My 2014 BEA Experience: The Books!

I decided to recap the books first because honestly? It was the easiest. How am I going to recap a week’s worth of absolute fun and book-nerdy goodness and memories with my friiiiiends?? It’s so haaaard. So let’s talk the book first, shall we? And then later this week I will share my adventures with you!!!

If you want to watch:

If you don’t want to watch, I’ve taken pictures and listed them!

I brought home 25 books with me — 6 or 7 of them were from the actual expo part. The rest were books I was fortunate to receive at other events.

If you remember my Top Ten 10 Books I Hope To Receive From BEA list from last week, you’ll know I had ONE BOOK that I only really cared about! AND I GOT IT.  I was so, so happy because I got to meet her and get it signed!! It obviously is the book I started as soon as I got home from BEA!

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I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson (Goodreads)

Other Books From The Expo Floor

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Jessica Darling’s It List 2 by Megan McCafferty: JESSICA DARLING PREQUEL #2. Also, this signing line included Megan McCafferty serenading me with Barry Manilow for Anna (who was super sad to not be at BEA). I expected a HI ANNA kind of video but NOPE Megan is AWESOME. (Goodreads)

Belzhar by  Meg Wolitzer: This is a retelling of The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. That book was one of my favorites in high school and college so I’m really interested in this one! (Goodreads)

Conversion by Katherine Howe: I read Katherine’s first adult novel and enjoyed it and this one sounds GREAT. This is a modern day story that seems to parallel the afflictions that were going on in Salem with all the accusations of witchcraft. I AM SO INTRIGUED! (Goodreads)

Rooms by Lauren Oliver: Very excited for Lauren Oliver’s first published adult novel. GHOSTS! (Goodreads)

Lucky Harbors bind-up by Jill Shalvis: This one is a bind up of 3 of the Lucky Harbor novels. I’ve read the first one (Simply Irresistible) and knew I planned on reading all of them so I grabbed this! If you aren’t familiar, it’s an adult contemporary romance! Love the setting! (Goodreads)

Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth: This is an adult novel that Hannah was talking about wanting to pick up so I quick searched it on Goodreads and then decided I MUST HAVE IT. It’s a retelling of Rapunzel! (Goodreads)

Books From Other Various Events

IMG_3996Thank you Simon & Schuster for this goodie bag + for lunch!

Sublime by Christina Lauren: I don’t read much paranormal YA but from the presentation this sounded interesting! (Goodreads)

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld: This one sounds awesome. It’s two novels in one — it’s about a girl who is WRITING a novel and then every other chapter IS the novel she is writing all woven together! (Goodreads)

Compulsion by Martina Boone: ANCIENT SPIRITS! OLD SOUTHERN PLANTATION SETTINGS! MAGIC! (Goodreads)

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick: I’ve never read her books before but this one sounds SO thrilling. A girl is backbacking in the Tetons and gets lost because of a blizzard and takes shelter in a cabin with two men who seem fine until they hold her hostage. (Goodreads)

Poison Princess by Kresley Cole: They were promoting the new one in this series but I really appreciated that they gave us the first novel in the bag because now I can start this series! I always feel bad getting books in a series I never read. This sounded really interesting — apocalypse, tarot cards, prophecy and such! (Goodreads)

IMG_3995Thank you Little Brown for these books & the wonderful brunch!

Wildlife by Fiona Wood: AUSSIE YA!! I’ve heard excellent things about this one from Aussie bloggers! Semester in the wilderness! Sounds so good. (Goodreads)

The Walled City by Ryan Graudin: I’m intrigued by this one!! A walled labyrinth of a city run by corrupt baddies and teens who want to escape! (Goodreads)

Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle: This sounds so FUN! A girl becomes the new lead in the adaptation of a best-selling YA novel and her life totally changes — and her onscreen love triangle just may start to play out in real life. (Goodreads)

Glory O’Briens History of The Future by A.S. King: THIS SOUNDS AMAZING and I love A.S. King! She writes beautiful literary novels. This one is about a girl who is suddenly able to see the infinite futures and pasts — like her ancient ancestors and her future ancestors thousands of years away. She sees a future that is absolutely AWFUL and tries to write down what she sees in hopes that it will help the generations to come! (Goodreads//Amazon)

Salt & Storm by Kendal Kulper: Historical fiction + magic! I AM SO EXCITED because it sounds excellent and the LB staff was REALLY head-over-heels with this one! (Goodreads//Amazon)

IMG_3997Thank you to Bloomsbury & Macmillan for these books & inviting me to your wonderful events!

Not In The Script by Amy Finnegan: Another Hollywood-esque one I picked up! The MC of a reality show has had a horrible time with on screen relationships and has sworn them off…until she meets her new co-star! (Goodreads//Amazon)

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall: THIS SOUNDS SO CUTE. A love story told from the people around the two who ALL want them to get together. (Goodreads//Amazon)

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas: !!! I just read Throne of Glass over Memorial Day and I was so excited to get this so I could binge read Crown of Midnight & Heir of Fire this summer! (Goodreads//Amazon)

IMG_3994*Thank you to Liza and everyone else who made the YA Party happen + put together the goodie bag

The Strange & Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton: I’ve never heard of this one but the cover was beautiful and somebody said I would probably like it! (Goodreads)

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord: I LOVED THIS BOOK. So happy it was in my bag! (Goodreads)

Dare You To by Katie McGarry: I liked Pushing The Limits (didn’t love) but I’m interested to see how this one is for me! (Goodreads)

Virgin by Radhika Sanghani: This one is set in college and looks like it’s going to be funny. It’s about a girl who is still a virgin at 21 and desperately wants to lose her virginity! (Goodreads)

The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen: This sounds fascinating — the MC can travel to her past lives but someone is trying to stop her! (Goodreads)

There were other books included in goodie bags (from Harlequin & Harper & YA Party) but I already some of those or wasn’t interested so I gave them away to others and unfortunately didn’t keep track of those to share with you all!

I was really happy with the books I picked up and the authors I met! I got all the books on my MUST HAVE list except 3 so I think that was pretty successful! I also was happy to find out about a few new ones I never had heard of but am really excited about!

Let me know what you think I should start after I finish I’ll Give You The Sun! What are you most looking forward to? What have you read?

It’s That Time…

About a month until BEA (the Book Expo of America aka HEAVEN ON EARTH for those of you who aren’t familiar). The autographing schedules are going up. Everyone is flailing about meeting each other. Those who aren’t going are stabbing their computer screen (or are laughing at the rest of us..who knows?). And some of you are sitting there going OMG THIS IS SO OVERWHELMING. HOW? WHAT? AM I GOING TO SURVIVE MY SURVIVE MY FIRST TIME??

You got this! And I’m here to help! Basically, if you have a BEA question please ask in the comments (or email me) and I will answer to the best of my abilities with my experience going into year 4 here! I didn’t want to do a series of tips posts because there are a lot of them out there but I just want to open myself up to any and all questions BEA related. Hit me with them…I’ll be honest! And I’m sure other veterans will jump in too! I already asked on social media and got some great questions so you might want to stalk that all here! Seriously, you can give me a huge laundry list of questions and I really don’t mind asking them so we can have a convo about it and maybe it will help others who are reading the comments?

 

So, yes, I will be attending again this year for the 4th time (CRAZY!) and I’m so excited. Please let me know if you are going in the comments because I would LOVE to meet you!! Last year I put together a crazy post about the Many Faces of Jamie so you can recognize me. Seriously…I put pictures like this of me on the internet.

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I look like that still but I will probably be wearing my hair naturally curly this time around because in the past year I’ve gotten lazier. Easy hair is easy. Also, it helps me not to have to wake up so early especially at BEA because a night of cocktails + 5:30am alarm clock = ZOMBIE FACE JAMIE.

So if you see this head of hair coming at you…say hi! (If it’s before the doors actually open at BEA..approach slowly. I may be in a trance like state that looks like I’m awake but I’m not).

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If you have no idea what I’m talking about, bloggers, here is the info for BEA. It’s a good time. SEE:

 

You get to nerd out with fellow bookworms and friends! And meet authors! And get books!

BEA-bloggersmeeting RL StineYEAH THAT IS FREAKING RL STINE. Only at BEA, friends, only at BEA can you meet your childhood IDOL. (Okay, that probably isn’t true but I’m just trying to persuade you into coming. Also, I hear Judy Blume is coming this year sooooo year 2 of Kid Jamie being veryy happy??)

If you are NOT a blogger, you are in luck! There is a book con day on Saturday, May 31st, that is open to all readers — not just industry professionals. SO if you are in the NYC area and are interested, check this out!

If you are interested in my write-up from last year to see what the experience was like, check here!

If you are a blogger and are so, so overwhelmed by the autographing listJenna made a REALLY awesome spreadsheet for all the YA authors that could be helpful!

Want a list of tips to start with? These ladies have compiled some BEA tips posts!

 

SO:

#1: If you are going to BEA, please leave a comment so I can know you will be there/so we can make sure we meet up or say hi or whatever! I might even hug you..don’t be scared!
#2: If you are veteran, leave the tip that you wish you would have heard before going to BEA! And just for funsies, you should tell me a fave BEA moment because I like getting even more excited about BEA!
#3: If you are a first timer (or anyone really) and have questions…ask away! Seriously, anything. A billion questions. Don’t feel bad. I’m asking for it.

 

In Which I Tell You About My Bookish Weekend At ALA

For those of you who follow me on Twitter or Instagram you may know that this past weekend I went to ALA Midwinter (American Library Association) because it was in my city. I figured I would share a little bit about my experience and let you know what books I brought home with me. There are some really excellent sounding upcoming releases! So let’s do this..

 

“But you aren’t a librarian…how did you attend?”

You would be correct. I am not a librarian (god, I would love to be) but ALA does allow other people (such as bloggers) to attend. I am so, so thankful to be allowed to go as a guest to this convention and get a taste of another facet of the wonderful book world.

“What did you do?”

Well, after an awesome cappuccino and chocolate croissant I moseyed on over to the convention center. Gotta start your day off right.

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On the floor there were booths for different publishers, bookish things and a lot of library resources and technology. It was like the mecca for all things book nerdy. My 2 days involved:

1. Walking around to the various booths (totally sensory overload at first), talking to the various publishing representatives, learning what titles they were really pushing and figuring out which ARCs  I wanted to take home with me. I knew of MOST of the titles just because I always creep the catalogs but there was some terrific hand selling going on because some of the publishers sold me on books I had never heard of before. I loved talking to them about their past releases I loved and which new releases they were excited about. It was also fun to put faces to names of people I hadn’t met yet! But seriously..walking around those aisles, with all those books everywhere, just made me want to prance around making up songs about how much I love books.

photo(31)gfdSnagged me some pins from Rainbow Rowell

2. Meeting authors/seeing them again & chatting with them:  I got to see Rainbow Rowell again and meet Matthew Quick for the first time. I even snagged E. Lockhart when she was walking in the aisle for a picture and a quick (embarrassing) gush fest about how much I loved We Were Liars. It was also super cool because I randomly ran into Leila Sales (love her + LOOOVED This Song Will Save Your Life), Tiffany Schmidt, and OH YOU KNOW…just got to shoot the shit with DAVID LEVITHAN. As one does.

photo(34)E. Lockhart & I!

3. Hanging out with/meeting other bloggers! It’s always nice to see fellow bloggers again and meet others for the first time! That’s honestly my favorite part of these things. Everyone was so lovely and I wish we had even more time to hang out but it was fun to hang out with them and talk books, battle the crowds at Reading Terminal Market, wait in the Rainbow Rowell line etc.

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On Sunday night I went to my favorite indie bookstore in the Philly area (Children’s Book World) and saw Rainbow Rowell, David Levithan and Lucy Christopher and it was an AWESOME event and super packed. Few things: 1. Rainbow and David are hilarious together. 2. I teared up listening to David read from Two Boys Kissing 3. David reading and acting out a scene from Fangirl is hilarious. 4. Rainbow read a page from LANDLINE!! I need it. 5. Rainbow started crying while reading that page and I love her even more. 6. Lucy Christopher is the cutest human being ever and after listening to her read from The Killing Woods I can’t wait to pick it up.

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBook club loves Rainbow!!

I couldn’t go to the things happening on Monday but I listened to the Youth Media Awards live streaming. Can’t wait to pick up some of those books that won! Have you read any of them? Also, was very happy for Rainbow Rowell and David Levithan getting some love for their wonderful novels!

“How is ALAMW different from BEA (Book Expo of America)?”

Edit: I had a great comment that told me that ALAMW is even different from ALA Annual (which I’ve never been) this is her insight, “If you haven’t attended the summer Annual Conference, you should know that there is a big difference between the experience. The Midwinter Meetings is primarily a working conference, mostly meetings rather than programs and PD sessions. The summer Annual Conference is the one that publishers bring authors to for signings and events and there are long lines at the booths for the various signings. The exhibits are larger and the award ceremonies take place so you can register to attend the Printz Awards or the Newbery/Caldecott Award dinner for instance (or you can skip the dinner and sit in the back after dinner and listen to the speeches for free). It is still different from BEA, but much busier and with more opportunities than Midwinter.”

+ Well, obviously it was more so geared towards librarians. Even most of the people working the booths for the publishers were more on the school and library side of marketing so there were less familiar faces. There were less booths for me to check out because over half of it was specifically library type resources and technology (because obviously it’s a librarian convention). I saw a cool library vending machine thing though. This also meant, for me, acting like a guest and only taking what I knew I would have time to read because, while the publishers were HAPPY to give them to bloggers, I wanted to leave the things I wasn’t sure about/knew I might not have time to read for the librarians. That last comment, for the record, has nothing to do with anything anybody else did/does. It’s just a personal thing with how I went into this for myself. Also, I still have BEA guilt from my first BEA where I took too many books and still some sit unread.

+ There were less people & I thought the whole vibe was way more calm. I really felt like I wasn’t crowded at any booth I went to and actually had time to talk to people at the booths. I wasn’t constantly feeling like I was bumping into people. It was just very calm and pleasant. The swarm of people was just not as much especially when books were put out. At BEA you can get trampled & I didn’t feel that way here. When a book drop happens at BEA, those books are gone so quickly. I would see some books still out at ALA when I walked past again.

+ There were definitely more books available at the booths. At BEA there were really stringent drops of books it felt like and not many just freely handed out. ALA was different in that regard I think. Even huge titles that would have been gone in 2 seconds at BEA were there an hour later.

I got quality chatting time with publishers. One of my most favorite things is actually TALKING to the people manning the booths and telling them titles I loved from them recently and hearing what they are excited about. At BEA it’s so busy and they don’t get as much time to talk to you but ALA was totally different so it was definitely a huge thing that I LOVED about ALA. Met some really wonderful people!

+ There were less signings. The only two signings I went to were for Matthew Quick and Rainbow Rowell. At BEA there is a huge area with a ton of signings lines and signings scheduled all day. There isn’t that at ALA. So at BEA you might split your time between the floor and then be sitting in signing lines but there were barely any and there isn’t a designated spot like at BEA. So, I had a lot more wandering time than I do at BEA which was a good and bad thing. I felt less stressed about getting to the signing line and being super structured but I definitely love meeting authors so I missed that here plus there was a little toooo much free time.

+ Obviously at BEA there are way more events going on at the same time so I would just kind of go to the conference and then come home. At BEA I was never in the hotel room because there is always some sort of party or signing or event of some sort going on! But again, this is more of a professional development kind of convention so it made sense.

“What books did you get?”

Day 1

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Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg — I liked Take A Bow and her newest seems like another super cute contemporary this time exploring guys and girls being just friends + if that is possible.

The Here & Now by Ann Brasheres: NEW ANN BRASHERES! Had to pick this up. She trades in traveling pants for time travel! FUN!

We Are The Goldens by Dana Reinhardt: I had never heard of this one but that rep from Random House sold me! You know from my post about the 10 things on my reading wishlist that I want more sister stories so YAY!

The Cracks In The Kingdom by Jaclyn Moriarty: I liked A Corner of White — it was one of the strangest books I had ever read — and I knew I wanted to read the sequel so I was very happy to see this one there because I’m very interested to see where this story goes.

The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher: As I said above I heard Lucy read from this and I’m super intrigued. Sounds dark!

The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt: I really enjoyed Going Vintage by this author. It was really cute and fun but still gave some food for thought. This one sounds cute + love that, like Going Vintage, this has familial relationships as a focus.

Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae: This one was on my most anticipated debuts of 2014 list and boy was I happy to see this one!! Can’t wait to read it — romance & Italy? YES PLEASE.

Far From You by Tessa Sharpe: This one was another on my most anticipated debuts of 2014 list! I love me a good mystery and this sounds like one! It seems twisty and complicated as the MC, who is sort of blamed for the death of her best friend, comes home from rehab and realizes everyone is looking at the wrong things to solve her friend’s murder.

Nantucket Red by Leila Howland: Sequel to Nantucket Blue!

The Scar Boys by Len Vlahos: This one looks like an excellent coming of age story and is already out actually!

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley: Historical fiction! I’ve been waiting for a YA book to be set during the civil rights era and this sounds really good. Doesn’t come out until October however!

The Good Luck Of Right Now by Matthew Quick: Matthew Quick’s newest adult novel! SIGNED!

Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid: Another pick from my most anticipated debuts of 2014 list!! This was high on my priority list and I was so happy to see it there! Road trip! Some sort of intrigue and mystery that is alluded to!

Searching For Sky by Jillian Cantor: This is Jillian’s first YA novel (she wrote Margot which is an adult fiction novel) and it was on my most anticipated releases of 2014 list! The summary says it’s a “reverse dystopia” and so I’m reallyyyy interested!

Day 2

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Half Bad by Sally Green: This one was on my most anticipated debuts for 2014 list so I’m super stoked to have it in my hands. WITCHES. The more I hear about it, the more I can’t wait to read it! I don’t read paranormal often but it seems like my kind of paranormal.

The Rules For Breaking by Ashley Elston: I liked The Rules for Disappearing and this is the sequel! Witness protection program!

Sekret by Lindsay Smith: History with a dash of fantasy! Russian espionage! HECK YES.

The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner: The lady at the booth sold me on this one as I had never heard of it. It’s about a girl whose little brother drowns and she basically stops living until she meets a little boy who she swears is her brother’s reincarnation. Sounds heartbreaking.

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith: This sounds like the strangest book I have ever heard of and I’m not even clear as to what it is about but it sound irreverent and awesome!

Welcome To The Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz: This is one I have never heard of but the guy at the Disney booth made me want it because he said it was scary! I keep looking for good horror so maybe this will fit the bill!

The Secret Sky by Ati Abawi: I said in my reading wishlist post that I SOOOO wanted books set in different countries and NOT from an American perspective and as soon as the rep from Penguin started telling me about this one and how it is set in Afghanistan I was SOLD. SO SOLD. I think I scared her with my excitement.

The Storied Life of A.J Fickry by Gabrielle Zevin: I was speaking with the lady at the booth about another book and she pulled this one out and coincidentally I’m listening to another book from this author right now. She said this was an adult one but definitely has crossover appeal.

Just Call My Name by Holly Goldberg Sloan: AHHH. Companion novel to I’ll Be There!! I almost cried happy tears of joy to see this one there.

Prince of Venice Beach by Blake Nelson: This one has been on my radar for a bit so I was pleasantly surprised to see it there! Love that it’s a male perspective and there are runaway teens involved because I haven’t really read anything with that.

So that was my ALA experience! Let me know if you learned about any books from what I got + if you are excited about any of the ones I picked up! Let me know if you have any questions about ALA or my experience!

BEST.BOOKISH.DAY.EVER!!!

So remember that time I told you that on the top of my top ten list of bookish people to meet was John Green? And remember when I told you that there was a chance that THIS WEEKEND I could potentially meet him??

Yeah? You remember?

WELL IT HAPPENED.

 

But let’s back up first…

 

The beginning of the weekend started off with the lovely Alexa (from Alexa Loves Books) coming down from NYC to Philly to stay with us so that we could venture down to the National Book Fest in DC — an event that I have enjoyed in the past! She came bearing gifts in the form of cupcakes from Crumbs — an hour or so late because Megabus was late in NYC (see: theme for our weekend).

Saturday morning we woke up, surprisingly perky for 4:30 in the morning, and the husband dropped us off at the bus station for us to catch our 5:50am bus. And well…it never showed up. And then the 6:30 bus never showed up. And then it was 7am. And friends, Alexa and I had panic in our eyes for you see JOHN GREEN was speaking at 10 and his signing was directly afterwards and we’d never make it if our bus even showed up in that minute or even if the Mr. came back to pick us up and I battled the Beltway and parking and drove to DC.

The only way to ensure we saw John Green was in the form of a $70 Amtrack train that left in 10 minutes?

So naturally we RAN to the train station, I might add with NO COFFEE in our system, and purchased our tickets and heard the sweet sound of the loudspeaker telling us that the train was JUST starting to board. We made it JUST IN TIME. We settled into that glorious seat on the train and in a fit of rage I did this (though, I must add that our trip on the way home was just fine and Megabus has since promptly put in a refund for me after I tweeted about it!)

 

After a nice train ride and some awesome conversation, we followed the obelisk and found our way to the National Mall and over to the tent to see John Green. OH HEY…look at the obelisk!

 

We listened to John Green speak for a bit, and since we knew the lines would be cray, we ducked out early to stand in line.  Only..there were  like hundreds of of other people who had the same idea so we already were behind a TON of other people. So naturally we did what bookish friends do and read silently together. Although not really because we talked too much and met other cool bookish people!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The line wasn’t too painful. AND THEN. IT HAPPENED. I MET JOHN GREEN!!!!!!!! (insert squeals of excitement for me). Naturally I babbled on about how I used a quote of his from Paper Towns as part of our wedding reception decorations and he thought that was cool and congratulated me on my marriage! It was either babbling like a moron or peeing my pants! And then, our new friend Emily (a totally awesome John Green fan that we met) snapped this picture of me with JOHN GREEN! HI EMILY AND THANK YOU!!!

 

A definite showing in my “That’s What They Said” feature for anyone who gives the best caption to what John Green is thinking/saying in this picture.

All in all, John ended up signing like 1500 people’s books because HE IS AWESOME. All other authors (true the other year I went) only sign an hour and John signed from 11-2. He does amazing things for his fans!

Post-Meeting John Green Excitement.

 

We spent the rest of the day in the YA tent listening to some amazing authors that I never get tired of seeing (David Levithan, Maggie Stiefvater, Melissa Marr) and OMG OMG OMG I saw and listened to RL Stine — the man responsible for cultivating a love of reading in this here blogger. You all have him to thank for the fact that I am here talking about the Majestic World Of Books here on the interwebs. He is a true genius. We also met new blogger Nikki of Foil The Plot   (go welcome her!!) and Sarah of The Librarian Reads!!

After a truly WONDERFUL day, Alexa and I made our way back to the station, ate some burger and talked about books, blogging and life all the way home.

Is this a dream? Did this really happen? Was I so close I could have bear hugged John Green? AHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

How To Find Out About Bookish Events Like A Boss!

I go to A LOT of bookish events — conferences, author signings, festivals. Seriously, A LOT, in only 2 and almost a half years of blogging. If it’s got books (and I can drive/bus/take a train..and on occasion, even fly to get there) I’m there!  It also helps that I live in Philadelphia so we get some decent tours and I’m only a train ride away from NYC and DC. So there’s that.  I know not everyone lives in a place where book tours come through often. So I can’t help you on that one but after getting a lot of people asking me HOW I find out about all these tours and this recent question on my My Bookish Calendar post (check out this month’s if you are in the Philly area or DC area), I decided to address it. PS. OMG I’m still freaking out that I got my picture with THE Stephanie Perkins!!

I’m fairly new to the book blogging community and I’m curious, how in the world do you bloggers find out about all these book tours and events? It seems every blog I go to I see that the bloggers are attending all these events, and I’m like geez how much time do you find these things? Like do you look up tours for every author you read, or is it word of mouth, or things you just stumble upon in the blogosphere? It sounds like such a nerd-fest, I want to participate! – C

 

1. Get to know your local bookstores: Every month or so when I’m compiling my list for My Bookish Calendar I go on the website of every bookstore that I know of in a radius that I’m willing to drive or ones that I’ve been to for bookish events and check out their events tab. For me, that’s about 6-8 bookstores that I know have events — two are Barnes & Noble and all the rest are indies. It took me a while to figure out which ones have events but now I know which ones do and don’t so I don’t really waste my time checking out the other ones. Also, subscribe to their mailing list. My local indie always has monthly emails where they talk about books but also announce their tours going on. Total time saver!

2. Stalk your fave authors social media outlets: It would be so time consuming to search for events for every single author I want to see. So I make sure I follow their Twitter accounts, Facebook and blogs to be able to glance and see if they’ve announced tours. It’s saved me a few times to see an author tweet an event or blog about their tour  schedule if the bookstore hadn’t put it up when I looked or if I just was too busy to stalk my bookstores.

3. Get to know local book bloggers: This is another great way to find out about events.  The Philly area book bloggers are always tweeting one another about events so we all know! Some regions of book bloggers even have their own blogs to keep each other in the loop about bookish events (the  Texas bloggers are the best example…DAMN how I wish I lived in Texas because they get ALLLL OF THE GOOD THINGS). So put the call out on your blog or Twitter (people on Twitter are so helpful) and ask who lives in your general vicinity. Someone will point you in the right direction!

4. Check the publisher’s websites & social media accounts: Most publishers have an area where you can search for authors from their publishing house who are going on tour. They also tweet and FB about bigger tours — a la the Breathless Reads tours (Penguin) or the Dark Days (HarperTeen) which all have their own FB pages. (Example: HarperTeen). If you can’t find where they have that info, tweet them or FB them!

5. Goodreads Events: Goodreads has this nifty little feature where you can search for events near your area. It’s helped a few times though I will admit it is NOT the most effective method I have on this list.

6. Find a copy of your local newspaper: Yes, they still exist. And sometimes in the events section they let you know about bookish events going on. This is is my least used method but I have used it before.

7. Use the Google Machine: Sometimes you just have to start googling for events. Search for “Philly book events” (or obviously whatever region you want) and see what comes up. Before I figured out which bookstores did events frequently I was ALWAYS just googling to find stuff. Sometimes it would lead me to another blogger or bookstore. I still do it on occasion to see if I missed anything but sometimes it’s helped me to find a new bookstore that I had never knew  existed or who just started doing book events.  Seriously, there is this local book store that I found doing this and they were new (well old but had been bought out or something) and now they host SO many book events.

Like I said before, sometimes you might live in a remote place that doesn’t bring tours your way..and that just plain old stinks! But if you are lucky to be within driving distance and are willing to drive a few hours, you can still catch a great weekend tour sometimes!

Another tip if your area doesn’t get many book events: Talk to the manager or owner of your local bookstore and tell  them that you’d really like to see some authors visit the shop. When I visited the HarperTeen staff two years ago at BEA, we had a roundtable discussion and one of the questions I asked was how to get all these great authors to your local bookstores. Their advice was to talk to the bookstores, have them talk to the publishers and give them ideas for “hot” authors right now. Also be VERY willing to get the word out online and around your town and help out if they need it.

Anybody else have any other advice?? How do YOU find out about book events?  Does your region have a blogger who handles keeping a list of upcoming author signings and book events??

In Which Book Bloggers Get Rained On: Brooklyn Book Festival 9/12/10

Did you think the rain was going to stop us from running amok at the Brooklyn Book Festival?? Absolutely not. And neither was missing a train or getting my car towed!


Lori,  Lenore & myself

To say the Brooklyn Book Festival was a wonderful experience would be an understatement. To say my journey to get there was a wonderful experience would be a BIG FAT LIE. To make a long story short–I wake up at 4:45am. Blah. I’m going to miss my train and so I make a detour to another station that I might have a chance of making and only half pay attention to parking signs as I’m unfamiliar with this station. Apparently, it is permit parking only and is a tow-away zone. Oopsie. I freak out, as I’m already on the train, and get worried that I’ll be towed or heavily fined. That is how I started out. (Luckily, later on in the day, my wonderful stepdad went and took care of things). 
 
Anyways, on to the good stuff. I meet up with Lenore from Presenting Lenore and her husband, Daniel, on the train to Penn Station. Lenore is so wonderful and sweet! She helped calm me down during my panic session about my car! I’m sure I made quite a first impression haha. Anyways, it was really nice chatting with her on the train. We then meet up with Lori from The Next Best Book Club at Penn Station and take the subway to Brooklyn. This is exciting as we have “known” each other on Goodreads for 2 years!! And I must say, it was not a disappointment! We had so much fun together.

We arrived there early so we walked around and tried to get the lay of the land and meet up with our friends Erika and Amy over at Harper Perennial. So nice to finally meet Erika as she gives me awesome book recommendations! Our first panel was at 11am where we attended “Next Texts: Five Debut Novelists” where we saw Sean Ferrell, Ivy Pochoda, Helen Simonson, Tanya Wright (FROM TRUE BLOOD!) and Teddy Wayne read from their books. Some new books were added to my mental TBR list during this panel! 

Lori and I part ways at 12  and I make my way to the panel that I was MOST excited for– “Pop Life: Music, Memory, and America’s Coming to Age.” This is where I will enter a big fan girl SQUEE because I met ROB SHEFFIELD!

Rob & I!

This panel was hilarious and awesome with the mix of Rob, Joshua Clover, and Ta-Nehisi Coates. I laughed so much. Music is very important to me and this panel was so interesting as each panelist discussed music’s role in their lives, as all of them write about music, and how songs take on many personal and political meanings throughout our life and how that shapes some of who we are and how we define ourselves. It was something I could really relate to. 


Then we had some free time and I got to meet up with a good friend from the College Students group on Goodreads that I created! She was one of the first five or so people in the group when it started exactly two years ago and we’ve always gotten along real well. It was wonderful to meet her and I told my boyfriend, when I got home, that  if we lived nearby we’d pretty much be best friends. Good times for sure. 

We then made our way over to the Youth Stoop to see Lauren Oliver, Sara Shepard and Jenny Han read from their novels and  discuss the theme of redemption in terms of their characters and also in life. It was a really interesting and Kirsten Miller, who was the moderator, asked some really interesting questions. It was interesting to learn who the authors were in high school and if they feel like they are the same role that they played in high school. After that I rushed over to get Lauren Oliver to sign my copy of Before I Fall. She was really sweet and we chatted a little about how popular YA is with people who are older than the  “targeted” age. 

Kirsten, Jenny, Sara,  Lauren

The last hour or so we went to see readings by Per Petterson (whose books I need to pick up ASAP), Scott  Spencer and Terese Svoboda. After that, since we decided we didn’t feel like waiting in the rain for tickets to see Dennis Lehane, we went back to Harper’s booth and said bye to Erika!  We had a good time talking and laughing with her and all agreed that we couldn’t wait to be dry and warm! I, for one, was pretty sick of looking and feeling like a wet dog. I mean, honestly, I was looking like a hot mess after being rained on all day and up since an ungodly hour. After we said goodbye, Lori and I made a quick pit stop to the Dennis Lehane signing and I also got to meet Nick Flynn!  And then, it was adios to Brooklyn, and back to public transportation.

Erika & I



Throughout the day I also got to meet some other bloggers and that is always exciting to put a face to a blog name! I got the pleasure of meeting Nicole from Linus’s Blanket, Allie from Hist-Fic Chick, and Mitali from Alley of Books




All said and done, rain and my epic morning failure to be on time aside, it was an awesome event and I will be returning next year! On to the National Book Festival in two weeks where I may or may not have another fangirl moment  while I meet Jonathan Safran Foer!

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