New York City, the Last

First, since I take a ton of photos when I leave on trips, check out the slide show below:

Second, let’s talk about the panel I saw at BEA and then let’s talk Book Blogger Convention.  I had grand plans to sit down and take in the panels and speakers, but unfortunately, I only attended one panel — Copyright in Motion.

Christopher Kenneally, leader of Copyright Clearance Center, introduced himself and his ties to a copyright service firm before showing a slide show on copyright law and how many in Corporate America and elsewhere fail to understand the protections that copyrights provide.  Copyrights must be managed on a daily basis through every action, and copyrights are not global protections.

Recommendations entail getting permission anytime there is doubt about a copyright protection.  Anytime someone uses information from a magazine or other subscription service, they should check the licenses attached to those subscriptions and how material can be used.  Each subscription has different rights attached to it.  Moreover, translation rights and transforming works from one form — say a novel — into another form — like a screenplay — involve an additional set of permissions.

There is a movement in place to create a global copyright through the Berne Convention, but there also are organizations working on coordinating copyrights on a larger scale.

Unfortunately, this is the only panel I attended during BEA.  If you want to hear more about my misadventures in NYC with my partners in crime, visit Diary of an Eccentric.

I took a little video during Book Blogger Con of keynote speaker, Maureen Johnson, so check that out:

There were even funnier parts to this speech, but I ran out of room on the memory card; don’t you hate when you are so exhausted that you forget half of what you wanted to bring along to the conference?!

One of my favorite parts of the speech was when she discussed the penchant for crime shows on television to demonize the Internet and its capabilities; Johnson said they often refer to the “Tweet of Doom” and other horrible actions stemming from the Internet that will come to get us all.  Another of my favorite parts of the speech were when Johnson talked about her Catholic high school and the painting or mural image at the entrance of the school that depicted nuns being shoved into a mass grave by Nazis.

I’m not going to talk about the other panelists because I think Wendy at Caribousmom did an awesome job recapping the convention.  There is no way for me to top that one.  Also, if you are interested in the swag from BBC, please visit Ticket to Anywhere; she did a great job going through the entire bag.

Lastly, I want to say that it was great to meet a number of the book bloggers I talk to online in person and to meet Caitlin Summie from Unbridled Books, Paul Samuelson from Sourcebooks, Allie Greenwald from Inkwell Management.  It was also great to see Hachette Book Group‘s Miriam Parker and Online Publicist Lisa Roe again.

I’ll be resuming normal book reviews and content next week.  Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences with me about your week and convention fun.

BEA vs. Book Festivals

Before leaving for Book Expo America, I received an email from Jill at Rhapsody in Books, who wanted to know about the differences between festivals like the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., and Book Expo America.

She’s full of great ideas, so I took her up on it.

BEA is a publishing industry-sponsored event to talk about the new fall releases, current releases, the state of the publishing industry, and an all around networking event for those in the publishing industry.

Local book festivals, like the one in D.C., are often supported through donations from organizations like newspapers, retailers, etc., and provide a venue through which people can hear authors talk about books, themselves, reading, etc.; meet their favorite authors; and buy books they normally would not have heard of whether new to the market or banging around bookstores for a few months.

I can’t tell you which event to attend or which event is right for you, but I can give you some guideline questions to answer and what I would recommend.

1. Do you want to meet the publicists, authors, publishers, etc., you’ve been working with?

BEA would be your best option for this because there are booths and you can set aside specific times to talk with these people and discuss books, upcoming releases, etc.  However, you can talk with authors for short spurts at book festivals as well, but if you want more one-on-one time, head to BEA.

2.  Interested in publishing trends on the horizon or learning more about e-readers, online publishing, e-publishing, etc.?

BEA will provide you with panels chock full of information, and in some cases, so much information that your head will hurt.  It depends on what you want out of your blog and where you see the future of your blog heading as to whether this information will be useful or important to you.

3.  Do you want to meet your favorite authors, chat with them, get signed books?

Either BEA or book festivals or even author signings can achieve these goals.  Just go with what suits you and your budget most.  If there are authors visiting your area that you love, see them.  If the authors you love don’t visit your area but go to BEA, get on a plane, train, or drive into NYC and see them.

4.  Are you going to get free books? (Someone had to ask it.)

In this case, you would want to attend BEA, rather than a book festival because more than likely you have to pay for the books.

5.  Want to meet with other book bloggers in real life?

Again, this depends on where you live and who you know that lives near you and blogs about books.  If you live in a well populated blogging community, your best option is to meet with them through a meet-up you agree to or at the local book festival because trying to find your blogging buddies in BEA without a plan is like looking for a contact lens beneath a million people’s shoes.

6.  Interested in what the publishing industry is really like?

You’re going to want to be at BEA, especially when tours of the offices are offered and you get to meet with publishing industry staffers to discuss how bloggers fit into the equation or how you can get a better working relationship with publishers.  However, if there is a large group touring these facilities, etc., it may be hard to glean out the information you are looking for specifically unless you have one-on-one time.

Regardless of what avenue you choose, just remember to make the most of these events for you and your blog.  I tend to be in awe of everything and do follow up emails with my questions.  Its good to remain in contact with everyone you meet, even if it is to just say how lovely it was to meet the person.

I attend both formats because I’m interested in the publishing industry and where its going, but I also like celebrating reading, which is what I believe book festivals focus on for the most part.

One drawback for me at BEA every year has been the lack of poetry discussion or promotion.  And since one of my goals for my blog is to raise interest in poetry, my job will be continuous until BEA starts talking poetry, though I was glad to see Graywolf Press in a booth this year and some of their poetry selections.

What are your thoughts on book festivals versus Book Expo America?

Author Signings at BEA

Author signings at Book Expo America almost always have really huge lines, and in some cases, attendees have to get up early to get free tickets to get books signed by certain, popular authors.  Tickets are given out each morning at 6:45 AM and many of them go quickly, especially for high profile and prolific authors like Joyce Carol Oates.

The only author at the Expo that I wanted a ticket for was Oates because I’ve loved her writing ever since I was younger, and I grew to appreciate it even more in college.  I’d like to say I’m her biggest fan, and I do love hearing stories about her need to write and her eccentricities.

However, after getting up at 5 AM to get my ticket when I was on vacation and didn’t have to get up early for work, I was sorely disappointed after waiting in line for nearly 40 minutes to get Oates’ new book, Sourland, signed and to meet one of my all-time favorite authors.

We were told she was stuck in traffic and would be at Javits soon, but after 20 minutes more of waiting, they told us that they would hand out the books so we didn’t have to wait in line.  Authors are only given between 30 minutes and an hour to sign books, and ticketed authors don’t even guarantee that everyone with a ticket will get to meet the author or receive a signed book.

For me, waiting for my writing inspiration in line for more than 40 minutes only to find out that she couldn’t be bothered to show up at the appointed time was more than disappointing to me.  I had heard that she doesn’t like public functions and that she doesn’t like when fans talk to her in autographing lines, but I still wanted to meet her and have my book signed, but to me, her absence was a slap in the face.  I have vowed to meet her someday regardless of this incident.

I do want to share with you some photos of author signings for non-ticketed authors.  The Girl from Diary of an Eccentric got to meet R.L. Stine and I got to meet the poetic YA author, Beth Kephart, and The Lace Reader author Brunonia Barry.

What authors were you anxious to see? Tell me about your author signing experiences.

My First Publishing House Tour

Entering into the Scholastic building, the lobby has a number of classic icons from literature, including Harry Potter.  It was great to see some bloggers I’ve met before, but also to meet some new-to-me bloggers.

We were taken on a tour of the building, the offices, and the archives in the basement.  Diary of an Eccentric‘s daughter, known as The Girl, took over the camera for the bit in the archives and she took a number of photos, but I’ll only share one of them with you.  You should have known that she was going to take pictures of R.L. Stine books.  There are some other photos of Sweet Valley High and more “classics.”

The Girl also got to meet Rick Riordan and Ruth Ames, two great YA authors.  I let her take the photo of Riordan, while her mom took a shot of Ruth Ames, who also writes adult fiction under another name.  Check them out:

I’ve got a couple of group blogger shots.  One group shot was taken by The Girl, includes Kathy of Bermudaonion, Julie of Booking Mama, Laura of I’m Booking It, Pam of Bookalicious, and Swapna of S. Krishna’s Books.  The second shot was taken by the Scholastic staff.  Thanks to all of you.

Food and NYC

Everyone will be talking about Book Expo America and Book Blogger Convention, but I wanted to start off my discussion with food.  I love food!  I love eating in new places, and I am growing to like trying new things.  Hot & Crusty is a great place for breakfast with yummy pastry and so-so coffee, though the hot chocolate rocked!

One of my goals last week was to eat from a street vendor’s truck, and I accomplished it by eating a hot dog, though I think that I was less thrilled with the actual hot dog than I thought I would be.  Rather, I would recommend eating at Gray’s Papaya in NYC, in which patrons can get 2 hot dogs and a smoothie for a mere $5.  I really loved the hot dog and the pina colada.

Here’s a couple photos of us (Anna and The Girl from Diary of an Eccentric and me) outside the great standing-room only place:

Junior’s was another great restaurant we tried, though I didn’t get to have any of their highly recommended cheesecake.  We couldn’t find the location in Times Square, but we did find a little version in Grand Central Station.  I had a great chicken Caesar salad, but the appetizers of pickled beets and pickles made my day!  They were delicious.  I’ve always loved beets for some reason, probably brings me back to my nana’s garden when I was younger.  Check out the beets and the cool chair with the silverware . . .

There are only two other meals I want to talk about and show you, bear with me.

Ted’s Montana Grill was one of the best places we ate in NYC, and it is the place I ventured farther from my norm — I had a bison burger.  I was so hungry that I forgot to take a photo of my burger and any of the other meals, but I did take a photo of the yummy homemade pickles and the dessert.

Another great thing about this restaurant is the care taken to remain earth-friendly from the recycled paper products to the differing flush control for liquid versus solid wastes.

We only got one dessert, a strawberry shortcake with homemade biscuits and freshly made vanilla ice cream that was smooth and very cold.  Can I just tell you that it was to die for.  Yes, we finished off the entire thing.

Finally, we had a great family-style dinner at Tony’s DiNapoli with a bunch of bloggers, including our table with Amanda from The Zen Leaf, Amy of Amy Reads, Natalie from In Spring it is the Dawn.  Talk about getting to know one another over dinner — what foods do you like to eat and more importantly what foods are you willing to share?!  LOL  We opted for an appetizer of fried zucchini and two pasta dishes — Alfredo Tortellini and Ravioli Bolognese.  All were delicious, and I really loved the white wine sangria.

I’ll leave you with these photos from dinner:

What kind of food did you eat in NYC? Or what kind of food is outside of your normal comfort zone?

NYC or Bust

Book Expo America and the Book Blogger Convention are around the corner, and I’ll more than likely be incommunicado for the next week as I have some fun in the city and at the conventions.

If you’ve missed my advice for your trek into the city, please check it out.  I hope you’ve all got your travel plans made and your comfortable shoes on your feet.  This week is going to be busy and fun, but tiring.  Don’t worry, you’ll be hearing all about it when I get back.

While I’m away, my mom, Pat, will have taken over the blog for the week beginning on Monday, May 24, to regale you with her reviews.  Please stop by and check them out, especially if you are looking for a new suspense or crime thriller.

Sights I hope to see:

  1. NYC Harbor and Statue of Liberty
  2. Madam Tussauds Wax Museum, with Edward!
  3. The Museum of Modern Art
  4. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
  5. Central Park
  6. Strawberry Fields
  7. Empire State Building
  8. Rockefeller Center

Events I hope to catch at BEA:

  1. Online Reader Community Building
  2. Copyright in Motion
  3. BEA Editors Buzz
  4. Brunonia Barry signing
  5. Joyce Carol Oates signing
  6. Dystopian Panel
  7. Richelle Mead signing vampire academy
  8. Champagne Toast to celebrate To Kill a Mockingbird 50th Anniversary
  9. Blogger Party at Algonquin with HarperCollins
  10. The Next Decade in Book Culture
  11. Beth Kephart signing
  12. Book Blogger Con Reception

There are many other items on my list, but I didn’t want to bore you with all those crazy details.   What are your plans for NYC?  If you’re interested in meeting up, contact me via email.  Have a great week everyone.

Stay tuned for my review of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman tomorrow.

Book Party in NYC

By now, I’m sure you’ve seen the Book Expo America and Book Blogger Convention 2010 tour posts to drum up excitement and provide practical advice to attendees.  Today, I’m going on the assumption that you ARE going to BEA and BBC because it is the biggest BOOK PARTY in NYC (May 25-28).

1.  First order of business is RESERVE your hotel room NOW through BEA’s discount program.  These rooms will go fast.

Once you reserve your room, you can look for roommates to share the cost with.  If you haven’t met any other bloggers, don’t worry, we don’t bite (much) and would love to share a room with you.

If you prefer, there is a hostel in New York City, check out The Zen Leaf’s pros and cons post.

2.  Second, pick a mode of transportation to NYC.  Depending on how close you are and how much you dislike airport security, you may want to consider Amtrak because the costs are lower, the security is smoother, and the trip allows you to read a book.  If you have AAA, you can get a discount on travel and BEA indicates Amtrak will give you as a BEA participant a 10 percent discount on the lowest fares.

Traveling from D.C. to NYC last year by train was smooth, and the train drops you in Penn Station, which is right near the NYC subway, making it convenient for getting to your hotel destination.

3.  Third, if you plan to arrive earlier than the beginning of the conference, plan out what sights you want to see.  Whether it is the Statue of Liberty or Strawberry Fields, having a plan makes it easier.  But in addition to sights, make sure you check out the areas where you plan to visit to see what restaurants are available.  I always make a plan of places I want to eat, especially near famous landmarks and museums.  Makes it easier to grab some good grub, in budget, when you find that you are ravenous!

BEA does offer discounts on event tickets and monuments, and according to the Web site, there will be additional incentives for food places as well.

4.  Fourth, pack your bags!  Imagine a book connoisseur who also loves photography.  You can imagine what this individual (ahem, me!) would take with her on vacation.  I have a digital SLR Nikon, which I failed to take last year, but you can bet that won’t be happening again this year.  This will require not only charged batteries and a charger, but also an additional long-range lens and cleaning paraphernalia.  Good thing I have a backpack case for all this stuff.  Will I bring it all?  Not sure, but I know I need a plan.

Traveling by train or plane will give you time to read, which means you will want to bring books.  BUT remember why you are going to BEA — networking and BOOKS!  I suggest you pick 2 likely candidates or 1 chunkster, but not more than that.  YOU won’t have time!  From the moment your feet hit the ground, you will be running and excited and overwhelmed.

I also tend to pack clothes that are versatile.  Clothes that present well, but are casual and comfortable.  Docker slacks, nice t-shirts, and a few blouses . . . and of course, as you’ve heard COMFORTABLE FOOTWEAR!  I have a foot problem, which means I only wear sneakers because dress shoes aggravate me.

5.  Fifth, While in the city, you want to make sure you have a transportation plan.  Do you want to pay hefty cab fares over the course of a week?  I know I don’t, and I didn’t.  Anna and I took the subway and the bus last year, which was made simple with the NYC MetroCard.

We bought day passes, since we only attended about 1.5 days of BEA last year, but this year, I’ll be picking up the $27 7-day Unlimited Ride MetroCard (click to see where you can buy these cards), which means all trips are covered for seven days and bus ride transfers are covered as well!  Great deal for sight seeing and for getting to and from the Javits.

There are shuttle bus routes at a variety of hotel spots throughout the area that take you to Javits as well.  I tend to prefer the freedom of the subway because I don’t have to worry to much about timetables.

Must-Have items on your trip to BEA and BBC:

1.  Book(s) to occupy travel time.
2.  Rolling suitcase with minimal clothes and enough room for books on the way back.
3.  Comfortable shoes and clothes.
4.  Business cards; I got mine from MOO, and I LOVE them.
5.  Plan for tackling the autographing lines and BEA/BBC events.
6.  Camera for those photo ops with other bloggers, authors, and more.
7.  Water/Snacks/Gum or Mints to keep you refreshed. 
8.  Spending money for food, sight seeing, and nights out.
9.  Tote bag to carry all those ARCs, Galleys, and books.
10.  Notebook and pen/recorder to make sure you remember everything you want to blog about.

I hope this advice helps and that I will see all or most of you there! If anyone wants to meet up while in NYC, I’m all for it.

FTC Disclosure:  I am not affiliated with MOO, but really recommend their business card services because my business cards came out AWESOME.

Mr. Bear Visits NYC & BEA Wrap-Up

If you missed Anna’s wrap-up of Book Expo America, go check it out for Mr. Bear’s first jaunts into New York City.

Amtrak Travel

The Amtrak trip from Washington, D.C., to New York City was surprisingly smooth, even Mr. Bear enjoyed himself. Check out his perch. He got bored and hungry during the trip, so we took him to the cafe car for a snack. Then he got a little crazy with Anna, check out these shots of him. Or maybe, its Anna getting fresh with Mr. Bear?

Cafe Car Amtrak

Bear Love

Once in NYC, we headed to the Javits Center after dropping our bags off at the hotel, and Mr. Bear had a great time on the bus.

Bear on Bus

After his long day with us at the Expo, we took him to the BEATweetUp. Back at the hotel, you can tell Mr. Bear was just as exhausted as we were.

Bear Rough Night

It was great meeting all our “imaginary” friends–Amy of My Friend Amy, Alea of Pop Culture Junkie, Kathy of Bermudaonion, Julie of Booking Mama, Dawn of She Is Too Fond of Books, Natasha of Maw Books, and many others.

I took some great shots of the buildings around the hotel, of the great bloggers we met, Times Square, and many other places, check out the photo set on Flickr, here.

Friday, Anna and I didn’t want to plan because we didn’t know exactly what time we would get into NYC, so we started off on the exhibition floor and ran into Cornel West speaking on one of the stages. My pictures of Cornel West did not come out as well as I had hoped, but the autograph on his book, Hope on a Tightrope, looks fantastic.

Anna and I didn’t really listen to any of the panels this year, just went to author signings, listened to Brother West, and the Book Blogger Panel. Check out the Book Blogger Panel:

Anna and I came out of our shells and met some great publicists, PR people, authors, and others at BEA. We handed out our business cards and hope that we made some great personal connections even if we only met these people briefly–from Lisa Roe, who is bubbling over with energy, to Miriam Parker of Hachette, who is professional, fun, and enthusiastic, to everyone else who introduced themselves. It was great meeting every one in person, and they are exactly who you think they are when you meet them in person. I want to send a special thanks to Dawn of She Is Too Fond of Books for letting Anna and I stay with her in NYC.

Check out the Hubbub Around the Blogosphere feature to the right for more BEA discussions and wrap-ups. I’ll try to update them regularly.

Did you got to BEA? What was your plan? If you go to BEA 2010, will you have a plan?

Don’t forget these great giveaways:

1 copy of Reunion by Therese Fowler, here; Deadline is June 4, 2009, 11:59 PM EST

1 copy of Holly’s Inbox by Holly Denham, here; Deadline is June 10, 2009, 11:59 PM EST