A bunch of the WBP contributors went to ALA Annual conference this year in Chicago and we had an amazing time! Partly because we were able to see Amanda Foody on her first panel and Axie Oh had her first signing for her debut REBEL SEOUL!
To start out the weekend on Friday there were some signings (including one by our own Amanda Foody!) and kick-off parties. WBP was lucky to attend some gatherings and we were totally star struck when we met Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance! He was there promoting DOOM PATROL VOL 1: BRICK BY BRICK.
Saturday was Day 2 and the first full day of the conference. From experience at the recent BookExpo/BookCon we knew to bring backpacks, comfy shoes, and water! There were amazing ARCs being given away and we were so excited to meet some amazing authors (including Jason Reynolds, Cindy Pon, Dhonielle Clayton, Angie Thomas and Tracey Baptiste!) Plus, the highlight of the day was that Amanda Foody was on her first big panel talking about her dark YA debut, DAUGHTER OF THE BURNING CITY! She was amazing (totally unbiased opinion).
I was able to capture some of that panel and Foody’s signing afterwards in my vlog!
Sunday was Day 3 of the conference and it was Axie’s first signing of REBEL SEOUL at the Lee & Low Booth! (insert excited scream emoji!) Her ARCs are beautiful with the gorgeous cover art and the WBP gang may have hovered like proud moms. It was a great inside look at how these events are organized. The Lee & Low/Tu Books team were amazing and organized the bajeesus out of it! To make everything smoother, there were some holding up copies of the book to indicate where the line started and ended. They also made sure everyone who wanted their book personalized got a post-it note ahead of time (this happened in many signing lines and is really convenient to make sure everyone gets their name spelled correctly).
I also vlogged Axie’s signing, so check that out below!
The main difference between BookExpo/BookCon and ALA was the focus of the events. While both are meant to showcase upcoming titles, BookExpo/BookCon cater to both booksellers and fans while ALA is all about the librarians! There were a few bloggers at ALA, but they weren’t there in full force like at BookCon.
Since BookCon is far more fan-based the fan events and fan signings were queen! However, ALA Annual is very much focused on librarians and how they’re so key in bringing books to readers all over the country/world. So, many booths were laid out to introduce new titles to the librarians and explain what might fit best into their specific library and specialty. It was so fun to chat with librarians from all over the country and to learn how they cultivate reading for their communities. And kidlit librarians are such heroes in how they work so hard to get engaging books that provide kids a love of reading that can last for a lifetime!
WBP was there mostly as writers and support squad for Foody and Axie! It was a great experience to get to connect not only with other writers and industry professionals, but to meet some amazing librarians as well.
Now here are a few photos of us fanning shamelessly over some of our fave authors!
And now….GIVEAWAY TIME!
UPDATE: GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED
We feel ridiculously lucky that we were able to go to both BookExpo/BookCon and ALA Annual. So, we’ve collected a few surprises for you, our readers! You can win a few ARCs that we gathered at the conferences!
Ways to Enter
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