|What I brought back from BEA on my bike|
Just got back from my first day of 2012 BEA. If I were more of a player in the publishing scene I would be at a slew of parties right now like my friend at Booklist, but alas, I'm a lowly librarian. I always think the vendors like the booksellers and bloggers more than the do me, someone who might just be ordering one copy of their book.
But the fact that I'm a librarian gets me in and I get a discount, so I take full advantage. This year I did what I always do, circulate among the booths and pick up catalogs for collection development, pick up advanced readers copies (YA I give to Z's teachers). I stand in line for book signings. Today I got Carol Miller to sign her memoir Up All Night. I had Francine Prose sign her new YA novel, and for Lara, I got Tracy K. Smith--the Pulitzer Prize winning poet--to sign her collection Life on Mars. (Lara, I'll put in it the mail next week, unless you really hate Tracy K. Smith.) One of the things I love about BEA is that I discover stuff I didn't know would be there: like today, I rounded a corner and whoa, there's Tracy K. Smith signing without a line. (Last year, this happened to me with the poet, Kay Ryan.)
Another thing I love at BEA is that the top of the heap--literary prize winners, university presses, behemoth houses--rubs shoulders with the liminal residers of the book world: wacky independent publishers, and the most marginal self-publishing types. (Also, Scientology Publications and romance powerhouse Harlequin are perennials.) Case in point: adjacent to Francine Prose's signing booth was this dude Darab Lawyer (co-author--Clinton Libby) hawking his new age thriller Sun of Apollo. (He was literally begging people to take his free book, but I couldn't carry anything more.)
The fact that writers were meeting readers, that books were finding an audience in this bland really hard -to-get-to convention center was deeply touching and very exciting to me. And that's why my post has this decidedly corny title. (Don't worry--it won't be the title of my self-published book.)
Sad to miss: Angie Bowie (David's ex)--didn't see her on the schedule I looked at, but apparently she was there. This is her forthcoming book.
Tomorrow: I have a full agenda including: Ann Beattie, Patti Smith chatting with Neil Young, Lois Lowry, Richard Ford
|Had to take off during "The Ongoing Evolution of YA Fiction" panel|
|Legendary NYC DJ Carol Miller signs her memoir Up All Night|
|Legendary scribe Barbara Kingsolver explains the Pen/Bellwether Prize she bestows|