19 comments on “Book Blogger Confessions: Bookish Events

  1. I can’t even go shopping around Christmas because I hate the crowds. BEA sounds fun, but I just can’t despite being a industry professional (librarian). The cost and crowds get me every time, but I will go eventually!

    • I normally hate crowds, but once in a while, under certain circumstances, I decide it’s worth it. And I haven’t been to Six Flags in years so I kind of feel like I’ve been saving up for something like this.

  2. I’m with you in feeling out of place at BEA, etc. Especially after I read a passing reference on a super-popular blogger’s site that bloggers in general are sometimes looked down upon at BEA — I mean if she felt that way, I can imagine how I would feel! If BEA were in NY again, I would consider going on the “Power Reader” Day because that seems much more open. I like to think I do my small part in helping promote books, but I am fully aware that I’m a small-time blogger. I am grateful for any ARCs and things I do get, but I really do think I would feel out of place at a conference like that.

    • Yeah, that is disheartening. That’s why I would kind of rather go to something that’s more fan oriented. Comic Con looks like a blast if you’re into that sort of thing.

      • I hope you both reconsider BEA/ALA if you ever get the chance. It has evolved over the years and it is very much a fan event. A lot of the professional/industry events are moved to another area for meetings etc.

        As it grew over the past few years from industry to allowing bloggers there was a bit of snobbery towards bloggers from publishers but that really has changed and we’re very much welcome.

        Even if that wasn’t the case, the authors are thrilled to meet the fans and there are SO many bloggers now that you have the opportunity to make a lot of friends.

        I hate crowds and lines but for some reason BEA doesn’t bother me. Maybe because I feel like I’m with my people lol

        • Thanks, Karen. The travel/expense is really the prohibiting factor for me, but maybe when it comes to Chicago. I would really like to experience it, if only once.

  3. Maybe …i would love to meet other bloggers and find new books . I feel just lucky enough to have read some awesome books . I love the bookish community :)

    • I know a big reason a lot of bloggers go is not just for the event itself, but as an excuse to meet up with other bloggers in real life. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I would definitely like to go to some book festivals (someday when the kids have moved out), but I don’t know if I could enjoy something as large as BEA. I’m not too happy in huge crowds like that, either. I start to feel a bit claustrophobic and icky. (Plus germs. So many germs in a huge crowd like that.)

    • There’s actually a much smaller (I can only assume) book festival this fall in Iowa City. I have no idea what sorts of events they have there, but I’m tempted to check it out since it’s about an hour and a half drive from where I am.

  5. I remember hearing about BEA coming to Chicago. And I remember getting very giddy because, while I am a long ways from Chicago, it is a (long) drivable distance or I could take the train up … hubby has been after me to take the train up there for a mini-vacation … maybe i could put him off a few years and time it for BEA, lol!

    But yeah, I’m not a huge fan of crowds myself. Our town has an annual Barbecue by the River thing and the whole downtown is packed with people and vendors, etc., it’s a nightmare. I’ve lived here since 2008 and last year was the first time I’d ever been … and it will be the last. It was horrible. I thought I was going to suffocate.

    • I’m roughly a three-hour drive from Chicago, or at least from the suburbs, which is where I grew up, and where my parents and most of my closest friends still live. I’m back there once a month or so, so it would be no big deal to stay with my parents and then take the train into the city, making the travel and rooming expense all but disappear.

  6. While I’m not a huge fan of crowds either, there’s something different about BEA. Maybe it’s being surrounded by fellow book lovers or something, but I didn’t have my usual reaction to crowds when I was there. And while some people are still not happy that bloggers are there, most authors and publishers seem happy to have us.

    ThrillerFest sounds interesting! Maybe they’ll take a page out of BEA’s book and make it a little more fan friendly one day.

    • It sounds like they’re on their way with FanFest. The whole event itself is hailed as a “celebration of thriller books, the authors who write them, and the fans who read them,” but from reading the FAQs and schedule of events, it seems to lean much farther in one direction.

  7. I don’t like crowds, either, but there’s something about being surrounded by book lovers that makes a convention very, very cool.

    I agree with the comments about considering going to conventions like BEA, ALA and ThrillerFest. Certain conventions may be aimed at writers, but aren’t book bloggers generally people who love writers? Depending on the panels and discussions, I think there’s definitely room in there for non-writers. I can’t speak for BEA, because I’ve never been, but I do know that ALA welcomes book bloggers and readers. Karen is correct that the panels for librarians are usually in a separate area (although not always), although if you’re on the show floor, you’ll be mingling with us librarians. However, as a librarian (and a book blogger), I love meeting other readers and bloggers. :)

    • Back when I was a music ed major I went to the IMEA conference a couple times, and I feel like going to a book convention would be a similar thing… like, I loved being there, but since I was only a student I couldn’t really connect with a lot of what was going on. Same thing here. I’d probably find some of the discussions interesting, even if they aren’t really meant for me. But just being there and exploring everything the event has to offer would be a cool experience.

  8. OMG, I want to go to Thrillerfest so bad! I only live an hour away, but it is kind of expensive and
    I really feel like I need to be pitching a manuscript. A lot of people feel that bloggers have no place at BEA and it is really an industry event to ORDER books…not do what we do. But, I feel very fortunate to have been able to go.

    • A whole big expo like that just to order books? They can’t do that from their computers at home? I jest, obviously… but these things are social/networking events in addition to whatever their “real purpose” is, so I don’t see why anyone who spends the money to go should be looked down upon. Now, that’s not to say that I wouldn’t feel out of place… but I shouldn’t be MADE to feel out of place. No need for others to add to my own neuroses, thank you very much.

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