Indigo’s Summer Teen Preview
On March 16, 2016, I was invited to attend Indigo’s Teen Summer Preview Event (re chapters.indigo.ca) — which, in hindsight, if you were a random passerby on the outside looking in, we’d look like a cult following in a kumbaya campfire formation. Or maybe Readers Anonymous (?). Thanks for sharing, I guess.
And if you’re wondering what Indigo is, just imagine if Barnes & Noble, Waterstones, Kinokuniya, or Dymocks hosted an event. Bam.
And as you know, I am terrible at remembering to take photos so I’ll be recapping this event via my super [fail] memory and crediting images taken via the Twitter hashtag #IndigoSummerPreview.
On Campfire Circle’s and Kumbaya
I was fortunate to attend this event since I missed out on their previous focus group last November. Other close buds I attended this event with include: Amanda @ Books, Brains, and Brawn, Jesse @ Books at Dawn, Patty @ Pattycakess20 and many other bloggers I’ve seen in passing. I’m fairly certain more than 95% of those attendance are part the online book community in some capacity. I’m not pictured below but will update if my derpy face turns up somewhere.
This is how we sat (image via IndigoTeen’s Twitter).
Upon entering the room, every seat also had a bunch of swag on top among others to choose from (which I grabbed the Shadowhunters key chain). Also, you should ignore my horrendous penmanship on my name tag.
On Discussions and Retrospection
The discussions were open forum and navigated the various genres under the Young Adult umbrella of fiction.
The first stop looked at the “John Green Effect” on the increasing popularity and sophistication of YA fiction in today’s readership. As someone who hasn’t (and doesn’t really care to) read JG, the key point made regards the legitimacy and appeal of teen fiction. (This is not to the fault of JG himself but rather the market.)
Then we entered “Reality Check” — a catchall for books dealing with real shit. Simon vs The Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, All The Rage written by Courtney Summers, and E.K. Johnston’s Exit, Pursued by a Bear (A Winter’s Tale retelling) was some of the featured books. There was heavy promo for Exit and if it wasn’t enough that Johnston is already one of Amanda’s favourite authors, now I had Indigo reps telling me to read this book too haha.
After a intermission with grub to chow down on, they returned to look at the growing popularity of “Retellings” and the continuing intrigue with “Court Dramas” (to which Evelyn Skye’s The Crown’s Game was on the slide and I am so very excited for it).
There were sprinklings of trivia contests throughout but you best believe your boy knew none of the answers LOL.
On Networking & Cementing Bridges
It was also neat that Simon and Schuster Canada was in attendance. In a nutshell, I got to thank [name redacted], who are marketing reps at S&S Canada for connecting with me at the tail end of last year. Although I don’t think I got my point across, we jokingly laughed at having me write some haphazard letter of recommendation [to their boss] on all the positives they’ve done for the blogging community.
I also had wonderful discussions with members of Indigo’s Team Teen regarding topics like: the inclusive effect of various social media channels as a tool to inform potential customers, the representation of the “human” struggle (re Reality Check) in SF/F genre to weave fluid challenges that aren’t the main focal point of the narrative, and finding stories that teen male readers will enjoy.
On top of that, I was able to drop Patrick Ness’ name in conversation. So that’s a win.
On Hauls and Swag
When the end came the goodies table opened up, it was basically a first-come-first-served race to the table of limited copies — to which I can best describe as a subdued Boxing Day/Black Friday sale. While I did scope out the stock earlier in the night, there weren’t any books I necessarily had to get (re most of them were contemporaries). I just grabbed copies of what was left to spread among close blogger friends who weren’t able to attend.
The only titles I would have wanted was The Serpent King (Jeff Zentner) but even then, I already have multiple copies of that LOL. However, I was stoked to see people pick it up — definitely among my top books so far in 2016 (you can also read my luminous review here). There was also Kiersten White’s And I Darken (if Vlad the Impaler were female) and Colleen Oakes’ Queen of Hearts — but friends got those ones so I’ll be able to borrow them instead (if they can part with it).
Otherwise, I hauled the following:
Dream House (Marzia Bisognin aka Cutie Pie’s Wife on YouTube)
Run (Kody Keplinger)
The Museum of Heartbreak (Meg Leder)
Two Summers (Aimee Friedman)
The Outliers (Kimberly McCreight)
Unrivaled (Alyson Noel)
Tell Me Three Things (Julie Buxbaum)
The Unexpected Everything (Morgan Matson)
Either way, I’d like to give thanks to the publishers and Indigo Teen for giving away these beauties and hosting this event. And also to all the participants who showed up and contributed to the discussions!
Also: happy belated birthday, Jesse (he spent his birthday with us at the event).
Are any of the above titles on your TBR lists too?