This was my first year at Book Expo America, an event I recommend highly to all teachers, librarians, writers, and publishing people. Thanks to my friend Jody, I had the opportunity to attend in a unique way. This is what BEA looked like when I arrived:
Notice the lack of people. BEA opened at 9:00. My day started at 7:00am.
As a volunteer in the autographing area, I was in charge of signs. At 7:30 I placed the hanging signs on the poles. Then, starting at 10:30, each half hour I switched them to make sure the right book hung from all 30 autograph lines. It was a tough job (only because the signs hung at about 5'9" and I am 5'2"), but someone had to do it.
Other than the sign turning, I spent the day visiting booths, meeting friends, talking to authors, editors, agents, and librarians. I also spent a lot of time in the Green Room, welcoming authors and their entourage, as they prepared for their signing time.
Here are some highlights of my day:
1. Being fifth online for Kate DiCamillo as she signed hard copy editions of the Tales of Despereaux at the First Book booth. My only disappointment of the day was missing the chance to get the ARC of her new book, The Magicians Elephant.
2. Meeting the Tiffanys in the real world. Here are twitter friends Tiffany Schmidt (in purple) and Tiffany E (in pink).
3. Talking with editors/publishers Joni Sussman of Kar-Ben, Andrea Spooner and Jennifer Hunt from Little, Brown, Evelyn Fazio from WestSide Books, Andrea Davis Pinkney from Scholastic, and literary agent Michael Bourret.
4. Being surrounded by writers, publishing companies, and LOTS of books.
5. Taking home 20!!! free books/ARCs, 5 of them signed. Here is Tiffany Schmidt getting a book signed by Sara Zarr.
In the end, I left BEA tired and worn with lots to read and remember. (BEA at 6:15 pm).