As I mentioned in my previous post – the whole ‘GET ALL THE (FREE PRE-PUB) BOOKS’ was so NOT the angle I took in attending this conference. I was in it for the panels, the knowledge and to fill up our order cart when I got back to work from all those buzz panel titles mentioned, and to implement ALL the awesome social media tactics I picked up in various sessions - among other things! Meeting librarians I had spoken to only online (say HI Twitter friends!) was a TOTAL perk for me!
However each morning when I walked in I saw a line of people snaked around the lobby, people sitting with their coffee and copy of Publishers Weekly, at 7:45am, waiting for the Exhibit Hall to open at 9AM. And to their credit, there was MUCH MORE to the Exhibit Hall than the free books – AMAZING NY Times bestselling authors were doing in-booth signings of their latest (and to be released) books, there were 3 feature stages which hosted various sessions for editors, publishers, authors, and even celebrities! Autographing tables were set up to host hour long sessions for fans of their favorite books. So yes, waiting in line = AWESOME.
And you know what you guys – the first time I stepped foot in the exhibit hall I was SO overwhelmed. ALL the people, the big fluorescent lights, the HUGE signs (thank goodness for the signs), the BOOKS, the random running into Grumpy Cat and various celebrity authors as I perused the booths – and OH THE AMAZING of it all. Seriously I had to stop a minute and look at my agenda and see who was where when and WHY was I there again and, oh yeah, did I mention this was like a surreal experience!?
Never have I seen such dedicated readers, librarians, booksellers, bloggers, and everyone gathered together in celebration of the book! Truly amazing!
So yeah, totally NOT a GET ALL THE BOOKS conference – although bonus if you snagged some good ARCs and are promoting them on your blog, giving them away at your summer reading programs etc!!!
Plus - if you missed some of the events being held in the exhibit hall, you can view the videos of author interviews and buzz panel presentations here!