10 Things I Learned at BEA

5 July, 2013 Musing Musers 35 comments

bea-logoLast year, during BEA 2012, I sat at my computer and watched all my new blogger buddies having a grand time. At that moment on twitter, I vowed that I would attend BEA 2013. And as Kat will tell you, watching from a distance sucks! So I made all the necessary preparations: found roomies, booked a hotel room, purchased business cards, purchased comfortable shoes, mapped out where all the parties I was invited to were located, made a loose schedule of all the publisher booths I needed to attend and had an entire list of all the autographing I HAD to make. I just couldn’t contain my excitement for BEA. I’m pretty sure Hannah from The Irish Banana and I sat on Twitter each and every day saying something along the lines of, “Is it time to leave for NYC yet?”

Yet, in the end, BEA 2013 was the most stressful trip I’ve ever gone on. There are so many things I wish I could have changed to make my life easier. And if I could go back in time a few months to give my past self a few pointers, it would probably go a little something like this:

Dear Steph,

You’re going to make a lot of mistakes on this BEA trip. There will be tears and laughter. Be glad that you have Future You to give you a heads up.

NJ1. Staying in New Jersey is a really bad idea

Steph, this is easily the biggest and most important mistake you can make throughout your entire trip. Sure, it may sound like a brilliant idea because staying in New York City is pretty damn expensive. You may feel extremely clever for paying a much cheaper rate. You may think you can just take a cab right across into New York each morning and back in the evening. On all those counts, you’d be wrong.

Traveling to and from NYC is a pain in the ass. You’ll have to get up extremely early to make sure everyone has enough shower time just to take a $58 cab into the city at 7am sharp. That’s not too bad when you are splitting the fair 6 ways, but what about getting back into New Jersey? THAT is the root of all evil because taxi drivers don’t want to drive to New Jersey. And if you even find one that will take you, they charge an insane amount of money (think $100 or even a kidney). Your only option at that point is the dreaded Port Authority. You will hate that place. Trust me on this, you’d rather be forced to ride the DC metro for all of your days than to deal with Port Authority again. Later, as you express your immense displeasure over PA to another blogger who lived in NJ, you’ll be told that even locals hate Port Authority.

bus schedule

I guess that explains this…

I know you might be thinking, “That’ll never happen to me!” Maybe you already know which bus to take thanks to a native who has given you a heads up. I did too, but what you, a person who is a total noob when it comes to public transportation, don’t understand is that buses and times change. You’ll get to Port Authority and be woefully, lost on the brink of tears at 10:30pm Wednesday night (despite the fact that you’re supposed to check in at 3pm). There will be times when you and your friends will camp out on the floor of 125 bus terminal, cursing the wretched place.


Christina from A Reader of Fictions


Kara from Great Imaginations

Does it look like your friends are having fun? You all could be hanging out in the heart of the city, making the most out of this trip (that’s supposed to be fun). But instead you all will spend majority of your time doing three things: walking the BEA floor, navigating back to Jersey or waiting in line at the post office.


2. Pay the extra money and send your books via UPS or Fedex

Here is yet again another area where you thought you could cut corners to save money. Are you noticing a trend here, Steph? Paying extra money affords you the convenience and spares you the headache. Remember that. But knowing you, and I think I do, you’ll trudge from the Javits center to the Post Office in the 90 degree heat just to save a few bucks. You’ll sit in the slow post office line for hours, missing the FSG Reception you and Christina were invited to. Truly, it’s a fun suck.

You’ll be lucky in the sense that you won’t have a box of your books completely destroyed like Christina did or your best friend whose first box of books never showed up (in fact, USPS sent her what was left of her box: the top), but it’s not worth the worrying you’ll do, hoping they show up at your house, let alone undamaged.


But a few of your books will have water damage. One of your boxes will be destroyed, though, thankfully taped back together with most of your contents restored (you hope) and a few items that you know don’t belong to you like cruise ship magazines. Just… don’t do it, Steph.


3. Publishers will feed you

I know all of this points seem to indicated that BEA 2013 was a royal shitfest, but it honestly wasn’t. There were some really awesome parts like Harlequin’s High Tea event at the historic Woolworth Building.

Harlequin High Tea Event BEA 2013

Walking into that building will feel like you’ve just stepped into the past or right out of The Great Gatsby film. It’ll be surreal meeting with the Harlequin editors, chatting about your favorite books, eating AMAZING brownies.

HQN High Teen Food

On Thursday morning, there’s the Harlequin Teen Breakfast and it’s pretty fantastic as well. If there is anything Harlequin knows, it’s how to feed the bloggers. YUM! You’ll also get to finally meet up with so many bloggers that you’ve chatted with on twitter including Katiebabs from Babbling about Books, and More!, Rachel from Parajunkee, Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner, Andye from Reading Teen and so many more! A smile will permanently reside on your face for the entirety of Thursday. It’s a pretty big day, especially since one of your favorite authors is going to be at the Harlequin Breakfast! Julie freakin’ Kagawa!

Julie Kagawa and me

You’ll make it no secret to everyone at your table that Julie must sit next to you. But don’t worry, Steph. You have very awesome blogger friends that understand your level of fangirl over Julie. They were more than willing chair-hop just so you could gaze into Julie’s eyes. Er… is this getting creepy? Sorry. Anyway, Amanda Sun (Ink), Elizabeth Scott (Heartbeat) and Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits) will be there as well. It’ll be tough not to kidnap all these really cool authors, but somehow you’ll manage. Thankfully, their books were more than enough to satisfy since there is a pretty big stack on each table. One of the Harlequin reps will tell everyone in the room to not be shy with taking copies, which’ll be funny because your table will be the first to raid all the books.

On Friday there’s the Penguin Teen Luncheon with Richelle Mead and Melissa de la Cruz. Again, you’ll somehow rein in your fangirl. Sadly, there won’t be any copies of The Fiery Heart, but you’ll get to meet Richelle again and that’s even better.

Richelle Mead, Melissa de la Cruz and me

4. Autograph lines are out of control

Steph, do you know how you had it in your mind that you’d run from the Harlequin Teen Breakfast straight to Kendare’s Antigoddess signing? Yeah… that won’t happen. I know you’ve been looking forward to finally meeting Kendare, but your momentous meet and greet will have to wait for another day.



I know, it sucks. But you should honestly get used to it because the autographing lines will be nuts. But you will get to meet Gennifer Albin (Altered) again and that’ll be pretty cool.

Gennifer Albin and me

Nobody rocks red lipstick better than Gennifer!

Although, this’ll be your first time at BEA, you’ll hear from numerous people that there are few books out on the floor this year, causing the autograph lines to be even longer than previous years. So if you don’t get in a signing line, you can pretty much forget getting a copy of the book at all. I know the picture above doesn’t seem like a lot of people are waiting, but that was just the *first* part of the line. Part 2 was long and wrapped around the side. O.O Prepare to wait and start a few lines like Kat Zhang’s for Once We WereThe Line Attendees will tell you that you can’t start the line, but honestly, how are they going to stop you? Spoiler: They won’t. So go on and camp out on the floor with your peeps like a boss.


5. People will tell you to wear comfortable shoes: Eff those people

Let me tell you the truth about the whole “make sure you get comfortable shoes” deal. No matter what shoes you wear, your feet will curse at you by the end of the day. After spending some money on a pair of really comfy shoes, in the end, it will make no difference. Even if you were to wear your Nike’s to the event, you’d still be crying for a foot massage. This is the one thing that there is no way around. Accept it now and make peace with the fact that your feet may never be the same again. (Okay, so I’m exaggerating a little there, but not by much.)


6. Ksenia gives the best hugs

By now, I’m pretty sure everyone knows who your favorite publicist is. You’ve made that no secret. In fact, when you’re at the Harlequin High Tea event you and Christina will be asked how they can improve as a publisher. Your responses will be something along the lines of, “Hire a Ksenia.”

Ksenia and me

So, you’ll be super excited to finally meet her and you’ll be looking around the Macmillan booth, but it’ll be she that finds you.


7. You’ll regret not picking up that adorable unicorn book

How could you have left this book behind? It’s so cute it hurts. He makes cupcakes rain for goodness sake!



8. You’ll lose your favorite dress sweater at the Penguin Bird Bash

Sorry, Steph. It’s gone. (Oh, and that party will be incredibly lame, mirroring a high school prom held in a cafeteria. Sorry, Penguin, I still love you, but it’s true.)


9. The parties are awesome, but the Author/Blogger Rooftop Party set it off

Most of the parties you’ll get an invite to are on Thursday night: MacKids, Penguin Bird Bash and Author/Blogger Rooftop Party. The MacKids party is really fun and intimate. Plus, they’ll serve wine. Pretty much an automatic win in your book. But besides that, your hunch about the “surprise” is correct. It is The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski.

The Winner's Curse

You’ll likely be extremely nervous about traveling to the Rooftop party (hosted by Liza from WhoRUBlog and The Novl) alone and then back to New Jersey by yourself since none of you roomies were invited, but don’t worry. Thankfully, you’ll meet the awesome Morgan Doremus from RT Book Reviews who’ll become your Yoda for the night. Somehow she’ll be one of the only people you don’t take a photo with, but one of the most memorable.

But what can I say about the Rooftop party besides it’s the best party you’ve ever been to?

The views will take your breath away and for the night you’ll forget about all the travel troubles you’ve encountered:

Sunset at Rooftop party

Rootop party view 1

Rooftop party view 2

You’ll get to me SO MANY authors, chat with them, and see them in their native state (AKA with alcohol in their system):

Gretchen McNeil and me

Gretchen McNeil (3:59)

Lauren Oliver

Lauren Oliver (Requiem)

Susane Colasanti

Susane Colasanti (All I Need)

Photo credit: Morgan Doremus

Robyn Schneider and me

Robyn Schneider (The Beginning of Everything)

You’ll get to hang with other bloggers you admire:

Book Smugglers

Thea and Ana from The Book Smugglers (I love these ladies! I’m sad we didn’t hang out longer.)


Anna from Anna Reads, Jamie from The Perpetual Page-Turner and another blogger whose name I forgot (I’m such a horrible person. T_T)

Photo credit: Morgan Doremus

You’ll have to excuse the fact that you look like a crazy person in some of these photos. There will be just so many exciting things going on and it’s kinda like an overload of awesome. You’ll also win this really cool Daughter of Smoke and Bone topiary made by Amy from Wicked Bookcraft. I’m still staring at that thing in amazement.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone topiary

10. Travel with really awesome people

Kara, Christina and me

Though, the Rooftop party is one of the highlights of your trip, hanging out with Christina and Kara will easily win it. These ladies are as fun and awesome in person as they are online. We all lucked out that none of us turned out to be complete psychos.


Christina entertaining us by reading from Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick… with voices!

Christina, Kara and Bestie? New York would have sucked without you.


Future You


Or something.


BEA Haul video

I know a lot of people are curious as to what books were featured at BEA this year. I know I would be if I didn’t attend and I’d be waiting for someone to upload a full haul video. However, here at Cuddlebuggery we generally don’t do haul videos because: a) We are lazy  b) We are really lazy  c) I’m not very good at it (not sure about Kat). So I feel like I should warn you that I debated on uploading this thing, but in the end, Kat is forcing me to for her sick pleasure. It’s embarrassing and uncut. Enjoy.

If You Could be Mine by Sara Farizan

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

Never Fade by Alexander Bracken

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Blood of the Lamb by Sam Cabot

Project Cain/Cain’s Blood by Geoffrey Girard

The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud

Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

These Broken Stars by Aime Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Reality Boy by A.S. King

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Altered by Gennifer Albin

Once We Were by Kat Zhang

Vicious by Victoria Schwab

Scorched by Mari Mancusi

Entangled by Amy Rose Capetta

How to Love by Katie Cotugno

Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

Covet by Tracey Gravis-Graves

False Sight by Dan Krokos

Hero by Alethea Kontis

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

The Fantastic Family Whipple by Matthew Ward

The Cutting Room Floor by Dawn Klehr

The Twins by Saskia Sarginson

The Paradox of Vertical Flight by Emil Ostrovski

The Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell

Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz

The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech

The Color of Rain by Cori McCarthy

All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry

Tandem by Anna Jarzab

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender

The Returned by Jason Mott

Half Bad by Sally Green

Find Me by Romily Bernard

Charming by Elliott James

Magic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson

The Creature Department by Robert Paul Weston

Parasite by Mira Grant

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick

Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young

Rags & Bones by various authors

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

The 100 by Kass Morgan

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski


Suggest and vote of which books we should read next!

[ideas id=”wp-ideas-modal” mode=”inline”]

Steph Sinclair

Steph Sinclair

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
I'm a bibliophile trying to make it through my never-ending To-Be-Read list, equal opportunity snarker, fangirl and co-blogger here at Cuddlebuggery. Find me on GoodReads.

35 Responses to “10 Things I Learned at BEA”

  1. NoseGraze

    Great post!

    For books, I actually think it’s best to do this:

    On your way there, pack a second suitcase inside of your first suitcase (so you only have one bag and don’t get charged extra if you’re flying).  Then, on your way back, pack all of your books inside the second suitcase.  You may have to pay like $60 or something for a second bag fee (depending on your airline), but I think it’s the BEST option.  I easily fit all my books (spread across 2 checked bags and my carryon).  And in my experience, airlines are much better than the post office.  Even if your bag gets “lost”, it will find its way back to you.  (And especially if it’s a direct flight, lost baggage doesn’t happen that often.)

    If you do that, you don’t have to sit around anxiously waiting for your books since they’re traveling along with you.

  2. irish_banana

    Dude, I heart you. And I miss our daily tweet sessions. I still will never forget watching you fly out of the Penguin Bird Bash and dive into the waiting cab we had. LOL.
    Seriously. you rock and I had a blast with you. Next time stay in NYC so the party can go a bit longer, K?

  3. SnugglyOranges

    lawl I actually watched all of that vlog so I GET A GOLD STAR. I don’t know why I did that. I think I’m just running from my thesis again. But it was awesome and you’re awesome and I’m SO JEALOUS about The Winner’s Curse x_x I want that so badly. And like all the other books too. But yeah.

  4. Ashleigh Paige

    All your captions in the book recap video are A++ perfect. They distracted me from your haul, which was probably a good thing when I think about it. Otherwise, this comment would be full of me frothing at the mouth and plotting to steal some of your books. Just one or two, though. I promise! More often than not, I see books that make me go KEEP IT AWAY FROM ME. Those include the Kami Garcia book (her short stories have all been awful and I don’t expect her solo novels to be any better) and Just Like Fate (two authors whose books I dislike collaborating = NOPE NOPE NOPE, A SYMPHONY OF NOOOOOOOO).

    This video also taught me I have a massive ego. Bigger than my house, even. When you showed off Find Me and a reviewer you and Kara both trust, I was like ME?! Then someone took a pin to my overinflated ego and I have to repair it now. Then I can use it to fly again! It’s like a hot-air balloon, in a way. Too bad it wasn’t strong enough to get me to New York this year. Maybe next year!

    But yeah, The Winner’s Curse is on my radar thanks to you.  If I don’t like it, watch yourself. WATCH YOURSELF. If it turns out to be the Grisha trilogy Part Two: Elictric Bugaloo in that y’all loved it to bits and I hate it, I WILL FIND YOU. (Well, no, not really. Too much effort.)

    • Steph Sinclair

      Ashleigh Paige Yes! It was you I was referring to! (Also, which books did you want? You can borrow after I finish if you’re willing to donate it to LBBA after you finish.) 
      I think you will like The Winner’s Curse. It’s very different that The Grisha trilogy.

      • Ashleigh Paige

        Steph Sinclair Ashleigh Paige 
         I really need to put my Bashful gif somewhere I can easily reach it because I’ve been needing it a lot lately and I really need it right now. The two books I was eyeing were These Broken Stars and Vicious, but since they’re signed and precious and all, I can’t ask you to lend those to me. Keep them and use the cuddle half of Cuddlebuggery on them. 🙂 I’ll try my luck with their respective publishers.

        I definitely hope it won’t be like the Grisha books. I want to like them and Usagi is always telling me how awesome Leigh is, but they simply didn’t click with me. At least we can all agree Mal is awful.

    • Kara_M

      Ashleigh Paige But I do trust you! So much! And I know how discerning you are, and that really matters to me. It means something when you like a book!

  5. jaimearkin

    i’m so sad I didn’t get to meet you at the rooftop party!! 
    also – here’s my tip about staying in New Jersey – we stayed right next to the ferry stop that dropped you off just a short distance from the javits… it cost us like $80 for 10 passes and it was about 8 minutes to cross the river! It actually worked out perfect – our hotel was cheaper, we didn’t have to get up at the ass-crack of dawn to make it to nyc and there is a shipping place just down the road!!! 
    Great and amazing tips- and I can’t even agree more about the sore feet  thing! LOL 
    hope I get to see you next year!! 
    ps – it’s totally true that Ksenia will find you – I ended up at the macmillan booth at ala this weekend and she noticed me there!! Love her!!

    • Steph Sinclair

      jaimearkin I missed so many people there! Next time we’ll have to meet up. I think I know what hotel you are talking about. What time did the ferry stop running? 
      Yup, Ksenia is totally a sweetheart!

      • jaimearkin

        Steph Sinclair jaimearkin 
        The ferry runs until midnight so we never had any problem getting there on time, even with the parties we attended! 🙂 The biggest mixup we had was getting off at the right stop when you get on the shuttle that takes you to Javits 🙂 we only messed that up once! LOL

  6. LenaMarsteller

    Great Vlog! I have only done one vlog, and haven’t done any since… haha
    Great tips, and it sounds like you had wonderful, but tiring trip. Next year will be better because you are now so much wiser 😀

  7. aboesen_29

    I absolutely LOVED this post.
    As someone who is saving up to attend BEA next year,this was a great read! 
    Great tips Steph!

  8. Addyrae

    Random, but you have the cutest, most friendliest smile in all of these photos!  🙂

  9. LizaWiemer

    Thank you so much for the shout-out! I’m so thrilled you had an amazing time at my YA Author/Blogger Rooftop Party! Looking forward to next year. This was a wonderful post. 😀

  10. Kat C

    Oh, wow you were able to meet so many people and I love all the pictures ! That topiary is AMAZING !

  11. readingwishes

    I met Kat earlier this year and now after your vlog, I feel like I’ve kind of met you..in a way..virtually? Thanks for sharing with me your BEA books, and on a completelty non-bookish related note, I love your nails!*takes gold star* 😀

  12. KathStrossner

    Don’t be ashamed! The vlog was amazing and you have to do more videos *wink*
    Ohhh, I envy you!! I just want like half of the books in the haul 🙁
    And I love your nails… and your hair! 😀

  13. katiebabs

    Port Authority can drive you insane. I go through there everyday, lucky me. OMG why did I not see the cute unicorn book!
    Harlequin tea was such a good time and I’m so glad we got to meet and chat. So, ready for BEA 2014? 😉

  14. cynicalsapphire

    Lol, omg, those photos of me and that videooooo. What are you doing to me, Stephanie? O_o Also, we are kindred spirits because my reactions were basically the same, only one of my points was GET INVITED TO BLOGGER ROOFTOP PARTY.

  15. alexalovesbooks

    It was so great to meet you at BEA, although I’m sad we didn’t get a photo together! Hearing about your BEA experience was really cool. I’m sorry you had so much hassle (and yes, I’m so not fond of Port Authority!!!) but I’m glad it was balanced out by a lot of fun stuff too. See you at BEA 2014? Yes?

  16. TheBookRat

    I REALLY need to go to BEA. I’ve been to ALA twice, which is super fun, but sometimes you feel like the bastard stepchild there, because OMG BLOGGER NOT LIBRARIAN.  It just seems like more of “our kind’ really meet up and get into it at BEA. Needs to happen.
    (totally jelly. And yes, Ksenia DOES give the best hugs!)

  17. Princess__Ash

    I’m so happy you had fun but I can’t believe it was so stressful for you guys. I feel a teeny bit guilty because it was incredibly easy for me and I just assumed that it was the same for others. What a jerk xD 
    But wow you got to sit next to Julie. Steph that’s something you write down in your bio.
    Loved the vlog! You’re too funny, even in person. Which I would know. I’M SO HAPPY TO HAVE MET YOU.

  18. ReadingbyKF

    Holy Crap!! That’s amazing!! I’m sorry your foot hurt, haha, but I’d love to go, even though it sounds super chaotic! And it’s so awesome you met so many people!! Overall, it sounds like a great experience, despite the ups and downs hahah! I just met Julie Kagawa on Saturday and she’s so sweet! (and evil when it comes to book cliffhangers!)

  19. Wendy Darling

    Okay, this posted while I was in New York, but HOW AWESOME! I’m so excited that you got to go to BEA, Steph, and your list is hilarious. I’m glad you had such a good time–and it’s true, I told everyone to wear comfy shoes, but it doesn’t matter. Your stupid feet will hurt anyway.
    Also, how cute are you? I peeked at your video and it’s so fun to hear Steph speak. I might come back and watch it again sometime when I need to remember what you sound like. 
    Um…not creepy at all. @_@

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge