Tag: BEA

Guest Post: BEA Day 2

Posted May 13, 2016 by Whitley B in Features | 0 Comments

BEA Day 2, same mistake all over again!  “Oh, I got so many books yesterday, that’s just fewer books to carry today, right?”  Um, HAH!   No, I came back with, if anything, more books than the first day.  (And I am by no means complaining about that, I’m just wondering why my brain can’t handle reality.)

The morning was spent in carefully planned out signing lines.  We had it down to an art; show up early for this line so you can be first and then have time to slide over to this other line which starts at the same time… It was a good system.  Everyone was chill and I got to meet up with some great people while waiting in line, we chatted and chattered and had a grand old time.  

And then…the mob happened.  One publisher decided they were going to drop tickets for all their afternoon signings all at once, then they were wholly unprepared for the mass of people who showed up an hour early to wait on them.  They just absolutely refused to “let” us line up, and when we all stood in a row anyway, they told us we weren’t “the official line.” “Okay,” we thought.  “That’s fine.  We’ll be the unofficial line until they officialize us.”  Unbeknownst to us, another unofficial line thought the same thing, and as the drop time neared both lines became aware of each other and…well, it got pretty tense there.  We lost all semblance of a line and formed a mob instead, each group trying to edge out the other.  Then the publisher decided to move the mob to the other side of the booth and officialize us over there.  It was an absolute rush with everyone trying to make it to the proper place first – they kept telling us not to run, but if you slowed down you would’ve been run over! – and I am still not entirely sure what happened or how that weird final product came about.  All I know is I showed up an hour early and yet ended up in the last 10% of the line.  So I gave up and went to my room to take a nap.  Seemed like the mature response.  The author I wanted will be back tomorrow, anyway.

Long story short, officialize your lines!  It makes everyone happier.

I will say this, even though that mob was the most intense moment of they day, book people are hella polite because I didn’t see anyone get nasty.  There was jostling and rushing and lots of complaining, but no outright arguments that I saw.  Book people are the best. 😉

After going to dinner with the absolutely lovely Bekka and Angie, they went off to the Fierce Reads party (I will be invited next year; third time’s a charm!) and I went to stroll down Michigan Avenue.  Because, really, a trip to Chicago just isn’t complete for me unless I get to hit up the American Girl store and soak in a bit of my childhood.

Most of what I loved today was getting to meet other bloggers in line, including but not limited to: Mishma, Vee, Octavia and Shelley, Ashley, Angie, Bekka, Kristen, Raychelle (my secret sister!!), Dani (my other secret sister!), Jessie, Wendy, Sabrina, and Nikki.

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Guest Post: BEA Day 1

Posted May 12, 2016 by Whitley B in Features | 2 Comments

It’s that time again!  BEA is upon us!


I thought today would be an easy day.  There wasn’t much announced, so we thought there wouldn’t be anything to rush and hurry over.  I figured I would spend most of my time at the blogger’s conference, maybe casually stroll through the show floor and get the lay of the land, then go back to my room early.  “Oh, I can wear heels,” I said to myself. “I’ll spend most of the day sitting in panels, if ever there was a day to wear heels it’s today.”





I was wholly unprepared for the reality of the day.  Had none of my lists, no tote bag to carry things in, and of course, those shoes.  (They were adorable, though, I have no regrets.)  Within five minutes of being on the floor, I somehow had five books that had attached themselves to me.  That’s the only explanation, I certainly didn’t pick them up. >.>  All in all, even though it was a bit surprising and overwhelming, it wasn’t too stressful.  A good day.


Morning blogger con panels had some good topics and advice, including how to make publishing contacts (don’t be afraid to give them your cards, follow up afterwards because they’ll forget, keep ARC request emails short, well-formatted, and informative) and how to deal with blogger burnout (walk away when you have to, don’t do things because you think they’re “required.”)  I will admit, the ‘creative ideas’ panel mostly focused on what the bloggers on the panel did personally over advice, but it was still an interesting conversation.

Some of the books I received that I’m most excited about:


  • The Thousandth Floor by Katherine McGee – Set 100 years in the future and in a building that’s a thousand stories tall, the summary for this book doesn’t give a lot of info about the plot.  But someone gets pushed off the roof on the first page, so can’t really go wrong with that!
  • The Graces by Laure Eve – Three individuals with magical powers, and one girl who would do anything to become one of them.
  • The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis – The first sentence is “This is how I kill someone.”  Yeah, I’m in.
  • A Deadly Affection by Cuyler Overholt – A female psychiatrist in turn-of-the-century New York seeks to clear her client’s name of murder, it’s the first in a mystery series.

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Guest Post – #BEA15 Day Three

Posted June 1, 2015 by Whitley B in Promotions | 3 Comments

Ah, the last day of BEA! And I guess that can be interpreted as both ‘ah’ relief and ‘AH!’ panic, because, well, it’s the last day of BEA! Lots of people had multiple, huge must-have books come out today, so there was a madhouse rush in the morning. On the other hand, after three days, even I was starting to get tired!

Before we had a sanctioned line, we were just “the unofficial Scott Westerfeld mob.”

We started off mobbing up early at the entrance, you know, as one does. About half the crowd was planning to race for Margret Stohl’s Black Widow, and the other half were going for Leagh Bardugo’s Six of Crows, plus there were several drops going on first thing in the morning. There were groups of people making assault game plans. “You take this route, grab that, I’ll go this, you get in that line, she’ll do this, and then we’ll all switch!” Honestly, it was kind of impressive how coordinated people got. And yet, although I’ve heard a few stories of line drama, on the whole people were pretty polite. They would hold your spot in line if you had to go to the bathroom, or even hold your spot if you had to “go to the bathroom” (i.e., hit up another line/drop). We were an excited mob, but a fairly cordial one at the same time.

I enjoyed a leisurely morning jog over to Penguin’s booth to grab Soundless, and then headed over to the autograph lines to line up for Scott Westerfeld. While he didn’t have the same utterly frikkin massive line that Bardugo had, we amassed a crowd about an hour before the signing started. I, frankly, only wanted to be first in line so I could immediately switch to the Katherine Applegate line, since she was signing half an hour later. The absolute highlight of my day was when she recognized me, squealed, and hugged me. (We’ve met a few times, but that was years ago.)

Erin Bow! She was an absolute sweetie!

My whole day today was lines. I wanted things signed, so I couldn’t wander as much as I have on previous days. I did try for a few book drops, but since I wanted my signed, must-have books more, I was only able to get one. (One booth gave me candy instead of the book I missed, so still a win?) But today was oddly on point for meeting strangers. I wound up sitting next to the absolute friendliest people on earth everywhere I went. I also saw Dawn Metcalf (author of The Twixt series) in all the same signing lines as me, and it was neat to see her being just as much of a fangirl as the rest of us. She even gave me a fistbump in honor of our similar tastes.

Alas, then I had to leave early and write this wrap-up post while sitting in the airport, waiting for my flight home. Next year’s BEA is in Chicago, which I absolutely cannot wait for! After all, I live (very near) there, so I’ll have all the advantages. 😀

As the first in line, I was the official keeper of the sign.
Dawn Metcalf being a line-standing fangirl.
Of course I gave Katerine Applegate my tiara SHE IS MY QUEEN
Scott Westerfeld!
Met Christina (@Reader_Fictions) while standing in adjacent lines, then we had to run off in opposite directions. 🙁
The Chinese area was so peaceful and beautiful.
Day Three book haul! Small but concentrated with delight!

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Guest Post – #BEA15 Day Two

Posted May 29, 2015 by Whitley B in Promotions | 1 Comment

Today started out better than yesterday.  I mean, I was actually on time!

Honestly, it’s more of a circle than a line.

The entrance hall was even more of a madhouse than Day One, with less of a line and more of a mob.  Granted, yesterday wasn’t single-file orderly, but but at least people pretended like we were trying to go in that vague direction.  Ah, c’est la vie.  The people I was with were eager to line for Passenger by Alexandra Bracken.  Since that one is not on my “must have it ASAP” list, I was happy to let them rush past me as soon as the door opened.  Instead I moseyed around and picked up some of the things I’d missed yesterday, like Inherit the Stars by Tessa Elwood.

Instead I wandered around the children’s section for a while, despite not knowing anything about children’s books.  But, hey, I can’t ignore that huge section of the library I work for, now can I?  Had to get them some bookish scoop as well.  Got in line for Sandra Boynton and, since I know nothing about children’s books, didn’t realize how jam packed that line would be.  I was there half an hour early and there was already a mob!

The HarlequinTEEN line, after they got us organized.

From there I checked out the various international booths, the non-fiction aisles, and got seriously sidetracked in a row of cookbooks.  They had free samples out, can you blame me?  By the time I went back to “my” corner of the event floor (where most of the big YA publishers sat), the Alexandra Bracken line was still going strong.  It was honestly kind of awe inspiring.  Once that wrapped up and I was able to snag of copy of Hunter by Mercedes Lackey, however, my morning was pretty much sewn up.  I pittered and pattered around, wondering what to do, and kind of accidentally wound up first in line for the HarlequinTEEN book signing, two hours before they were due to start!  Honestly, still kind of confused on how that happened, I was just hanging out on my phone and suddenly I’d started a line.  But I was surrounded by some very chill ladies (Octavia, Katie, Erin, Christina, and Tawney are the only ones who’s info I got, darnit!) and they made the wait go by fast.

After picking up those books, however, I was loaded down and not too eager to try for anything else.  And it was barely after lunch at that point.  I finally remembered that there are panels at BEA, since they’re all downstairs and easy to forget about it.  So I headed there next.  After accidentally crashing a Chinese language panel, I found the right section, only to quickly realize the panels were 1) thinly veiled sales pitches 2) be pitched at actual publishing houses, not really individuals.  Ah well, at least they had free water bottles, which were a lifesaver to me by that point!

So I called it a day and did some NYC sightseeing instead.  I must be lucky, because so far my BEA experience has been pretty easy.  All around me, people complain of stress and fatigue, whereas I’m like “dude, the Intrepid is only a few blocks from here, I wanna climb on it.”  (Note: you’re not allowed to climb on the giant aircraft carrier.)  Whatever the reason for my relative ease and energy, I am incredibly grateful for it.  Here’s hoping it carries through tomorrow!

The country-specific booths all had gorgeous designs.
They’re coming out with a Punky Brewster comic book and it looks ADORABLE.
The Sandra Boynton fanclub.
Alexandra Bracken signed for almost two hours!
James Dashner
Not really sure who he is, but he sounded really good.
Eleanor Herman promoting Legacy of Kings, and looking fabulous doing it.
All my books from day two!

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Guest Post – #BEA15 – Day One

Posted May 28, 2015 by Whitley B in Promotions | 6 Comments

My first BEA adventure technically started yesterday, when I left the house.  No, this isn’t a story about how long and arduous my travels were (though they were).  It’s an excuse to show you my dog.  This sweet little thing came to see me off at the train station.  It was almost enough to make me try and fit her in the suitcase.

How could I not share that precious face?

Alright, on to more relevant matters.

The tiara has a story behind it. Two stories, actually.


Behold the entrance hall, in all it’s glory.

Once I finally got to BEA, only a few hours late, I headed off to the Book Blogger’s Conference.  It was not as populated as I had expected, and I later found out that was because a vast number of bloggers were elsewhere, waiting in line for the exhibit hall.  Apparently it’s not normal to have the Blogger Con and the opening day of BEA going on at the same time, and I can see why.  Some of the especially hot books of the day are given away right at the start, and they go fast!  Tickets for the Truthwitch signing were gone in about two minutes.  I wasn’t particularly hot and bothered for any of the books that were up for grabs right out the gate, but if I had, I probably would have camped out at the front of the line as well.

It’s really a shame, because the Blogger’s Con was pretty interesting.

The panel for “Tactics to Create Killer Content Fast”

There were two main ‘tracks’ – “Blogging At the Next Level” and “Building A Better Blog,” each with four panel sessions.  Basically intermediate and beginner blogging, respectively.   The panelists all had some impressive (almost intimidating) credentials, and they had lots of good tips to share.  I wish they had gone into some of the more technical aspects — a lot of things discussed were very general and easy to find by googling the class titles — but still.  A good overview, and there were plenty of people asking followup questions at the end, which satisfied my need for details a little.

After the last panel I wanted, it was off to the event hall to valiantly try and track down people I knew from Twitter and attempt to figure out how this whole ‘get books’ thing works.  At first I just wandered around, keeping any eye out for giant piles, which I quickly realized meant anyone could just take one.  Then I started stalking displays, waiting for someone else to take books off it and clue me into whether or not I’d be stealing if I did the same.  Finally I got up the courage to just outright talk to the people working the booths, and they were (usually) happy to hand over books, take my info to contact me later, or let me know when the next ‘big pile ‘o books you can take’ drop would happen.

These are, thankfully, separate lines and not all for the same author.

The signing tables took me a while to find, and that was a trip.  Half of them were so full they were turning people away, and the other half had staff members standing at the ends, hawking their authors, asking “don’t you want a copy of this book?  You do, I know you do.  Look how shiny it is!”

Overall, it was a pretty chill day for me.  (Not so for pretty much everyone I met, though; they were frazzled right from the start!)  I got to ease my way into things, look around, get the lay of the land.  It helps that I wasn’t super attached to anything going on today and today only.  No, that pleasure is reserved for Friday.  Sigh.

Alas, I do need to work on my envy.  All these years and I envied people going to BEA, and now I’m here and envying people who get invited to the cool parties or publisher events.  It’s a never-ending cycle of “damn, I want that.”

And now for some random pictures.

Sitting in line for Tonight The Streets Are Ours
The absolute prettiest book I picked up today.
I don’t know who he is but check out that coat.
I don’t know who he is but check out THAT coat.
Jennifer Donnelly signing copies of These Shallow Graves
Book haul for day one!

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