Book Expo

Happy Saturday my fellow readers! I hope you’re spending some time in the sun with a weekend read in your lap. Hopefully, I’ll be doing just that later this evening. Unfortunately, I spent a chunk of the afternoon with an awful headache, so I couldn’t focus on a book.

Anyway, it’s been a crazier week than I expected so I couldn’t get the time to post the way I wanted to, but since I have some down time between books (and can’t decide what I want to read), I figured I’d give you a post, and an overdo one at that!

This past winter, I was scrolling through one of my social media feeds when a sponsored ad popped up for Book Expo. Curious, I clicked the link for their site to get more info. To give you guys an idea of who they are, here’s a blurb from their About Page.

Content is being consumed in more dynamic ways than ever before and new methods must be used to engage readers. BookExpo is evolving to lead the global publishing industry to its consumer driven future and celebrate storytelling in all its forms. It’s the place where industry, authors and readers converge to define the new publishing universe.
BookExpo provides a focused professional environment to discoveremerging authors and the next blockbuster titles, engage with the world’s most influential publishers and learn from industry leaders and peers.
BookExpo culminates with BookCon, our two day Fan event where storytelling and pop culture collide.
Embrace the future of publishing with us in New York City on May 30 – June 1, 2018.

Anyway, I was so interested, I applied on the spot. Of course, I never thought I’d be accepted to attend. I haven’t been running this webspace for long and my audience is still small, but I genuinely love everything about books, literature, and the industry that allows me to indulge in that love on a daily basis. When I received an e-mail a few weeks after applying saying that I had been accepted to attend, I almost cried. Just seeing on their website the panels they’d have, and the guests who were attending, I knew I was in for a once in a lifetime experience.

Fast forward to the beginning of June and showing up at Javits Center. I have to say, I was a little intimidated. While I had experience with my literary world during my major in school, and building my network with my audience online, being face-to-face with a variety of professionals in the industry along with well known celebrities, I didn’t fully know how to handle myself. Let’s just say I spent two days learning and seeing all sorts of stuff, but was on a sensory overload the entire time.

First off, the Javits Centre is a gorgeous building. I couldn’t help but be in awe the entire time I was there. I live right across the river from New York, and I’ve been plenty of times, but Javits hasn’t been one of my stops over the years. Now, I’m glad I’ve experienced the place. Combine the expanse and beauty of the building with all sorts of bookish things, and I was practically drooling.

After grabbing my badge, I gave myself some time to wander and take in my surroundings. There were stages for panels, an autograph area, and vendors from every possible aspect of literature you could imagine. Paper companies, book box companies, publishers, self-publishers, e-book technology, learning tools for teachers and students, book shops, authors, literary clothing and accessories. You name it, Book Expo had it. I was in heaven, and in way over my head.

I spent most of day one wandering aisle to aisle looking at booths that caught my eye, meeting people in the industry, getting a few autographs, scooping up a ton of freebies that were being handed out, and talking with other attendees about our time and experience at the event so far. Then, in the evening, I got to listen to Hillary Clinton speak. It was a sold out appearance at Expo, so I count my blessings that I was lucky enough to get a coveted ticket.

I met Mr. Feeny and it was awesome. Fun fact, he’s married to the Dean from Boy Meets World.

Maria Shriver doing an online broadcast interview.

Astronaut Scott Kelly signing book previews.

Bags of free book haul goodies. It’s crazy the things they give out as you walk by.

 This was amazing to attend

Hillary gave out autographs as we left the theatre

 Hillary being interviewed by Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild.

Saying goodbye to NYC after day one.

When day two began, I have to admit that while I was excited to get back to everything, I was thoroughly exhausted from day one. I packed light, knowing now how much stuff they give away, got dressed in more comfy clothes, and hopped back on the train. I knew day two would be slightly shorter than day one, and I had my schedule pretty well mapped out. My plan for my last day was more focused on meeting authors and getting autographs.

My Colleen Hoover “Write Vegan” shirt.

Train reading. Seriously, guys. READ THIS BOOK

Day Two, I have arrived!

First on my agenda for Friday was listening to Senator Al Franken being interviewed by Marc Maron. Unfortunately, the city was in a bit of a gridlock by time I left Penn Station for Javits.. so I did get there in time to see him talk, but I missed a solid chunk which was a pain. Regardless, I was a fan of Franken’s since he was an SNL cast member, so I’m glad I got to see him for even a minute. What was more funny, and a bit strange, was bumping into him as I was leaving the restroom after his talk.

Senator Franken and Marc Maron

Walking behind Senator Franken.

After his talk, I spent the rest of my afternoon meeting authors and getting autographs. I met Victoria Aveyard, Colleen Hoover, John Grisham, and Lawrence O’Donnell.. to name a handful.

Colleen Hoover, one of my favorites!

John Grishom.

Lawrence O’Donnell. My mother’s favorite. I had him autograph his book to her and she cried when I called and told her I got it for her.

Downtown Stage where Lawrence O’Donnell and Ed Asner were giving a talk on politics.

On Saturday, I was an utter zombie. The two days back and forth to the city and hauling bags of books around had me super sleepy. It wasn’t until Sunday that I unpacked my bags to see all of my goodies to see what I left book expo with. Not too shabby for a first timer, I think. Be patient with me and I’ll get all of these reviewed for you guys!

I feel like I made Book Expo look like a rather political event. Parts of it were, but there was so much more. While I did a lot, I also missed a lot just because I couldn’t be everywhere at once and there was just so much to see. I had to pick and choose what I wanted to do most. I wish I could’ve done more, but I got a good start about I can’t wait to go back next time, if I’m accepted again, that is. I wish I could have attended Book Con during the weekend, but I was just too wiped. Next year I’ll try to do it all, because it looked like I missed so much not attending Con.

Until 2018!





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