Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Surprise - Where Were the Books?

by Sophie

What book surprised you recently?


So this is me trying, yet again, to twist the topic around to what I really want to write about. There, I feel better, having confessed. Ahhh. Lots of books surprised me recently and maybe I'll address that at the end of the post, but I am freshly back from New York where, among other things, I prowled around BEA. And one of the things I observed, though other more important people observed it first and much more vociferously, was that there weren't a whole lot of books to be found.

You can read about that elsewhere, since every BEA-attender seems to have blogged about the lack of ARCs and the paucity even of the little cardboard card-ARCs. A dearth of tchotchkes was bemoaned as well (why is it that I only use passive voice on this blog? What does it mean...is there someone on this blog who inspires me to passivity? And if so who would it be? I'll buy the first drink at B'con for anyone who comes up with a plausible explanation....)

Anyway, what I really want to do is post all my pictures from last week, which included a variety of ummmm...publishing-related outings as well as BEA (the distinguishing factor being whether or not I can claim it on my taxes, so it's a fairly liberal interpretation). Pretend I've got you in my living room with the ol' slide projector, rum-n-coke in hand, hostage to my blathering because as usual it's just *all about me*....

SOPHIE'S BEA WEEK ALBUM

Okay, let's start our little journey with my hotel. It was way way chic'er than me. And the rooms were about fifteen inches by two feet. But it's always, always better to be stylish than comfortable, right? Right. This is the lobby, and I think that might be actual art on the walls:


It was down in Gramercy. Home of NYU, where I am pushing Junior to apply to college. Mostly 'cause it would be convenient for me to come visit and all.


While I was in town, I badgered all my St. Martins pals until they finally weakened and let me come up and visit. In, the, y'know, FLATIRON. Only the coolest building on the whole isle'o Manhattan! Here's my first publicist, Anne Gardner, in the corner office that we snuck into. What would I do for this office!!!!!!

And this is the view....

Okay, tangent time. I was *really* in town for my friend Kaca's surprise 50th birthday party, which her husband cleverly held in the wine cellar at 21. Now there was so much eye-poppin' stuff to see there. The private bottles labeled with the names of the famous folks who keep them stored there. The section where every bottle costs as much as my car. The secret passage where they evaded Prohibition-era cops.

Oh, right, we were talking about BEA, weren't we? Okay here's what you see when you walk in - a giant sign pimping the lovely Debbie Macomber. As I live and breathe, friends, someday that's going to be me up there. Which is what I said, via gestures and expression, to that lady up front who was all "get that camera outta my face, yo"


Mostly, my "conference plan" was to follow these guys around. Y'all probably recognize Barbara and that's the amazing Holly Root on the right. They know eeevvvverrrryyyybody so I kind of just leeched onto their posse. Late in the day someone brought up the subject of authors who don't respect their agents' time and boundaries and I was like "that's so unprofessional!....Wait, whaaaat...?"

But, they did finally manage to ditch me so I went over to Harlequin and played fangirl for a long long time, getting in every signing line I could. Here's Rachel Vincent with famed editor Mary-Theresa Hussey:

Here's Gena Showalter and her editor Margo Lipschultz, two of the nicest publishing-type people around:


Here's my friend, big-deal debut author Pam Callow with, I think, executive editor Valerie Gray (but I am not sure....maybe shane knows)


So anyway, that's pretty much it. I did come back with one of the big YA buzz books, which I read on the plane home, and which was pretty darn captivating, so maybe it kind of qualifies for being on-topic. I think that next fall you'll be hearing a lot about MATCHED by Ally Condie. Also, if you notice in that picture of Barbara up there, she is holding an arc of THE DUFF by Kody Keplinger, which is the other YA novel you might want to be on the lookout for. And you heard it here first!!

23 comments:

Meredith Cole said...

How did I miss you?? I visited Toni Plummer on Tuesday, and was at BEA on Wednesday. But more about that on Saturday...

Love the photos. I hope your son does end up in NYC so you can come to the East Coast often!

Shane Gericke said...

Most excellent post, Sophie.

Isn't it nice to see Pam Callow doing well? I met her last year at ThrillerFest and found out she was cool. Not as much as you, of course, but, you know, almost :-) I'm pretty sure that's Valerie Gray with her, but can't swear to it. Since Pam is Canadian, think the cops asked to see her papers? Oh, wait, it's New York, not Arizona.

When Joe Konrath is on a panel but doesn't want to answer a question, he says, "You know, that's an excellent question, but here's something I've been thinking about and ..." So you're in good company with how you cleverly wiggled out of "What book surprised you recently" to talk about drinkin' and lack o'swag in Manhattan.

Shane Gericke said...

And, the whole point of BEA is free swag and ARCs! What are they thinking, not having it???

Sophie Littlefield said...

Hey Meredith, not only did I miss you but I missed Toni too. It was a comedy of errors, with me crossing paths with her on the way from St. M to BEA. We'll try again soon!

Sophie Littlefield said...

That Pam is somethin'. I liked her the minute I met her, which was well into the banquet afterparty when I was particularly...loquacious.

Yeah, I'm not much of a rule follower. I tried for a while, and now I don't even make much of an effort. I'm not proud of it.

Jen Forbus said...

O.k., "Miss I-Don't-Like-Crowds" how was that part? I'm wondering if BEA is something I should plan for in the future, but I just think the overwhelmingness of all the people might be a little more than my introverted self can deal with. After all, it isn't all crime fiction folks at that thing. I'd LOVE all the content; I know that. I'm just afraid I'd be exhausted by all the masses...

Sophie Littlefield said...

It's funny, Jen, it really didn't step on my crowd-fears. I think the reason is that you can fly under the radar so easily. I loved skulking about anonymously, picking up books and catalogs and checking things out, and people watching, of course.

I *love* people, just not crowds, so it was actually very nice to observe them - and they are all book people which is extra wonderful. There were a few that I steered clear of....L.Ron Hubbard types for example - but in general, anyone who loves fiction is my kind of person.

I would definitely recommend it. I love it - can't necessarily justify it YET but it's part of my world domination plan to go as often as i can.

Graham Brown said...

Hey Sophie - you take some great photos - are you sure you don't want to add a coffee table book to your growing repertoire???

Looks like you had fun out there.

Sophie Littlefield said...

graham, you're crazy. i'm the worst photographer ever. but i love the iphone because i just take thirty and delete 29. ha ha ha coffee table book....i think we need to brainstorm that one with the gang but you know what they are all going to say - it's you and the come-hither look FTW

Bill Cameron said...

Since I couldn't be there, I am pleased by your twisting of the topic to show pictures.

Joshua Corin said...

That is in fact Valerie Grey with Pam Callow. I know because the night before, I made the bad-bad-bad decision of suggesting Valerie walk in heels across several NYC blocks from dinner to a cocktail party. Eeep!

Pop Culture Nerd said...

Oh, twist away at the topic, Sophie, because I love your pics! I get to see what Anne looks like!

Regarding that office with the view, you just tell me who currently inhabits it and I'll shove said person down some stairs.

And I'm with Shane...what's the explanation for lack of ARCs??!!

Joshua Corin said...

Sophie, that L. Ron Hubbard booth was just plain WEIRD - wasn't it? And I somehow always ended up crossing it to get to the Harlequin booth right beside it. Oy.

Terry Stonecrop said...

Love the pix! New York is fun no matter. Book week must make it extra fun. Not sure what ARCs are, but they sound good...

Gabi said...

No books or toys at BEA? The last time I went (2 years ago), I had to buy a suitcase to get my booty home (the airlines were not yet charging for luggage) and my stress relieving rubber squeeze chicken popped his head off while I was waiting for a gorgeous gold-edge tipped copy of Lamb signed by the hilarious Christopher Moore. People stared and backed away. What is the world coming to?

Sophie Littlefield said...

will twist for you any time BC.

Sophie Littlefield said...

oh, joshua.....that's like lesson #1 of Women. High heels = call a cab. at b'con a couple of years ago i was trying to impress someone and he suggested we walk back from the cocktail party. now whenever i think of him it is with unspeakable rage.

Sophie Littlefield said...

oh PCN, i'll fax over the latest update to the stair shoving list soon. sorry there's been so many lately - i'm totally good for the performance bonus.

Sophie Littlefield said...

terry, books + NYC + burned pretzel + that subway smell = heaven.

ARC is advance reader copy...also galleys...

Sophie Littlefield said...

gabi, right there you have the crux of it -there was nothing to drag home, but we couldnt have dragged it anyway due to airline horribleness!

Shane Gericke said...

Eeep indeed, Joshua. They've killed for less reason, heel-bearers ...

Shane Gericke said...

The last couple times at BEA, books and goodies were hard to find. I asked around. Publishers are cutting back on giveaways because they cost lotsa plenty and in this recession they don't want to spend it. Short-sighted, in my opinion, but then again I love me those free books and notepads shaped like typewriters ...

Kelli Stanley said...

Sounds like a typical BEA blast, Soph, except for the lack of goodies ... wonderful pics!! :)

When I was at PLA in Portland (with our own DAY ONE scribe, Bill), there were oodles of ARCS for librarians and all kinds of giveaways ...

So it looks like publishers may be saving their tchotchkes for the underpaid, underfunded and overworked saints among us, the librarians.