Wednesday, June 6, 2012

BEA Bloggers Conference & The Bloggess

On Monday, June 4th, was my first time attending the BEA Bloggers Conference.  I was excited and not sure what to expect.

I got up at the crack of dawn to be at the Jacob Javits Convention Center by 8:00am.  Needless to say, there was a lot of people and the place is huge.  You could literally get lost there, seriously.  I had to figure out where Section 1A was (which took me awhile).  Thank goodness I had my sneakers on, because it was a trek.

When I finally found out where I was suppose to be, there was a long line.  But at the end of the line, I received my "Swag Bag," which was filled with all sorts of surprises.  Then I walked into a huge room filled with round tables.

I went by myself, so I saw these happy women and followed them to table number 23.  They were gracious and allowed me to sit with them.

As it turns out, these happy women work for BlogHer and they mentioned they would be back in NYC on August 2-4 for the BlogHer Conference.

I enjoyed getting to know these happy ladies while we waited for the featured authors to visit our table.  We were only able to meet three: Siobhan Vivian who co-authored with Jenny Han; "Burn for Burn"; Kitty Kelley discussed her new book "Capturing Camelot" and then Larry Correia discussed his various books and writing.

Jennifer Weiner speaking

The opening Keynote Speaker was Jennifer Weiner, who happens to be hilarious.  She discussed blogging, Twitter (which she describes as "being at biggest, best cocktail party") and her new book, "The Next Best Thing" which comes out on July 3rd. 

After Jennifer Weiner spoke, there were breakout panel sessions.  I first attended the "Critical Reviews - Fine Tuning Your Craft" and enjoyed listening to Janice Harayda, who blogs One Minute Book Reviews.

The second breakout session I chose was "Demystifying the Book Blogger & Publishing Relationship."  I really enjoyed getting to know Jenn Lawrence who blogs at Jenns Book Shelves; Lindsey Rudnickas from NetGalley and last but not least, Lucille Rettino who is the Vice President, Director of Marketing at Simon & Schuster.  What a lovely, warm and down to earth woman she is.

After the breakout sessions, we all awaited the Closing Remarks which would be given by Jenny Lawson.  There was such a buzz, excitement and anticipation in the room to hear The Bloggess speak.

Jenny Lawson

I have to be honest, I really didn't know much about her.  I knew she was a successful blogger and had a huge following.  But that's about it. So, I wasn't sure what to expect.

However, the minute I heard her speak, I became an immediate fan.  She completely won me over right there and then.  Not only is she an absolute sweetheart, she is hilarious, generous, gifted, honest, authentic, transparent, real, talented and just plain wonderful.

She openly spoke about sensitive topics, such as social anxiety, depression and self-harm.  I really admire her courage and transparency.  I can now understand why she has such a huge following (she has over 240,000 Twitter followers).

I was fortunate to get an autograph (which I never do) to her new memoir, "Let's Pretend This Never Happened".  But the best treat of all was giving her a hug.

What a wonderful ending to a great conference!  But, the fun didn't end there.

After the conference, I was invited to meet PR by the Book LLC.  I had the pleasure of meeting the founder, Marika Flatt, who is such a lovely person.

Marika Flatt

She was there with her amazing team:

Stephanie Ridge

Tolly Moseley

I was completely impressed by the beautiful and remarkable, Tolly Moseley.  What a pleasure it was to converse and get to know her.  She is a warm person, a gifted story teller and an awesome blogger

Last, but not least, the grand finale. This morning I was invited by Random House to their Power Reader breakfast. 

I started my 8:00am with a latte made by this kind young lady.  I also helped myself to a delicious chocolate croissant and an assortment of fresh fruit which were absolutely scrumptious.  Random House did an outstanding job.  (I secretly hope they invite me again).

This morning they presented two authors and their new books.  Nate Berkus spoke first about his new book, The Things That Matter and then Charles Duhigg discussed his book, The Power of Habit.  After the discussion ended, Random House generously gave all of us a fun goodie bag.  Isn't that sweet?

What an amazing week!  I am very grateful to have met so many wonderful people who are just as passionate about writing, books and blogging as I am.

I want thank all those who made the BEA Bloggers Conference possible.  I also want to thank everyone I met at the BEA Bloggers Conference, Simon & Schuster, NetGalley, PR by the Book LLC and Random House.   Thank you for making my first experience a great one.

In conclusion, my biggest thank you goes to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, because without Him none of this would have been possible.  


Mr.B said...

I really enjoyed your adventure, as if I was there with you. Niiiiiice work.

Cerratoana said...

Glad you had a great time...sounds like fun!! I love conferences too! ana

Pilar Arsenec said...

Thanks for commenting!  Yes, it really was an amazing time.  I loved it and hope to do it again next year.  Perhaps you can join me?