This was my first year attending BEA, and I was pleased to be invited to a publisher party and to attend a few open parties! Before coming to BEA, I was really curious what the parties would be like, so I thought I’d share my experiences! (Don’t worry, this is my last BEA post. Regular content will resume soon!)
After leaving the Blogger Conference on Wednesday, Rory and I made our way to Housing Works Bookstore for the Bookrageous Bash, held by the Bookrageous Podcast and sponsored by Book Riot, the Library Journal Book Review, and Quirk Books. It is a really incredible bookstore, and the party was fabulous. There were free drinks and some big-name authors in attendance (A.S. King, Emma Straub, Lauren Beukes, Tiphanie Yanique, E. Lockhart, and David Peace). To make the party even more fun, there was a “shelfie” game, which invited guests to find the honored authors and take selfies with them; whoever got the most during the contest time period won a prize.
While Rory and I were standing around awkwardly because we hadn’t yet had enough beer to be super social (introverts, y’all), a tall blonde lady came over and introduced herself as Amy. When I learned that she was, in fact, A.S. King, my brain went all “oh god, I haven’t read her books yet, what do I say?!” I have no idea what kind of awkward things I rambled at her. (She was very nice.)
I had to duck out of the party early and head to a DIFFERENT party, all by myself. I’m not sure how I got invited to the Riverhead 20th Anniversary Bash when no one else I know did, but it was a publisher party, and it was on a boat (the Lightship Frying Pan), so I kind of had to go. After wandering across Manhattan by myself for half an hour, I ran into a group of women and heard someone say ‘Hachette’ so I jumped in and asked if they were going to the Riverhead party. They were, so I tagged along because I didn’t really know where I was going. It turned out that one of them was Tiphanie Yanique, author of Land of Love and Drowning! Since I didn’t know anyone at the party, she adopted me into her ‘entourage’ for the evening! They were all really lovely, and it was fun to meet some new people.
I got to the party late, so I don’t know if anything happened at the beginning of it, but while I was there, it was just a bunch of people chatting, and there was an open bar and pizza. Not too scary, but not a ton of fun if you don’t know anyone and are rather shy.
After the expo on Thursday, Shannon and I went to the Bloggers Recommend happy Hour, which was a lovely, intimate affair in a sunny upstairs room of the Galway Hooker in the West Village. There were only about 10 people there, which was a nice change of pace. The small number made it a lot easier to talk to people as a group, and it was great to meet some bloggers I know online and to make some new acquaintances.
When the Bloggers Recommend party broke up, Shannon, Farin (marketing for Little, Brown Young Readers), and I trekked to Housing Works for the Tumblr party, which was getting into full swing when we arrived. (We actually had to wait in line outside for a little while before we could go in.) It was pretty packed, but we made our way inside and found a decent spot from which to hear Catherine Lacey and Rainbow Rowell read. They were both fantastic, and Lacey’s reading really made me want to check out her upcoming book, Nobody is Ever Missing. Rowell read from Eleanor & Park, and I kind of want to be her best friend. However, we had to leave before John Darnielle’s reading because Shannon wasn’t feeling well. (Too much walking, not enough sleeping, eating, and hydrating. Because we were BEA newbies.)
And that’s a wrap! So, just to tally up all the BEA things: 3 days, 1 blogger conference, 2 days of walking the BEA floor, 4 parties. I slept REALLY well when I got home.