In my six months working in publishing, I’ve only been to one other conference; all I did was sit quietly behind a table for a few hours while people milled around, glancing at our table but rarely stopping to chat. So I didn’t know what to expect when I stepped into the Metro Toronto Convention Centre last Thursday.
It was a lot more fun than sitting behind a table, let me tell you.
For one thing, there were so many people! Librarians and library assistants and library sciences students and other people who, I guess, work at libraries in some way.
Hundreds of companies were represented in the hall, and there were tons of author signings. We had five of our own authors signing over two days but, since we shared the booth with the rest of Penguin Random House, there was always a line for someone!
We had Frank Viva (Outstanding in the Rain), Charis Cotter (The Swallow: A Ghost Story), Eric Walters (Hope Springs), Susin Nielsen (We Are All Made of Molecules), and Sylvia McNicoll (Best Friends Through Eternity).
I loved the way our booth looked, the brightly coloured picture books made it look super cheerful. And we had DWARFS and disgusting critters decorated all around.
I didn’t really get a chance to wander around the rest of the hall because I was documenting everything on our instagram, though I did pick up a poster and some cute temporary tattoos for me – ahem, I mean for my nieces.
But I got to talk to our authors, which was very exciting! Eric Walters is taller than I expected, which sounds like an odd thing to say, but he can be a little intimidating at 9 am when you haven’t had your tea yet.
I also asked Susin Nielsen to sign my copy of Word Nerd; I recently started reading her books, and I’m completely addicted to them now! If you haven’t read anything by her yet, please do yourself a favour and check her out.
Word Nerd is about a Scrabble player, so Susin used the letters in my name to come up with smaller words. It was pretty impressive how fast she did it (I know it’s a short name, but still!).
Before I knew it, it was time to pack all our books away so that they could be sent to our next destination: Reading for the Love of it, which happens February 9-10. I’ll be popping in to support our authors, Eric Walters, Richard Scrimger, Margriet Ruurs, and Rina Singh and I can’t wait to find out what goes on over there!