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  • Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • Review: Karmic Hearts by Jhing Bautista
  • Review: The Conspiration of the Universe by Kenneth Olanday

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

HarperCollins Winter 2015 Blogger Preview Event!

After the awesome book signing last weekend (which I think I still have a hangover of), here's another one. I'm lucky enough to receive a surprise email from HarperCollins International's publicist, Sarah, inviting me to attend a preview night for HarperCollins' 2015 Winter YA book line up. Needless to say, I was over the moon with excitement! Mostly because of the books I'll get to see, but also the chance to finally see Sarah who I've been talking to for years.

We never, I repeat, never get events like this in the Philippines. So it came as a surprise and shock to me that we're having preview nights like those done in the US, Canada and UK.

Sarah Woodruff discussing the Winter 2015 books she was about to present.

We were told that there will be games, so we came prepared and ready to have fun, of course. Our team (Team I Do Not Know) almost won. *Ahem Jesselle of The Life Long Bookworm* :) The questions were mostly about HarperCollins' YA titles and they tested our knowledge of their books. You should've seen us trying to come up with names and titles while we try to be competitive and write really fast.

And then it was time to present the books that HarperCollins will highlight for Winter 2015.

Sarah: Raise your hand if you're excited for Red Queen! Me: *flails* OMG YESSSSSS!
There were a ton of titles presented and every single one of them were interesting and intriguing. There were quite a few titles that I am familiar with (Red Queen, Orphan Queen, Playlist for the Dead), and some I haven't heard of (Twisted Fate, Lies I Told) and also a few without covers just yet. Quite a few of us were cheering for the titles we're excited to read, and Sarah gladly brought some for us. I was sitting beside the pile and I kept on eyeing the dust jacket for Red Queen and Vanishing Girls. As a rundown, here are the titles Sarah presented:

- Falling into Place by Kat Zhang
- Endgame: The Calling by James Frey
- A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
- Transcendent: A Starling Novel by Lesley Livingston (December 23, 2014)


- Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (February 10, 2015) *
- Selection Stories by Kiera Cass: The Queen and The Favorite (March 3, 2015)
- The Heir by Kiera Cass (May 5, 2015)
- Twisted Fate by Norah Olson (January 20, 2015) *
- My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga (February 10, 2015) *
- Better than Perfect by Melissa Kantor (February 17, 2015)
- Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver (March 10, 2015) *
- The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige (March 31, 2015)
- 99 Days by Katie Cotugno (April 21, 2015) *
- Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay (March 17, 2015) *
- Willowgrove by Kathleen Peacock (January 6, 2015)
- The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows (March 10, 2015) *
- The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand (February 10, 2015) *
- The Pretty App by Katie Sise (April 14, 2015)
- Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff (January 27, 2015) *
- Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly (March 24, 2015)
- A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas (February 24, 2015) *
- Secrets of Attraction by Robin Constantine (April 28, 2015) *
- Forged by Erin Bowman (April 14, 2015)
- Lies I Told by Michelle Zink (April 7, 2015) *
- Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley (April 28, 2015) *
- Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider (May 26, 2015) *

* These are the ones I'm REALLY excited to read!

Twisted Fate was pitched as a book that has the same feel as We Were Liars, so obviously I am excited for that because I loved We Were Liars! Vanishing Girls is Lauren Oliver's newest YA novel, which is a suspense thriller. Everything That Makes You is about a girl who has "two" stories, one where she had an accident and had half of her face scarred, while the other story is what happens when that accident didn't happen. Interesting, right? Blackbird Fly is an MG book written by a fellow Filipina who is already based in the US.

After the preview was over, we got a chance to ask Sarah questions, and we were able to get an insight on what her job entails, what she does, and how publicity (at least for the International sales team) works for HarperCollins. It's not just about giving away galleys to bloggers and reviewers, it's also about blurbs and thinking of catchy one liners for books, planning, marketing, pitching ideas on how to better create a buzz for a book, communicating with sales and estimating if a book will sell or not, setting targets, what happens when a book "under sells" or if it becomes a big title, how changing covers can help boost a book's sales, and deciding which titles should be promoted extensively to readers.

We were told that we can grab a galley or two from the pile that was on the table, and we descended at it like we're all on a mission. I was able to grab two which I really liked, and I left everyone to wrestle amongst each other for the copies.

In between the presentation, we were eating. I mean it! Sarah brought with her chips, cookies, chocolates and soft drinks and we were just going back and forth to the table and eating when we have breaks. And then we decided that pizza is in order and we want mojos (potatoes!), so we ate that after the presentation while we chat with everyone. I mean look at us:

And as if we didn't just see each other a few days before, we spent the rest of the time chatting and catching up in the two days we didn't see each other. Plus, taking selfies of course.

What else can I say? The night was just amazing and I am glad it's another opportunity to spend time with my book blogger friends, discuss about the books we love while we get to know more about books we are excited to read in the coming months. Again, I feel very lucky, accomplished and honored to have been able to get to attend events like this. Thank you so much, HarperCollins International, Sarah, and National Bookstore!


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