Lunch with Tim Federle

Category : events

I deliberately made that subject line sound more impressive than it is. Although I did, indeed, attend a lunchtime even featuring the highly-personable author of Better Nate Than Ever, it was just that. An event that happened to occur during lunchtime. (There was free pizza, though.)

If you haven’t read Better Nate Than Ever, get on it. My glowing goodreads review should be enough to convince you.

But back to the event. It’s been a while since I’ve been in the same room as an author speaking, and I nearly forgot how much fun it is. He’s also a Broadway dancer; he began taking over the Broadway stage when he was still in high school. Needless to say, his stage presence is fantastic. Or, conference room presence. (You take what you can get in an office building.) He read a bit of the book (which I had finished reading myself all of that morning) and it brought out so much more of the story. The book is lovable to begin with, and his reading just amplified that.

He’s also super-patient and talked to all of us in line as he signed our books.

I love when authors make an effort to speak to their readers, because we know that my vocal chords have this thing where they stop working when in the presence of someone who’s published a book. (This is why I stick to blogging.)

If you have a chance to see him, I recommend that you do. Whether on a book tour or in a show. And even if you can’t, at least read the book. You’ll like it. I promise.

BEA Swag

Category : events

I kind of promised I would write up a “BEA swag” post, and I suppose two weeks after the event isn’t entirely unreasonable. Right?

To be honest, I’m really bad with gathering freebies. Unless someone physically shoves an ARC in my hands, I probably won’t take it. Which is silly, I know. Despite that, I wound up with a decent pile of goodies.

Bella & Harry: Let’s Visit Venice; Lisa Manzione & Kristine Lucco
The Bella & Harry picture books are super cute. They’re a pair of chihuahuas who travel the world, learning about different cultures and checking out the popular sights. When I was at their booth and they offered I take one of the books, I had to have Venice. I do plan on buying the series for my niece. It’s both fun and educational!

Tigers in Red Weather; Liza Klaussmann
This book went through a serious bidding war before Doubleday acquired it, and it seems it was well worth the effort. Set in post-WWII, two women are starting their “real lives”–one getting married and the other reuniting with her military husband–but there are cracks in the surface of both their lives that are threatening to break. And then there’s drama and a murder at their summer home in Martha’s Vineyard. Need I continue?

Momentum; Saci Lloyd
Futuristic dystopia. It’s my weakness. There are the Citizens–the residents of London proper–and the Outsiders, everyone else who doesn’t matter. But when Hunter, a Citizen, meets Uma, an Outsider, he is drawn to her world outside London. Now they have secrets to protect and a world to save, all while keeping out of the eye of the government.

The Art of Procrastination; John Perry
subtitle: A guide to effective dawdling, lollygagging and postponing.
The guidebook for anyone who went to college. I’m disappointed that I did not receive the free tote bag, which stated something to the effect of, “Don’t do today what you can put off until tomorrow.” It’s all fun and ridiculous, sure, but the book actually tells us how procrastination can be effective. I’ll get around to reading it. Someday.

The rest of my freebies included a bunch of bookmarks, stickers, and some temporary tattoos. One of these days, I will show up to the office wearing a tattoo of a fairy riding a unicorn. It’s totally work-related.

Fun at BEA

Category : events, industry

Despite being a faithful employee of the book industry and avid reader, I had never experienced Book Expo America. Shameful, I know. But this year, that all changed.

I expected it to be something akin to ComicCon, but with fewer teenagers and a lack of cosplay. I wasn’t too far off. But it so much cooler than that, even. A trade show floor filled entirely with people promoting books? When I stepped off the escalator after acquiring my badge, I didn’t know what to do. There was too much to take in, and I may have actually experienced sensory overload.

Obligatory trade show floor shot.

There were a bunch of signings I planned to attend, and brought some books with me, but I never made it. You had to buy tickets for a few of them (I’m not doing that), and the others I just missed due to lack of time. But there were plenty of other things to do, even if you’re not hanging around the autograph area. I roamed the floor several times, and there was always something new I had missed the first time. A free ARC, or a poster, and basically everyone was giving out tote bags.

I never even got in there. Look at that crowd.

And no convention is complete without advertisements, and since I’m a sucker for book advertisements…

there’s the Shadow Hunters staircase.

If I’m being honest, I didn’t do a whole lot at BEA aside from walking around. But the floor is my favorite part, and who cares if I didn’t attend any panels or get stuff signed? (There’s always next year.) It’s been three days since and my legs are still sore from six hour of walking, so that’s a sign of a good time.

And lest we forget… the free swag.

I don’t even know what half the stuff I grabbed is. Time to rummage through the pile!

Free Comic Book Day 2012

Category : events

To be honest, I was never really into comic books. I always felt it to be an intimidating hobby, one that is passed down from generation to generation, and by the time I discovered they existed I felt I was too old to properly get into it. But when Free Comic Book Day 2011 rolled around, I couldn’t resist popping into my local comic book shop. It’s free, anyway. What’s the harm? And it was cool, rummaging through the freebies and starting a little comic collection. I was exploring yet another literary genre.

So of course, I jumped at the chance to stop in this year, too. Saturday was this year’s Free Comic Book Day, and I happened to be out shopping with my mother that morning. My mother knows even less than I do about comics, but we both went to get our free books. And then she said, “can we go to other stores, too?” Sure, why not!

Thus, Saturday afternoon was spent driving around the county for our free comic books. I originally planned on only visiting my local store, but I’m glad I went to others, too. There were different comics available (I was thrilled to find the Infernal Devices), and some of the stores offered other freebies, too. It was probably just old stuff they wanted to clean out of inventory, but what an opportunity!

Last year, I came home with four comic books. This year, I properly experienced Free Comic Book Day in all its geeky glory.

(Mouse Guard is hardcover. Beautiful.)

I still don’t consider myself knowledgeable in comic books at all, but this is a pretty good start. Between this year and last year, plus two trips to ComicCon, I have a decent enough stash that I can start to appreciate them. Also, the FCBD website has a page on getting into comics, so I anticipate some educational reading in my immediate future.

NY Book Show 2012

Category : events, industry

Every year, the Bookbinder’s Guild hosts the New York Book Show, an event where we get to wander around and check out some great-looking books—and win some awards. While most awards focus on a book’s story, these focus on the job of the industry folk. How we put books together; how we use text and paper and all the intricate details of manufacturing.

I’m terrible at getting sneaky photographs. But beyond that mass of people is a display of the industry’s prettiest books of the year, where we can actually pick them up to gush over them. I joked that I was going to steal the copy of Colin Meloy’s Wildwood, which won third place in the YA illustrated novel category. I think it should have been first, but I may be a little biased.

The big surprise to me was seeing one of the books I worked on, winning a merit award for children’s hardcover series. Yay!

(The colorful little stack on the left. Though I’ve been meaning to check out that other series there for some time…)

The guild’s website is here, and I suggest checking out the 26 Annual Gallery for all of this year’s winners. And then you should go to the store and see them in person, because they really are beautiful pieces of craftsmanship.

ComicCon Roundup

Category : events

I spent part of this past weekend at New York ComicCon, as was the plan since… well, last year’s ComicCon. And while I intended to branch out and check out some new things, I wound up wandering the trade floor stalking my fellow publishers. Surprised?

But look at all my goodies!

I really shouldn’t be allowed to wander around with that much cash.

Comments on the pile, from top:
I won’t actually be reading Hunger Untamed, because (1) It’s #6 in a series, and (2) It’s not something I would ordinarily read. So I don’t know what I’m doing with that book. Perhaps I’ll throw it up on paperback swap.

Geek Girls Unite, though, is obviously a “need” in my life. The author was there and she was super cool.

And it came with a free tote bag. Win!

Last year I grabbed Twin Spica volumes one and two, and this year I had to expand my collection with five and six. Cutest little manga ever, and I hardly even read manga.

Spirit’s Princess is an ARC that Random House thrust into my arms, and who am I to say no to a new YA series? The book isn’t released until April, so I should get on reading that one soon (so I can be one of the first to review it. You know how that works).

I didn’t need to hear much about Tankborn to get roped into purchasing it. Futuristic YA dystopia? Of course I want it.

And finally… Ancient Awakening isn’t something I’d ordinarily invest in, but the guy at the booth finished his spiel with, “and I wrote it.” How could I not support the writer while he’s standing right there? He signed it, too, so who am I to complain.

I did plenty of other things, too, like gushing over video games and the like. While I had a four-day pass, I only attended for two. Two is enough; it’s probably too much. My thighs still hurt from all the walking. I actually took some photos this year as well, which can be found here.

So, who’s coming with me next year?

Literacy Orange Bookfair

Category : events

This past weekend, I spent some time at my local Barnes & Noble volunteering for Literacy Orange. Their focus is adult literacy, offering tutoring programs in speaking, reading, and writing. Despite having heard of them before, I didn’t know the extent of what they did. It’s really a great organization, and I was glad to help them out with their fundraiser.

We had a little Scrabble game set up, and anyone that stopped by and played a word could take home a little prize. (Honestly we were giving out pens and bookmarks anyway, but the Scrabble was an added bonus.)

I put down “literary” to start, even though it’s eight letters and that would never actually be a legitimate starting word. No one said anything…

We chatted with some people who were interested in volunteering, which is always exciting, and got the word out about the organization. As a bonus, our tables were set up outside the cafe, so I had the pleasure of sitting beneath the B&N mural for four hours:

I have this mural on a coffee mug in my office. I love it that much.

If you didn’t get a chance to stop by, or aren’t local, you can still help out! The fundraiser is valid on their website, too, until Thursday. When you shop, put in voucher #10498665 at checkout and a portion of your purchase will go toward Literacy Orange. As if you needed any further motivation to pick up some new books.

Author Event: Richard Paul Evans

Category : events

If I had to sum up the past few days at work in one word, it would be… insane.

We’re printing Richard Paul Evans’s first YA novel, Michael Vey, and I’ve been in charge of all the reprints. This book just exploded. I can’t tell you what I’ve done at work since Wednesday aside from order this book and figure out printing/shipping schedules. It’s busy, but a heck of a lot of fun. And of course, we had a little reception yesterday to celebrate the book’s release.

My boss literally pushed me toward him to say hello, introducing me as “the one’s that’s been ordering all your books.” He was excited to hear how busy I’ve been with it. And of course, no author event is complete without this:

(Don’t mind the hand… haha)

I haven’t read it yet, as I just acquired a copy myself, but it definitely looks cool—and I’m not just saying that because I’m now eternally attached to it. It’s sci-fi/fantasy/YA/you name it. Translation: Everything I already love. Check it out.

John Irving Reception

Category : authors, events

Last week, S&S hosted an in-house reception to welcome John Irving to the company. As I mentioned before, he was recently acquired and signed to publish two upcoming novels.

The event took place after work—which I’m usually hesitant about, considering my long trip home—but I couldn’t miss out on the fun. I arrived before he did, so we hung around for a while waiting for Irving and his publisher to appear. And when they did, they received an impressive applause.

John Irving stood in the middle of the room to talk with us about his new book, which means he stood directly in front of me the entire time. I mean, directly. If I had swung my arm out, it would have hit him in the face. (Not that I would have, of course.)

The reception was a good time. He hung around to talk with us, shook hands, and listened to everyone praise him (wonder how many times he heard the phrase, “I’ve been a life-long fan?”). But he was cool about it. I mustered up the courage to chat with him, eventually asking if he wouldn’t mind signing a book I just happened to have in my purse. “Not at all!” he replied.

I’ve been an Irving fan for years, so I’m surprised I held it together as well as I did.
Definitely worth the late arrival home, if you ask me.

BookExpo America

Category : events

We’re currently in the midst of BookExpo America, the biggest trade fair for publishing in the United States.

Of course, I’m not there. Nor have I ever been (not that I’m bitter about this).

It’s a huge event for publishers to gather and show off their stuff. They have booths where they sell books, promote upcoming titles, do whatever.

Why am I not here? (Image grabbed from their website.)

BEA isn’t open to the general public; you have to be involved in the industry in some way. I almost managed to sneak in during my time at grad school, but the plans fell through. I really have no excuse now, though—that is, aside from the cost of registration. But I’m sure the company would pick that up… right?

I’ll have to go next year. I always forget to pay attention to when it’s approaching, though.

As an added bonus, this week is NY Book Week, where there are all sorts of author events around the city—for those of us not at BEA, I suppose. There’s a massive list here, which is definitely worth checking out.