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New York Comic Con 2012

For the second year in a row, I attended New York Comic Con (it was my third trip altogether, although in 2009 I only went to see an idol from my favorite Japanese pop group, Arashi, wave to us from a box. Best $35 I ever spent!)! Last year, I unexpectedly met some YA authors and received free copies of their books, so I was definitely looking forward to repeating that experience this year!

I have to admit I was a bit unprepared for the craziness last year. While the Javits Center is big, when it’s crammed with thousands of bodies, it becomes very small and nearly impossible to navigate. Map in hand, I swam through the crowds in search of publishing booths and got lost more than once. Keeping that in mind, I did my research this year. I found out who was going to be there, what time signings and panels were, and located all of the booths I wanted to visit on a map, which I printed out ahead of time. Thankfully, instead of spreading the booths out like they did last year, all of the publishing companies were in the same area, which made finding them much easier. I also arrived before the doors opened, so I could get to the booths before they ran out of their free goodies. Also, after nearly breaking my arms during Book Expo, I knew to bring an extra tote bag to carry my swag in (see, I’m learning!). Here’s a sampling of what I got:

Besides samplers, postcards, tattoos, and a tote bag, I also got massive posters (Vampire Academy, Bitterblue, and The Mortal Instruments). They’re really, really nice.

No con is complete without ARCs, right? I’m quite pleased that I was able to score a copy of Through the Ever Night because last year, I met Veronica Rossi and received an ARC of Under the Never Sky. Getting her books at Comic Con has become a tradition!

I attended the con with my good friend and beta reader–she has the same tastes as me, so everything I picked up, she did as well!

In the afternoon we attended a YA panel! I always love hearing authors talk about their writing habits, how they come up with ideas, how long it takes them to finish a first draft, etc. This panel was a lot of fun, as it was obvious the authors are good friends. They spent most of the time joking and teasing one another.

Afterwards, the authors from the panel did an autographing session! The above picture shows you just how insane it was. The room was small, there were lines everywhere, and it was very noisy. I’m glad my friend and I decided to go early! We ended up at the beginning of the line, away from the pure insanity.

All of the authors were nice and signed whatever we wanted them to. It’s hard to see, but the map on the bottom right is signed by Maureen Johnson! Meeting her was pretty amazing, let me tell you. I also met Alexandra Bracken for the second time, had a chat with Tahereh Mafi, and Margaret Stohl took a picture of me and my friend because we both had Beautiful Creates tote bags. Awesome? Yes, I like to think so.

We spent about eight hours at Comic Con, total. It was exhausting, but I had so much fun that I was able to ignore my fatigue. And now I can’t wait for New York Comic Con 2013!

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BEA 2012

Books, books, and more books!

Like I mentioned in my last entry, I had the opportunity to attend BEA 2012 as a Random House Power Reader! It was just as much fun as I imagined, and I definitely want to attend next year! But I’ll need to bring a suitcase! Look at how many books I got! And I was only there for a few hours. Imagine if I had gone the entire week? This is pretty embarrassing, but the reason I had to leave was because I could barely carry my two overflowing bags! And my arms still hurt, two days later!

Like last year, BEA was held in the Javits Center in Manhattan. I’ve been there a few times, twice for Comic Con and three times for Anime Fest. Last year’s Comic Con was pure insanity; I’d never seen the place so crowded! I worried BEA would be as bad, but luckily, it wasn’t. There were crowds, but they were manageable. It probably helped that it was the last day and there weren’t as many events planned. I feel like more people attended Monday-Wednesday.

A shot from the entrance.

I arrived before the doors opened, agenda in mind. I knew which booths to hit, and what times my favorite authors were signing autographs. For the first half hour I picked up free books (it was a little strange to snatch books from the floor and tables and just stuff them into my bags without paying for them!), then headed over to the autographing area to meet Alexandra Bracken!

Since there’s a line of people waiting for autographs, you don’t have a lot of time to talk with the authors, but I managed to tell her how excited I was to read her new book. I also promised to tweet about it once I finished it, to let her know what I thought!

After that signing, I joined the huge line waiting to meet Kristin Cashore! Thanks to a very generous friend, I already own signed copies of all three of Cashore’s books, but I still wanted to meet her (and snag a copy of Bitterblue for a friend). The line moved even faster than the last one, but I managed to quickly tell her how much I love her books and writing, which she was very thankful for. Afterwards, I had a bit of a, “OH MY GOSH, I just talked to Kristin Cashore!” moment.

Look at this pile!

The books are currently stacked on top of my dresser, as I can’t even fit them on my bookshelf! I’m having a hard time deciding which one to read first, they all sound amazing! I think I’m set with books for awhile, don’t you?

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BEA Bound!

It’s BEA week (that’s Book Expo America) in NY, which means tons and tons of authors, publishing companies, editors, and book lovers are heading over to the Javits Center in Manhattan for a fun-filled week. I first heard about BEA last year, and sat around pouting when I discovered I couldn’t attend because it’s trade only. This year I thought about avoiding the internet altogether, as it seems like every author ever (or, at least the ones I love) is going to be there.

Then I found out last week that a limited number of tickets were available to the general public for June 7th! I immediately snatched one up, and then proceeded to pour over the BEA website to plan my day. I’m hoping to meet a couple of authors and check out some new and upcoming books. I’m very, very excited, and hopefully I’ll have an interesting report to share with all of you later in the week!