Two days down, one to go!
Thanks to Sheila at Book Journey, I attended my first author breakfast this morning! She no longer needed her ticket as she was invited to the Random House breakfast. Was excited to hear this, as by the time I decided I wanted to go, the tickets were sold out. So it was a win-win as we both got to attend awesome breakfasts!
I’ve never been to a BEA breakfasts before, so had no idea what to expect. It turns out it’s set up just like a regular conference, with the speakers on a big stage in the front and giant screens on each side of the stage for easy viewing. They sat at a table and took turns speaking at the podium. I was in the back, in the theater seating. No food provided, but I couldn’t see what the people in front were eating. Despite being in the back, could see and hear fine. There were free books sitting on the seats. I got a copy of John Green’s book, which made me happy as he’s been on my Must Read list for years! 
Chris Colfer was a nice surprise, as he was witty and charming. John Green was made of awesome, just like I knew he would be! Lisa Lowry had everyone dabbing their eyes and we gave her a standing ovation. What a woman! I didn’t wait to hear the last speaker, who I believe was an illustrator. That’s the first time I’ve ever left a talk early, but I wanted to get in line for a signing. Was glad that I attended, and had a great time!
Today wasn’t as jam-packed as my schedule yesterday, but was still busy.
As I was standing in line for Becca Fitzpatrick’s book, two young men went down the line passing out bookmarks. Shirtless young men. With black wings. Would have been sexy if they weren’t twelve…..okay, they weren’t really twelve, but looked much too young to be running around without their shirts on. I must be getting old….*sigh* Was so distracted by the shirtless wonders that I didn’t even notice that the book Becca signed for me was hush, hush, not Finale. What!?! I guess she ran out of the new book. Bummer.
Rushed over to the autographing chutes to get in line for Jon Scalzi. Was surprised that the line wasn’t very long as c’mon, it’s Jon Scalzi! Turns out I was just early as it grew to a very respectable length, so glad I got there when I did. There were several lines right next to each other, so it looked like a big tangle. People kept cutting through to get from one line to the other, so lost track of how many times I was bumped and stepped on. And seriously BEA, you need to ban rolling suitcases on the floor! Why have a suitcase corral if you’re going to let people take them on the floor?
Missed the Middle Grade Editors Buzz Panel, so that means I didn’t attend a single Editors Buzz this time around. Bummed, as I love those panels. Wish they wouldn’t schedule them at the same time as so many great signings! I love hearing all the buzz about the books, and it creates so much excitement! Oh well.
Actually had time for lunch today! Went out the doors in front, and there was a hot dog cart right there. Several people waiting, so I walked to the right and found several more food carts. Had a real NYC hot dog for only $2, compared to the $4-5 they wanted inside. Took it back inside, found an empty bench, and relaxed for a bit. Nice change of pace from yesterday when I didn’t have time to so much as sit, much less eat.
Bopped around the floor from booth signings to the chutes to galley giveaways. Didn’t make it to the Harlequin signing in time as they had already cut off the line. Before it even started! Kudos for keeping a tight rein on the signings this year Harlequin! Even got a complimentary ARC as a consolation prize, so that was nice.
Could not figure out the lines this year. Was shocked when I got to Holly Black’s signing and there was no one there. Hello? It’s Holly Black! What’s wrong with people? Happy for me as I got a book, but sad for her as she deserves a huge audience! Then I’d go to another signing for an unknown author that I thought would be empty, only to find a huge crowd. Very puzzling.
Weirdest signing was for Cursed at the Spencer Hill Press booth. They handed out numbered tickets, which was fine as most publishers do that. What was weird was that you could leave without losing your place in line. I was about 20-25 people back, but number 117. The line not only didn’t move after it started, but we actually went backwards as some of the people with the early tickets came back. I left to pick up a few other galleys and went to a signing. Came back, and the people in front of me were in the same spot! I have no problem with having a ticket that ensures you get a copy, but if you leave the line, you should rejoin at the end! I gave up on the autograph and asked if I could just have a book. Still want to read the book, but don’t think I want to go through that again!
Funniest moment was when I tried to get a piece of cake from one of the booths. Lots of food on the floor today for some reason, but I wasn’t complaining! Got in line behind a woman only to have a publicist tell us where the line actually was. Okay. Got in what she said was the right line and wound up with 3 autographed books! Oops! We only wanted a slice of cake! We sort of looked at each other, not sure what to say, so politely took the books as we didn’t know what else to do. And the cake wasn’t even all that good. *sniff*
Towards the end of the day, bars started popping up all over the floor. Saw wine, beer, and what I think was champagne. Don’t remember this happening yesterday, but that might have been because I left earlier. Had a small glass of wine (as in 3 small swallows….the girl pouring was stingy!), which was a nice way to end my second day.
Today seemed busier than yesterday, although I was pleased that I didn’t witness any pushing or shoving. I had two people get in line ahead of me because of the line breaks, but they went to the back of the line without any fuss when their mistake was pointed out (line breaks are where the aisles have to be kept clear, so the line is actually broken up into parts).
Looking forward to tomorrow! Should be fun, especially as my bud from Bo’s Book Nook will be going with me! I’ve been raving about BEA to her for the past couple of years, so very excited she finally has a chance to experience it for herself! Woo hoo!
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