BEA 2014

This past weekend I attended Book Expo America for the second time! I was so glad that I was able to make it because being eight months pregnant, I wasn’t sure it was in the cards this year. Fortunately, I’m having a really great pregnancy and not only was I able to attend BEA 2014, but I actually got some great exercise in from walking around NYC and the Javits Center!

DAY 1:

BEA 2014 Day 1For those of you who have never attended BEA, let me assure you that your first year can be very overwhelming. The temptation to just pick up every book you see is so great that you end up nearly breaking your back trying to carry everything home. This year, being 32 weeks preggers, I knew that I had to be much more selective about the books I picked up. So, being the super book nerd that I am, I made myself a detailed (and color coded) schedule of which author signings I wanted to go to most. I’m so glad I did this because while I didn’t bring home as many books as last year, every single book I brought home is something that I really want to read!

My first day I was lucky enough to get books signed by Lauren Oliver, Melissa de la Cruz, and Alexandra Adornetto. I’m really excited about Lauren Oliver’s book Rooms, because it is actually geared towards adults and is her first non-YA or middle grade book.


DAY 2:

BEA 2014 Day 2My second day at BEA was a huge success! I was able to get in line to get a bunch of great ARCs from Harper Collins, and I got an ARC of Heir of Fire signed by Sarah J. Maas herself! I had to wait on line for TWO HOURS for Heir of Fire, but it was totally worth it! My baby girl will be here at the end of July and Heir of Fire doesn’t come out until September so I knew I would never get to read it if I wasn’t able to get it at BEA. This one is next on my TBR list, so keep an eye out for my review soon!





DAY 3:

BEA 2014 Day 3My third and final day was CRAZY!! Last year at BEA on the final day they allowed consumers to come to the show as “Power Readers,” which was really cool because they got their own badges and were able to participate in the show even though they weren’t part of the book industry. This year, the people who run BEA changed the way they handled this and instead of having people come as “Power Readers,” they changed the last day to be BookCon. The problem with this was that they closed off only a small area of the Exhibit Hall and designated it as BookCon and people who only had tickets to BookCon were only allowed to stay in this area. The result? Thousands upon thousands of people concentrated in a small area, pushing and shoving each other like crazy. For a little pregnant lady like me, it was a bit scary. Also, my mom came with me on the final day and since she had a ticket to BookCon only, was not allowed to come into the rest of the Exhibit Hall with me and was not even allowed to go in the same entrance!

Even with the pandemonium that was BookCon, I still managed to have a great time on the final day. I stood in line for another almost two hours to get a copy of Sinner signed by Maggie Stiefvater (also worth it!) and was able to get a copy of Talon signed by Julie Kagawa as well. The amount of people at BookCon definitely made the lines super long–you literally had to get on line an hour and a half in advance for EVERYTHING–and the BEA only side of the Exhibit Hall was basically a ghost town, which I’m sure publishers on that side were kind of bummed about, but all in all I still had an amazing time and was so glad my mom was able to enjoy BookCon/BEA with me!

One of the best parts of BEA this year was that my amazing pen pal and fellow blogger, Lisa Parkin over at Read.Breathe.Relax., was able to join me! Lisa and I have been pen pals for about two years now and have actually managed to meet in person a few times, but this was the most time we have been able to spend together and I’m so glad we were able to! We had such a great time, even waiting two hours in line for Heir of Fire, and I’m so grateful we were able to share two days at BEA together this year!

Did any of you guys make it to BEA this year? Which Fall 2014 books are you most excited to read?

BEA 2013

This was my first year attending Book Expo America! I attended today at the Javits Center in NYC as a Power Reader, which means I got a lot of really cool stuff! BEA was at first extremely overwhelming–but in a good way!! I couldn’t believe the amount of booths and free stuff, or the number of authors that were signing books. I received 34 books in total, including a TON of ARCs, and a bunch of cool bags and other swag. I got books signed by Alexandra Bracken, Jamie McGuire, Kate Brian, Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young, Meagan Spooner, Patrick Freivald, Robin Wasserman, and Jessica Sorensen. All of the authors were extremely nice and friendly, and I had a fantastic experience! Here are a few things I learned along the way that hopefully will help future BEA attendees:

  • Wear comfortable clothing!! I had initially considered wearing flip flops and was so thankful that I put on sneakers instead. BEA requires a lot of walking and a lot of standing on line so it definitely pays to be as comfortable as possible.
  • Plan ahead! BEA had a really helpful mobile app for download on any smartphone. It provided me with not only a list of exhibits and author signings, but also had a map and allowed me to make an agenda so that I could better plan out my day. If you don’t have a smart phone, I would highly recommend making an agenda on paper and figure out ahead of time exactly which authors you absolutely have to see. The autographing area got super busy, especially around 10am-11am when most of the popular authors were doing signings. Having a plan is a huge time saver!
  • Don’t go alone! I was fortunate enough to have my mom and my cousin with me, so while I was waiting on one line they were each able to wait on another. Thank goodness for that because my cousin was able to get me this:



  • Be friendly! Don’t be afraid to talk to fellow book lovers! I met some great people on line, and this one librarian from Chicago tipped me off to the Scholastic giveaway of The Dream Thieves at 12pm. People who have attended BEA before have a ton of great advice and you never know what kind of connections you can make!
  • Bring a backpack!! I can’t stress this enough. I brought a tote bag and got a really awesome red tote from McGraw-Hill’s exhibit but my shoulders are literally red and swollen. Carrying 34 books at once is not at all easy, especially for a tiny 5’1″ girl like me, and I found myself wishing for a backpack many times!
  • Don’t be afraid to branch out! I typically read only YA, but I found myself picking up books that were not specifically YA but that looked really interesting. BEA is a great chance to open yourself up to different genres, and I’m really glad that I picked up a few different types of books.
  • Make sure you’re aware of which authors require tickets for autographs and which publishers have multiple authors signing at once. These are the things to get to early–I missed out on Sarah Dessen’s signing because the tickets were all gone by the time I realized they were being given out, and I was unaware that Harlequin Teen’s exhibit featured twelve authors signing at once, including Julie Kagawa and Katie McGarry!! By the time I got there the authors were out of books.


Overall, BEA was a fantastic experience! I loved meeting the authors of some of my favorite books, opening myself up to new genres, and meeting other crazy book nerds like myself! If you have the ability to attend BEA next year I would absolutely recommend it! Here’s some incentive for you:




Can you believe I carried these around all day? No wonder my shoulders are still red!!