Monday, May 10, 2010

A Conference Virgin Plans for BookExpo America and Book Blogger Con

I'll admit it. I'm a conference virgin. I've often drooled over conference websites and entertained the thoughts of possibly attending. Nothing ever came of it. I've become something of a homebody. I don't venture far from my comfort zone. I shy away from crowds. I never, ever travel alone. It was a safe (albeit somewhat boring) lifestyle.

BookExpo America popped up on my radar a few months back. I toyed with the idea, but ultimately set it aside. When I learned I could attend for free as Press, I registered. It remained a fanciful thought I never thought would come into being. My husband demanded I go. He took off from work and told me I need to do more things just for me. I scoffed. We can't afford for me to stay in New York for days. Um, what? I live in New Jersey. I can drive and take the ferry. The ferry drops you off basically across the street from Javits. I ran out of excuses.

Having saved all that money by registering as Press and commuting, I could afford to attend Book Blogger Con as well. In some ways, it's even more intimidating than BEA. (I'll get to those fears in a minute.) I've registered. I've paid. I'm totally going. I'm both hugely excited and very nervous.

Donna at Bites answered a majority of my BEA questions with this fabulous post. I can bring a large bag and check it. Stupendous. You would not believe how much time I spent worrying about lugging things around. I now know where to get my badge. Google did not know the answer. I looked for HOURS.

Seemingly silly concerns still remain. Do I need to bring my own lanyard to attach to the badge or is one provided? I've never actually spoken to an author in person before, so that's a little nerve-wracking. (Yup. It's true. I've never even been to a book signing before. I'm like a book loving fraud.) Can I take pictures when getting books signed or annoy those behind me in line? I won't know anyone, will I wander alone all day? There's more, but I'm going to tuck my crazy back in before I scare you all.

My (probably very optimistic) signing attack plan is as follows:

10am - Carolyn Mackler - Tangled
11am - Sue Ann Jaffarian - Murder in Vein
11:30 - Alexandra Sokoloff - Book of Shadows
12pm - Kate Douglas - Demonfire
12pm - Gena Showalter - Intertwined
12pm - Rachel Vincent - My Soul to Keep
1:30 - Charlie Higson - The Enemy
2pm - James Patterson - Witch & Wizard: The Gift
2:30 - Lauren Oliver - Delirium, AND Before I Fall
3:30 - Inara Scott - Delcroix Academy, Book One: The Candidates
3:30 - Jonathan Maberry - Rot & Ruin
3:30 - Peter Moore - Red Moon Rising
4pm - Cecily von Ziegesar - Cum Laude

10am - Adam Rex - Fat Vampire
10am - Roger Ma - The Zombie Combat Manual
10:30 - Gena Showalter - Unraveled
11am - Nancy Kilpatrick - Evolve
1pm - Tricia Rayburn - Siren
1pm - Jonathan Maberry - Patient Zero
2pm - David Beck - The Extinction Event
3pm - Amy Brecourt White - Forget-Her-Nots
3pm - Jeri Smith-Ready - Shade

There are a ton of booths I want to visit and somehow I'm also going to have to find time to eat. Um, yeah. Even my impressive time management skills can't solve this conundrum.

Book Blogger Con will officially start for me with the reception on Thursday. I'll then return to New York on Friday for a full day of learning from the best. Seriously. Authors are intimidating, but these are a large group of people who've been doing this blogging thing quite successfully. I know them in my head from reading their blogs, but I don't "know" them, you know? I am a large Twitter fail and am not the best about leaving blog comments, so they don't "know" me. That would be my horrendous lurker tendencies coming back to bite me. Plus there will be authors, publishers, publicists and many other amazing bookish types, all in a setting much more intimate than BEA. Awesome and scary.

Some of my ridiculous questions concerning BBC include: I should totally take notes, right? Is there anything I should be bringing, other than a notebook, that I'll regret forgetting? I used to be a people person, what am I so freaked out about?

So, there you have it. I've officially become neurotic. Feel free to avoid me for your own safety. I plan on having a great time, leaving my laundry list of worries at home and faking confidence, if need be. Of course, when I inevitably spill coffee down the front of my shirt on the drive up, I may just lose my mind. Note to self: bring extra shirt.

Are you going to be at BEA or BBC? Do you have any irrational fears I might take solace in? Want to take pity on me and sit with me in the cafeteria? Or hang out in author lines? Why does this feel like the first day at a new school?


  1. Sounds excited. Wish I was going.

  2. I'm with you, Jen! LOL I can only go to BBCon, but I'm feeling slightly neurotic about it, too!! I'm sure we'll all be fine!!!

  3. That is so funny! My husband is making me go too - He's coming with me though so i won't be alone and he can give me pep talks (I'm extremely shy) or tell me when I'm acting like a complete dork while meeting authors since I don't know how to act either!
    Add in that I'm terrified of flying, but I live in FL so that wasn't a choice for me. Trying to think happy thoughts :-))
    I hope we both have a great and not too embarrasing time!!

  4. I am so excited for you! I can't wait to read your posts about it!

  5. I'm going and I'm nervous about being alone too! I have never traveled alone, at least not on a plane. I am most nervous about getting from the airport to my hotel without spending a million dollars (Google isn't helping me much there, either)!

  6. This really sounds like a fun event. Hope you put your worries aside and just enjoy the moment once you get there..

    - kavyen

  7. Ah I can understand your anxieties. I'm going with people I know (part of the time at least) and I'm still anxious as all get honestly. I'm hoping to have it under control, but...well. Crippling society anxiety disorder for the win! ::hides::

    Ah I didn't think to bring a notepad to BBC. I will do this! We can def hang out in author lines--some of my Weds coincides with your Weds (My Soul to Keep, Delcroix) so we can console each other. Thurs is a bit more iffy but there's a couple (Siren, Shade are definites for me).

    Oh I'm coming from NJ too! We should definitely hang!

    I'm never actually certain if its bad form to request a picture with the author in the lines. I do it anyhow, because I'm a selfish person and they (that is the author and assistant) say its okay, but ::Shrugs:: it doesn't hurt to ask does it?

    ps: e-mail me and maybe we can work something out?

  8. I'm totally jealous of everyone who's going. You'll have a blast, I'm sure.

  9. I wish I could go too, but I'm too far away to commute. I will say that if I were going, I'd probably have all the same fears and questions that you have! I'm sure you're going to have a blast at both events!

  10. Sounds like it will be a fun experience! I wish I could go.

    You have an award on my blog here.

  11. You're so lucky you get to go to both these events! I'm jealous of everyone who will get to hang out together at BBC. If I was going, I would have the exact same fears as you. And, if I was going, I would totally sit with you in the cafeteria :)

  12. Great post! Don't worry, you won't be the only neurotic there, as I'm a nervous wreck too! *L*

    Maybe we'll run into each other on the ferry or in line, as it looks like we have similar tastes. Thanks for the link, as I'm desperate for info on what to expect. But no matter what, I'm expecting to have fun!

  13. I wanna go so bad I have cramps!

    Thanks for the update, tip links, sharing... I hate crowds too.

    I will be looking forward to your post(s) around the BEA when you get back.