I just returned from the Book Expo America in New York and am still trying to come down from the high. Being a debut author, I had absolutely no idea what to expect from the event and a long list of worries about what might happen. My very first book signing (what if no one came?), meeting my publishing team (what if we didn’t get along outside of email?), attending the convention (what if I got trampled in the chaos and was found beaten and left for dead in an alley behind the Javits?)
Okay, so maybe I let my imagination get away from me a bit. Still, after all the panic-attacks and nail-biting, my husband (aka, my security blanket) was able to pour enough complementary wine in me to let my guard down and start to actually enjoy the events of the week. And thank goodness he did!
My 47North publishing team – INCREDIBLE! Patrick, Justin, Katy – every person I met made me feel like a superstar. Their enthusiasm for NO PEACE FOR THE DAMNED was so contagious I couldn’t help but get past my insecurities and get excited for the days to come.
Even more, my agent Joanna was there, introducing me to other authors, other industry people, holding my hand (at times literally) as we traversed through the convention. I got to meet all those people I tweet with or email or have talked to in the course of getting my first book published. Kathleen Ortiz (not at all as intimidating as I thought she would be), Suzie Townsend (I swear she never stops smiling), Danielle Barthel (it was her first BEA too so we were able to be excited together). By the time Wednesday arrived, I was practically a pro of the BEA – I knew what publishers were where, who was signing when, and I only needed minimal hand-holding when the time for my book signing actually arrived.
(Pictured below are Suzie Townsend, YA author Sarah Fine, and Joanna Volpe)
Overall, the things I will remember most from the BEA: (1) The Amazon Publishing booth was as incredible as the people in it. Talking with other authors I’ve come to realize just how blessed I am to be working with such talented, enthusiastic people who really want their authors – ALL of their authors – to succeed. (2) The opportunity to meet so many other book lovers. Authors, bloggers, publishers, librarians, reviewers, NYPD – every where I turned there were more people to talk books with. (3) The attention and support of the people closest to me. The 47North people, Joanna, the other Amazon authors – I felt like I had cheerleaders on the sidelines whenever it came time to talk about NO PEACE. Nothing could have eased my fears more.
I don’t know if I will ever have the opportunity to attend another BEA in years to come, but I can guarantee that if I do, it will be an opportunity I will race to take on.