I was really unprepared for what the exhibit floor consisted of at ALA. A friend of mine has said that she had gone a few years ago and that she went home with over one hundred books and I really didn’t understand. I didn’t think it was possible! But it is; it totally is! I was really unprepared in the sense that I didn’t know there were going to be tons of book signings and authors at the various booths at specific times. I had no idea. Luckily I was with some people who a somewhat tentative schedule and a loose plan. I feel like ALA would have eaten me alive if I wasn’t with Thuy from RNSL Nite Lite, Kimmy from The Windy Pages and Nicole from The Reader’s Antidote.
I was really hesitant going into ALA being just a blogger and book lover. I thought people would ask and maybe publishers would only give books to librarian. But that wasn’t the case at all! Almost everyone was super nice and polite except for a few obnoxious people that stood out to me. I found that if you actually talked to the publicists that were working the booths then they were more willing to give you books. I also liked talking to them about their favorite books which were usually the books that weren’t getting all that much hype.
Overall, I had a really great time and I would love to go again if there is another annual close enough to me! If you ever plan on going to ALA or BEA I highly recommend reading Nicole from the Reader’s Antidote’s tip and tricks post that she learned when she went to ALA this year. Huge book events like these need to be attacked strategically!