105 Ways to Give a Book

BEA: Geektastic and Being Mouthy

On Saturday morning, I awaited the arrival of Liz Burns to drop off her suitcase at the hotel. Then Carlie Webber, Liz and I took a cab (after a quick Starbucks break) to the Javits Center. I thought I had a plan for the morning, but it kept falling apart as I missed the people I had planned on seeing and was distracted by signings I had not planned on attending. I know that I missed the signings that I had looked at — Jan Brett, Peter McCarty, and Sarah Dessen. I did make the signings for Walter Dean Myers, Peter Reynolds, and some lady who wrote an eBay book.

I spent some of this day wandering through the publishers’ booths. Like I said before, not a lot of ARCs. I was able to pry Neil Gaiman’s Blueberry Girl away from the HarperCollins people. They were giving away coded cards that let you read some of their new offerings online. Hmmm. Wonder if this will be a trend. The Holiday House people were very nice. They couldn’t give me the books I wanted to see then, but promised to send them later, which was actually better for my shipping rate.

So I’m walking around without an agenda, and a particular voice catches my attention. I turn around, and call, “Mo?” He turns, and says, “Blogger!”

He was there with Tom Warburton, a new author of the book 1000 Times No. Tom and I had communicated by email, and I have the book to review this week. Mo introduced me as his #2 fan, since apparently a kid near his current home has that award. I reassured Tom that the restraining order had been removed long ago, and that it was all good now. Mo and I talked about kids, busy schedules, his DC ventures, and the KidLitosphere Conference in October. Tom and I talked about his book, his promotion efforts, and the BEA experience. They both signed my shirt, adding a little artwork. I even got a picture taken. And in case you’re thinking it — no, I did not stalk Mo. I didn’t even think he’d be there that day. It was simply fate.

During a quick lunch with a four-dollar soda, I sat at the same table as some publishing reps. I told one lady how jealous I was of her Catching Fire ARC on the table. She told me that it had been left there, so I could have it. Score!

At 2:00 p.m. I ran to the Book Blogger Panel. I’ll remember it as the meeting where I talked no less than three times, without being on the panel. Is that wrong? Perhaps. The panel was adult book bloggers, though some also review children’s and Young Adult books. Natasha of Maw Books mentioned KidLitosphere Central as a directory of children’s and Young Adult literature blogs and had me stand up. Of course, once I was already standing, it seemed quite natural to talk about the site not only as a directory, but also as a way to connect bloggers and authors. And I may have mentioned the conference. I think I also added my voice to the discussion on blog tours, referencing Chasing Ray. I know for sure that I disagreed with the concept presented that having lots of comments is a way to indicate a healthy blog. I did get some positive feedback from that position. It’s discussed, along with other issues of the panel, at Babbling About Books, Mrs. Giggles, and at Tea Cozy. All in all, a lively discussion of book blogging for fun and profit.

After the panel, it was a few more author signings — Sara Zarr, Michelle Knudsen, Ann Haywood Leal, Mark Teague, and Laini Taylor. Liz Burns and I hung out around Scholastic, talking to Laini Taylor, Jim Di Bartolo, and David Levitan. I had them all sign my shirt. We stopped by the Girl Scout booth, where I picked up some bookmarks, and headed to the shipping area, where I packed up all my books and sent them out. Back to the hotel for dinner, a short rest, a little lipstick and then off to the Geektastic party.

Little, Brown hosted the event in the private room of the Lucky Strike Lanes to celebrate Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd, edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castelluci. Yes, there was bowling. But not by me. David Levithan and Scott Westerfeld (pictured) seemed to be having a good time knocking down the pins. Laura Lutz was playing for the worst position on the board. Sheila Ruth was up against Wendy Mass, Sara Zarr, and I think Alvina Ling. I lost track of that game, because there were far more interesting victory dances at the other one. I talked to most of the “geeks” — Libba Bray, Scott Westerfeld, David Levithan, Holly Black, Sara Zarr, Barry Lyga, Wendy Mass, Tracy Lynn, Kelly Link, and Cassie Claire — and had them sign my T-shirt. I told Justine Larbalestier how much I enjoyed Liar — and had her sign my shirt.

When the establishment began the process of kicking us out, I grabbed the ARC and made sure I got as many signatures as I could. Then Liz and I walked back to the hotel, stopping for a cookie on the way and discussing Liar in detail.

Sunday doesn’t need a whole new post. I said goodbye to Liz and headed over to BEA. I went to the signing for the new American Girl book, for Erica Perl’s book, and a poster from Jerry Pinkney. I reported to the Blogger Booth at NetGalley at 11:00 a.m. and talked to the folks who came by. Terry was sweet enough not only to stop by, but to donate T-shirts for 48HBC. I ran into Heidi on the shuttle bus, but we talked a bit more at the booth. I didn’t know that Sarah was working BEA, but she took time off to say hello. Ron from GalleyCat and Beatrice stopped by — though not particularly to see me. I had a few discussions about Kidlitosphere Central, and then at noon I was out of there to meet a friend in the village.

After a three-hour visit that included lunch and quality — if not quantity — toddler time, I was back on the bus to DC. I dozed most of the four-hour ride and made my family come into the city to pick me up. I was too tired to face the Metro.

Now I’m excited to get my box of books from UPS. I’m excited to count down the days — DAYS — until the 48 Hour Book Challenge. And I’m excited to show you my new prized possession. (Click to make it bigger and see the signatures.) Yes, I went to New York City and all I got was this T-shirt.


Suzanne Casamento said...

I am so jealous! My head is spinning just reading your post. I have to go back and re-read and totally re-freak out over all the authors you met.

BTW, that is the coolest shirt ever.

Anonymous said...

So, so, so jealous of your GEEKTASTIC ARC! I missed out on that one Saturday. And I want your shirt! Awesome idea.


Natasha @ Maw Books said...

It was great to meet you Pam and put a face behind the name! And the t-shirt is totally awesome.

Lisa Yee said...

Wistful sigh. Wish I could have been there.

Tasha said...

Oh, so very jealous of you going to BEA!

I wanted to thank you for standing up and saying that the number of comments is not an indicator of a healthy blog. I'm not sure how some of these brand new blogs are getting 40-50 comments per post, but that doesn't happen on mine. Not to be snotty, but the blogs with all those comments don't generate the number of hits mine does. I've begun to wonder if it's a conspiracy. ;)

jama said...

Thanks for the exciting blow by blow. *green with envy*

Melissa said...

YAY! I feel like I've been there. :) (Almost.)

Score on the Catching Fire ARC and Mo meeting.

I know for sure that I disagreed with the concept presented that having lots of comments is a way to indicate a healthy blog.I would write something intelligent, since I struggle with this on and off...but I'll just say thanks.

Sherrie Petersen said...

What a great shirt!! Sounds like you had a fun weekend. Someday I want to experience BEA...

Anonymous said...

You look so happy in that photo. Have you framed it?

Also, how did I miss that there was a new American Girl coming out? Got to get that on order.

Jen Robinson said...

That t-shirt is priceless! As is the photo with Mo. I'm glad that the trip was such a success. And I'll be expecting to see all of those authors at the Kidlitosphere conference this fall.

Vivian Mahoney said...

Love the shirt--it simply rocks.

I'm so glad to hear about the Geektastic party! I got an invite, but couldn't go to BEA, so it's nice to get the scoop on what I missed. Wah!

And Catching Fire? You are sooooo lucky!

Terry Doherty said...

No Tshirt, no ARC ... just a geektastic pocket protector and candy. It was still a great time!!

It couldn't have been a blogger panel without you, and you worked it flawlessly! What a great "preview" of the conference in October. Can't wait to see everyone in DC.

Glad to hear you got the Pinkney poster. Beautiful, no?

(who has tried three times to log into her blogger account!)

Colleen said...

This whole comments thing strikes me as....well silly. (I seem to be saying that a lot lately in reference to the whole notion of a bloggers panel as being representative of the lit blogosphere).

Jessa doesn't even allow comments and she's been in six figures a month for a while now. I'd say that's a success.

I also have never heard of the bloggers on the panel - were they specific to a certain genre? And when did the blast tour thing mean 30 or 40 bloggers posting on a single book on a single day (I got that from the PW link)? Have they co-opted the blog blast tour idea to mean something else?

Silly I tell ya - just plain silly!

Beth Kephart said...

I am hanging at the edge of all your words.

And thinking. Wait. People are talking about comments and blog health? ANd some are saying it's okay just to have a handful of really thoughtful people chime in?

Wish I'd been there for that!!!!

Heidi Rabinowitz said...

Hey Pam, it was so great to accidentally find you on the BEA shuttle bus! And nice to get your autograph at the Net Galley booth too. I LOVED that t-shirt, what a great idea. Thanks for linking to The Book of Life podcast in your post. I'll be posting interviews from BEA during the summer, keep an eye out.

Gail Gauthier said...

So, Pam, how long did you train to go to this thing? Had you done some endurance work of some kind? I was just at Sheila Ruth's blog, reading about her first day at BEA. I'm exhausted now.