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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Book Con Day 2 - May, 31 2015

Book Con Day 2 – May 31,2015
So my friend john was going to come with me on Sunday. He has never been to a convention in his life. And he has been harboring some deep seated anger about the fact that some of us go to Comic Con and not once has anyone invited him. My thoughts? You know we go. Order a ticket and make arrangements to get there with us. Simple.

Well, I had mentioned Book Con to John and since Sunday tickets were only $30.00 in advance, he decided he wanted to go. I told him to check the schedule, see what he wanted to catch, order his ticket and we’d figure out the rest. When I spoke to him Saturday, he told me that he ordered his ticket on line, but he had a computer issue so he wasn’t sure if the sale actually went through. I told him to check his email when he got home. It is now like 10:00 the night before we are going. I need to know if he wants to go to any panels, do we need to get there early for wristbands, you know, important questions like that. When he checked his email, he never actually got an email confirmation. The tickets were raised by $10.00 at the door, but that also meant he’d have to stand on line to buy his ticket, so he decided to bag it. At now it is close to 11:00 the night before. Typical.

I had decided I was not going for any panels, but I still wanted to get there earlier than Saturday. I did not want to deal with the long march. On Saturday, they were keeping people to one side of the white line in front of the Javits. I am assuming this was to prevent people from jumping the line and trying to get in the building instead if queuing up in the back. All I kept hearing was the line police saying “No feet in the streets”. But I have gotten myself off topic.

Yes, up early. I left the house about 8:00. I wanted to be on the ferry to NYC no later than 9:00. I caught the ferry at 8:40. This time when I walked up the north side of the building, there was no line either heading to Javits or coming from the other direction. Maybe the wristband frenzy from the prior day was over. I was able to walk right into Javits. No one could stop me! Don’t even try. So I got to the first escalator. There was ticketing, lines for panels, lines for signings, etc, so I tried to do what they forced us to do the day before. I headed around the base of the escalator prepared to enter the bowels of the Javits Center when a Red Shirt stopped me and said I couldn’t go that way to the showroom floor. After I explained that was the way we were taken yesterday, he replied that he didn’t know why they’d tell us that, but I could check upstairs. AS I backtracked, someone else asked me if I needed help. I think it was another Red Shirt. When I explained I was trying to find the way to the showroom floor, he pointed me in the direction of a que. There were several chutes all together, nothing marked as I would expect it to be for the showroom floor so I had to ask another Red Shirt. So, the first chute was for the showroom floor. Downstairs, in between rails, I waited with the legions for the doors to open to the showroom floor. This was a first for me, but at least I was not out standing on the street.
As an aside, I found out later from someone I was chatting with that if I had just loitered in the lobby, I could have just joined in the line with the other people as they were coming up the escalator. Smacks of cheating.

So some things.

Did I talk about luggage yesterday? I see that I didn’t. Not really. I knew I wasn’t going to need the huge one, so I brought the small one. That was part of the reason I bought the banana. I wanted change for the baggage check. So as they traipsed us from here to there and back again, there was absolutely never a moment I could break from the pack to check my luggage. I was afloat in the tide, a seething mass of bodies yearning for the treasures the showroom floor might reveal. So I decided to screw it, as they say. That’s right. I took my suitcase onto the floor with me. I’m a rebel. I don’t conform to the standards of mere mortals.

I was actually regretting having it. It was at times more difficult to navigate the floor, I always had to keep an eye on it and at least I couple of times I ran over someone’s foot. Not really worth the trouble.

I mention this because on Sunday I decided not to bring any portable carrying device. I had two very important signings and a third that was also pretty important. I figured at best I’d have half a dozen books. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahaha!!! I am a fool at best as you will see.

At 12:00, Maureen Johnson was signing at Penguin. I HAD to be there for that. If I didn’t make it I would die. Nothing else was as important. Adi Alsaid was signing at Harlequin at 11:30. He was signing his second book, Never Always Sometimes. If you will recall, I got to Harlequin too late for the first YA signing and the line was capped and I made the decision to not ever attempt the second YA signing at Harlequin. And, of course, I did not get his book at Blogger Con, so I had to weight out Adi Alsaid against Maureen Johnson. I decided to wait for Adi’s book to come out in paperback. Nothing could deter me from making Maureen’s line.

So, to pass the time, I got a signed book from Sourcebooks about werewolves. I continued to walk about and passed by an author I glanced at, walked past, stopped in my tracks and decided to go back and talk to him. His name was Patrick Freivald. I had met him at BEA a couple years back when he was signing his high school zombie book, Twice Shy. He was actually in line behind me at one of the signings I went to and he was talking about Ellen Datlow and his signing schedule and such. So I decided to check it out. No one was talking to him. So I asked him to explain his new series. Book one is Jade Sky and he summarized it by saying steampunk with fallen angels. Intriguing. It was only after I started talking to him that I saw his sign about the cost of his book. But I figured, what the heck, and bought the first book in the series to try it out. He pointed out a rather long line that was twisting and snaking and when I asked about it, he said it was the line for one of the Kardashians. The funny thing is there was no book. I was under the impression it was a photo op, but Patrick, as I call him now, had said he thought they were only giving out signed post cards. It was a mob of people standing in line every which way to catch a glimpse of the celebrity of the celebrity. Who gives a flying crap? I was sorely aggrieved. Patrick had a suggestion for the people on line that I will not repeat here, but I do like the way he thinks.

From there, I decided it was time to get on line for Maureen and around 10:30 got behind a guy who was standing right next to the Maureen Johnson sign. We were at Table 4 and she was signing at Table 3, but that was a trifle. We had started a line and other people were getting on board. So around 11:00, I picked up a galley at Sourcebook because it was right across the aisle and when I came back, some guy was asking if we were in line for some kids book called R is for Rocket. When we advised we were waiting for Maureen Johnson, he told us we had to clear off. Now I would like to say that we Maureen Johnson fans had built up a bit of a camaraderie; me, number one guy in line and number three girl. When we were told to push off, I was listless and directionless. Table 4 where Maureen was going to be was now the galley drop stage, so no going there.

I wandered a bit then, I was looking for some dice game I couldn’t find. I thought it was at HarperCollins, but it was at Little Brown I later discovered. I have no idea what I could’ve won. After a bit, I decided to head back and see about lining up again. I went around the front and along the side heading towards Table 4. I found a respectable place on line, not 2nd, but not dead last either and I was content. I was there for a little bit when my old comrade, number three girl, came up to me and said “We have your old spot why are you back here?” I told her I was okay where I was, but she insisted I get back in my original place because I had been waiting so long. No one around us minded and it wasn’t like I was displacing anyone and causing them to not get a book. That was really awesome of her and made me day. We then continued to chat about a lot of things, especially about the Kardashian mess.

 Finally, we saw Maureen and watched her as they got her set up. I didn’t have long to wait!! I was number two in line after all. When it was my turn, I found I had a lot to say. I told her I really enjoyed her keynote speech at last year’s Blogger Con which was probably one of the best speeches I ever had the privilege to listen to. Not smoke blowing here, I’m being sincere. She’s very entertaining. I then told here I was very surprised to be at the Nightvale show live on stage a few days later and who should walk out but Maureen Johnson. She admitted she had been terrified and didn’t want to talk into the mic and I just said that I had never really known of her but now she was popping up everywhere. She added that she’d pop up in my mirror and I added that she was compelling me to buy her books which I did. Then I thanked her, took a picture and was on my way. And that was my Maureen Johnson moment. Awesome!

I headed over to Harper Collins to get in line for the spin & win game as I didn’t really have anything else on my agenda except Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer. Again I got to listen to a panel. This one was James Dashner and I don’t know who else. It was a pretty full audience. The spin & win game was at 1:00, so I sat and waited. I will tell you, for someone who was only planning on picking up maybe half a dozen books at most, I had two toe bags full and, of course, I was lugging them on my shoulders having left my suitcase home. I did enter the Book Perk raffle for Sunday, for the tote full of galleys. Fingers crossed. So, they finally got the game set up. I think I was maybe fourth in line. I spun and I got Garth Nix new book, Newt’s Emerald, which was on my list. I was pleased.

Two things left: Jodi Picoult and the raffle drawing of the tote bag.

So, Jodi and Samantha were signing at Table 1. There was no lining up as there was another signing that was to shortly take place at the same table. And it was about 1 ½ hours until the J & S signing. I asked in the booth if there was anywhere to line up yet. They basically spouted the party line that the line will start a half hour before, yada yada yada. Anyone who has been to one of these things knows that is not possible. That would make things far too chaotic. So, I told the person I was going to wait next to the black curtain across from the table. So when I went out there, there was one girl waiting. She confirmed she was waiting for J & S, so I got behind here. We weren’t there too long before they told us we had to move because they were bringing the people for the 1:30 signing to wait in our spot. SO I asked if it was okay that we waited on the other side of the aisle, row, whatever next to the red curtain. She told us we could as long as it wasn’t needed. So we sat to wait. And people came.

It was probably around 2:00 I noticed a gaggle, well, it was a mob really, of people to the right of the signing table that were milling about in a very disorderly fashion and blocking up the main thoroughfare. I was going to go over and ask if they were waiting for J & S, but the girl in front of me assured me they were waiting for something else, but I had a feeling. A woman who had joined our line said other people were waiting over yonder and I knew. I told her I had been waiting since 1:00, but I need to point out so that it is perfectly clear, I at no time indicated that I was on the official line for J & S. I had mentioned that we had told a couple of the booth workers, but it was an unofficial line. When they asked me about it, I would only answer that I was waiting for J & S. So the woman who had been over there went back over and told all those people that we were on the real line so the mob came our way. Many of the people lined up behind us, but the majority stood in the main thoroughfare completely blocking everything, even the people from crossing over to the signing that was taking place. Then someone mentioned there was another line starting off to the left side of the booth. We looked and sure enough, the lady was there with tickets in her hand and she was holding the J & S sign and people had gotten in line, so all of us from both lines A & B hustled over to this newly made line C.

It was my unfortunate privilege to get right behind one of the women that was arguing the loudest about the whole line mix up. I swear the time she started lining up got to be earlier and earlier. The fact was, we were all like somewhere around 25 in line. They handed out the tickets finally. We were assured a book and still she argued and mouthed off. She was going to go say something because she had been in line since last Monday and then this other line popped up that she was being told was the official line and that’s not right, blah blah blah. Shut your cork hole lady! You’re getting a freaking book. Chillax! She went on for about 10 minutes, so worked up over ultimately nothing. I had been number two in my faux line. I wasn’t complaining because I was getting a book. It’s all good.

When it was just about 2:30 and the other line had cleared off, they moved us from the left of the table to the right. Now here’s the best part because Mouthy Mabel was still in front of me, right. They brought us over to where the mob of people had been in the first place which just gave her all the vindication she needed. What a snarky, nasty, miserable piece of business.

I will point out that this mess up was not typical of Penguin’s events. They are always on top of things. One of the people on line even told me that she went to the other faux line and was told that was the front and to go to the back, but the other end thought it was the front, too. Just a mess. Because of all the mix-ups and the long line waiting for the signing, they came by and told us we could take a picture or take a selfie with J & S in the frame, but we could not get behind them and have a staff member take our picture. They needed to keep the line moving. So there wasn’t much talking. Jodi signed and while Samantha was signing the next person was in front of Jodi. Still, I got my book and I was happy as a clam.

The only thing remaining was to check on the raffle. I walked over to Harper Collins and sat again. I got my stuff organized. The final count was three tote bags, BTW. As I sat there, I thought of the books I didn’t win for the spin and win. I saw where they stashed the books and there was a whole bunch, so I got up and asked if they had anymore ARCs of Dumplin’ or Amy Ewing’s book. The staffer said they were all out of Dumplin’. She did not address my Amy Ewing request, so I had to ask her again, but she said no, she thought they were out of that as well. She never checked. No I don’t have a problem if they have copies, but aren’t giving any more away. That’s fine, so issues, but I figure I need to ask. I was slightly put off that she had to tell what seemed like a thinly veiled fabrication of the truth, but no biggie.

I don’t generally ask for things not on the table. I don’t feel entitled, but this year, I asked twice and was given the galley I asked for. I asked one other time and was told no, they were out of the book and that was fine. And then I asked this last time at Harper. Perhaps next time I won’t be so gun shy about asking.

Anyway, I went back to my spot, but turned to look at the galleys to be included in the tote if I won. What I realized is that I already picked up most of the books that I wanted, but they were the adult titles, not the YA titles on the spin wheel. Then I thought that if I won I’d have yet another bringing the total to four that were filled with books, so I decided to leave. After 5 days, I was beat up and ready to go home.

Good bye NYC!!!


  1. Sounds like the second day of Book Con was a little calmer than Day One, but still had some hiccups. You would think that after all this time, they would know that fans like to line up early for signings that they don't want to miss and the organizers would plan accordingly!

    Yay that you got a signed Maureen Johnson book! Boo that you had line troubles. Isn't she awesome? I've never met her, but love her on Twitter. And how nice that your new friends saved you a place in her line! Book people are the best! Well, except for Mouthy Mabel, but I'm pretty sure that she's not one of us.

    Thanks for doing these recaps! I love hearing about BEA adventures!

    1. For the most part, book people are awesome people. It astounds me that a book convention could pull such a large crowd. I had lost a bit of my faith in the literacy of our community when Howard Stern's book came out and people would flat out say they didn't read. My faith has been restored. And so many young readers!!