Thursday, June 14, 2012

Book Blogger Conference: BEA Day 1

So my first day at BEA was spend at the Blogger Conference which I totally loved! I got a lot of ideas on how to better network and I met a lot of great people. It was really awesome getting to have breakfast and lunch with some authors and it was interesting to see what other bloggers were out there. Where there I got to attend different sessions that talked about building community and how to write critical reviews.

There were a few highlights while being there, and one of them was getting to have breakfast with Justin Cronin, who I love love loved, and getting to meet other bloggers (One of whom said she recognized my blog!). Of the things that went wrong that day was my phone battery dying, and if it weren't for a better prepared Melody from Melody and Words. I tried to tweet my way through the day but after hitting 50% battery by 12, that wasn't going to happen.

While I felt I was able to get a lot from the experience, I have to agree with some rumblings from other bloggers, that the conference was geared less toward helping us and more toward how we can help the industry. While many of us are merely people who want to share our love for books, that doesn't mean that we're there merely to service the industry. I really did love to go, and I think that I will continue to go as long as I keep blogging. I enjoyed getting the chance to meet all of these great people.

Justin Cronin and I
For breakfast, they only had tea, coffee, and bagels and muffins, which was less cool. I had booked it from 33rd and Avenue of the America's where my train let me off. (For non New Yorkers, thats 5 long blocks.) I really just wanted a cold water because I left my water bottle at home, but alas, there was nothing for me to drink. While waiting in line to get inside I made friends with Kim, Pam and Emilie. Pam and Kim were there together as seasoned veterans, while Emilie and I were both new to this. Kim wanted to meet Justin Cronin just as much as my mother did (which is how I ended up at his table). We made a Justin Cronin Sandwich, which was great when he did come over to talk to us. We also got to talk to Anthony Swofford about his book, Hotels, Hospitals and Jails and about is baby daughter, as well as getting to talk to Jenny Han whose newest book Burn For Burn is co-written with her best friend.

Fancy Swag Bags
With Books Inside
Next was the keynote speech by Jennifer Weiner whose book everyone got. She was quite hilarious which I enjoyed. She tried to relate to being a blogger by talking about how she started her own blog and how Oprah was the first Book Blogger. I'll admit I was a little confused when she started talking about Oprah and what that had to do with the New York Times' crusade against her. She made me laugh and she took a picture with me and signed my book which was pretty awesome so no complaints here.

There was another panel before lunch which I missed most of because I was waiting on the line for the bathroom so I missed most of it. I was able to catch the tail end of it when the Erica Barmash stated that she will not work with people who plagiarize their content. That was a pretty great moment because ethics in blogging is very important. In between the panel and lunch, Amy, who was a publicist at my table gave me her books and then so did her friend because they didn't want the books inside of them. People at BEA killed me with kindness.

Erika Robuck and I
The lunch was okay, they had a vegetarian wrap, a turkey wrap or a roast beef wrap. This time they did better on the beverages with mini-waterbottles and sodas. This time my table only had two presenters, but one was the Naptime Chef, Kelsey Banfield, who talked about what was coming up next for her as a chef and how she got the idea for her book. The older bloggers at the table kept insisting to get Kelsey lunch even after she told them that she had already eaten knowing that she was coming to this. We also had lunch with Erika Robuck who wrote a historical fiction book called Hemingway's Girl, which I am really excited about. I did my fair share of research into each of the presenters, so I liked getting to kind of discuss her research and why this book would change my mind about Hemingway.

Extra Swag-Bag Grabs
At lunch, I met Jenn from Crazy for Books and Andrea from The Queen's Quill Review, and I went with them to The first of the two breakout sessions which was Critical Reviews. For the most part, this was great. One of the presenters (who I would rather not call out) wasn't quite as ready as another who had handouts prepared for us. The final of our speakers was a lawyer who managed to scare the pants off of everyone in the room that we would be sued for libel. What I took out of this was that it is okay to write a negative review, you just can't be awful about how you write it.

The last session taught me how to better relate with you, and that to do that I should include anecdotes about my life which means telling you about my niece and nephew who I can't get enough of. Hopefully this will help me build community with you, which is something that I recognize that I should work on.

All in all, it was a great day. I ended it with a very expensive dinner at Fridays, (where I didn't get carded, which was disappointing since I just turned 21 and would have liked to flash my shiny new id) and then I lugged all of my bags back home. In total I had 14 books including:

Those We Love Most by Lee Woodruff
Hotels, Hospitals, and Jails by Anthony Swofford
The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe
Wordpress for Dummies
The Merits of Mischief
Lets Pretend This Never Happened
Hemingway's Girl by Erika Robuck
Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner(x2)
Darker Still
The Vicious Deep
Recipe For Trouble

It was a wonderful experience, and I can't wait to do it again. You will see in the last picture, some of the books that I got. I would up doing a lot of trading and then I wound up with two bags that people didn't want which was great. The tote bags were Penguin bags, and they were surprisingly sturdy which I appreciated. I also got a Kobo mug which you can write on with chalk as well as a book light that I can attach to my Nook. Hip hip hooray! This was only a taste of what the rest of BEA was going to be like for me!

Stay tuned for Day 2!


  1. It was such a pleasure to meet you! Best wishes with your blog, and I hope you enjoy HEMINGWAY'S GIRL!

  2. It was so great meeting you, Nicole! :)



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...