10 things I did while at Book Expo America

Posted: June 3, 2013 in Books & Reading
Tags: , ,

I was at Book Expo America (BEA) from May 30 – June 1, and I had a BLAST. Here are 10 exciting things I got to do while I was there.


My haul: 22 books!!

  1. I got free books. Yes, it’s like heaven. Everywhere you turn there are books, and they’re all FREE. Better yet? Most of them aren’t even released yet, so you get to read them before the rest of the world does. In a lot of cases I wasn’t familiar with the books or authors, but there were definitely some I got meet and talk to that I really admire, and that was awesome!
  2. I got to represent Hypable. I was there as a member of the press, which is all new and exciting and shiny for me. I got to talk up the website, hand out business cards, and explain what we were all about. The authors I got to talk to were interested in learning more and working with us, which is always great to hear! Better yet, some of them already knew of us, which is kind of mind blowing!
  3. I got to attend the Children’s Book Breakfast. It featured Octavia Spencer as the host, with Mary Pope Osbourne, Rick Riordan, and Veronica Roth as the guest speakers. I was there mostly for Riordan, but the other three were absolutely phenomenal. And Mary Pope Osbourne may have made me cry.
  4. I got to see Rick Riordan in the flesh. Yes, this completely deserves its own point on top of #3. I have such a great admiration for Riordan, and I love his books so much. Even though I haven’t belonged to the middle grade category for about a decade, it’s a testament to his abilities that I’m so in love with his series. He was a seriously hilarious speaker, and even though I didn’t get a chance to meet him or get a book signed, I’m grateful I at least got to hear his speech.
  5. I got to meet and talk to a bunch of authors. Some of them I knew, some of them I didn’t. Everyone was incredibly polite and kind and excited to be there. Not a single person gave off the vibe that they weren’t grateful that people lined up to get their books signed. Many of them asked how I was, where I was from, what I did, etc., and it was great to carry on a conversation with someone who didn’t have to give you the time of day but genuinely wanted to speak to you anyway.
  6. Me and Juliana 2 B

    Me and Juliana!

  7. I got to meet some of my internet friends. I got to see one Hypable staff member for the second time, and I got to hang out with two others for the first time — including the person I’m going to Comic Con with. I also got to say hi to Chuck Wendig, whose blog I follow regularly, and I got to meet the awesomely awesome Juilana Haygert, who has been one of my blogging buddies for quite some time.
  8. I got to experience a convention for the very first time. This was my test-run for San Diego Comic Con, which promises to be a hundred times more terrifying and a hundred times more awesome. As far as conventions go, I definitely learned a few good things while I was there, and I’ll be keeping those notes in the back of my mind for future adventures.
  9. I got to talk to new people. It’s funny how you can bond with the people around you when you’re standing in line for a half an hour waiting for the same book. I met and talked with so many people with similar interests to me. Unfortunately, I don’t know any of their names, but they were all extremely kind and interesting, and it was a nice way to pass the time when everything was moving agonizingly slow.
  10. I got to give my best friend an amazing birthday present. I was going to give her Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead, because she loves the Vampire Academy series by the same author. (Yes, that’s the book I’ve been reading for the last week or so. I wanted to squeeze it in before I gave it to her. I’m a terrible person.) I was walking along the floor at BEA when I happened to stumble upon a line for that very same book — which was being signed by the author! I immediately jumped in and got her a SIGNED copy instead. She was ecstatic, to say the least. I also got to pick up a couple of books for other friends that I knew they wanted, which was an awesome feeling. Everyone was really excited. 🙂
  11. I got to be inspired. There is nothing like going to a book convention where authors are treated like rock stars to inspire you to keep writing. Maybe one day I’ll be on the other side of the table at BEA, with people lining up for my book. Can you even imagine that?? Right now it seems pretty fanciful, but BEA showed me that people love books and that there’s always room for one more author in world.

Have you ever been to BEA? Or any sort of book convention? What sort of experiences have you had?

  1. How totally cool! My husband would be green with envy over Rick Riordan. He’s pretty awesome. Thanks for sharing your fabulous experience.

  2. Yay! I can’t believe we’ve met in person! I’m soooo happy 🙂
    Next year, I’m going for the entire 3 days – and I hope to see you there again!

    • Karen Rought says:

      Me neither! It’s so surreal, isn’t it? I think I’ll definitely have to go again next year, before it moves to Chicago. Hopefully it works out and we can hang out a bit more!

  3. Jess Witkins says:

    Where is this convention held? It sounds amazing! Glad you had such a great time! How cool you got to pick up a signed copy of the book for your friend, I bet she FREAKED!

    • Karen Rought says:

      It’s in NYC, but they’ll be moving to Chicago in a couple of years, which kind of stinks.

      She was pretty happy! What luck, though, that Richelle Mead happened to be there signing the book I had already decided to give her!! Still trying to get over that haha.

  4. Very cool – and great to be able to meet some fellow bloggers!

    Here in NZ there is a “Readers and Writers’ weekend in Auckland, annually, but I’ve only ever been once, when I was a guest speaker. In theory it was meant to help sell my books, but actually didn’t. Picked up some fab tips though, from other authors & did some great networking. All good stuff.

  5. Carly says:

    You got to say hi to Chuck Wendig? That’s awesome. I haven’t been to BEA (or any other book conventions, for that matter) but after reading this I’m really dying to go. I just want to be surrounded by books and people who write them.

  6. EM Castellan says:

    Thanks for sharing your recap with us! It’s definitely made me want to go next year! 🙂

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