02 July 2014

ALA Las Vegas 2014

Let me think, Vegas...

It's hot there.
My huggy dropped me off on the exact opposite end of the convention center from where I needed to register (we both guessed wrong) so I got to take a little walk in the Vegas oven. Lucky for me it wasn't too far. I still had make-up on when I got inside.

I found out a few days before I left that I was only signing books for one hour on Saturday. So I got there a few hours early and roamed around.

They had an Artist Alley--authors and graphic novels mostly--where I lurked for a few minutes. I'm always amazed by the cool ideas everyone has. The rest of the convention center's huge room was filled with rows and rows of educational booths.

I honestly had no idea what to do. There were people who worked on legal stuff for libraries, provided furniture and shelves for libraries, provided every kind of information imaginable along with more ways than I could have thought of for distributing it, boasted being the next World Book Encyclopedia, then I found the actual Encyclopedia booth and was amazed that they were still around, publishers (mostly for grade school stuff, but I did find one who specialized in factual books about fiction. They had all sorts of topics like The Hunger Games, Doctor Who, Start Trek vs Star Wars and a whole stack I was afraid of going near for fear of buying more books) and more information.

I was amazed that the convention center had rolled out carpet over the entire floor. Usually only the booths have carpet, and they bring it themselves. I saw more than a handful of women in high heels and though them mad until I saw the plush carpets. Well, I still think them mad.

Part of me expected it to be quiet--you know, the shhhh librarian thing--but there was plenty of noise to go around. And apparently librarians are lured in by shiny objects, just like the rest of us. Oh, and free pens.

At the opposite end from Artist Alley lay the big publishers along with a handful of smaller presses. Each booth had people signing books and giving them away to the librarians, in the hope that the librarians would send them forth into the reading world of library goers everywhere.

Myself and one other girl from my publisher (Jolly Fish Press) signed for an hour at our distributor's table (IPG). We both ran through our rather large pile of books, which felt great, by the way, and had a good time.  I did my best to be nice and happy so that maybe the librarians would remember me and read my book first. A lot of them got books for their summer reading program, which is awesome.

There were people with rolling suitcases and crates full of books they'd picked up. This is serious business. Librarians are tougher than they look.