Sunday, May 31, 2009

BEA Wrap-Up

First off, like the changes? Since I ended up not wearing my t-shirt to BEA, I wanted to use the graphics I made somehow so I incorporated them, and a slight change in color scheme, here. A little more vibrant, I think.

Now onto BEA. I set my alarm for 3:30 Friday morning and was out the door and on the way to the train station by just after five. I caught the 6:23 into Grand Central and was in New York City just before 8. And dammit, I forgot just how long the walk of death is transferring from Time Square to Port Authority so I could get the right subway line. I remembered that and decided that if my bag got too heavy, I'd take a cab.

I walked into Javits and my jaw dropped because the place is huge. FYI, if you're a blogger, you're considered press (should have been obvious from the editorial press pass that I got but I'd been up since 3:30 at that point. Throw me a bone.) and should go to the press booth. And then you get to go up into the press office were you get some neat packets of information about upcoming books and stuff. And WTF? looks from the woman working the door, like we don't belong. Ignore her.

I came back downstairs and started walking around the crowd to the main entrance to the exhibition hall and I see this chick that looks really familiar off to my left. Now, I never forget a face. Rarely remember names but never forget a face. Yup, it was Steph of Reviewer X and Lenore of Presenting Lenore! Awesome aquaintencing ensued plus pictures taken by Steph's mom. Look for those on her site.

Then the flood gates opened at 9 and the shameless grabbing of free stuff began. Bags and books and bags and books and more bags and books. We ended up getting separated and I saw Lenore again at the Firebrand booth for her "signing" but I was pretty much wandering around on my own for a long ass time carting around a REALLY heavy duffel bag on wheels.

Some woman gave me attitude about how you're not supposed to have anything that rolls in there (mind, I was not the only person with a rolling case behind them) but about 20 minutes after that and one too many rolls over really thick carpeting, I decided to check the duffel and I used it as a drop off point for the rest of the day. Much less hassle that way.

The first autograph line I got in was for Dacre Bram Stoker and Ian Holt for the sequel to Dracula, The Un-Dead. OMFG! I have a signed ARC of the sequel to DRACULA! That's only been 150 years in waiting. Fuck sparkling vampires people. This is the be-all-end-all of vampires right here. Ha!

And then I hopped to a line for a Disney PassPort book for my cousins who go to Disney World about twice a year and then over to Adrienne Kress's line for her Timothy and the Dragon's Gate book. I know her from Absolute Write and OMG is she an awesome chick! Got another signed book called Campingly Yours about a guy growing up in sleep away camp. My main motivation for that one is because I'm writing a series about sleep away camp and I've never been so I need to do all the research I can.

Then it was more wandering and lunch time. The food court was a cluster fuck so I decided to eat a hot dog from Sabrett's outside. With a bun. Bad Donna. Thankfully my stomach didn't start to revolt until last night. Then it was 20 minutes of trying to find the hall where the YA Editor's Buzz was going to be. I'm telling you, Javits is a confusing place. They don't have traditional levels but these sort of sub levels where if you walk down this way you're on one level that's technical on the same level as another place but you can't access it without going back the way you came and going a different way to access it. I was finally getting used to it by the second half of the day.

Steph and I bailed out on that panel early (which I was torn because I wanted to stay and watch but there was getting a signed ARC of Catching Fire to be had, priorities people!) so we could get in line for the Catching Fire signing. I have to say, I totally have Steph to thank for that ticket. She was the one that was in line at 5:30 that morning to get it and when I ran into her when I first got there, she gave me her extra that she snagged just because. How freakin' cool is that! And Suzanne knows how to crank out those autographs. For how long the line was, it was probably the fastest moving one I was in all day. I also met Alea from Pop Culture Junkie in that line! She was a few people ahead of us.

And then Steph and I line-hopped (one of them literally, Amy Friedmann's line for Sea Change, we cut into that one, shhhh! don't tell!) to get more autographs from Amy Friedmann, Melissa Marr and Sarwat Chadda (ask him about Twilight). Then we wandered around and wound up back at Little, Brown so Steph could talk to one of the publicists and we grabbed more books (shock!). She had a meeting to go to so we did our final split and unfortunately I had to bail on a pretty awesome opportunity to hang out with a bunch of bloggers and authors at a book store downtown. All because of my bag. There was just no way I would have been able to cart that thing all over the city. Not a chance. But srsly, Steph is an awesome chick and I couldn't thank her enough for that extra ticket to the Catching Fire line. I hope one day she's my editor! That would rock.

I wandered around a little more but by that point it was after 4 and a lot of the exhibitors were packing up so I just decided to snag my bag and head back to the train station. Not a cab in sight but a whole shitload of livery so I sucked it up, paid the extra money and got to ride in a clean car back to Grand Central. Oh, my bag was so heavy the driver couldn't lift the thing into the trunk himself. I had to help him.

I was able to squeeze into a 5:16 back to Connecticut and some douche decided he just HAD to sit in the seat my bag was leaning up against instead of the empty one right behind it. I told him it was a 150 pound bag and he just went "yeah?" and watched as I struggled to move it (you know, instead of helping me but I guess when you fail at human you're going to lack those kinds of cordialities). And this guy wasn't young either. Middle aged prick, pretty much. A teacher or professor by the looks of the papers he was correcting. That was the only down part in my day, pretty good for being in NYC!

I was hoping to return the duffel back to my mom unscathed but in the roll back to my car and because of the lean the thing had, it wore a hole in the bottom of the bag. And I had to unpack the thing into some of the smaller bags in order to even lift it up into my car. Yeah, grabby hands much?

This is the pile--

I tallied up the retail cost of everything and it came to about $1300 and the bag itself weighed in around 150 pounds, roughly 20 pounds more than what I weigh. Hey, when they hand out galleys like fliers, who am I to say no?

I ended up tearing a muscle in my chest carrying this thing around and I don't think my muscles have ever been this sore. I mean, sore to the point where I can't stand up straight. I was on my feet for 8 hours, literally (I only sat for about an hour total between train rides), and always had some kind of weight on me. My shoulders look like I have sunburn around my bra straps. Nope. That's bruising. I'm fragile. And this was just one day. Next year I'm going for the entire weekend. I'm a glutton for punishment.

Overall, an awesome day, I met some awesome people, got some awesome books and it was an insane and unforgettable experience. Despite the immense pain, I'd do it all again in a second. All I ask is for more time. So yeah, full weekend next year! But hopefully next year I'll be signing! I can only hope.

Here are pile pictures of my books so you can see the titles I got (click to get the full size image).

Maybe you noticed some . . . doubles, and even triples, in those piles? Yeah, you guys are so going to reap the benefits of that. And considering most of these are ARCs that I can't donate or sell to a used bookstore, yeah, you guys are so going to cash in on that too. I'm going to be having contests out the nose for the next . . . while. Yay for you!


Just Your Typical Book Blog said...

Holy crap, you are a trooper! The more I read about BEA, the more I realize I must save up for next year.


Donna said...

LOL! Definitely worth the money. The woman doling out the press passes said to hold onto the book blog because that's a ticket into BEA. Little did I know when I started it!

The Story Siren said...

wow! that's awesome!! i so wish i could have went, would have been awesome to meet everyone!

zac said...

lol you scored a lot more books than me. i got there late on saturday. but what i really wanted were the Holly Black arcs, which i did score =))

Reverie said...

swoon... GREAT GREAT stash! so jealous!

prophecygirl said...

WOW! It sounds amazing!!

You have Catching Fire... must. breathe! Can't wait to hear your thoughts on that one.

Hope you enjoy Devil's Kiss too, it's a crackin' book. Now, you knew I was going to ask... what did Sarwat Chadda say about Twilight?

Donna said...

Hopefully you'll be able to come next year, Kristi!

That's awesome, Zac! I was hoping to get those too but a bunch of stuff I was doing conflicted so I had to choose, unfortunately.

Thanks, Rev!

I've been sworn to secrecy, PG! ;p

prophecygirl said...

LOL, I'll just have to imagine ;)

Rebecca Herman said...

Wow, geez! Your pile beats my pile. BEA was so much fun, but really I don't think I could have carried anymore than I did!

Shalonda said...

Ahhhh! You got Tricks! I would love to get my hands on a copy of that book! Review it soon, PLEASE!

Donna said...

You're in luck, Shalonda! That's one of my extras! Maybe that should be my first contest?

Shalonda said...

Oooh yes! First contest!

Donna said...

Actually, I'm going to make it my second. I have one ARC that I have a few copies off that pubs really soon and I want to get to that first. But Tricks will be after that!

Shalonda said...

Yay! Sounds excellent!

Miss Cindy said...

Oh, sounds so great, and those books look so awesome!! :) :)

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