Adriana Trigiani, Andrew Mayne and Stephanie Evanovich were all ones I had the chance to speak with.

Me & Tamara waiting for shuttle on day 1
I was armed and ready for my first experience at BEA...I had my suitcase to check in and my excel spreadsheet of the authors I wanted to see, galleys I hoped to get and booths I wanted to stop by. Walking onto the floor for the first time is overwhelming and crazy, but once you get your bearings and a feel for the layout, it's quite easy to get from one spot to another (and I quickly realized which areas stayed congested and which were quieter).

Highlights of the day:
* Grabbing galley of Burn by James Patterson - my first JP galley!!!
* Bumping into Hank Phillippi Ryan and chatting for a few minutes on the floor and then getting a twitter notification that she's following me and has sent me a message. Fangirl moment!!!
* Meeting Sarah and Katie from Little Bird Publicity. Love working with these gals and it was great to meet them in person!

Ready for day 2 on the floor. My spreadsheet was my lifeline - helping me remember where I wanted to be and who I wanted to see/what galleys I wanted to try to get. 

Highlights of the day:
Mary Higgins Clark
* Meeting Mary Higgins Clark - I've been reading her forever and it was really cool to meet her and get a book signed by her. 
* Book Group Speed Dating Event - my favorite event of BEA. This was an amazing event where different publishers went around to the tables to chat up their upcoming books. We were all assigned a table and every 9 minutes a different publisher came to the table. And, at each table were stacks of some of the books that were mentioned that we were free to take. Most of the books talked about were all geared towards book clubs - and they all sounded so good! This is a must-attend event for me from now on!
* Elin Hilderbrand's signing - nothing says summer like a new Elin Hilderbrand book, but she was signing her first ever holiday book due out in October! (I was lucky enough to snag a galley of her summer book, too, though, which I got Saturday morning.)
* After BEA ended for the day, Tamara and I headed out to dinner at Serendipity. This was at the top of my list of things to do in the city. I have been dreaming about having their Frozen Hot Chocolate and let me tell you, it's so good!!!
Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity

We headed back to the expo for the final day not realizing just how crazy BookCon was going to be. There were a few authors who were only there Saturday morning, so we went and ended up only staying for a few hours. It was way too crazy for me!

Highlights of the day:
* Meeting Bella Andre - I love her books and it was cool to finally meet in real life! 
* Chatting with Beatriz Williams at the Penguin truck - she was a guest bookseller and was signing books (if you purchased them from the truck). I met her last year, but loved getting to see her again.
* On the recommendation of a Little, Brown publisher, we headed to Gotham Market for lunch - it was delicious!!!
* Then we headed over to the ticket booth to see what Broadway shows were open. We ended up getting seats to see Aladdin - can I just say AMAZING show! The special effects, flying carpet and overall great cast put this show up there amongst the top shows I've seen.

Me, Beatriz Williams & Tamara at Penguin Truck

The Books
I've thought long and hard about putting up a picture of my book haul from BEA due to all the drama that's taken place this week. And, I decided that I'm going to share my picture. First, a number of you have mentioned that you were looking forward to seeing what books I got. Second, I consider this blog a personal journal of all things bookish that I do and I want to be able to look back one day and see what books I came home with the first time I went to BEA. 

I'm super excited about the books I got - most were on my list going into BEA - and some I was sold on by the publisher/author chatting them up. Either way, I think I'm in for some really good reading in the next few months.

My BEA 2014 book haul
***The last pile on the right are all the books I got signed at BEA...quite a nice collection to add to my autographed books shelf!  

I hope I am able to attend BEA again next year...and hopefully I will take more pictures. I realized as I was putting this post together that I didn't take many pictures on the floor each day. Oh well. The important thing is that I had a great time and met lots of great people - bloggers, publishers/publicists and authors! It's such a great networking event and I am looking forward to coming back next year more relaxed and familiar with how things work. #BEA15 or bust!!!



  1. Kristin
    This all sounds very wonderful, and meeting favorite authors, interacting etc. Sounds like every book lovers dream. Really enjoyed reading your post. I have missed whatever drama has gone on, although I believe things can get a little delicate in the book blogoshpere at times! Love the pic of the books. Good on you for enjoying the week and making the most of it.

  2. Hi Kristin! I was so glad to meet you in New York and love seeing your pics here and that you had a good time. I must have missed the drama, but glad you posted your books. I just finally had time to open my boxes today. :)

  3. Sounds like you had an awesome time Kristin! Glad you enjoyed it and hopefully I'll make it one day so we can meet. :)

  4. It was so fun meeting you in line! My favorite part of BEA is seeing all my bloggie friends in real life!


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