Book Expo America was in CHICAGO this year woo! I was kind of excited and kind of not and here’s why. Since I live closer to New York I was able to drive last year (my first year) and not have to worry about airplanes, airports and luggage restrictions. But I have family that live close enough to Chicago so my brother and my nephews were able to meet me and stay the weekend, which was so nice because I haven’t seen them in a while. So pros and cons for both cities as far as I am concerned. The one thing I noticed this year was even though the opening lines were bad, it didn’t seem like the convention itself was as busy this year. I did a quick Google search and found the Top Ten Largest Convention Centers in the US…McCormick Place is the biggest (like twice the size of Javits!) and the Javits Center doesn’t even occupy space on that list. Maybe that’s why it didn’t seem as busy?
Here is a link up to the books I brought home this year, in no particular order.
This year I was excited about the book and the authors but I think I was more excited to finally meet some blogger friends ( I finally met Jess and Morgan!) in real life! Here are some pictures, again in no particular order.
Of course I had to have real Chicago Deep Dish pizza, visit the Bean and even got to see the beautiful views on top of The John Hancock Center.
When it’s all said and done, I enjoyed Chicago more than I thought I would and I’d go back but I will definitely be at BEA New York next year! See y’all!
Hiiii! I’m back!! I had the most amazing week in New York for BEA and I suck at recap posts but really want to share it with you guys.
Ready to take on BEA!
As you may know, this was the last year BEA would be in New York before moving to Chicago in 2016, so I HAD to go. Not only because of New York, but because I knew it would be my best chance at meeting some of my east coast friends too!
Let’s Talk Plans…
I had a lot of questions about money when I started thinking about planning for BEA. Flights and hotels are easily checked, but what about spending money? How much were people spending while there? I still don’t know because I can’t bring myself to ask. And so you don’t have to ask, I’ll tell you about it…
I booked my flights back in December, when I found them SUPER cheap. Like, they came out to under $300 round-trip! Tom, my fiance, got them for me for my birthday. Isn’t he the best?! But if he hadn’t, I would’ve jumped on that because CHEAP!
We’d initially rented an apartment where five people could comfortably be together, but stuff happened and cancellations happened and we found ourselves in a hotel room with two double beds. It wasn’t ideal but we were close to the Javits and price was still low, so we made it work. So the room for the week came out to $190.
I can tell you that I spent the most money prepping for BEA. Clothes and a lot of other little travel things and I didn’t use half of them. The clothes, yes, but most of the other things? Nope.
Overall, for food, transport, shopping, I spent a little under $250. I was actually surprised at this low number! I was expecting it to be maybe about a hundred dollars more but I’ll take it. Since we were within walking distance of the convention center and Time Square, I didn’t spend too much money on transportation, which I’m sure helped keep the number low. Food wise, I brought snacks from home and always carried some with me on the floor, so I needing to buy the expensive Javits food wasn’t necessary. And I ALWAYS had a water bottle with. In fact, the roomies and I bought case of waters the first night there and that saved us a few dollars in the end. Highly recommend this.
Sharing a beer at Chipotle! Literally, one beer. Split 4 ways.
Late night cappuccino
Worth the hype.
Shake Shack conquered!
Mmmm. Coffee. @ Green Nature Coffee House
ALL THE FRIENDS!
Danielle of Love at First Page!
Estelle of Rather Be Reading!
Lauren (Love is not a triangle) & Danielle (Love at First Page)!
Lauren of Love is Not a Triangle!
Alexa (Alexa Loves Books) & Kelly (Belle of the Literati)!
Kristina of Gone Pecan!
Andi of Andi’s ABCs!
Lindsey of Bring My Books!
Sarah of What Sarah Read!
Jamie of The Perpetual Page-Turner and The Broke & The Bookish!!
Gabby of Bookish Broads!
Asheley of Into the Hall of Books!
Leaving BEA the last day. Mixed emotions.. :)
Clockwise: Brittany (Book Addict’s Guide), Alyssa (Books Take You Places), Amy (Tripping Over Books), Lindsey (A Bookish Sinister Kid)!!
I can’t even put into words how amazing it was meeting SO MANY amazing friends and bloggers at BEA. Seriously, it was the best part of the trip.
Beyond the Floor
Harlequin Books is in this beautiful building. Here for the High Tea event!
Me with Kristan Higgins. We’re BFFs now. No big.
Harlequin High Tea!
Harlequin High Tea!
Macmillan party in the Strand’s Rare Books room!
Penguin Teen lunch time with Sarah Dessen and Carrie Ryan!
A few of my favorite bloggers together at Bryant Park!
Pretty Bryant Park is pretty.
I was lucky enough to have been invited to a couple publisher events!
Harlequin hosted a wonder High Tea event where I got to meet my favorite romance author, KRISTAN HIGGINS! She was so sweet and easy to talk to. I kept joking that we were now BFFs and kept introducing her as such to other bloggers, lol. I also got to meet the lovely Sarah Burningham of Little Bird Publicity who is always so generous with me and sends me all the Kristan books. I’m excited to read Kristan’s latest, If You Only Knew, very soon. I also met and talked with Karma Brown whose debut, Come Away With Me, comes out August 25. I cannot wait wait to read this! The other authors at the event were also so lovely to meet and talk with. It was a great event overall.
Macmillan/Fierce Reads invited me to their party in the Strand’s Rare Books room and it was beeeeeautiful! I have no picture of it because I’m lame though. lol It was so fun hanging out with so many bloggers outside the convention, PLUS we got to have some drinks, which is always fun. The authors there were Marissa Meyer, Leigh Bardugo, Leila Sales, Josephine Angelini, and Sandy Hall. I got to meet and talk with Leigh, Leila, and Josie and they were all so fun! Fun, fun event.
Penguin Teen hosted a blogger lunch with Sarah Dessen and Carrie Ryan and it was such a nice break in the middle of BEA craziness on Friday. The lunch was laid back and both Sarah and Carrie were interviewed with some fun questions while we ate and listened. After they were gracious enough to sign their books for us.
These are from drops around the exhibit floor.
Signed books! I basically avoided the crazier lines and a lot of these are the result of that.
From fabulous publisher parties. Thank you, Macmillan, Harlequin, Penguin! Kristan Higgins even had a gift bag with signed book, mug, cocoa, and nail polish.
And lastly, fun finds on the floor. Passed by Quirk books and heard “book about Bill Murray!” Turned to lady and exclaimed “Bill Murray’s here?!?!?” She said, “No.” Got the book anyway.
Here’s where I tell you that I had NO PLAN for book drops. But! I got a lot of that info once I got inside the exhibit floor AND publishers tweeted some details on the more anticipated books. Aside from that, I wandered the floor, usually trailing behind one blogger or another. Don’t worry, they knew I was there, lol.
I did use the BEA app for author signings and it was SO HELPFUL.
The most important thing to keep in mind at these things is that these books will be out in the wild at some point, so try not to dwell or be upset if you don’t get a certain book. Also, you may have a friend who did get it and is willing to lend it to you.
The best thing you could do is pace yourself and enjoy the people.
One last look at the convention center before leaving…
I’m so excited to welcome my fellow-Texan-now-New-Yorker friend, Jenn Dee, to the blog for you today! I’ve known Jenn a few years now and can totally vouch that she knows her stuff, so listen close, because I know I will! I’ll be in New York this year for BEA, so I’ll take any tips that come my way. (And if you’ll be there, we should meet!)
The first time I went to BEA was four years ago. I’d never been a driver on a road trip. I’d never road tripped cross-country. I’d never been to BEA and I’d definitely never been to New York City. I definitely went into the whole she-bang like a total noob. My mental plan was to get myself and my car cohorts to the island and once my Prius was parked, my duty was done. In the city, I had no idea where I was going (or even where I was). I’m pretty sure I ate at Junior’s at least three times in the 7 days I was here and I’m sure there were a few Subway meals in there too. I also hadn’t properly anticipated what it would be like to walk in the late May summer sun and humidity after walking around the Javits. In short, this is a really concise list of things not to do.
Four years later and my life couldn’t be different. I’ve been asked to take part in Estelle’s BEA Part of It series because I like live here and have for two years. Disclaimer: I live in Manhattan so, these are all Manhattan-based.
Best place for non-New York-y food: Duke’s (560 3rd Ave – in between the Flatiron and Union Square)
I’ve only recently discovered this place, but I am such a fan. Awesome happy hour, great atmosphere and pancake-fried Oreos. What more do you need? Pro tip: try the Firefly. And the Waffle Sundae, but make sure you eat a light dinner if you opt for this. I say this in hindsight.
Best dessert place that’s kinda far from Midtown, but totally worth it: Treat House (452 Amsterdam Ave – Upper West Side)
Gourmet rice krispie treats. Need I say more? I really, really don’t. Backup: Koffeecake Corner (30 W. 17th) Nutella milkshakes. That is all. 2nd Backup: Insomnia Cookies (there are a ton of these around, but if you need a warm, gooey cookie at 1 am… well, look no further)
Biggest gayest ice cream: Big Gay Ice Cream (61 Grove St. – West Village & and there’s one in East Village too, but who goes to the east side?)
This might actually be the best place in the world. I’d go for either the Salty Pimp or the Bea Arthur. You can’t go wrong.
Most unique bar: Jekyll and Hyde Club (91 7th Ave – West Village)
A kitschy horror-themed bar.
Best outdoorsy area: Bryant Park
Near Times Square, but not so near that you want to die. Food trucks galore and it is so pretty! Bonus: the main library branch is right on the other side! So pretty!
Other things I say you should do:
See a Broadway show. Just do it. Want a recommendation? Aladdin. Or Something Rotten.
Go to Times Square. See the sights, then leave quickly.
Maybe stop at the Disney store and M&M store first.
Go to the Highline. This makes a ton of lists, but I also recommend it!
Walk along the bottom of Central Park. Columbus Circle. FAO Schwartz. That hotel that was in Home Alone 2… everything.
A little about Jennifer Dee, taken directly from her Twitter bio: “I mess around with books for a living and that’s pretty awesome. Publicity for the non-flying bird publisher by day, general nerd by night.”