First of all, an apology for no new reviews so far this week. But it hasn’t been because I’ve been lounging on a beach in St. Bart’s or touring Tuscan vineyards. I’ve actually been working, for both my readers and myself. This past weekend was the midwinter conference of the American Libraries Association. It was held in Seattle (only 3 hours away) so the husband and I decided it would be a worthwhile investment for both of us to make the trip as we could drive (and I could pack enough to warrant the luggage cart at the hotel despite the trip being only 3 days). He could network with library and technology people and I could…wait for it…get scads of free books to read and review! Publishers go to this show to promote their upcoming releases and offer free “advanced reading copies” to librarian and reviewers. This is usually an uncorrected proof of the book and not the finished product. Plus I hoped it would be an opportunity to meet some of the publicists I’ve been working with via email. Sadly, that did not prove to be the case. Seattle is a long way from New York City where most publishers are based and for the most part they sent sales and marketing people. However, after 30 minutes I had already accumulated this lovely haul of swag and was staggering around like a drunken sailor. I love books but they’re HEAVY (do not say e-reader because I’m not listening).
So, I spent two days dressed up in my big girl high heels and professional outfit (left over from the days when I had to wear real clothes instead of sweats and slippers), walking through the exhibits like Veruca in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory (I want that and I want it NOW). Books everywhere, and many of them just waiting for someone like me to scan their cover and think ‘this looks good, I’ll take it’. I also got to meet a lot of marketing people and talk about the publishing and promotion process AND I handed out my business cards like candy. I was working it, because this is still a young site and it needs more and more traffic and followers to keep it vital.
As well as all the fun, smaller presses like Algonquin, Soho Press, Chronicle, Sourcebooks, Perseus, and Bloomsbury.
For the sake of all of you, I shredded my poor feet, wrapping them each morning like a ballet dancer in cotton and Band-Aids because I’m no longer young or used to high heels. Not to mention carrying all this lovely treasure around the convention center and back to the hotel. Still, it was a marvelous time and well worth it. Many thanks to all the publishers for the chance to get advance copies of upcoming books. Here are the results, the majority of which you’ll see in future posts. So much reading, I’m almost giddy and frantically revising my reading schedule to get to all of it!