Another reason why small press is better

Today is the official opening of Book Expo America. We arrived at the exhibit halls shortly after they opened this morning and plunged into the crowds searching for the new and interesting. The number of people here is staggering. Trying to get through the HarperCollins area reminded me of Mardi Gras: you didn’t walk through so much as you pressed through, surrounded by so many people on all sides that you could barely move. HarperCollins only had three YA ARCs available that we could see, and none of them appealed to us enough to take them, although Nightmare Academy did intrigue me a bit and I was tempted to take it. But we’re trying not to overdo it and only take the books that we really want to read and review, after previous years when we’ve taken so many books that a back ache was the biggest thing we got from BEA. We also visited the Penguin booth where they had Seeing Redd, the sequel to The Looking Glass Wars. Although I did read The Looking Glass Wars, I thought it was excessively violent, and the sequel didn’t appeal to me enough to want to carry it around.

After this largely unfruitful search through big-publisher land, we ended up after lunch in the small publisher area, where we had a great time. The aisles were uncrowded and we saw a lot of interesting things, which I’ll be posting more about later. It’s a shame that many people never make it to the small press area, because there was a lot to see and do there, but I’m selfishly glad, because it made the afternoon much more enjoyable for us.

We ended up our afternoon at the Candlewick Press booth, where as usual they bent over backwards to help us out. Candlewick is a great company and I like a lot of what they do. At my son’s request, they promised to send us a review copy of Mythology, the upcoming new entry in the ologies series.

Also today we interviewed Shelly Mazzanoble, author of Confessions of a Part-time Sorceress: A Girl’s Guide to the D&D Game from Wizards of the Coast. Shelly was delightful and I’ll be posting that interview soon.

Now I’m off to the autographing area for a couple of books, and then I’ll be headed to the Kid Lit Drink Night. I hope to see some of you there!