BEA 2015 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 2015 Recap

SO a couple of weeks ago you might have noticed us overwhelming you with bookish awesomeness on Twitter and Instagram right along with many others. That’s right, we also attended the epic conglomerate of bookish people known as Book Expo America (BEA). This was our THIRD year in attendance and we’d like to think that makes us veterans so we can feel all distinguished about ourselves. ;) Anywho, we both agree that this was by far the best year yet. Not because of the books – although there were some pretty awesome books – but because of the people. Having been blogging for 2.5 years now, we’ve gotten to know many of you pretty well and likewise you’ve gotten to know us. Being surrounded by FRIENDS and books for 4 days was nothing short of perfect!


So it was just me (Nicole) on Wednesday. Ashley and I hadn’t planned to go up until Thursday but then TRUTHWITCH happened. With all of the buzz surrounding this book I just HAD to get my hands on a copy and I pretty much went to extreme measures to do just that. You see, I couldn’t take another day off work BUT I do get to work remotely on Wednesdays so I decided to work from Javitz. I took a train into NYC, with my laptop, and worked while waiting in line to enter the exhibit hall. There are actual pictures of me doing this and it is a little embarrassing. Try not to judge me too harshly. That's when I teamed up with Lili, Dana, Bekka, Ashleigh and Montana who were just as passionate about getting Truthwitch as I was (and had already started the line as of 8am).  These girls became our crew for the conference and it wouldn't have been the same without them so lots of hugs to them! When the floor finally opened we *did not run* to the Macmillan booth to secure our golden ticket (what up #1 and #2!). After accomplishing that, I pretty much had no plan for the rest of the afternoon but fortunately Lili was much more prepared then I was because there were a lot of books dropping that I didn't even realize I wanted (like These Shallow Graves). We made our schedule for the rest of the afternoon and proceeded to jump from line to line. It felt like there were less people on Wednesday which made it possible to get all of the books that we did. Little Brown changed things up and only let you pick ONE of the three books that they were dropping - how is one supposed to choose between The Witch Hunter, Court of Fives and After the Red Rain? Well, fortunately we didn't have to - we just got in line 3 times! The rest of the afternoon went pretty smoothly. Susan Dennard was an absolute sweetheart when I actually got to meet her. And although I had to stand during the entire train ride home and then haul my suitcase through the rain to my car - I'd say it was a success of a day! For all of those wondering - I did not get fired from my job ;)


My friend Katie and I (Ashley) drove up to Nicole's late Wednesday night. Then, Thursday morning at the crack of dawn all three of us got ready to go and headed up to New York City.  We were all in line before 7am and weren't even the first to arrive! Lines were definitely starting earlier than they had in previous years but the fact that Alexandra Bracken was signing Passenger at 9:30am might have had something to do with it. That was our first order of business Thursday morning and after securing those coveted ARCs we then went on our (mostly) separate ways.  Nicole and I tend to divide and conquer the expo floor - there are actually very few times when we are in line together, though we are always in constant communication!  It happens to be that Nicole and I have complimentary tastes so we have a tendency to go for different books.  While Nicole was grabbing a copy of Armada by Ernest Cline, I was picking up a copy of A Curious Take of the In Between by Lauren DeStafano. But we met back up again after that for pretty finished copies of Illusive by Emily Lloyd Jones. I stopped at a Little Brown drop before making my way to the signing for  After Alice by Gregory Maguire - to which I owe my spot to Christina @ Christina Reads YA since she gave it up to head to another signing (thanks girl!)Meanwhile, Nicole was standing in line for Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa and Blood Passage by Heather Demetrios.  After Gregory Maguire, I headed for the lengthy lengthy Harlequin line where I got to see JLA, Adi Alsaid, Eleanor Herman, and Katie McGarry, whom are all fabulous authors. And Nicole was meeting one of her favorites - Libba Bray! Nicole and I then picked up a copy of The Marvels, which while super pretty and full of amazing illustrations, happens weighs a ton (think small brick). As the day wound down, we hit up a few more signings including The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie, and Fairest by Marissa Meyer. By that point we were pretty much beat. But before bed, we made sure to have our annual Chipotle dinner (I introduced Nicole to Chipotle at our very first BEA). 


Friday morning 5:45am greeted us with arms wide open.  We grabbed some breakfast and headed to Javits to get in line where we were able to have some awesome blogger time with our line buddies (all of the line drama bonded us together).  We had a little snafu - Nicole's schedule went missing - but it did not keep us from starting our day with Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl. We are so excited for this book and loved that Margaret Stohl wrote "Girls are heroes, not side-kicks!" in each one! After that. Nicole and I split up again for a while. I was able to meet I.W. Gregorio when she signed None of the Above (which was AWESOME), while Nicole went for The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong.  Then Nicole and I met back up and grabbed a signed copy of Never Never by Brianna Shrum and I cannot wait to start this Peter Pan retelling!  Nicole was then on her way to meet Sandy Hall and pick up Signs Point to Yes, while I grabbed a copy of Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate.  The rest of the afternoon was pretty low key for me. I was able to get a copy of Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures and say hello to the awesome Maggie Stiefvater & Jackson Pierce.  Then went to snap a picture of Mindy Kaling while she was signing a small sample of Why Not Me.  Nicole on the other hand went to battle the long line for Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo and then pick of The Pirate Code by Heidi Schulz. We both finished off the day meeting the lovely Jennifer Niven as she was signing All the Bright Places. After dropping our books off at the hotel, we headed to Bryant Park to meet our awesome blogger friends for a casual hang out.  Thanks to the girls who set this one up! A group of us were super hungry so after hanging out for a while we headed to an array of restaurants before finding one that could handle our group.  We ended up at Chevy's in Times Square and had a great time :)


Nicole and I decided to try BookCon and see if it got any better after the madness of last year. Our friend who came with us woke up super early to get in the MASSIVE line to see Mindy Kaling, while Nicole and I slept in and took our time getting a nice breakfast.  We decided that we did not want to battle the lines so we just waited until the floors opened and meandered into the expo floor.  Don't get me wrong, BookCon was still crazy, but I think the relaxed approach Nicole and I took made it more enjoyable.  We did a lap to see what was happening before getting in line for Patrick Ness's signing, where we both picked up A Monster Calls!  After that we grabbed Finding Audrey from Penguin Random House during their ARC drop, which was a huge cluster of slow moving lines. Nicole then headed to the Faraway Lands Panel with Renee Adieh, Marie Lu, Aisha Saeed, and Sabaa Tahir while I wandered the expo floor for a bit and waited for Carrie Ryan to sign Daughter of Deep Silence. With that last book in hand, we walked back to our car, grabbed some lunch with Lili and headed back home! 

In Summary

Each year it seems as if the Publishers are slightly more prepared to handle the masses but most still underestimate the amount of attention their authors/books might get and how passionate readers might be for certain books. Line drama was perhaps worst this year than ever before - both to get into the exhibit hall and to line up for in-booth signings. (The autographing area seemed to be handling things fairly well this year in comparison). There were still a few bad eggs around too who will snap at you over the littlest thing. But things went pretty smoothly otherwise. We always plan for the worst case scenario so usually end up with more time and more books than we originally prioritize but we still did a pretty good job keeping it to a reasonable number (just don't ask us what 'reasonable' is to us ;)) And again, we met so many wonderful bloggers. We didn't dare attempt to name everyone but  we loved hanging out with you! Truly, no other event compares!

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