Last 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:
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.
1. 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 Were. The 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.”
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.
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:
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 (3:59)
Lauren Oliver (Requiem)
Susane Colasanti (All I Need)
Photo credit: Morgan Doremus
Robyn Schneider (The Beginning of Everything)
You’ll get to hang with other bloggers you admire:
Thea and Ana from The Book Smugglers (I love these ladies! I’m sad we didn’t hang out longer.)
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.
10. Travel with really awesome people
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.
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
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!
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