I'm a bit delinquent in my BEA posts, but that midweek BEA completely threw me. While I do love having my weekend back, losing essentially a week in the office, followed by a long weekend meant that I returned to work on Tuesday not remembering much pre-BEA or for that matter, that much from BEA week itself. But of course, I exaggerate, I remember quite a bit, because this was one of the busiest and most productive BEAs I've had in a long while. Why, you ask? Well, mainly because of book bloggers. Between events and meetings, I had more fantastic conversations with book bloggers, a group I continue to call the most optimistic and important in the publishing industry today.
Wednesday dawned bright and sunny and after a lovely walk from Penn Station to the Javits Center, I met our wonderful videographers for our To Kill a Mockingbird 50th anniversary celebration (more on that later), stashed my stuff in the booth and headed to the Hot Book Club Titles Fall 2010 Panel moderated by the amazing Carol Fitzgerald of Reading Group Guides.com and the Book Reporter Network. My fellow panelists were Michael Croy of Simon & Schuster, Patrick Nolan of Penguin, Talia Sherer of Macmillan, Karen Torres of Hachette and Jane von Mehren of Random House. We each presented 5 great book group books coming this fall. Check out the complete list of books here.
I followed the panel with a meeting with the charming Barbara and Charlie Mead of ReadingGroupChoices.com, I always love spending time with them. Next I headed to the Charlesbridge booth to meet, for only the second time, but it seems like we've spent so much time together (thank you Twitter), the dynamic Mitali Perkins, who just that morning had wowed the crowd at the Children's Author Breakfast (let's put it this way, I heard more about her speech than I heard about the Duchess of York's, that's how great she is). Mitali was signing galleys of her upcoming novel Bamboo People and the Charlesbridge folks graciously allowed me to insert flyers for the reissue of Emily of Deep Valley which will feature a new foreword by Mitali, into the books. It was so fun spending time with her and her fans. Though it was far too brief an encounter - thank goodness ALA is just around the corner.
Next up was a quick return to our booth where I was meeting the 5 book bloggers who won tea with Adriana Trigiani. It was so nice to see Dawn from She is Too Fond of Books, Julie from Booking Mama, Kathy from Bermuda Onion and Lenore from Presenting Lenore again and to meet Sheila from Book Journey. We also invited Trish from Hey Lady, Whatcha Readin as she helped pull the entire contest together. We headed out into the now blazing heat to meet up with Adriana and dive into horrendous midtown traffic (that is, once we got a car, slight glitch there). We finally arrived at the upper east side location of Alice's Tea Cup, a simply delightful tea shop where we were served a traditional high tea in our own room, painted a deep teal and decorated beautifully. There were personalized signed books for all the bloggers and absolutely delicious food. I have a particular weakness for clotted cream, which I spread liberally on my scones. Thanks to Dawn for this great picture of the entire group - though missing from the photo (and behind the camera) was Stephanie, aka @book_chatter on Twitter.
That would have been quite a day had it ended there, but there was more! After a quick stop into the office to refresh and redress, we headed to the famed Algonquin Hotel for the Celebration of Book Bloggers: The New Literary Roundtable that we gave with Susan Henderson of Lit Park and the upcoming novel Up From the Blue. It was an amazing night - so much fun to meet so many people I've known just from their blogs or twitter handles. I left fairly exhausted just past 9, running to Penn Station with Amy, after saying a quick goodbye to the Algonquin's lobby cat Matilda.