I also got to meet Veronica Roth, author of best selling Divergent. A dystopian novel for the older YA crowd. I was surprised wristbands weren’t required for her, but YAY for me! She was very personable with a calmness about her.
I also met Brenda Jackson (AA romance writer), she was nice enough. I brought an anthology of romance stories from home that she contributed to and she gladly signed it. I also wanted to get an autograph from ReShonda Tate-Billingsley (AA Christian fiction writer), but she pulled a no show, which was pretty disappointing. Too bad for me that I dragged with me two of her books and she wasn’t even there!
There were tons of authors there that I’d never heard of, which was cool because I was introduced to a few authors which I’ve added to my list to check out. All of the authors I met seemed very nice and most of them were pretty personable. The fair didn’t lend itself to presenting an opportunity to ask more than a few quick questions, nor was it a good environment for networking. It was truly a mad house, it was more like, say hi, get your book signed and move on. I would have loved to sit in on some of the panels and go to a few of the theme parties. Unfortunately, it wasn’t in my budget, nor I didn’t have the time to be there for several days. Next time though!
So to recap, here are my recommendations. I’ll be using my own advice next time!
1. Get to any author appearance/signing event VERY early! Like at least 2 hours. You can pretty much count on some type of number system for the popular authors.
2. Be open to finding new authors and/or authors you haven’t read yet. You may find some really good reads that you hadn’t known about.
3. Go with other readers/bloggers on the same level as you. Meaning, if you’re a serious reader, go with other serious readers. Don’t go with a someone who only reads 1 or 2 books a year. It’s a great experience and its extra fun when everyone knows the authors and the books. No offense to the “non readers”, but trust me. If you’re traveling with someone or in a group, like minded people to should go to these type of events. It's not as fun when you're all excited to meet certian authors and your group is like "Who is that?".
4. Take advantage and go to workshops and other events if you have the time and money. It would have been nice to actually get to meet some of these authors in a more intimate setting with fewer people instead of a huge Book Fair. Plan to come in the day before so you can be well rested for the next days events.
5. For these huge book fairs, bring a HUGE bag to carry all the stuff you’ll be picking up. If you plan on bringing and buying books, you’ll need something to carry them in. Plus for all the little handouts that the authors and small publishers give out. The bag that I brought was way to small, and it was not comfortable walking around holding things.
Now for the fun stuff, my first giveaway! Coming on Monday! Stay tuned!
P.S. Hopefully sometime in the next week I'll be able to update this post with some pictures. :-)