BEA week

Next week is BEA (Book Expo America), which is the big annual book industry conference. My friend Alix just called it “the CMJ of books.” This is 100% true, except that CMJ goes until 4am every night, and takes place primarily on the LES, and all the attendees are usually hanging around on street corners while wearing sunglasses and smoking. BEA is mostly about wandering around a large convention center and having “meetings” with “accounts.” But the principle is the same.

My BEA week got off to an early start last night. Lauren Oliver ( invited me and a few of our other friends over for a dinner party at her apartment. No one can write like Lauren, it’s true, but it is also true that no one can cook like her. She is an inspiring hostess. Our friend Jess Rothenberg (author of The Catastrophic History of You and Me) was there, as well as Lenore of Presenting Lenore ( So basically it was a lot of fun bookish girls, eating cheese. Ideal Friday.

Tuesday I’m going to the YPG BEA cocktail party at the Frying Pan. I’ve never been to the Frying Pan, but it’s one of those bars that people who live in Manhattan– particularly on the UWS– consider to be really “cool.” I am always hearing about how “cool” the Frying Pan is. I have to say, this makes me dubious, but I guess I will try anything once, if by “anything” we mean walking all the way over to 12th Ave. (WHO KNEW there was such a place as 12th Ave?)

Wednesday afternoon I’m going to the convention hall itself to see if I can scrounge up any free galleys. Right, because clearly what I need are more galleys, since I only have like 20 from ALA Midwinter that I haven’t read yet. For some reason, whenever I see a free book, I’m like, “Oh my God, a FREE BOOK!” as though I don’t work in book publishing, as though I am not surrounded by free books all day every day.

Also, if you are at BEA and are into free books, the Simon & Schuster booth will be giving away my galley! This is the very first conference where it’s available for the taking, so you should totally TAKE IT!

Wednesday night I have my publisher’s BEA cocktail reception, and Thursday night I have my agency’s BEA party. My agency’s party is at a dive bar down the road from my apartment– excuse me, a dive saloon, which has flames painted on its exterior walls. According to everyone who attended my agency’s party last year, it goes incredibly late at night and many people make out with each other. So, I can support that.

Good lord I love BEA week.