I'm back from ALAMW14 and completely booked-out. Not only did I get to meet some awesome publishing people, but I got to hang out with all my favorite blogger friends! A big thank you to Hannah and Jen who took me under their wings and showed me the ropes for my first convention.
Rather than do a recap, I compiled a few Dos/Don'ts from everything I learned (plus a fun giveaway!).
Do prep ahead of time and know your floor plan. Also, highlight and laminate it like Hannah. I found myself asking, "Wait. Where is the Harper booth again?" five million times.
Don't forget to gush to Matthew Quick about Sara Zarr when you wait for him to sign your book. Unless you want to feel really embarrassed later.
Do talk! I have the hardest time talking to people I don't know (introvert, holla!), but book people can talk forever about books! So I asked lots of questions, but the one I found most effective was: "Which books are you most excited about?"
Don't forget to include your agent's name on your business cards (like I did and then fought the urge to write it in with Sharpie). Also, if you want publishers to send you anything or put you on their lists, make sure your address is on there too (lesson number two for me!). If giving out your address to everyone makes you feel uncomfortable, some bloggers said they had two sets of cards.
Do dress in layers. It was freezing and snowing outside, but a sauna inside the convention center.
Don't forget to bring an extra tote. I thought I was good having two, but really needed three. And luckily Hannah had an extra I could snag on the way home. Plus, those books get heavy and you'll need to redistribute the weight. (Also, DON'T judge my ugly orange carpet!)
Do gush about all the writer friends you know who have ARCs out on display. I seriously fangirled when I saw agency brother Robert Lettrick's FRENZY at the Disney Hyperion Booth.
Don't forget to check out the other booths! It was really cool to talk to people who published non-fiction and audio books. I even picked up this cool memoir by Jennifer Buhl about her life as a paparazzi.
Do ask the marketing and PR people at the booths for the titles you want--even if they aren't sitting out. It never hurts to ask (super, super politely!).
Don't take more than one of each book--or any books you know you aren't going to read. I know they are just sitting out EVERYWHERE, but it's important that they get read and are reviewed. They're meant to build buzz for the book.
Do pass on the book love! That's why I'm giving away an ARC of E. Lockhart's WE WERE LIARS and Leila Howland's NANTUCKET RED! Enter the Rafflecopter below!