May 20, 2016

BEA 2016 Recap: Day One

After the amazing time I had at BEA 2015 I knew I HAD to go to BEA 2016 even though it was in Chicago this time and was during my AP exams. Up until the end of April my parents kept saying no to letting me go to Chicago for BEA and I had given up all hope until I decided to give one last push and miraculously it worked! I couldn't go the first day of BEA because of my AP Language and Composition exam but I booked my flight for Wednesday night so that I could make it on Thursday.

Tuesday night was probably one of the hardest times I ever had falling asleep, the thought of both an AP test that I was dreading the next day AND my flight to Chicago had me all excited and I couldn't sleep until a few hours later. Rest assured, I made it through AP Lang without dying, came home a bit early from school, finished packing my suitcase (of course I had to grab a copy of ACOTAR as my flight read), and left to go to Newark for my flight!

The flight was alright even though I couldn't fall asleep again and I landed in Chicago at around 11:30 PM and was promptly greeted by rain which I hadn't come prepared for, at all. Mercifully, the person picking me up was there already and we were at the place I was staying at during BEA in another 15 minutes since it was close to the airport.

The next day we woke up at 6 AM and got on the road since the house was kind of far away from McCormick Center and there was rush hour traffic, it took about 1.5 hours to get there from all the traffic and I was in line by 7:30 AM (after getting my badge and checking my suitcase).

I  spent the hour and a half in line finishing up my schedule for the day (yes, I still wasn't finished at that point) and deciding where to go first when the hall opened. As soon as the hall opened I ran to Disney because I had heard they were dropping Elite ARCs at 9 AM but it turns out they weren't and I had to double back and rush to the Macmillan booth for the Metaltown ticket drop and despite my fears that I would be too late I still managed to get the 43rd ticket!

With nothing really planned until 9:30 AM I decided to get in line early for Metaltown and waited until around 10 when it finally came my turn to meet Kristen Simmons.

Kristen turned out to be an amazing person and even remembered me from all the times we had talked on Twitter (probably one of the first authors I ever talked to on Twitter, before I had even made this blog). The signing for Of Fire and Stars was the next thing on my agenda and even though I knew it would probably be too late I ran over there (the signing was (9:30 - 10:00 if I remember correctly and it was past 10 at that point) and somehow got the LAST copy of her book!

The signing for Bookishly Ever After was happening at the same time as Of Fire and Stars aaaaaand you guessed it, I madly dashed over there as I had with the previous signing and got one of the few remaining copies of Bookishly Ever After! Isabel Bandeira whom I had never met before turned out to be one of my favorite authors out of all the ones I saw/met at BEA and I'm so so glad I went to her signing! She even turned out to be from NJ like me which was yet another reason to her awesomeness!

After that signing I decided to take a short break, explore the floor and booths a bit, and go put all the books I had gotten so far in my suitcase. After that I went and got in line for Eleanor Herman who was one of my top five goals at BEA this year since I had just read Legacy of Kings and absolutely LOVED it (and obviously had to get the sequel while I had the chance). It was either this line or the one before where Steph from Ohana Reads and Steph from Doodle's Book Reviews came over and introduced themselves (we were all part of a BEA chat on Twitter in the days leading up to BEA). We started talking and they decided to come to the Eleanor Herman signing with me and that if we had any signings/events at the same time later on we would go to them together.

We waited in line for Eleanor Herman, met her (she remembered me from last year and Twitter which was pretty cool and we chatted about her books for a bit), and then went to the ticket drop for Vassa and Heartless by Marissa Meyer (which was my NUMBER ONE goal at BEA, I would have dropped all my other signings for her). This was probably one of the most annoying/funny moments of BEA 2016 for me, the great Macmillan Stampede. We went to the line TWO HOURS early and got into an unofficial line since Macmillan refused to make the actual one until the signing. About an hour in, a second line was formed and then the tow lines merged into one giant clump with everyone clamoring to get close to the booth. Meanwhile, the line for Replica by Lauren Oliver was next to us that lead to the Epicreads booth and they were throwing shade so hard at the Macmillan people. They kept saying things like "We have such an amazing line," "You guys actually listen to us and make a straight functional line" all while looking at us in the Macmillan clump. Fast forward to the drop and everyone just runs and I mean full on runs to the line that Macmillan set up. Despite waiting there for two hours, Steph and I were not able to get tickets to Heartless (there were 10 people in front of us when the tickets ran out) but we were able to get tickets to Vassa.

After the ticket drop Steph had another signing to go to so we bid our farewells and I walked over to the Replica line even though it had started over an hour earlier. They must have brought in a TON of copies because I was in that line for an hour at least (bringing the total time of that line to about three hours) and still got a copy of Replica.

After leaving the Replica line I went down to the second floor of McCormick to get some water (I had had no water or food up until this point) and then went to the Diabolic signing (probably in my top 10 of books I wanted at BEA 2016) and talked with the author and got my copy signed.

By that time, 2 PM had approached and I went to the Vassa line (the signing for the ticket I had waited two hours for), waited for about an hour, and met  Sarah Porter! Vassa was my #3 goal at BEA so as you can imagine I was excited and happy to meet her and get my book signed.

The next hour after Vassa was a blur of signings and meeting authors as I jumped from one line to the next

After a couple signings I rushed over to Little Brown for their dice game and managed to win a copy of The King Slayer which was another book I really wanted (since I met the author last year) and a couple other books from other booths.

By this time in the day I had nothing else planned so I just wandered around the floor and visited a couple booths where I talked to publishers about what it's like to be in the publishing industry, any advice they have for someone interested in it, internships, and swapped contact information. It was exactly as I was walking around the floor that I stumbled on Zoraida Cordova's signing! Her signing wasn't on my BEA app agenda for some reason and I would have completely missed her signing had I not chanced upon it. So I got into line there and when it was my turn for the signing she recogniced me before I even asked her if she did (I met her at Books of Wonder in 2014 or 2015 for the signing of her other books) and after chatting with her for a bit left to wander the floor some more.

At around 5:30 PM I left the show floor, walked downstairs, got my suitcase from the check in area, and called an Uber to take me back to the place I was staying at. After using Twitter for a bit I passed out until we arrived (my shoulders, back, and feet were killing me as most BEA-goers will attest to, BEA takes a lot out of you). After dropping off my books in my room I had dinner with some friends who live in Chicago and eventually went back to get ready for the next day of BEA.

All in all the first day of BEA 2016 turned out to be pretty amazing (even though I couldn't get Heartless), getting to meet a bunch of authors, blogger friends, and just being part of the book community!

*Not all the authors I met are pictured here since I met way too many and there are enough pictures as it is!

1 comment:

  1. You were lucky with all of your last minute runs! I am looking forward to the rest of your BEA posts. :)