Thoughts for Thursday (24) - BEA 2014 Recap

Welcome to Thoughts for Thursday! This feature is our outlet to talk with you about whatever we currently have on our minds. It might be bookish, it might not! Now for this week's thought:

BEA 2014 Recap

Last week, Ashley and I attended Book Expo America (BEA) aka reader heaven. For three days we hung out with fellow book lovers, met our favorite authors and got loads of precious books. It really doesn't get much better than that. Well, unless all my fictional book boyfriends showed up too. And loved me.

This was our second year attending BEA and knowing what to expect made all the difference. Preparation is key. We put a lot of time in before the event, reading up on what books would be there and prioritizing which ones we wanted. This way, we knew exactly how to spend our time and we didn't accidentally go after anything that didn't fully interest us, especially over something that really did. (Whereas last year, without having done much research, we tended to follow the crowd toward the "buzz" books.) This year we were also much more selective (or tried to be). As a result, I think we left with a more reasonable size haul and with books that are a better fit for us and that we are even more excited about.

Alright, so here's the breakdown by day...


  1. When the doors opened I did a quick tour of the booths to pick up the signing/drop schedules. This is when I picked up my copy of I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson and Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers (EEEP). Then I got in line for the Katherine Howe signing of Conversion. Katherine was super sweet!!
  2. After the signing I headed back toward the booth area to start scoping the line for the Ben Tripp signing of The Accidental Highwayman. Since I had time to spare, I waited for the drop of The Fire Artist by Daisey Whitney before getting in line. Ben Tripp was another extremely friendly author and I was thrilled to learn that he did all of the illustrations for The Accidental Highwayman himself!
  3. Next I hit the Harper drop of Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang, Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes and Tape by Steven Camden. Then I ran to get in line for A. S. King's signing of Glory Obrien's History of the Future where I met Lili from Lili's Reflections!
  4. I had a bit of a break before the next signing I wanted to hit so I did a bit of sleuthing and picked up Jackaby by William Ritter, Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Stitching Snow by R. C. Lewis, This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, and Zodiac by Romina Russell. Score!
  5. Sometime later I got in line for The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Conner and then jumped straight to the 2:30 signing of Get Even by Gretchen McNeil. After this I got lucky and hit the end of the lines for The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz and Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle. All 4 of these ladies were also a pleasure to meet. At some point I also ran over to Harper and picked up The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johnson and Endgame by James Frey. I swear I can't teleport, it just all worked out somehow.
  6. Then a miracle happened. So Egg & Spoon by Gregory Maguire was one of my most anticipated titles coming to BEA and I missed that it was ticketed so I didn't get one. When I found this out sometime in the morning I continued to mope all day. But I'll be damned if I wasn't going to do everything in my power to get this book (short of stealing a ticket from someone). So I got in line anyway and figured I'd wait it out and see if any books were left at the end. Well, after I let the 4th or 5th person with a ticket go ahead of me in line SOMEONE SHOWED UP WHO HAD AN EXTRA TICKET! They took pity on me, gave me their extra ticket AND NICOLE LEFT WITH A COPY OF EGG & SPOON. The end. 
  7. Also at some point Ashley picked me up The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black because she is the best. I don't really read MG but I read the synopsis and had to have this book.
  8. But this day was only about to get more epic. While Ashley and I were waiting to get into our hotel room, ALCIDE FROM TRUE BLOOD CHECKED IN. That's right ladies, for about 5 minutes I was within groping distance of a 6'5" smoking hot werewolf.


  1. Knowing how crazy the line for the Sarah J. Maas signing of Heir of Fire was going to be, Ash and I got to the conference at 7AM to line up to get in and it was already packed. Then when the doors opened everyone took off running toward the autographing area. Since I think the world revolves around me, I assumed everyone was running for the same line I was heading for, so I started running too (but still managed to grab The Walled City by Ryan Graudin and The Young World by Chris Weitz as I passed Little Brown). Turns out the masses were all running for the Rick Riordan signing. But my hustle wasn't for naught because I landed the first spot in line and within 5 minutes there were probably 20 people in line, and it continued to grow exponentially.
    Now that I was in line, I had two+ hours to wait but I got to spend it with other fans (like Jenna from Jenna Does Books) and some lovelies who stopped by the line to say Hi (Alexa from Alexa Loves Books, Jamie from The Perpetual Pageturner, Rachel from Hello Chelly, and Gaby from Ella Bee Reads). THEN SARAH J. MAAS SHOWED UP. *flails* And then she left. *weeps* And then the line started moving and I saw her again and I got Heir of Fire and the world was a magical place of hope and wonder.
  2. Then I ran straight for the Lois Lowry signing of The Giver. I didn't think I was going to make it but I was number 182 out of 250!! I wanted to meet her because this book will always hold a special place in my heart and I wanted to tell her that only she never made eye contact with me so I kept my mouth shut. It was a bummer but I still left with a beautiful copy of The Giver addressed to me, so I guess it's still a win.
  3. I ran back to the autographing area for the Anna Carey signing of Blackbird and GOT THE LAST COPY. I actually almost didn't get a copy because they ran out right before me but Anna and her publisher were the two nicest people ever and found a copy in the back for me. *Hugs*
  4. I meandered until the Harper drop of The Jewel by Amy Ewing and Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant (THIS WAS A MUST). 
  5. And then I made my way back to the autographing area to start scoping the lines for the 3PM signings because there was a plethora of them. I had two MUSTS at this time - Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios and Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein (I needed to fangirl over how much I love her books). Well the odds were in my favor because I not only made both of those signings (Elizabeth Wein gracefully accepted my fangirling) but I also caught the end of the overflow line for Holly Black's The Darkest Part of the Forest and  the end of the lines for Rachel Harris' The Fine Art of Pretending and Michelle Knudsen's Evil Librarian. Can I just take a moment to say that the ladies at Candlewick are awesome?
  6. Last but not least, I got in line for Afterworlds by Scott Westerfield. He was the coolest and I caught him taking selfies with some of his fans so I asked for a picture too. Meanwhile, Ash picked me up a copy of Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick and Zac & Mia by A. J. Betts. One of the many perks of having a co-blogger. :)
  7. We also managed to snag a copy of Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper but we won't reveal our sources. ;)
  8. To end the day Ash and I dropped off our books, stuffed our faces with Chipotle (new BEA tradition - it was my one year anniversary) and made our way to the Book Blogger Picnic. Thanks to Alexa, Katelyn, Andrea and Jen for hosting yet another awesome event. You girls rock!


  1. Oh. My. God. This day did not start out well. Since we were leaving today, we decided to drive and park in the lot across from Javits. We parked here last year and had no trouble. This year was terrible. The parking attendant showed up almost an hour late and then had everyone move their cars and then took FOREVER to get through the line of people waiting to pay. I kid you not, this whole process took AN HOUR AND A HALF. Not to mention, they charged $60 this year. Never again. Thankfully Ashley went in and held us a spot in line for the convention. Then I thought the conference opened late on Saturday and that I had time to spare to get breakfast for Ash and I. I'm a couple blocks away and it's like 8:45 and I get the text that doors open at 9AM and I still have to pee. So I sprint back, run to the restroom and make it to Ashley JUST as the doors were opening. Too close for comfort. (also TMI?)
  2. And then I find myself in the middle of 10,000 BookCon attendees from which I immediately escaped. Ashley had to brave the crowd to line up for Sinner by Maggie Stievfater so she grabbed us copies of The Doubt Factory by Paolo Bacigalupi along the way. 
  3. While I walked the completely dead side of BEA, I stopped by Sourcebooks and discovered Watched by C. J. Lyons which sounds pretty exciting and ran into Jen who gifted me with a copy of her book Threats of Sky and Sea because she is the best ever!! So excited to read this one. 
  4. Unfortunately it was then time to brave the Book Con crowd so I took a deep breath and entered the masses to meet up with Lindsey of The Kid: aBook Devotee and make my way to Corey Ann Haydu's signing of Life By Committee. 
  5. By the time that was over, Libba Bray's signing was already closed (womp, womp) so I got in line with Ashley for the Harlequin Teen Hour. I NEEDED Talon by Julie Kagawa and Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley. Ghost House by Alexandra Adornetto was a bonus. I already had a copy of Let's Get Lost but it was great to meet Adi Alsaid and bond over out mutual love over the West Coast.
  6. Next up, Ashley and I ventured back over to the calm and safety of the BEA side to wait for the drop of Vault of Dreamers by Caragh O'Brien before ending the day at Eric Smith's signing of The Geek's Guide to Dating during which he wished me good luck finding my player two. *fingers crossed* We did one more sweep of the floor and I was lucky enough to get a finished copy of The One by Kiera Cass before heading out.
  7.  After a short drive and a quick run, Ashley and I unwound with some reading & boozing, post-BEA style. :)
One of the highlights of BEA is seeing other bloggers. It was a pleasure finally meeting Brittany (The Book Addict's Guide), Lili (Lili's Reflections), Danielle (Love at First Page), Debby (Snuggly Oranges), Christina (Reader of Fictions), Jenna (Jenna Does Books), Raquel (Quelle Books/Candlewick), Octavia (Read Sleep Repeat), Nikki (There Were Books Involved), Gillian (Writer of Wrongs) and Cassie (Books with Cass)! And it was so great to see Jamie (The Perpetual Page-turner), Alexa (Alexa Loves Books), Betty (Book Rock Betty), Rachel (As Told By Rachel), Lindsey (The Kid: aBook Devotee), Katelyn (Kate's Tales of Books and Bands), Rachel (Hello Chelly), Gaby (Ella Bee Reads), Andrea (Overstuffed Bookcase), Jen (The Bevy Bibliotheque), Jen (YA Romantics) and Nicole (Paperback Princess) again! I think I got everyone? So sorry if I missed you!!

We noticed some differences between this year and last. First, there was a smaller selection of books present and almost no surprises. In other words, the only books you'd likely find at the booth were the 6 or so (per grade) that the Pub was promoting. Second, there were fewer book drops overall, most noticeably in the morning when the doors opened. And the drop schedules were less of a surprise, most being advertised in advance. Finally, I noticed that Pubs were less willing to give out books this year than last year when asked directly.

As for the autographing sessions, lots of things were scheduled at the same time, but this wasn't any different than last year. I'd say the lining up for signings was better overall, but still needed work. This year they were prepared for overflow and better organized lines using signs but they weren't ready for how early some lines would start forming. On several occasions they'd send people away saying that the line wouldn't start until ~30 minutes before and then start a line somewhere because of the number of people showing up an hour or more early wanting to start lineing up. And they were VERY against "unofficial" lines but failed to realize how serious some readers are about their favorite authors (like me when it comes to Sarah J. Maas).

And BookCon was a nightmare. On Day 1 someone told me they sold 8,000 tickets which I went ahead and shared with everyone I came in contact with. Of course, no one believed me. Hell, I didn't believe it myself (which is why I was seeking confirmation). Until Saturday came and it was complete and utter chaos. You literally could not move anywhere with the amount of people crowded into such a small area. All lines were horrendous. It was NOT fun. But Ash and I had a few books we still wanted to get and since we paid to be there, we endured it. But only for as long as we had to. We spent the rest of the time on the BEA-only side. Although we didn't spend long because it was dead. I have to admit, I am disappointed in Saturday. It wasn't a total loss (obviously), but I really hope they do things differently next year or we won't be there. (Rumors are that they will be). 

And that's it folks! Sorry for the small novel and the play by play. Virtual hugs to you if you actually read this whole thing.

Until next year! :)
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