Friday, June 15, 2012

Discussion Time ~ ALA Annual

ALA Annual
or Being a Respectful Attendee & Details



Next Friday morning I leave for ALA Annual, and guys my excitement level is through the roof. Going to ALA Midwinter in January as a newbie, totally surprised by the relaxed nature of it and the total awesomeness of everyone and everything there. ALA is just a time for publishers, agents, authors, librarians, and bloggers to all come together and have an epic time. There are tons of books, tons of author signings, tons of swag, tons of everything bookish that will make the nerd in you freak out.

 In January, when I went to ALA Midwinter, I had a brush with all the goods...and all the bads. This post is to discuss mostly the bads, and how to avoid being the "the bads" of ALA Annual for the other bloggers, publishers, and industry professionals attending.

 The keyword here is professionals. And at ALA Midwinter there were many bloggers who were anything  but professional. Certain huge titles were put out in huge stacks for anyone who wanted one to grab, and that morning ended in people getting kicked, scratched, bitten, and punched for certain books. The mob was wild and chaotic, full of rude, belligerent, greedy people. And I am sorry to say but 95 percent of them WERE bloggers. It was just about 10 of them, and the rest were victims, but those 10 rude bloggers are the reason that bloggers are getting bad reputations from librarians and other members of the publishing industry.

 When you go to ALA, be respectful and responsible, be kind and courteous, and don't be greedy. They have tons of copies of all the books you want, you don't need to push, grab, bite, or injure anyone for them. Wait in line, be patient, say "Please" and "Thank you" when you want a book or are given a book. The nice men and women working at the publisher booths are there way earlier than you are setting up, getting ready, and they have thousands of people to attend to. You are one of many that are asking for books. Be patient. If they say no, they mean no. Begging doesn't help your case.

 Also, I had an experience where there were only ten select copies of a certain book at ALA Midwinter. I was one of the lucky ones to snag one. The poor lady was all alone for her publisher, and the lady behind me asked for the same book and the publisher denied her. I wasn't there, but someone told me that the woman cussed at the publisher and was so rude. Being rude doesn't get you anywhere. If anything, it hurts your chances of getting others books and also gives the blogging community a bad reputation.

 As far as over-grabbing goes, I don't have much to say. Grabbing duplicates of books is unnecessary and leads to less copies for others that really want that book. Grabbing every book in sight, just to say that you got like 300 books at ALA, isn't necessary. I admit that at Midwinter I got a little to book-happy and I regret that. I should have been more selective and professional and practical about how many books I got. This year, I created an ideal list of books I was looking for, and am allowing myself 50-60 books overall I can take home. This is to eliminate books that will never be read and more shelf space. I'm not saying not to get a lot of books, the ARCs are there for the bloggers, librarians, and anyone who gets the word out about them, I'm saying that if you are grabbing books just to say you got a lot of books, that is a bad idea and you will regret it.

 Again, things like over-grabbing and grabbing three or four copies of the same book are things that are giving book bloggers a bad reputation.

 There are two blogger parties that I know of that are happening this year. The first one is what is called "The Great Blogger Meet-Up" which is hosted by Stacked Books (the blog is epic.) It is mostly for adults, but I think underage kids are allowed in. Here's the details! - http://www.stackedbooks.org/2012/05/great-ya-blogger-meetup-ala-annual-in.html

 The other meet-up is for YA bloggers, ACTUAL young adults. It was planned by Ishita @ The Reading Fish. It will be at California Pizza Kitchen! Adult bloggers are allowed to come too, but here are the details - http://omgitsfishy.blogspot.com/2012/06/ala-blogger-meet-up.html

Discussion Time (tell me in the comments!)
Are you coming to ALA?
What experiences have you had with rude bloggers or other industry professionals?
What tips do you have for new ALA goers?
What books are you looking out for at ALA Annual?
Are you attending any blogger parties or meet-ups? 

42 comments:

  1. Great post! I'm getting to go to the ALA Annual 2013 in Chicago, but I was wondering this: do publishers decide who to give books to? Hope you have an awesome time at this year's ALA! :D

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    Replies
    1. I really don't know how they decide. If you ask, it is extremely likely they will give it to you :)

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  2. Great post! I, sadly, am not attending this ALA, but might be attending Midwinter. Here's hoping! :D

    I'm glad you made this post, because I think it's important that bloggers remember simple courtesy when attending these events. The fact remains that ALA was originally intended for librarians, and while it is now open to bloggers and it is certainly acceptable for them to get ARCs, acting greedy or downright awful only gives us a bad name.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope to see you at Midwinter :)

      Very good point :)

      HD

      Delete
  3. Yes I am going! At first I was hesitant to register, since I'm more a reader and fan girl than anything else, but it won't be in my area again for a long time. So I figured, what the heck.

    I think you highlighted some important things in this post. I've been reading recaps and watching videos from events like this and it seems like one of the big issues is grabby hands. Like you said, getting too many of one book or too many overall can be totally unnecessary. And if they are acquired in a rude or out of control way, reputation is at stake.

    It's going to be crazy, because I'm not sure exactly what to expect. But since I do love free stuff and all, I'm making sure to limit myself to about 2 shoulder bags. Good rule, I think, is to not take more than you can physically carry yourself. Also I will be fairly selective with which books I take, probably just my most wanted if I find them. For example, I would love to get Prodigy by Marie Lu as well as Crewel by Gennifer Albin and Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi (who is in fact one of the coolest people ever and I'll be seeing her for the 3rd time in 7 months. Aren't you meeting her for the first time? So exciting~!)

    Hmmm what else. Oh yeah, I'm going with a friend of mine who has been blogging since 2008 so it will be kinda cool to tag along with her at times and meet some industry people that I wouldn't otherwise.

    Honestly I don't have a huge online presence, but I hope to read most, if not all, of the books that I will get and later write about or rate them. Or give them away to friends. Another idea is maybe writing to my local library to ask if they will take ARCs as donations or suggesting books they should order for the YA section.

    :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so glad you are going to ALA! We need to meet each other.

      2 shoulder bags is SUCH a good idea! I am so limiting myself this year as well! I. Am. DYING. Tahereh Mafi at ALA! It made my day! So jealous you have met her so much!

      HD

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  4. Great post I agree bloggers as a whole need to behave better at ALA we are guests! Im there friday-sunday. Any blogger thatvsees my tweets @yogikai come see me! Im up for letting you hop in line with me :)

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  5. YAY! Wonderful post and you made some great points. Over-grabbing is a major no-no. Em and I were very selective in the books that we picked up at BEA because we didn't want to pick up anything that we weren't going to have time to read.

    Can't wait to see you again! xo -S

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I am going to be doing that too!

      I am so excited to see you again. :)

      HD

      Delete
  6. Great post H.D.! Can't wait to meet you :) Like you I'm making a list as well lol.

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    Replies
    1. Forgot to ask, should I bring my own tote bag?

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    2. Thank you :)

      And Midwinter handed out all the totes you wanted, bring one if you want!

      HD

      Delete
  7. Heya!
    Gotta say, you are SO right in this post--excellent advice. As a writer, blogger, AND librarian, I'm a little torn. I don't want to give the impression that I'm unappreciative of bloggers, but the issues you mentioned really are important. Yes, I love my fellow bloggers (so much!)and appreciate the love and attention they lavish on books. But...as a librarian, it is disheartening to see increasing numbers of ARC hyenas prowling the convention floors of our beloved TLA, ALA, etc.

    We warmly welcome any and all book-lovers, but at the end of the day, keep in mind that these conferences are designed primarily for...wait for it...librarians. Librarians with budgets. Librarians who serve your community and schools. Librarians who facilitate and champion literacy programs. Librarians who professionally review titles for industry publications. Yet more than once, I've seen bystanders pushed out of the way and/or trampled by outside visitors eager to snap up armfuls of swag. And if I had a nickel for every time I saw a booth person rudely treated...well, I could buy us both a latte. It's really sad, and it hurts our reading community. Bloggers, visitors, members, basically everyone...please come to our library conferences, but please don't leave your spirit of kindness, cooperation and courtesy at home.

    Let's keep it fun for everyone!

    (P.S. Are you going to cook up something for #DessertedReads next week? We need your awesomeness, RWB!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love. This. Comment. So. Much. Everyone needs to read this one!! :)

      And I have no idea what #DessertedReads is!! Off to research it!

      Thanks for this amazing comment!

      HD

      Delete
  8. Hey H.D. great post, yes there were waaaay too many pushy people at ALA Dallas, with almost 900 followers I know you will get the word out that everyone needs to be professional this time. Can't wait to see you at ALA Anaheim!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Rockinfreak! I think I met you at Midwinter...I don't know though.

      And can't wait to see YOU! :)

      HD

      Delete
  9. Hey there, I'm not going to ALA as I'm in NY, but I did get to go to BEA. Although the behavior was MUCH better than last year, it was still discouraging to see people get crazy over books. I work in a school district and I really love it when young people point out the importance of being polite and professional. I know that bloggers get a bad wrap sometimes, but I've seen bad behavior from librarians, booksellers and yes even very professional looking executives. I think that it just depends on the person, but yeah...I kind of hate that bloggers get a bad wrap because of the bad apples.

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  10. You are SO totally right. I have been asked a dozen times in the last week for advice, and one person did say (kidding, I think! I hope :) "so I just run in and grab as much free stuff as I can, right?" I might have been a little sharp with her, haha! I basically told her what you mention above. Relax, be professional, and you don't need 300 copies of everything. @usagiko on Twitter quoted Wil Wheaton, "Don't be a d*ckwolf". I think that's a great rule of thumb for anything from asking for ARCs to waiting in lines.

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  11. I'll be there! This will be my first book convention ever and I am so excited. I don't know what to expect but I'm hoping this will help me come out of my shell a bit. (I'm really shy.) I'll be there on Sunday so if you'll be there, maybe we'll bump into each other :)

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  12. Great article! I got the chance to meet you at the YA Blogger Meet at ALA (Jaime a.k.a. The Lost Lola), it was wonderful meeting you! I had such an awesome time at ALA, and just like you mentioned in your post, I accidentally got a little book happy and grabbed so many books that my back is about to break! II will know for next time to be more selective about the titles I pick up, although in all fairness, 90% of the ones I got are on my TBR list.

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  33. The poor lady was all alone for her publisher, and the lady behind me asked for the same book and the publisher denied her.

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