Saturday, May 29, 2010

Post BEA . . . Post

God, I'm original, huh? So here it is. My wrap-up post.

Wednesday evening was the HarperCollins Celebration of Book Bloggers which was basically just a wine and cheese soiree. It was nice to sit down and chat with a bunch of fellow book bloggers but I think us YA folks were greatly outnumbered! I did get to re-meet Sharon (Sharon Loves Books and Cats) and actually talk and hang out. We met very briefly last year. I caught up with Lenore (Presenting Lenore), Alea (Pop Culture Junkie), Gail (for the life of me I can't remember her blog name), Angie (Angieville), Kristi (The Story Siren) and April (Good Books ad Good Wine), who is now my Sister of Swears. She is also my personal fangirl and totally awesome. I have a horrible feeling I'm forgetting people so if I didn't name you, please don't take it personally! Names just don't stick in my brain unless they're pounded in there.

Then a bunch of us when to Max Brenner's (Chocolate by the Bald Man) for dinner and what was supposed to be dessert but the portions were so huge there was no fitting anything else in the stomach. Still, it was a nice restaurant with really good food and constantly smelled of chocolate. How can you go wrong?

I didn't get to sleep until after midnight and the alarm went off at 5 am. Of course, I didn't sleep through the night and woke up right smack in the middle, mainly because I was sleeping on pygmy pillows. I swear, they were the size of small throw pillows and I had them doubled up. I was afraid if I rolled over I'd fall off and wake up. And did I mention I was in a pygmy room? Yeah. Nice centrally located and if all you're doing is sleeping there (which was me), it's not bad but, I mean, it was shockingly small. As in my bedroom at home was bigger, including the square footage of the bathroom. It was functional, basically. It was nice, not scuzzy or anything. But tiny. Really tiny.

I was at Javits by about 10 to 7 Thursday morning, had my bag checked in and was waiting for the Press Office to open up so I could check in with them and get my badge. In my wanderings I ran back into Lenore waiting in line to get into the author breakfast and we started chatting. She asked me if I was able to get a ticket for the RL Stine signing. I said no. I wasn't really stressing getting one. If I did, I did. If I didn't, I didn't. So she digs into her bag and pulls out an extra one. *squee* She said she was afraid I wouldn't be able to get one so she got me an extra. Lenore is my FUCKING HERO!!! Like, savior. Amazing. I couldn't thank her enough, nor can I ever thank her enough. RL Stine is one of my literary heroes. I've been reading his work since I was like 8 (I'm 27 now, a nice long time). And I was going to meet him! *squee*

Turn the clock ahead to the opening and I'm waiting at a side entrance to get in. Most of the people were queuing up at the main entrance. Not me! I got in the Little Line That Could off to the side, closer to the S&S booth where they were giving away Clockwork Angel. 9 o'clock hit and I hit the ground running. Literally. I ran to the S&S booth and nabbed me a ticket to snag a copy of Clockwork Angel. Did I get it?

It would appear so. Actually, it was the very first book I picked up. Now, if you read my review of City of Bones, you'll see that I actually liked the story, I just wanted to stab those Similes of Doom to death. I've heard that the writing gets better as the series goes on so I'm hoping that for this one, Clare's worked out the need to turn every single description into a simile. I have two books I need to read within the next couple of weeks for a blog tour I signed up for but once those are done, I'm going to read this. I got is expressly for the purpose of passing it on because I know you guys want to read it. So end of June-ish look for a review and a contest for my ARC.

And then after that, I was off. I kept bumping into my fellow bloggers I met the night before plus I got to meet the lovely Sarah (Sarah's Random Musings) and Steph Su (Steph Su Reads) throughout the day. Plus I got to talk to some awesome people, both attendees and authors, not to mention publicity people.

The signing area was one giant clusterfuck and I really hope they move that area back downstairs just for the space. Last year it was twice the size with room for the lines. This year the lines couldn't back out of the corrals because they'd bleed into exhibitor booths so they curled around into each other. When I was waiting in Stine's line, at one point there were 3 other lines lapping over the one I was in. It was nuts. I heard it was even worse on Wednesday and that a fight nearly broke out at the Harlequin booth because it was so disorganized. But I didn't have any of those issues on Thursday. Maybe they got their shit leveled out by then. Next year it's back to three days so maybe they thought ahead and this was an experiment that was best left to the imagination.

I line-hopped like crazy for those signings and my signing schedule actually turned out to be the exact opposite of what I thought it was going to be. I thought my morning was going to be hectic and my afternoon easy. Oh no. The morning was nice and smooth. The afternoon? Nearly every signing I went to had been changed which totally threw my scheduling for a loop. I was standing in line for Jennifer Lynn Barnes and the table and time changed WHILE WE WERE IN LINE. Even Barnes was like, WTF? and came to the line and walked down it and apologized to everyone for the mix-up even though it was not her fault in the least. Very nice.I wanted to get Simone Elkeles signature but after 15 minutes into a 30 minute signing block and not having moved in the line, I bailed but evened up getting the books. I had to get Fat Vampire by Adam Rex. Had to. And I did!

I ended up grabbing some other rather coveted books including one from the very Simone Elkeles -

I ended up grabbing four of her books which I'm excited about because I wanted to read all of them. So I'm anxious to get to get to them.

I also nabbed a highly anticipated sequel -

Of which I have two copies so be on the lookout for a contest (see? I told you guys I go to BEA with you in mind!). The publisher put this one out at like 4 on Thursday. I happened to catch it because I did one more walk through before leaving for the day. Good thing I went back in!

Plus I nabbed a couple of copies of a pseudonymously written book -

Again, another contest! And if you didn't know, Ivy Devlin = Elizabeth Scott. To which an older woman replied after finding out what kind of book it was, "Oh she's too old to be writing that kind of stuff." I kind of gave her the O_o look as she walked away. Ignorance, I tell you!

And I just have to say, because it's been bugging the hell out of me since I read it on Lenore's blog. When she did the "book blogging mortal sins" post that was collected from a bunch of different bloggers I saw this. I don't know who said it because she kept everything anonymous but someone considered it a sin to nab more than one ARC/book at a signing/giveaway. Well, just in my experience, editors are more than willing to hand over an extra copy if you're going to be promoting it on your blog.

Case in point: when I was in Erin Bow's signing line for Plain Kate, I asked, quite nicely, "Would it be okay to ask if I could have an extra copy?" The editor, who was standing right there, without hesitation, handed over an extra copy and said, "Here you go." And I was taking it I said, "I wanted to give it away on my blog." He then said, "Especially if that's what you're going to do with it, we want you to have it." So shenanigans on that one. I'd just say use your better judgment when asking for a second signed copy like that. If you're in line and there were a million people behind you, don't ask. But if you're one of the last people, don't be afraid to. Just be up front with your intentions with the extra copy. Publishers love book bloggers. They really do. They recognize our value and are more than happy to hand over an extra copy or two to help promote the book.

In that same vein, my BEA pet peeve of the year? People engaging authors in the signing line in extended conversations. It should not take me 20 minutes to go 15 feet. It really shouldn't. Small talk, a little fangirl/boying isn't a problem. Standing there chatting for 5 minutes is. Be considerate of the people behind you, especially if the line is so long it's actually looped out of the corral. We all understand you love the author and want to let them know and engage them a little bit. That's fine. But draw the line, for the sake of the rest of the people waiting.

My favorite signing of the day is split between two people: RL Stine (duh) and Tony Hawk. I had to forfeit waiting in the ridiculously long line for Laurie Halse Anderson to jump into Tony Hawk's line. Fine by me! Love you, LHA, but I've been a fan of TH for a hell of a lot longer. I initially went to Tony's line right as he started signing and, like LHA, it was absolutely ridiculously long. So I decided to come back later and I'm so glad I did. It was about 1/4 the length it originally was and I was waiting for about 5 minutes.

When I got up to him, one, he's really tall, like at least an entire foot taller than me, and two, I totally felt like a goober. I mean, it's Tony Freakin' Hawk!!! But he's so nice and just so awesome and he personalized the sampler of his book he was signing and answered my awesome 80s movie question I had for him ("Where you in Gleaming the Cube and Thrashin'?). His answer, he was just kind of skating around in Thrashin' and wasn't even appropriately named in the credits, just in case anyone wanted to know. But I felt like I was 10 just kind of looking up at him with this goofy smile on my face. OMG, I was high for like an hour after that.

And then there was RL Stine who I could rightly worship as a god if I were so inclined. He is just amazing. I was chatting with another girl in line and when I got up to him, she was going to take my picture getting the book from him. Yay! So she got in position to take it and when the flash went off, he was like, "Who's taking a picture?" in a light-hearted voice. So the girl explained that I'm a big fan and she wanted to get a picture of me getting the book. Stine's like, "No, no, no! I'll take a picture with her. Get over here!" Wheeeeeee! So I walked around the table and got a kick ass picture with RL Stine. Then I gushed that I'm a huge fan and I've been reading his books for like 20 years and he was so appreciative and thankful for my being a fan. Genuinely awesome.

Ayeeeeeeeeeeeee! Wheeeeeeeeee! And this was the picture I realized just how red my hair actually was. Holy crap! It hasn't looked that red in any mirror I've looked into. Yikes! Not that I mind but it was still a shock!

So after it all, I was in some major pain from carrying around all that book weight with me all day. It didn't help that I fell down the stairs at home on Wednesday before I left. Let's just compound the pain, shall we? I could barely move when I got home Thursday evening but it was so worth it. I'm definitely going the entire week next year. It's going to be mid-week again too but at least they're tacking back on that third day. Maybe everything won't be so cramped.

Of course, at the end of the day, we have the haul. The complete list of books I picked up is at the bottom of the post. Any doubled up books you see, expect a contest at the very least for those books, if not more. I did that for you guys!

Total number of books : 48
Total retail value: $781

And then there's the swag. I've already got this stuff partitioned out and I'll be having a swag contest within the next week or so.

The complete list -

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
The Exiled Queen: A Seven Realms Novel by Cinda Williams Chima
I'll Get There. It Better Be Worth the Trip by John Donovan
Fear: 13 Stories of Suspense and Horror by RL Stine
Of All the Stupid Things by Alexandra Diaz
Brilliant by Rachel Vail
Think of a Numb3r by John Verdon
Vampires by Konstantinos
Jane by April Lindner
Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Hero by Mike Lupica
Dangerous Neighbors by Beth Kephart
Up from the Blue by Susan Henderson
Red Moon Rising by Peter Moore
The Devil's Rooming House by M. William Phelps
Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin
Go, Mutants! by Larry Doyle
Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto by Eric Luper
Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
How Did I Get Here?: The Ascent of an Unlikely CEO by Tony Hawk (excerpt)
Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
The Zombie Combat Manual: A Guide to Fighting the Living Dead by Roger Ma
Clockwork Angel: The Infernal Devices, Book 1 by Cassandra Clare
Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles
Return to Paradise by Simone Elkeles
Plain Kate by Erin Bow
The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher
The Dead Travel Fast by Deanna Raybourn
Fat Vampire by Adam Rex
Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff
Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry
The Dragon Factory by Jonathan Maberry
Virgin Territory by James Lecesne
Manhood for Amateurs by Michael Chabon
Time Riders by Alex Scarrow
Firelight by Sophie Jordan
You by Charles Benoit (eGalley)


Morgan said...

It sounds like you had an amazing time, I'm so envious! I can't wait until Return to Paradise comes out so I hope you enjoy it and all her other amazing books! And I'm so glad you had an amazing time!

I ♥ Book Gossip said...

OMG! I love love love this post! You lucky girl I couldn't get a copy of Beautiful Darkness, Cleopatra and Clockwork Angel. But I made it up by getting some other things.

Thanks for all your help.

prophecygirl said...

Wow Donna, I am in BEA awe!

Mrs. DeRaps said...

I can't wait for your giveaways! Good job nabbing extras for your blog. Of course publishers want to give to book bloggers--Free press!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

sweet deal!! You got a ton of really good ones. I really want I'll Get There, It Better be Worth the Trip...that's cool it's coming out in a renewed version. Never read it before.

Yay for meeting R.L.Stine since you're a huge fan. I've only read a couple of his books when I was younger. Never really into the "scary" books or whatnot.

bummer I didn't meet you! I got to meet a few cool bloggers though. Maybe another time. :)


Faye said...

That is not a SIN! lol
Awe u thought of us! your awesome :D
U know what is a sin, saling ARC's! thats the only one in my book.

Alexia561 said...

Great post! I love reading about everyone's BEA experience and seeing what they were able to get! Agree with you 100% that chatting to an author when there's a huge line is a major sin! Couldn't understand why the PR people didn't step in and keep the lines moving. Already looking forward to next year! :D

BrittLit said...

Great loot and it sounds like it was so much fun! Enjoy all your sweet stuff!

Donna said...

Thanks, everyone!

You know, I don't see chatting up authors a "sin," but when you do, just be aware of the people behind you waiting their turn. How long would you wait until you started checking your watch and tapping your foot? I did keep looking at the publicist and he was definitely staring some of these people down. They're in a precarious position because they can't the fans to shut up and move on but at the same time they're on a really strict schedule and need to keep moving. A lot of thrusting a new book under the author to try and urge the conversation over was done.

It's just a matter of consideration, really. Act in the situation as you would want others to act. Chances are, you probably wouldn't want to wait forever while someone told their life story to an author in a signing line. Make a quick quip, engage in short conversation and move on. Send the author a more detailed email later or something but give everyone else in line a chance as well so they're not rushed because you took your time.

Jess (The Cozy Reader) said...

Great haul! I hope to write up my BEA post tomorrow.

Anonymous said... are the queen of BEA swag! I'm impressed.

Hope you enjoy PATIENT ZERO!

-Jonathan Maberry

Helen's Book Blog said...

What an awesome BEA post! I really got the feeling for what it was like. I am so jealous of everyone that got to go! I'll have to figure out how I can be there next year in the second to last week of school.... Hmmmmm.

DarkWyrmReads said...

Sounds like you had a great time...and I'm just a little jealous ;o)

Hopefully, I'll be able to see you there next year :o)

Steph Su said...

*gasp* Jane and Low Red Moon?! *squee* loved reading your wrap-up post, and I'm so glad we managed to run into each other too! Even though we couldn't chat long, because, obviously, there were just too many things to do!! But still, it was lovely.

Lea (YA Book Queen) said...

Thanks for writing up this post Donna! I was so curious as to what BEA was like, and reading this was almost like being there :)

Glad you got to meet some awesome authors (and Tony Hawk! How cool!)

Just Your Typical Book Blog said...

Ahhh I'm so excited to read Cassandra's new book! You got a shiz ton of stuff - enjoy!!

PS - I've been kind of MIA these days but dude, your new layout ROCKS!

Kaiden Blake said...

Glad you had a wonderful time, and congrats on being able to snag so many (what look to be) wonderful books! Happy reading. :)

ally said...

I'm glad you had such an awesome time :D! You got the two ARCs I would've gotten if I were there: Clockwork Angel *I'm a devoted Mortal Instruments fan* and Beautiful Darkness *honorary Caster Girl =)*. SO JEALOUS!!! Enjoy and I can't wait for the ARC contests!

Jessica said...

Wow looking forward to the upcoming giveaways that's for sure. Nice haul.

Sabrina (about happy books) said...

Wow, so many great books.

It's so cool that you got "Return tp Paradies" and "Clockwork Angel".

Have fun reading.

Donna said...

Thank you, thank you, everyone!

Steph, we shall meet up next year and have longer than 30 seconds to chat! LOL!

Jonathan, I'm totally looking forward to Patient Zero! I can't wait! I've always been a free stuff hoarder. It's bad. Never release me at a home show, that's for sure!

Lauren said...

Thanks for this post. It's so interesting and definitely gives me more of an idea of what it's like to actually go to BEA. It sounds like you have really good judgement about things like how long to talk to an author at a signing for, or when to ask for extra copies of a book. Oh, and RL Stine *and* Tony Hawk? Amazing!

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

Very fun to read Wrap up Post!

I left at 4 on Thursday completely exhuasted. I would have loved to get Beautiful Darkness!

I agree, the lines at the Autographing area were messed up but it was super fun to hop lines and check people out!

I wish I would have met up at the Harper Colllins thing. I had to duck out at 7;30 cuz I had tickets to Wicked!
maybe next year!

Lenore said...

I have to clarify --- you are only allowed to get ONE ticket for the ticketed authors, so the ticket I gave you to RL Stine was mine, not an extra. But it looks like it was put to GREAT use!!

What is that watch you got? WANT!!

Donna said...

OMFG, wha??? Are you serious??? OMG I love you even more!!! Steph got like 3 tickets to Suzanne Collins last year so when you pulled out your tickets, I figured it was an extra. OMG it means SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much more now! I can't believe you did that! Have I told you lately that I love you?

And I have an extra watch if you'd like me to send it on over. It's the least I could do!!! Please let me sent it to you. It's from Candlewick. Very cute. You know you want it!!!

Marie said...

Awesome stuff! I was surprised to find out that Elizabeth Scott was Ivy! And OMG you got to meet RL Stine?! That's so awesome!!!

I'm so going next year!

Debbie's World of Books said...

Sounds like you had a great time. Don't know which I'm more jealous about-the fact that you got Clockwork Angel and Beautiful Darkness or of all the bloggers you met. Happy reading.

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