Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Jennifer Harlow Reporting from the Trenches of BookExpo America

Let me just first say hello and thank you for reading my inaugural posting here on InkSpot. I'm the author of "Mind Over Monsters" out October 2011, pre-order today! Okay, the shameless promotion of this post is over. Time for the good stuff.

When I was first notified I would be attending Book Expo, the biggest book trade show in the world, I was so excited. Trip to NYC! Free books! My first signing! Free books! But really it was as if I had come full circle. Twice I had attended the pre-show where seminars were given on how to break into publishing followed by pitch sessions to agents. My second time at BEA was when I got my agent, so to have a physical copy of my hopes and dreams in my hand with my agent by my side was surreal. Wonderful, but surreal.

I started the day going to the Jacob J. Javitz Convention Center without a clue what I was doing. I knew that I was signing at 11:30 but the rest of the time was mine. Major publishers, minor publishers, book stores, anything related to books had a booth. The booths ran the gamut from just a paper sign over a table to huge displays with spots for authors to sign. I got an autograph (and free book) from Charlaine Harris at the Mystery Writers of America booth and spied a Real Housewife walking to her signing. People would wait in line for half an hour to get a signed copy or advance copy of a book (myself included).

Then came time for my signing. I met my handlers at the Midnight Ink booth and was escorted to the green room where other authors like me waited for our time in the autographing area. (Everyone was bummed Caroline Kennedy had to cancel, rumors abounded.) Then I made my way to my seat, oddly not nervous. I had set my expectations very low. If one person wanted the book I'd be happy. But right away there was a line! And there were only two lulls when no one was there! I think 50ish people came, spoke to me, and had me sign my baby. Most were librarians, some were bloggers and reviewers, some just liked the cover and thought they'd try it out or give it to someone else as a gift. The time just flew by as fast as the books. It went so much better than I expected and the book isn't even out yet.

Now I sit in my hotel room a few blocks from Times Square exhausted but happy. My first professional apperance done with hopefully a ton more to go through the years. But I'll never forget my first.

This is Jennifer Harlow, signing out from BookExpo America.


Beth Groundwater said...

I'm so envious, Jennifer! I've yet to attend a BEA, and it sounds like you had a great time.

Alice Loweecey said...

Congrats, Jennifer! I hope to get to a BEW one day myself. Enjoy your spotlight. :)

Lois Winston said...

Jennifer, it was so nice to meet you today. Good luck with your book.

Robin Allen said...

Congrats on this great "first," Jennifer! Publishing a book is such a rollercoaster, isn't it? Enjoy this high point.

Deborah Sharp said...

this is the third time i've tried to leave a comment here for your nice post on our hinky Inkspot site; hope this one's the charm, Jennifer! Congrats and kudos on Book 1, and on starting out at the very big BEA. Your excitement and enthusiasm comes through loud and clear (and makes me long for the heady days of my first book.)
Welcome aboard.