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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Book Expo America, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 58
1. Four Days in Bookland: BookExpo, BookCon Chicago 2016

SquirrelGirl novelOnce again, publishers, publicists, booksellers, bibliophiles, and other assorted individuals converged for the annual BookExpo America trade show, held last week. And once again, I joined those 18,000 trades people, returning to Chicago just a month after C2E2. As a change of pace, the show was moved to Chicago (last seen locally in 2004), and […]

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2. 48 Hour Book Challenge: Prizes

One reason to go to Book Expo America was to get books for the 48 Hour Book Challenge this coming weekend. Here are some of the signed books that I plan on reading this weekend and giving away as prizes:

Last-But-Not-Least Lola: Going Green, by Christine Pakkala; Last Night at the Circle Cinema, by Emily Franklin; House of Charms, by Christina Cameron; Lies I Told, by Michelle Zink; Those Girls, by Lauren Saft;

Elvis and the Underdogs, by Jenny Lee; The Girl in the Torch, by Robert Sharenow; Five Nincompoops, The Princess and One Saviour, by K. Edward; Endangered, by Lamar Giles; and The Summertime Girls, by Laura Hankin

There are also potentials for prizes among the ARC's I received. I didn't gather many, so most of these were ones that I requested that the publishers were able to give me.

The Murdstone Trilogy, by Mal Peet; Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods, by Hal Johnson; The Bamboo Sword, by Margi Preus; When Mischief Came to Town, by Katrina Nannestad; Samurai Rising, by Pamela Turner; Steve Jobs, by Jessie Hartland;
Hunter, by Mercedes Lackey; How to Capture an Invisible Cat; by Paul Tobin; George, by Alex Gino; Sunny Side Up, by Jennifer Holm; Currents, by Jane Petrlik Smolik; and The Golden Compass: the Graphic Novel, adapted and illustrated by Stephanie Melchior-Durand and Clement Oubrerie.

So I've got my reading cut out for me. Are you gathering your choices for the 48 Hour Book Challenge this weekend? If you haven't signed up to participate, there is still time. And remember, you don't actually have to read the whole 48 hours. Consider it more like blocking off the time to make reading a priority. Check out the 48 Hour Book Challenge info and read along.

Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.

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3. Book Expo America: Part IV

I know by Friday that some of my blogging buddies were beginning to wear out, but not me. I was ready for another day of authors, books, and kid lit learning. I got it all, plus some.

I started off tracking down my new best friend from the previous night, Jory Johns, who was listed in a number of places pretty much simultaneously. I took my chances on the table signing being the closest to accurate, and was able to get my own copy of Goodnight Already! signed by this one-to-watch author. I jumped into Sarah Durst's line to pick up her book, The Girl Who Could Not Dream, and was attracted by the lively jacket of her neighbor author to grab a copy of You Can't Ruin my Day, by Allen Klein. I also couldn't resist Carol Alt, so took her book too. Then I grabbed one of the last rounds of bagels at the Library Lounge, and sat in on the YA Book Buzz.

I made sure I was back at the signing area to see Sophie Blackall, who was signing prints from Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear. But I also got a bonus Alvina Ling sighting, who was helping out there. Then it was on to pick up Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton, written and illustrated by Don Tate. I've followed this guy online for years, so it I really enjoyed the chance to meet in person - and to get this lovely book!

After those signings, I was doing a little wandering around the booths and catching the nonfiction panel led by Betsy Bird and the Middle Grade Buzz session. Starred on my agenda was the signing by Felicia Day, which Liz informed me was getting rock star lines an hour early. Eeek. I couldn't get there that quickly, but did make it there in time and the line moved very efficiently. So my payoff was a minute with Internet star, where I told her that my daughter had her hair - which was a bit alarming, until I clarified that I meant that she had used a photo of Felicia Day to chose her new hair color and was playing her character in a school show, and ohmigod I'm an idiot. But she couldn't have been sweeter, and I can't wait to get her book You're Never Weird on the Internet.

With three hours before my bus trip back to DC, it seemed wise to get books shipped off. Indeed it took a while to get them sorted out and packed tidy enough to fit in one box. The packing up also limited what else I could take from the floor, so I tried to avert my eyes. Okay, with the one exception of picking up a copy of Steal Like an Artist, by Austin Kleon. I also snapped a quick pic of Gloria Steinem's signing which is too stalkerish to share. Instead here's the day's highlights:

I ended Friday with my BEA Buddies - Liz, Jackie, Leila, and Gwenda - hanging out at an unused publisher's table, hoping we wouldn't get kicked out and yet too tired to keep walking around. It was a great way to close out, just talking books and such. My bus trip back was not ideal, but with so many good things to reflect on, it was overall a win of good friends, good books, and good visit. What more could I ask for.

Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.

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4. Book Expo America: Part I

Like many others I attended Book Expo America, but unlike many others I needed another week to recover before writing about it. I also needed a full week to get my voice back, but that's another part of the story.

Being from the Washington, DC area I was able to take advantage of a full range of choices of express bus services to New York, including Bolt Bus which drops off and picks up a block from Javits. We had a winner! The easy drop off before 2:00p.m. on Wednesday got me registered at BEA with my suitcase checked and still in time to make one of my priority author signing sessions, Tim Federle at 2:30p.m. I love his books, his Twitter feed, and - from the one time I chatted with him in Alexandria - him, so I was excited to get his new picture book, Tommy Can't Stop. Though I thought I would miss it, I had enough time to get Space Taxi: Archie Takes Flight signed by Wendy Mass and Michael Brawer. I also hopped in line to pick up Bad Kitty Goes to the Vet, by Nick Bruel - who signs with a little kitty drawing. I had added a book selection for my singer teen, VIP: I'm With the Band, by Jen Calonita.

With four great author signings done so quickly, I couldn't believe my luck when a book that I had seen online and hoped to purchase happened to be available at the next table. That was pretty cool. So I brought home a little bit of self-help in Healthy Brain, Happy Life by Wendy Suzuki. I also picked up an abandoned copy of The Song Machine, just because I could.

I had allotted myself time to wait in line for Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi, and wait I did. But it wasn't as bad as I expected - especially given that I ran into blogger and online buddy Emily Mitchell. We chatted a bit, the line moved quickly, and I got my book, poster and photo opportunity. The Story of Diva and Flea takes place in Paris, and the poster has that French feeling to it. Mo looked good from his year on sabbatical, which I believe I told him. Afterwards I got to talk more with Emily and her co-workers, and even got another brief chat with Mo about our kids. Almost like a normal person would do.
I'm sure I picked up a few more books along the way, but I was trying to stick to the signings where I wouldn't talk as much and save my strained vocal cords. My evening was a low-key visit with my rookie Liz Burns and our friend Jackie Parker-Robinson and her husband, Kyle. Then an early bedtime for two big days coming...

Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.

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5. BEA 2015: Event Recap + Giveaway

  Kim: Well folks, another year, another BEA. Layla: Says Kim! Another year, and BABY’S FIRST BEA. (That’s me. And it was my first BEA.) Kim:I was so overwhelmed by my first BEA I can’t even believe I signed up for another!  Layla, you were such a pro babby BEA-er. *sniff* So proud! By the way, did you know that it is actual magic when co-bloggers meet irl for the first time? You can actually wish upon a star from the magic of co-bloggers meeting. Or maybe that’s just us. Layla: Oh, I second this. My heart grew three sizes that day.     Some of the highlights from our trip: On the floor at BEA     Layla: I can show you the world … replete with shining, shimmering, and splendid ARCs. A herd of bloggers amassed for the drop of Disney’s A Whole New World, a retelling of Aladdin in an... Read more »

The post BEA 2015: Event Recap + Giveaway appeared first on The Midnight Garden.

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6. BookExpo America 2015: Day1

The main conference and exhibit halls for BEA 2015 started mid-day on Wednesday, and ran for half a day. This unusual late opening was convenient for travel, because I was able to drive up in the morning and save a day in the hotel. However, it gave an odd feel to the exhibit hall, almost as if it were a preview and not fully open for business. Although there were plenty of people in the hall, it seemed to me less crowded than usual, and the mood seemed subdued. It'll be interesting to see if things are different today, the first full day of the conference.

I spent most of the afternoon in meetings with publishers, talking about the Cybils Awards and Kidlitcon 2015, but I did find time to catch most of the Best in 2015 Fall Graphic Novels panel and the Marvel Presents: Star Wars panel.

The Best in 2015 Fall Graphic Novels panel

The graphic novel panel included Derf Backderf (Trashed), past Cybils Awards winner Ben Hatke (Little Robot), Jeremy Sorese (Curveball) and Maggie Thrash (Honor Girl). I was particularly interested in Ben Hatke's discussion about how working on a picture book in turn influenced his comics art style, and Little Robot looks adorable. Jeremy Sorese's Curveball sounds like a fascinating science fiction comic, and I'm glad I picked up a sample from the Nobrow booth.

The Marvel Presents: Star Wars panel

Marvel Editor Jordan White moderated the Star Wars panel, with writer Charles Soule and artist Alex Maleev. I've been a Star Wars fan since the original movie came out in 1977, (I was 13) and I was interested to learn about the new Star Wars comics coming out. Kanan: The Last Padawan tells the story of how Kanan from Star Wars: Rebels survived Order 66, and it's exciting to see Lando get his own comic series.

During the Q&A at the end of the panel, @MizCaramelVixen, creator of BlackComicsMonth.com, asked whether there would be an effort to increase diversity both within the Star Wars universe and among the creators. The panel's response to her very important question was disappointing. Editor Jordan White at least tried to address the question seriously, but Charles Soule basically dismissed the question by saying the Star Wars universe has always been diverse, and Alex Maleev asked whether it wasn't enough diversity to have a Bulgarian working on a comic about a black man (Lando). Both either missed the point or intentionally ignored it. Saying that the Star Wars universe is diverse is a smokescreen. Sure, there are many different species of beings, but all that CGI doesn't hide the fact that Lando has been, for a long time, the Star Wars universe's token person of color. And having a Bulgarian working on the comic does not address the very real need to have writers and artists of color working on the comics.

Much as I love Star Wars, how much more awesome would it be with a real diversity reflecting the glorious variety of people in our world? And one way to improve on that would be to employ more creators who represent that diversity in all its forms. (I do have hopes for The Force Awakens, and look forward to seeing John Boyega and Lupita Nyong'o, and I hope other diverse cast as well.)

After the exhibit halls closed, I headed to the Hudson Theatre in Times Square for a party and presentation about Brian Selznick's new book, The Marvels. The party started with wine and hors d'oeuvres, which wasn't as much fun as it sounds, because it mostly consisted of fighting through crowds and battling in Hunger Games-style death matches over trays of hors d'oeuvres. I've never enjoyed crowds, so I managed to get a glass of wine and then tried to stand out of the way in the corner until it was time for the presentation.

The presentation was worth it, though! Brian Selznick is a terrific speaker. He started with a video presentation of a series of art from the book. The art was incredibly beautiful, and the part of the story it told was so sad and moving that I wasn't the only one wiping my eyes at the end. Then he talked about the creation of the book, including spending time in London doing research at the Dennis Severs House, which was an inspiration for the book. He also showed his process of creating the art for the book, starting with tiny thumbnail sketches of each page which he then bound into a tiny book.

After the presentation, we all got copies of The Marvels ARC, which Selznick signed for us. They also gave us a surprise gift: an adorable tiny book of art similar to the one that Selznick had created as a mockup! The Marvels looks like an incredible book, and I look forward to reading it.

Storm in Times Square: Mother Nature upstages the neon

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7. Cover Design Tips From the Pros

How does one create an iconic book jacket? Riverhead Books art director Helen Yentus Delete and Knopf designer Oliver Munday tried to tackle that question at a Book Expo America panel. We've collected three design tips that they shared during the discussion. continued...

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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8. ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ Creator Jeff Kinney to Open a Bookstore

Writer and artist Jeff Kinney (pictured, via) revealed at BookExpo America that he and his wife plan to open a bookstore. The Associated Press reports that the couple intends to transform an abandoned general store located in Plainville, Massachusetts. Besides this book selling venture, Kinney has also been hard at work on the ninth installment of the popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Amulet Books, an imprint at ABRAMS, has scheduled a release date for The Long Haul on November 04, 2014. (via Fishbowl NY)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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9. Lassie, Devil Horns, Hot Men, and Worldbuilding: Day 2 at BEA

Anyone training for a marathon should consider three days at BookExpo America for building endurance. By the end of day 2, every muscle and joint in my body aches. But it's so worth it to spend three days surrounded by books and book people.

I spent the first part of the day in meetings with publishers to talk about the Cybils. I had some great conversations with some really interesting people. One of the best things about BEA is having the chance to talk to people who are passionate about books, children's and YA literature.

After that, I had some time to walk the floor. Here are some of the things I saw:

The tenth generation Lassie made an appearance in support of the book, Man’s Best Hero: True Stories of Great American Dogs by Ace Collins.

Lassie poses for his photo shoot
It was impossible to walk by the Ellora's Cave booth and not notice these guys:

Hot Men of BEA

Author Michelle Knudsen was signing her new YA book, Evil Librarian. Here we are sporting cool devil horns:

I wear devil horns now. Devil horns are cool.
Books I got today that I'm excited to read: Love is a Drug by Alaya Dawn Johnson, Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld, Sky Raiders (Five Kingdoms book 1) by Brandon Mull, House of Purple Cedar by Tim Tingle, The Zoo at the Edge of the World by Eric Kahn Gale, Thursdays with the Crown by Jessica Day George, Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen. Thanks to my husband Nick for getting some of these for me!

I also attended two panel sessions. "The Craft Of Writing And World Building" was an interesting session on worldbuilding in fiction, featuring:

I tried to take notes, but there was so much good stuff that I had trouble capturing it all. Here are some highlights of what I did manage to get:
  • Michael Grant is an improviser, not a planner. He prefers to start with sketching the barest minimum and building from there, so as not to box himself in.
  • Scott Westerfeld said that you don't have to write paranormal or fantasy to do worldbuilding. Afterworlds is about the book world we know and love, including BEA. He said that worldbuilding is about the slow accretion of little details.
  • Brandon Mull said that a big part of how to make a fantasy novel make sense is to have rules. If anyone can do anything it doesn't make sense. There have to be limits on magic.
  • Heather Demetrios said that you have to follow rules in fantasy. Have to have structure. If anything goes, it's hard for the reader to care.
  • Scott Westerfeld starts with what he wants to happen, and then builds a world around that. With Afterworlds he wanted a fantasy world that parallels the world of writing, so the novel within a novel is about ghosts that only stay in the world as long as someone remembers them and tells their story.
  • Kiera Cass starts with characters and then builds the world around them.
I also attended "A Conversation on Digital Strategies for Tapping the YA Market," which was about marketing books online for authors and publishers. The panel was moderated by Manuela Soares, Pace University, and included:
  • Alaya Dawn Johnson, Author, The Summer Prince and Love is a Drug
  • Arthur A. Levine, Publisher Arthur A. Levine Books (Scholastic)
  • Carolyn Mackler, Author
  • Cheryl B. Klein, Editor, Arthur A. Levine Books (Scholastic)
  • Jeffrey Yamaguchi, Director of Digital Marketing, Abrams Books
  • Jennifer Hubert Swan, Reading Rants
This was a wide-ranging session that covered a lot of ground, but here are a few points:
  • All the speakers indicated that in many cases, they are not reaching teens directly, and instead most of their audience is adults. For some, this is a change; Jennifer used to have a lot of teens commenting on her blog, but now most of her audience is adults. But they are reaching passionate people who will help spread the word, so in many cases they're reaching teens more indirectly.
  • When you do connect with teens, authentic connections are very important; teens are looking for people to be real.
  • Two major themes: community and word of mouth. That hasn't changed, but the way those happen has changed.

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10. BookExpo America 2014 Day 1

My day started bright and early at 8am, as I attended the Harlequin Teen Blogger Breakfast. I sat next to the friendly bloggers from Bookcrastinators in wonderland, who have the fun tagline, "Why put off until tomorrow what you can read today?" This was their first BEA, and I enjoyed chatting with them. The event was organized like speed dating, as the featured authors and their editors rotated around to each table and talked with us. Authors we met included:

  • Alexandra Adornetto, author of Ghost House, who asked us if we believe in ghosts. (For the record, the people at my table do. Alexandra said that the previous table most definitely did not)
  • Jennifer L. Armentrout with Stone Cold Touch (The Dark Elements). I haven't read any of her books, sadly, but everyone else there loved her books.
  • Julie Kagawa talked about her new book, Talon, which is about dragons who can appear as human. She said she figured that, "If dragons existed today, they wouldn't be sitting in caves guarding treasures, they'd be CEOs of multinational corporations."
  • Adi Alsaid with his book, Let's Get Lost, a road trip book told in five parts from different points of view. Adi likes to travel and has been on his own road trips, but he likes to write about places he hasn't been to so that he can use his imagination.
  • Robin Talley talked about her book, Lies We Tell Ourselves, which is about school integration in 1959, and the attraction between two girls, one black and one white. Robin was inspired to write it after hearing about her own parents' experiences during that period.
One thing I realized during the brunch is that Harlequin has changed a lot, and that they publish a lot of different books, not just the romances that I think of when I hear the name. These books sounded interesting, and I clearly need to start reading more of their books.

After the brunch, I attended the YA Editors Buzz Panel. I always try to attend these at BEA, because it's fascinating to hear the editors talk about the selected buzz books, how they acquired them and what they love about the books. The five buzz books are:
  • Daniel Ehrenhaft from Soho Teen talked about Cynthia Weil’s I'm Glad I Did. Cynthia is a songwriter who has written songs such as "On Broadway" and "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling," and I'm Glad I Did is about a songwriter.
  • Krista Marino from Delacorte Press talked about Frank Portman’s King Dork Approximately and read a hilarious excerpt where the main character, Tom Henderson, muses on Pride and Prejudice. I never read King Dork, but now I want to read both books.
  • TS Ferguson from Harlequin TEEN talked about  Robin Talley’s Lies We Tell Ourselves (see above)
  • Karen Chaplin, HarperTeen talked about Amy Ewing’s The Jewel, which is about a city of extremes, where the protagonist is enslaved as a surrogate, as in The Handmaid's Tale.  
  • Alvina Ling of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers talked about Ryan Graudin’s The Walled City, which sounds really interesting. It's like a dystopian book, but based on a real place, the Walled City of Kowloon, near Hong Kong, which was apparently a lawless place ruled by organized crime. Alvina said that the book is not historical fiction, as it's fictionalized, but not completely fantasy either, since it's based on a real place. She humorously called it "histopian."
Most of the rest of the day I spent in meetings with publishers about the Cybils Awards, with some time spent walking the floor with my husband and son. 

Here I am with some awesome Star Wars Lego sculptures at the DK booth, that they have in honor of the revised version of Lego Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary:

Boba Fett, where?

Will someone get this big walking carpet out of my way?
Little, Brown engaged in some clever marketing for their new YA post-apocalyptic, The Young World. These signs were on the stalls in the bathrooms:

I ended the day by attending the panel, "The Best in Fall 2014 Graphic Novels," with Michael Cho (Shoplifter), Farel Dalrymple (The Wrenchies), Jules Feiffer (Kill My Mother), and Raina Telgemeier (Sisters)  with moderator Calvin Reid from Publishers Weekly. Here are the panelists geeking out about brushes:

One of the most interesting discussions in the panel was in response to the question about whether the images or the text came first (since all the panelists are artist, writer, and creator for their graphic novels). Each one had a different answer. Dalrymple said that his inspiration generally comes from visual images, and he starts by sketching. Telgemeier works in thumbnails, where she works on layout and text together, using stick figures. Feiffer said that the writer and the artist in his brain are two different people who don't even know each other. He starts by writing the script, and then gives it to the artist in his brain, who wonders who the writer is that wrote such crappy stuff. (He was very funny, in case you couldn't tell). Cho also starts with the text, but he finds that he has to actually hand letter the text in the layouts to be able to determine the pacing.

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11. 48HBC Prep and BEA Angst

48 Hour Book ChallengeWe're coming up on the 48 Hour Book Challenge! Yay!!! And Book Expo America is this week! Yay!!! But I'm not going... booooooo. I'm really struggling with my non-attendance this year as it looks to be exciting and I always enjoy my time at BEA, which combines my favorite things: books, socializing, and New York City. In my mind it's also linked to 48 Hour Book Challenge because I generally spent a great deal of my time at BEA standing in line for author signings to collect prizes for the 48HBC. For me, it was another win-win. I got a signed book to give away and I got to meet the author in person, which is always nice. Okay yeah, I did keep some of the books. I'm not made of stone, people.

If you're going to Book Expo America and would be willing to collect a signed book or two for 48 Hour Book Challenge prizes, I'd be ever grateful. And not even the least bit jealous that you were there meeting Shannon Hale, Jarrett Krosocaka, Melissa de la Cruz, A.S. King, and/or Laurence Yep while I was not. Okay, maybe ten percent jealous and ninety percent grateful. (Actually, as those names were selected from a quick skim of the signings on just Thursday morning, maybe it's more like 20/80.)

My work life has also tied these two events together, as I couldn't get the time off for both. We've been short-staffed at the library, forcing us all to make accommodations. I suspect others in public library systems will understand. Easier to clear the Saturday for 48 Hour Book Challenge than take off mid-week, and I don't regret that decision at all. Nope. Not me.

So have a fantastic time at Book Expo America! Grab a spare book for 48HBC if you get a chance, make time for lunch with friends, and keep an eye out for the good swag - which sometimes includes glasses of champagne. (If you hang around until the publisher reps are distracted, you can usually grab a second drink - so I've heard.)

Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.

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12. Book Expo America!

Next week is Book Expo America at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City, and I'm super excited to be making the trip up for it. I get to visit with all my New York buddies, plus share my two new books The Troublemaker and Nana in the City at the conference. It's going to be a fun few days!

·Wednesday, May 28th: BEA kicks off with the 20th Annual Children's Book Art Silent Auction 

This is one of my very favorite events of the year! If you're attending BEA (even if you're not, but happen to live nearby) come to the Javits and bid on some great original art to raise money for the ABFFE (click on the link for all the deets). This little guy below (from Nana in the City) is looking to go home with a new friend.

·Thursday, May 29th: day away from the Javits

I'm going to skip the conference to hang out with my friend and former editor, Frances Foster, along with my good friend (and editor extraordinaire) Noa Wheeler. One of the things I miss most about living in NYC is being able to easily take the subway to the UWS to visit Frances and her husband Tony. I haven't seen them since I moved away from the city in January. It's going to be really nice to spend the afternoon with the Fosters :)  

·Friday, May 30th: full day at the Javits

12-12:30 pm -- I will be in the Autographing Area, signing and giving away a buncha Troublemaker's. Info is HERE. Please come snag a copy and say hello!

3:30 pm -- I'll be at the ABC/CBC Author and Illustrators Tea, chatting about The Troublemaker and Nana in the City with a group of awesome booksellers. I wish there was a way to clone myself so that I could also sit at the tables of the other authors— what a lineup (It's crazy to think I'm even going to be in the same room with all these guys)! Info is HERE. Right after the Tea I'll be hopping on a bus back to Baltimore. A short but full trip! I hope that if you are also heading to BEA next week, I will get to run in to you some point . . .

Wishing you all a lovely Memorial Day weekend. Hooray, summer is almost here!!!

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13. Updates and Unicorns*

This morning, my mom asked me why I hadn't updated my blog in a while, to which I responded, "YOU READ MY BLOG?!" But okay, she was right. I haven't updated in a while because ALL THE THINGS have been happening. Like:

My ARCs arrived! And I hugged them! And I took a billion and a half pictures of them! And I took selfies with them! And I cuddled them while I slept acted like a totally normal human being with them!

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This is my name on a thing I wrote (I WROTE THAT THING IN THE PICTURE. LIKE I MADE THAT IN MY HEAD).

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This is the spine on a thing I wrote (and also a viking rune, because vikings are cool)

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This is the FREAKING GORGEOUS cover of a thing I wrote

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This is a thing I wrote on my ACTUAL, PHYSICAL BOOKSHELF

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This is my face and a thing I wrote. See those fingers?
(Yeah, I know I have toe thumbs. Don't stare. They're self-conscious).

Okay, time to get serious. I am so, SO happy and proud to announce (belatedly) that FALLING INTO PLACE was chosen as one of the ten titles featured in the Indies Introduce New Voices program! Here's what they had to say about FALLING:

“In Falling Into Place, Zhang has composed such a fascinating and captivating investigation of character and humanity that readers will find themselves actively rooting for Liz, desperate for her to realize in time that taking herself out of life is never the answer.” —Sara Hines, Eight Cousins Books


I'm also beyond excited to share that I'll be doing a panel at BEA this year with Becca Fitzpatrick, Amanda Maciel, and Kresley Cole. It's called "It's Not Easy Being Teen," which is basically the most accurate statement ever. It'll be on Friday, May 30th from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., so if any of you are coming to BEA, be sure to stop by! I'll also be signing afterwards.

Here's the description of the event from the BEA website:

How do you believably and authentically get into the mindset of a teen? It's simple to skew a voice too young or too old, or to underestimate the breadth of a high schooler's experience. These authors will talk what it takes to portray teens truthfully and the challenges they have faced both on and off the page. Listen in and meet: Amy Zhang (Falling Into Place), Kresley Cole, (Dead of Winter), Becca Fitzpatrick, (Black Ice), Amanda Maciel, (Tease).

*Yeah, okay, so there weren't actually any unicorns in this post. Sorry. Bait-and-switch or whatever, amirite?


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14. Thoughts on BookExpo America and BookCon

So, yesterday I read this article in PW about Reed Exhibitions' plans for the new BookCon on the last day of BookExpo America (BEA). I posted an off-hand comment on Twitter and Facebook that I was thought the new plan was great. Apparently, my comments weren't clear, and some people are confused and upset by the new plan. "Why is excluding the public a good thing?" I was asked, and that wasn't what I meant at all, and I don't think it's what BEA intended. In fact rather the opposite. BEA is working to include the public and craft a positive experience for them. Since it's difficult to clarify my thoughts in 140 characters, I thought I'd write a blog post.

First, some history: BookExpo America is the largest U.S. conference for the book industry. It started in 1901 as the American Booksellers Association convention, and eventually grew to encompass much more. But it has always been a conference exclusively for the book industry. To attend, you had to be a bookseller, librarian, publisher, publishing service provider, or someone else working in the industry. Attending wasn't cheap, either. Badges can run several hundred dollars, depending on your role. That wasn't not intended to be exclusionary. It was always a conference oriented around the business side of books.

However, since books and authors are a big part of the conference, I think increasingly so in recent years, BEA recognizes that it would also be of interest to passionate book lovers, and in turn, those are people whom publishers exhibiting at BEA would like to reach. So for the last year or two, they've been experimenting with opening the conference to the public.

Last year, that took the form of "Power Reader" day, which provided tickets giving power readers access to the show floor on the last day. I think that Power Reader Day both was and wasn't a success. I think the idea was great, and some publishers took advantage of the opportunity to interact with readers and have special events and giveaways just for the public. For the readers, it provided a chance to meet authors and get autographed books, as well as a peek behind the curtain to see books in advance of publication.

However, the problem was that the BEA show floor is very large, and many exhibitors are not of interest to the public, nor are they interested in interacting with the public. So I saw many power readers wandering around booths with remainders dealers, printers, distributors, app developers, book display manufacturers, and publishing service providers of various types. In addition, some publishers publish books not intended for a general audience, and even some of the ones that do publish general interest books didn't seem interested in interacting with the public. Many exhibitors break down early on the last day, and walking the floor and hearing the tape guns, some starting as early as 11-12:00, I couldn't help but think that if I were a Power Reader, I would have been disappointed to see what looked like a conference winding down, on the only day I could be there.

Thankfully, Reed Exhibitions also recognized this problem, and they made some changes to address it. This year, if I understand correctly, a part of the BEA show floor will be sectioned off as the area for BookCon (replacing Power Readers) attendees. Exhibitors are given a choice whether they want to be in the BookCon area or not. The ones that choose not to be in this area are ones that wouldn't be offering anything to the public anyway: the business to business service providers, the specialized publishers, and those general trade publishers who, for whatever reason, aren't interested in taking part.

So if you attended Power Reader day last year and are worried about the changes, you won't be losing anything! (Disclaimer: I'm not associated with BEA in any way, other than as an attendee for the last 10 years, so I'm just going by what I read in the press and on their website). You'll still have access to a feast of books and authors; it's just that it will all be consolidated into one area, so that you don't have to hunt through aisles and aisles of irrelevant (to you) booths to find the things that interest you.

I think that what's confusing people is on the ticket page it says, "BookCon Tickets do not provide access to BookExpo America (BEA). BEA is a trade only event (not open to the public) and BookCon Tickets do not provide entry into BEA." What I think this means - and again, this is just me interpreting - is that you don't have access to the first two days of BEA, which Power Readers didn't have last year, either, and you don't have access to the area of BEA which is primarily for business to business exhibitors (which most of the public wouldn't be interested in anyway).

This BookCon FAQ addresses a lot of the questions and concerns.

If you haven't attended before and you're within an easy drive of New York City, this is a great opportunity to find out about new books, meet authors, and maybe pick up some freebies. Tickets to the one day BookCon event are only $30 for adults (and teens, apparently) and $5 for children. Ticket information is here.

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15. Post-BEA Blues: A Book Blogger's Lament

I'm not much of a poet, but this came to me as I was walking up 37th Street from the Javits Center at the end of BEA on Thursday, carrying my heavy bags of books:

Post-BEA Blues: A Book Blogger's Lament

are heavy
on my shoulders.
Sore back, sore feet.

are heavy
on my soul.
I took too many.

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16. Book Expo America 2012: MY Three-Day Vacation in Bookland


bea logo Book Expo America 2012: MY Three Day Vacation in BooklandBook Expo America 2012 just concluded here in New York, and once again it’s been an interesting trade show.  Some stuff was normal, some was new, and overall, I felt it was a good show.  My thoughts and discoveries follow.

One interesting, if under-reported, improvement was the “Power Reader” program.  On Thursday, the last day of the show, when most attendees are winding down, BEA invited “power readers” to attend.  Twelve local independent bookstores and the New York Public Library invited their best customers to pay $45 to attend the show on Thursday.  What did they get?  I quote:

  • Discover new and upcoming books before they hit the stands
  • See and meet your favorite authors
  • Talk to publisher about favorite books and authors
  • Mix and Mingle with other book lovers and share your passion for reading
  • Get autographs and advanced reads of unique books (quantities limited)
  • Get tons of giveaways from exhibitors.  [62 different promos]
  • BEA BAG2 Book Expo America 2012: MY Three Day Vacation in Bookland Get a FREE POWER READER SWAG BAG at registration, filled with goodies like:
    • An advance copy (before books even hit shelves!) of an upcoming title from one of today’s hottest authors, including Debbie Macomber’s Inn at Rose Harbor, Dean Koontz’s Odd Apocalypse, and Karin Slaughter’s Criminal
    • A special edition copy of Justin Cronin’s bestselling sensation The Passage
    • A sampling of recipes from beloved QVC host David Venable’s first cookbook, In the Kitchen with David®
    • A Janet Evanovich magnet
    • A Debbie Macomber keychain
    • A sneak peek guide with the early scoop on forthcoming releases from bestselling authors

When BEA moved to the middle of the week (Monday-Thursday, instead of Wednesday-Sunday), I thought that BEA would be planning a weekend “Book-Con” for the general public.  After all, Reed runs BEA, and they’ve got experience running New York Comic Con at the same location. They could arrange booths so that a wall could be set up to reduce the size of the show (or they could fill booths vacated by trade exhibitors with retail exhibitors the next day).  The possibility of a huge weekend crowd (if 100,000 attend NYCC, how many romance, mystery, and science fiction fans would attend a book show, especially to discover new titles and meet authors (just like Comic-Con!)?) might reinvigorate the show, encouraging lapsed publishers to return to the show (or risk ending up on a waiting list, like at San Diego).

Would it be hard for publishers to shift from trade to retail?  Not really.  Most of the mainstream publishers sell books at the American Library Association shows.  Ever

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17. MacKidsBooks at BookExpoAmerica

Macmillan Children's Publishing Group will be at BEA 2012! Come by Booth #3358. Check out our schedule below:

Tuesday, June 5

  • 9:00 AM - Wrinkle in Time tote giveaway at Macmillan Booth 3358
  • 9:30 AM - Gabrielle Zevin signing for Because It Is My Blood. Autographing area table #21.
  • 9:30 AM - Tommy Greenwald signing for Charlie Joe Jackson. Autographing area table #24.
  • 10:00 AM - Young Adult Editor’s Buzz Panel with author Gennifer Albin and MacKids’ J.O. Malley. Moderated by BookPeople (Austin, TX) book buyer Meghan Dietsche Goel. Room 1E14 / 1E15.
  • 10:30 AM - Lane Smith signing for Abe Lincoln’s Dream. Autographing area table #21.
  • 10:30 AM - Catherynne M. Valente signing for The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There. Autographing area table #23.
  • 11:30 AM - Gennifer Albin signing for Crewel. In-booth signing. Tickets required.
  • 11:30 AM - Natalie Merchant signing for Leave Your Sleep. Autograph area table #21. Tickets required.
  • 3:00 PM - Caragh M. O’Brien signing for Promised & Birthmarked. Autograph area table #21.
  • 3:00 PM - The Apocalypsies: Meet the Authors of 2012’s Must-Reads! Mix and mingle with members of the YA & MG 2012 debut author group The Apocalypsies. Come learn about our books and us – and get swag, prizes, cookies and more.
  • 3:30 PM - Phillip C. Stead and Erin E. Stead signing for Bear Has a Story to Tell. Ticket’s required.
  • 4:00 PM - Nancy Tillman signing for Tumford 1 & 2. Autographing area table #21. Tickets required.

Wednesday, June 6

  • 9:00 AM - Wrinkle in Time tote giveaway at Macmillan Booth 3358
  • 9:30 AM - Graphic Novel Events for Bookstores. Moderated by Mark Siegel, Editorial Director at First Second Books. Room 1E04.
  • 10:30 AM - Obert Skye signing for Potterwookie. Autographing area table #23.
  • 11:00 AM - In-booth galley giveaway of Gennifer Albin’s Crewel.
  • 11:00 AM - BEA Graphic Novel Authors Stage. Moderated by Jenny Brown. Uptown Stage.
  • 11:30 AM - Stephen Savage signing for Little Tug. Autographing area table #23.
  • 12:15 PM - CBC Speed Dating with Obert Skye, author of Potterwookie. Room 1E14/15
  • 12:30 PM - Young Adult Buzz Author Event with Gennifer Albin. Downtown stage.
  • 1:00 PM - Gennifer Albin signing for Crewel.
  • 2:00 PM - Michael Grant and Katherine Apple signing for Eve & Adam. Ticketed signing.
  • 3:30 PM - CBC Tea with Children’s Authors with Erin Stead and Phil Stead. Room 1E12/13.

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18. Monthly Events Roundup: Millennial Mega Mashup, Mashable Connect, Streaming Media East

Today we’re bringing you our monthly roundup of cool youth media and marketing events you or colleagues from your company may want to attend. If your company hosts an event relevant to the youth media or marketing space that you’d like... Read the rest of this post

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19. Announcing A New Release and Call for Entry: WEIRD THINGS CUSTOMERS SAY IN BOOKSTORES

You know it has happened to you.  You're blissing out inside your favorite bookstore, wrapped up in another world within the crisp pages of a new book—or the crinkly ones of an old favorite—when suddenly it happens.  Another customer single-handedly destroys your literary wanderlust with words that sends you reeling.  Perhaps something like: "You know, I'm not sure I've ever really read a

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20. Monthly Events Roundup: Kidscreen Summit, Toy Fair, SXSW Interactive

Today we’re bringing you our monthly roundup of cool youth media and marketing events you or colleagues from your company may want to attend. If your company hosts an event relevant to the youth media or marketing space that you’d like... Read the rest of this post

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21. Belated BEA Busyness

Well, it’s been another one of those times where my blog has hit a bit of a lag!  My life these days is crazy busy, personally and professionally, so I really can’t complain.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for writing about my experiences or keeping up with my social media presence.  So now that I’m comfy on the recliner on vacation in Bemidji, it’s time to play a little Walking In Public catch-up…

First off, if you haven’t headed over to my new gig as a columnist on the blog, Publishing Trendsetter, you want to go to there!  The site is full of great advice and insight from young professionals on those either in their first few years, or looking to get into the industry.  As for me, I’ll be bringing the visual inspiration with the column, Design Candy.

A few weeks ago, I kicked it off on Trendsetter with my favorite design finds, head-to-head, from the publishing extravaganza of the year, BEA.  But I had a lot of favorite moments that didn’t make it onto that post.  For some reason, most of the Big 6 publishers disappoint – their large space isn’t utilized with books, but posters/video screens that don’t make an impact.  It’s the indie publishers (plus the usual suspects in Chronicle, Candlewick and Abrams) that make up the best exhibits.

Missed BEA the first time around?  Check out my highlights now:

Chronicle Books: Is designer heaven – no one even comes close to these guys in my book.

Abrams: They always pull out all the stops, this time with a giant snowglobe.

International: Saudi Arabia is by far the friendliest, but I love looking through all the foreign-language books.

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22. How to Work an Event Like a MotherReader

When I told my good friend about my wonderful experiences at Book Expo America, she replied, "Yeah, you do work a convention floor like no one I know." Her statement made me wonder what precisely I do that helps me make connections, meet authors, and sometimes get me some free stuff. And I can I share that knowledge with my readers and fellow convention goers? Well, I've been thinking about it for a few days and I think I've broken it down to three factors for success.

Be Friendly
It is important to understand that being friendly isn't the same thing as being nice or polite. Everyone on the convention floor should be polite and frankly nice. But being friendly is a step up. It's thinking about the other person's comfort as well as your own. It can be approaching someone because they seem alone or in need. It can even be phrasing things so that the person has a chance to do you a favor and to be appreciative.

Chanukah LightsI really wanted a copy of the promotional piece being done for Chanukah Lights, but I had arrived too late to get tickets. As the line got shorter, I went to the publisher there and nicely asked if there was any way for me to get tickets, as this was one of the only ticketed authors I had wanted to see today. I asked if I might be able to wait until the ticketed participants had gone through, but she was able get me a ticket. At the signing I shared how happy I was to be there and Michael Rosen and Robert Sabuda signed the lovely image of old-fashioned apartment for my Grandma's 100th birthday, which made everyone feel good

Be Sincere
In a world of hyperbolic marketing, sincerity comes through. In the above situation, it was true that this was one of my highest priorities, and the publisher could tell. Also it wasn't as much a hyped author and illustrator as some, and she knew that too. So both my honesty and delight were genuine. Generally, as I go through the exhibit floor, I comment and complement a lot. I look through books and tell the publishers specifically what I like about the author, illustrator, or art. If I see a good promotion or swag, I tend to mention it. If I enjoyed a conversation, I say so. I do so without expectations, and yet often leave with books, swag, and contacts. And when I don't, that's also fine with me because I shared something that maybe makes their day a tiny bit nicer.
During the last hours of the show, I mentioned to the woman there how much I liked Lulu's business cards - that I thought they were very eye-catching. The woman seemed unimpressed by my compliment, but a young man leaned over to tell me that he designed them. That gave us a chance to talk about the cards, promotion pieces and the power of good design. The next thing I know he's giving me a couple of hats for my daughters.

Be Resilient
I thought a lot about how to define this third trait. Was it about being confident? No, because I'm always surprised if people know my blog. Is it about being fearless? No, because I do get nervous, flustered, and embarrassed. But I trust in being resilient. I'm not afraid to do something wrong because it's the price of often getting it right. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. That's true, but putting yourself out there means that sometimes it doesn't go right and you have to let those experiences roll off you

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23. Watch Rick Riordan & James Patterson Live Online Tomorrow Night

Watch Rick Riordan & James Patterson Live Online Tomorrow Night; NYC Event to Benefit First BookTwo of our favorite children’s book authors, Rick Riordan and James Patterson, will be onstage together for the first time, at Lincoln Center in New York City tomorrow night. The two authors will read from their latest titles (including exclusive first looks) and answer questions from their fans. Al Roker, a longtime literacy advocate and co-host of the Today show, will moderate the evening.

If this sounds awesome to you, but you don’t live in New York, dry your tears! The event will be streamed live online at www.rickandjameslive.com, and fans will be able to submit questions for the authors.

We’re excited about this event, not just because Rick Riordan and James Patterson have done so much to help First Book over the years, but because the evening’s hosts, our friends at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and Disney Publishing Worldwide, are donating 100% of the proceeds to First Book. So this will not only be a great evening, it will help First Book get books into the hands of kids from low-income neighborhoods around the country.

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24. Sarah Dessen Bringing Sweetery Truck To BEA

If you’ve ever attended Book Expo America (BEA), you’ll know that the food cart choices parked outside the Javits Center typically feature hot dogs and kebabs.

Penguin Young Readers Group author Sarah Dessen (pictured, via) will shake things up with the Dessen Sweetery Truck.

Associate director of publicity Elyse Marshall explained in an email: “Sarah will head out to the truck to hand out free whoopee pies to fans and hungry BEAers. There will be three flavors available: red velvet, chocolate, and Sarah’s Strawberry Surprise (a custom whoopee pie). The truck will be entirely wrapped in Sarah Dessen branding, with all her book covers featured. There will be giveaways available for a few lucky attendees before the Dessen Sweetery Truck moves onto it’s second location of the day: Union Square.”


New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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25. Touch Base Tuesday

It was to be another TeenReader Tuesday, but the sneaky girl got past me without writing her review. We did chat about the book with our usual banter, and I can say that the phrase "Oh I'm sorry, but it seems I got a little Christian fiction on you," was uttered. So that's something to look forward to for next week.

48 Hour Book ChallengeInstead it will be a day to touch base on a few KidLitosphere topics. First off, the 48 Hour Book Challenge! Thanks to everyone who has helped in promoting this community event. Keep it up! Sign-ups are rolling in and it will only get bigger and better. While the challenge encourages you to block off a two-day time period, don't feel that you have to dedicate that much effort to participate. Eligibility for prizes is set at twelve hours. Twelve. Certainly you want to set aside at least twelve hours for reading on a lovely June day, right? And beside prizes there are charities involved, like this school I'm supporting through Donors Choose. Come play along.

Speaking of charities, there is another school that needs your help. Ballou Senior High School in Washington D.C. will be the recipient of this year's Guys Lit Wire Book Fair. At the blog, you'll find a link to the wish list at Powells Books where you can purchase a title and have it sent to the needy library in our nation's capitol. I'm excited to send the students these Random House titles:

The Rivalry, by John Feinstein (mystery at the Army-Navy game)
The Coming of the Dragon, by Rebecca Barnhouse (Beowulf-inspired, with dragons!)
Efrain's Secret, by Sofia Quintero (senior dreams of escaping the Bronx)
We Were Here, by Matt De La Pena (running away, self-discovery, something dark)
I Will Save You, by Matt De La Pena (ditto?)
Trash, by Andy Mulligan (not-so-distant future, in unnamed Third World country)

Third thing. Um, I'm not sure I had a third thing, but it seems like there should be one. Let's say, Book Expo America is the third thing. I'm going. Are you? I'll be flying in Wednesday morning and hightailing it to the book signings in the morning - which are epic! - and then take in the BEA Middle-Grade Editors Buzz 2-3:30 p.m. Do not plan to engage me in conversation before that afternoon unless you are signing a book, giving me a book that is signed, or booking me for signing sessions. Yeah, I don't know what the last one means either, but you get the picture that I'll be very busy collecting prizes for 48 Hour Book Challenge. But come Thursday, I'm all networking and chatting it up. I'll be at the KidLit Drink Night and am

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