Friday, June 29, 2012

My ALA Experience! :D (picture-heavy!)

with Talia Vance
So, as I said last week, I made the 8 hour drive from my home town to Anaheim for the wonder that was ALA Annual!
As both a library assistant and a YA book blogger, the whole thing was just a fantastic experience all around. When I first walked into the conference hall, I was completely overwhelmed and felt like my head was spinning from all the things to see and directions to turn! But once I got my bearings (with some very organized guiding from my best friend and frequent guest blogger, Amy) I got into the swing of things and had an absolutely wonderful time!
Quarantine author team Lex Thomas

Shannon Cameron signed The Dark Unwinding
There really is no way to prepare for it if you've never been to a huge conference like this before. I read every blog post and bits of advice I could find beforehand---went in with lists and maps and signing schedules and still ended up a bit adrift in the sea of book-lovers! Friday was actually the craziest time, possibly because everyone is just running on pure excitement at being there. It was really the only time we experience any pushing and elbowing for arcs, and that was at the very popular HarperTeen booth, and really only by one or two people in particular (strangely enough, neither of them seemed to have any affiliation with either a library or a blog). By Sunday, Harper had come up with the brilliant idea of forming a nice line when they were about to do a big ARC drop and let people come by a few at a time---that was so much nicer and much less chaotic way to do it!

Suzanne's gorgeous gloves!
Having a laugh with Suzanne Lazear
There were some amazing signings going on throughout the event. You really had to stay on your toes because a few signing were added in at the last minute and weren't announced on the ALA schedule. I got to meet some of my very favorites, including Kendare Blake, Jackson Pearce (we've been waiting forever to catch her on this side of the country!) Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl, Talia Vance (who I met in Davis at Katherine Longshore's signing and had such a fun time chatting with! She is amazing and so sweet!). I did miss out on seeing Tahereh Mafi again, but was so excited to find out that Marissa Meyer would be signing ARCs of Scarlet, the sequel to Cinder---it literally became my #1 priority to make it to that signing! That line was the longest that I saw, stretch across two full aisles and around a few corners!

Margaret Stohl & Kami Garcia - Two Beautiful Creatures!
Ali Fisher - one of my new favorite publicists!
Jackson Pearce - finally on the west coast!
Kendare Blake - creator of my favorite love & gore story :)
Marissa Meyer - signing my copy of SCARLET!!
Kady Cross - lovely in pink!
The greatest part of the whole experience was actually getting to meet so many amazing bloggers, librarians, and publicists that I've only been able to get to know online! I got to meet and chat with Katie (Katie's Book Blog), Jill (Swimming in YA), Bailey (IBBookBlogging), Cameron (What the Cat Read), Tara (Tater's Tall Tails), Lena (Addicted2Novels), Cambria (YA Confidential), Lisa (A Life Bound by Books), and Nicole (The Reader's Antidote). I also met authors Melissa Buell (The Seventh Blessing) while in line for Kendare Blake, and Shannon Messenger (Let the Sky Fall) as she was strolling the exhibits. And it was great to catch up with Mindy (Magical Urban Fantasy Reads), Jaime & Patricia (Two Chicks on Books) again! It was also fun to get to talk to so many wonderful librarians and teachers who are all so passionate about the books, the kids that they work with, and their work! 

One of many awesome displays (this one is Tor's)

Some fun highlights:
•Seeing George R.R. Martin, author of Game of Thrones, being mobbed for pictures like a rock star!
•Meeting one of my favorite publicist ever: Ksenia from Macmillan! She has been so amazing to work with these past two years and I finally got to thank her face to face!
•Watching my husband get all excited when he found out two of his own favorites would be signing: Brandon Mull & James Dashner. (Yes, he's my middle grade reader LOL)

So here is a little gallery of all my lovely signed copies!! There were four in our group--me, Amy, & our husbands who braved it all with us---they were such troopers! At times the signings were right on top of each other so we had to "divide and conquer" to see all the authors we were hoping to see! Some are signed to my husband, some to my daughter (she loves Lisa Schroeder, so we got two of Lisa's books signed to her), and we even got a few comic books and children's books signed to my little guy, which he loved! You can click on this (and any of the other pics, actually) to see them closer if you want!

And last but not least, the books! Well, we got lots of books, more than I really want to take the time to list, so instead I chose my Baker's Dozen---13 books that I am so absolutely, jump-up-and-down, squeal-and-very-nearly-pass-out excited to have acquired at ALA! :D


  1. Sounds like you had a great time, love all the pics. And of course the books you got all look fantastic, especially the new one by Gail Carriger.

  2. Oh! So glad you had a fun time at your first conference. They're crazy, but so much fun!! A little jealous you got SCARLET and ETIQUETTE AND ESPIONAGE! Both really on my covet list, lol!

  3. OOOOoOoO Becky! It sounds like you had tons of fun and I loved seeing your pictures :)))) I love such events, but especially meeting all these wonderful authors :) Have fun with your great haul of books!
    And yep, totally jealous of your copy if Scarlet!

  4. Oh wow, so many amazing books and I'm glad you had fun, got to see many great authors and got a lot of signatures :) Lucky woman!
    I can't wait to read The Raven Boys, Meant to Be, The Diviners (that one looks HUGE O.O), Girl of Nightmares and Etiquette & Espionage! Wow, just wow!

  5. Yay! I love Ali too - she is so sweet. Looked liked tons of fun...

  6. Thanks for all the pics! It's great to be able to see what ALA was like! And you met so many fab people and got so many great books! Unravel Me, ahh! So jealous. Glad you had a good time :).

  7. I love the pictures! SO COOL! :D

  8. Looks like you had a great time! And you got some awesome books!

  9. OMG you got E&E You have no idea how hard we were ogling that on the display, lol! Glad you had a great time and I'm sorry I didn't get to spend time meeting you--I barely even saw my ALA roomie when we were at the conference center. There was so much going on!

  10. Awww man sounds like you had an awesome time! I so wish I could have attended ALA especially since I just moved back to California but unfortunately a 19 year old traveling to Anaheim on their own isn't exactly safe or realistic. :P Maybe next year! :D

  11. Looks like you had a fabulous time and is that Unravel Me that I spot in that last pile? (oh em gee). I loveddd Shatter Me.

    Great pics! :)

    Jennifer @ Dream Reads

  12. Looks like a great time! I'm so sad I didn't get to go this year. Maybe next year! Actually I am *SO* going next year! Even if I half to walk. Maybe lol.

    I'm so excited for Unravel Me (I actually got the courage to request it from HarperTeen and they said they ran out!), Poison and Silver!

  13. It looks like you had an incredible time! I'd love to go to ALA someday. Sigh.

    And yay for finally meeting Ksenia! I met her at BEA this year and she's just as kind in person as she is through email :)