Book Expo America: A New York Whirlwind

I spent the first part of this week in New York City for Book Expo America, a frighteningly enormous publishing trade show at the Javits Center. This was my first BEA, thanks to Chronicle Books, which sent me to attend the ABA Celebration of Bookselling where OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW received an E.B. White Read Aloud Honor. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

I actually arrived in New York on Monday, in time to have lunch with my Walker/Bloomsbury editor, Mary Kate, before heading to the Scholastic offices for a big party for bloggers. The “Scholastic Live” event featured a bunch of authors, including me, performing readers theater from one another’s new books.  It was so much fun to be part of a dramatic reading from CAPTURE THE FLAG — and I’ll tell you that Raina Telgemeier, Jeff Hirsch, and Donna Cooner have some serious acting skills!  Here’s a photo of the four of us, acting out a scene from Raina’s upcoming graphic novel, DRAMA.

Before the blogger party, all the authors signed books here:

Turns out this is THE room where acquisitions meetings happen at Scholastic. When David Levithan told us that, a sort of awed hush fell over that big conference table. Then we all admitted we’d imagined the chairs would be a lot cushier.

After a late dinner with my agent and some of her smart, hilarious clients…and a few hours of sleep…and an early breakfast with my Scholastic editor, it was time for a video shoot at the Scholastic offices.

The video we taped is especially for teachers & librarians, and I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s up on the Scholastic website!

Then it was off to BEA for the awards luncheon, where I got to meet OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW illustrator Christopher Silas Neal for the first time ever.  Here he is saying thanks to indie booksellers for the E.B. White Read Aloud Honor.

You can read more about the luncheon and see the full list of winners here.

Before it was time for me to fly home, I took a walk through the BEA exhibits hall, which was big and busy and kind of scary in its intensity. But it was fun to play “spot the celebrity.”  Know who this is?

I’ll give you a hint: Excuse me, sir. I think there’s been a mistake. I know we’re in detention but I don’t think I belong here.

Yep – it’s Molly Ringwald of Breakfast Club fame. She wrote a book and was signing copies of it for this crazy mob of people.

That’s the crowd at the BEA autographing stalls…which scared me into leaving a little early for the airport.

Many thanks to the ABA and all of the independent booksellers who not only serve as their communities’ literary hearts but also share my books with readers.  Thanks for the E.B. White Honor, for sure. But mostly, thanks for just doing what you do. I hope you get to keep doing it for a long, long time.

12 Replies on “Book Expo America: A New York Whirlwind

  1. You said it all so well…it was my first Book Expo and wow, what a swarm, everywhere I turned! Congratulations on the E B. White Award!

    1. Aaahh! You were there and I missed the chance to see you in person? Drat! But thanks for the good wishes – I hope you had a fantastic time at BEA, too!

  2. Kate, last summer I received a letter from a highschool English teacher. She is still friends with my mom and lives in the small town where I grew up. She called to ask if i’d like to come for tea and hear about her trip. It was so out of the blue, I couldn’t resist.

    Anyway, I spent the whole afternoon while she told me about all her adventures at the Expo. She met so many authors and came home with lots of great books. It sounds like a blast and I put it on my “bucket list” of things to do once the four kids are a little older.

    Seeing your photos was very cool. An author at the Expo looks like even more fun! Thanks for sharing!

    1. It was a great event, though a little overwhelming for me. I’ve also been to ALA, NCTE, and IRA and somehow they feel a little less intimidating as far as size/crowds.

  3. Wow! Thanks for sharing your whirlwind week! It’s so inspiring to see your success and it’s so clear how much joy it brings you 🙂 Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to hone our writing skills and share in such a safe forum.

    1. Thanks, Joan! I’ve been absolutely overwhelmed (in a good way!) with the response to Teachers Write, and I’m so happy it’s introduced me to all of you!

  4. Wow, Kate,
    You did all this and ran our camp too?
    You are so talented…it looks like you had a blast!
    So happy for you! Congrats!

  5. Oh, congratulations! What great fun you had! Thanks so much for sharing it with us in word and photos. It looked like an awesome experience at BEA!


  6. Wish I could have been there!! I love going to book signings, it is great to see and hear the author’s voice in person. That one looked really pretty crazy though, wow a ton of people!

  7. I agree that BEA is overwhelming! I don’t think that anything would have really prepared me for the experience. Still, I had a fantastic time and wouldn’t trade it for anything. 🙂

    Congratulations on the award!