So, as I’ve mentioned in my blog before, this year I attended BEA (Book Expo America) in Chicago. As my books are being shipped, this is not my official BEA book haul – expect that one in a week to ten days!
This was the first time I have attended, and I was both a little nervous and excited. Although I’ve heard it described as San Diego Comic Con for booklovers, it is a trade show for those in the publishing industry as well as those involved in promoting books through blogs. Now, I’m passionate about books, but this blog is pretty small fish compared to some and at first, I admit I felt somewhat overwhelmed and, to be honest, a bit of a fraud. I found myself thinking, I don’t work in publishing should I really be here getting all these free books? That lasted for about two hours!
It was a great experience meeting some fantastic authors, checking out all the awesome upcoming releases and chatting with like minded bookworms. Note to self: when waiting in line to meet famous authors, take the time to Wiki their last book if it’s been more than a few months since I read it. This is to prevent excessive fangirling and/or complete mental blank when asked who my favourite character is. With apologies to Leigh Bardugo. I also caught sight of some of my favourite BookTubers (Kat from Katytastic, Jesse the Reader, Christine from PolandbananasBooks and Natasha from Tashapolis). Weirdly, I was more intimidated to go up and say hi to them (I woosed out) than to meet my favourite authors! I think it’s because if you’re standing in an autograph line, you know the author is expecting some kind of interaction. I never know if I’m bothering the YouTubers. Sorry, guys, I do love your vlogs even if I didn’t say hi.
I used the official BEA app on my iPhone and tablet to plan my days at the conference and it worked very well. I planned which ARCs and autographs I really wanted and focussed my efforts on getting those. I was able to pick up all but two of the ARCs I really wanted; the two I missed out on were Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin (LOVED Wolf by Wolf) and Marissa Meyer’s Heartless. Heartless really was THE hot book in town this BEA; tickets sold out within minutes, and it became quite the currency.
Of the ARCs I picked up there are four about which I am really excited. I’m really looking forward to reading:
Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, this is the sequel to Illuminae, which was amazing. The formatting of these two books are integral to the story and I’m so excited to read Gemina.
A Torch Against the Night. This is Sabaa Tahir’s sequel to An Ember in the Ashes which I enjoyed very much. I can’t wait to see where she takes the characters next.
Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige. This is the first in a new series by the author of Dorothy Must Die, and is a retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen. I really loved what Paige did with her reimagining of The Wizard of Oz for the Dorothy Must Die series, so I’m super excited for this new one.
Caraval by Stephanie Garber. This is the first in a YA duology by a debut author, and it is certainly getting a lot of buzz. The tagline for the book is Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game . . . This sounds really intriguing and it will be one of the first of the ARCs I picked up that I will read.
I got to meet some really amazing authors. The highlight of BEA for me was probably discussing book hangovers with Maggie Stiefvater. Tahereh Mafi and Ransom Riggs were both signing as was Leigh Bardugo. I was also lucky enough to have Sabaa Tahir sign her latest book – that was probably the longest line I waited in other than that for Maggie and Marissa.
So, I’ve returned from Chicago with many happy memories and a box full of wonderful books. Check back later for my full BEA book haul.