Monday, June 4, 2012

BEA Blogger Convention Wrap Up

ohmyfreakinggod!!! I am definitely scared for BEA's exhibits after today.  There were about 400 people at the Blog Convention in the Javits Center, NY along with the 60+ authors and speakers, so needless to say it was pretty crowded around the tables that had the books on them!  Registration was fairly easy, I got into the city about an hour before registration was supposed to start so there was exactly no line (which was great since I went back around the registration a half hour later and the line was super long).  After registration we were (of course) still early for the convention's breakfast, so we stood in line outside the room and waited... and waited... and waited. They finally let us (me, my mom & my dad) go around the corner toward the door to grab our swag bags (pictured below), which was filled with, what else, books!  Each bag had different books too (so I was super glad to have my parents with me).

Once in, we stuck with a few girls we found in line outside the room to sit with at the lovely table #5 (there were assigned tables for the authors to sit at in a 15 minute rotation schedule).  Marie Lu (Legend) sat with us first and was pretty much just as nervous as the other first timers sitting at the table.  She was super nice and all too cute (outfit and personality), we all chatted for the 15 minutes and then got to meet Ally Condie (Matched).

Ally was great, we talked about the Matched books and when Reached was being released and what she'd be doing after the Matched Trilogy was finished (thankfully she'll be writing more).  Paul Huljich was the third author we met at breakfast and his book is about how to avoid/live with stress.

After breakfast we had a 15 minute break, in which I spotted Michelle Madow (Remembrance).  After a little convincing from my parents that I should just go say hi (like for real?! She's an author! They're like celebrities!!!), I went over and asked if I could creep her out by asking for a photo.  Apparently, she'd never been recognized by a fan in public before so I was glad I went over to say hi (and fangirl about her books)!

Beyond breakfast was the keynote speaker, Jennifer Weiner, who was positively  spectacular.  Her speech is posted on her blog and pretty much had everyone cracking up... her agent/publicist was probably having a conniption through the whole thing.  The basic dialog can be found on her blog... personally my favorite part was: "Or her asking, over lunch, 'Do you write your blog so that people will LIKE you?' (And oh, if I'd just been the tiniest bit quicker, I would have said, 'No, silly, that's what the blow jobs are for!')".  Oh we were all dying at that one!

After the keynote speaker there was a panel discussing blogging today in general.  Featuring Erica Barmash from Harper Perennial, Patrick Brown from Goodreads, Jen Lancaster (author), and Candace Levy (editor/blogger).  It was a super fun and informative panel.

Then we got lunch, and more authors to meet.  Leanna Renee Hieber (Darker Still) seemed to be the most confident person in the room (aside from maybe a couple of the panel speakers)... turns out it's because she's an actress as well as a writer/blogger.

After lunch everyone broke into two groups for different panel discussions.  I went to the Critical Review discussion where we talked about negative reviews, opinions, and the legal issues that surround both.  It was definitely an interesting panel.  We almost ran over our time because we were discussing so much (review policies came up a lot and trying to figure out how to get people to actually read the policies... we came up with no definitive answer for that one).

The final time slot had two panels as well.  I went to one discussing the Book Blogger and Publisher relationship and what both parties expect from each other.  The panelists were Jenn Lawrence from Jenn's Bookshelves, Lucille Rettino from Simon & Schuster, and Lindsey Rudnickas from Netgalley.  Jenn had some great advice for how to start the blogger/publisher relationship.  I learned (finally) what stats publishers are actually looking for on Netgalley and other similar review sites.  Hearing from an actual publisher's representative was so helpful with all the questions everyone asked.

Overall, the panels were really informative, my parents weren't even totally bored (and they don't care about blogging very much).  We skipped closing remarks to get home a little earlier (since we're taking the train in every day it's taking longer to get home).  I dove right into the tote bags filled with books to take pictures and start this blog post!

These are all the books we picked up (and received in the blind grab for swag bags):

The first picture is of all the books, the second one is the ones that are more YA or I'm excited to read! (I haven't even read the premise of Jennifer Weiner's book but if the voice is anything like how she is in the real world it's going to be awesome).

And as a random side note... HOW 'BOUT THEM STEPS?!?!

AHH I'm so stoked for tomorrow's line up and can't wait to take more pictures to share with everyone!! :)


  1. Great post! Sounds like you had a great time today. The Critical Review discussion sounded especially interesting. I was so disappointed I couldn't make it today but I'm really excited to be there tomorrow. Also woah love those stairs! Yay Mortal Instruments!

    Traci @ The Reading Geek

  2. Sounds so awesome!! I'm going to be at BEA on Thursday and I am SO excited :)

  3. BEAK looks soo awesome!! Have soo much fun Jess!!! Looking forward to many more posts!!


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