Last Sunday, September 16th, marked the last day of this year’s Manila International Book Fair, and I was lucky enough to drop by SMX, not just to haul books but also to speak in a panel about international publishing! I had the most amazing time catching up with my friends, and getting stressed about what books to buy from National Bookstore’s Book Binge Bazaar, and even though I came home with a headache, sore arms, numb legs, I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. Read on to know just how much I enjoyed #MIBF2018!
Like I said, I was only able to check out the fair once, and I went on a Friday after having my leave approved (Yup, I filed for a leave. That may or may not say a lot about my work attitude, but stil…) and I met up with my friends Miel (Bookish and Awesome) and Gavin at around 9:30AM at the Taft station of the MRT (Line 3), and we arrived at the fair by 10. We wasted no time and immediately dropped by National Bookstore’s Book Binge Bazaar upon arrival.
We were greeted by Hazel (Stay Bookish) and thousands of books upon entry! With prices that ranged from Php75.00 to Php275.00, it was one of the most taunting experiences for me, as someone who was trying to live by a “strong and frugal” mantra. But I won’t deny that I very much enjoyed browsing through the well-stocked shelves of the bazaar. And to be able to witness just how well-received this initiative is from National Bookstore, it truly did warm my heart. Hooray for making affordable books more accessible for Filipino readers!
While walking through the hall, I saw a few familiar faces. I saw Tris and Natasha, who were both attendees of this year’s #BookwormsUnitePH meet-up. I also saw Jen, Diane, and Angele, who are all members of Bookstagramers PH. Rafael (The Royal Polar Bear Reads), Erika (The Nocturnal Fey), and Shaine (Wanderer in Neverland) were all there too. And I also met up with my bookish best friend Jasmine (Jasmine Pearl Reads), after more than a year of not seeing her! (She didn’t even stay for lunch and my panel, smh. Haha, just kidding, Jas!) My heart was filled to the brim for seeing my friends, and that certainly made my #MIBF2018 a lot more memorable. (Add to that the books that I bought which I’ll be showing you later!) Here’s another photo dump, this time featuring my gorgeous friends:
When we’ve had our fill, we went to Tokyo Tokyo to grab a quick lunch. I needed to be ready by 12:30PM to get ready for my panel, and so we didn’t have much time to properly catch up. We were, however, able to briefly talk about the last book that we buddy read which was What If It’s Us (!!!) and we shared some of our favorite scenes, our thoughts on the ending, favorite side characters, and so much more. (You guys, we all owe each other a more comprehensive discussion about this when we see each other next, got it?)
Afterwards, we went back to the SMX Convention for my panel entitled From the Philippines to the World: Breaking Into International Publishing, hosted by the lovely people from the Overseas Publishers Representatives’ Association of the Philippines (OPRAP). In behalf of the organization, Ms. Honey de Peralta, who happens to be a friend of mine, invited me to talk about how it is for me to work with international publishers. Alongside authors like Kate Evangelista, Dawn Lanuza, and Gail Villanueva, a comic book illustrator like Francis Martelino, and a New York city-based literary agent intern like Tarie Sabido, we were able to somehow inform and educate our audience as to how challenging, but ultimately fulfilling it is to pursue a career in writing, especially if you want to be published by one of the “Big 5”.
Photo credit goes to Erika from The Nocturnal Fey
I was able to talk about lots of stuff like the blog tours that I put up, my initiatives in passing along the review copies that I receive from numerous publishers, the book events that I co-host through Bookworms Unite PH, the reader-initiated previews that I love hosting… And I loved every second of it. I was able to meet new people from the publishing community, and overall, it was such a memorable experience, one that I know I’ll be looking back to with a smile. Here are a few more photos:
We went out of the panel at around 5:30PM and had little time to check out the rest of the fair. We roamed around the National Bookstore booth to see if they have hardcover copies of History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera, but found none. Afterwards, I checked the other exhibits to look for copies of Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas, and A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman. (That’s literally all I wanted to buy from this year’s fair!), and was only able to grab a copy of the former.
I took a Grab on the way home together with Gavin and Miel and I arrived home with sore arms, numb feet, a semi-bruised wallet, and an overflowing heart. I had such an awesome experience, and it made me so much more excited for next year’s fair!
The #MIBF2018 and #BookBingeBazaar Book Haul
From Book Binge Bazaar:
- Feral Youth by Shaun David Hutchinson
- Here Lies Daniel Tate by Cristin Terrill
From Fully Booked:
From Ms. Jenny / Penguin Random House International
- The Incredible True Story of The Making of the Eve of Destruction by Amy Brashear
- Inkling by Kenneth Oppel
- One Day in December by Josie Silver
- Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst
- XL by Scott Brown
- Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful by Arwen Elys Dayton
- What Not To Do If You Turn Invisible by Ross Welford
- Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas
From Ms. Isa / Hachette Book Group
Borrowed from friends:
Now for the thanks:
- Thank you so much to Ms. Honey de Peralta, Sir Rino Balatbat, and the rest of the Overseas Publishers Representatives Association of the Philippines (OPRAP) for inviting me to talk about how I’ve come to partner with international publishers in the past to help with marketing and promotion. I very much enjoyed my experience, and I can only hope of working with you again in the future.
- Thank you to Ms. Jenny Javier and Ms. Isa Garcia-Jacinto for the plentiful review copies that they gave me during the fair. You’ve given me some of my most anticipated books for the rest of the year, and I can’t wait to dive into all these new worlds. And the same goes to my friend, Hazel, for lending me her ARC of Dry.
- Thank you to National Bookstore for hosting another Book Binge Bazaar and for helping make books a lot more accessible to Filipino readers! And also, I didn’t win your online contests, but thank you for hosting them and for giving the chance to so many readers.
Were YOU at this year’s Manila International Book Fair? Were you able to splurge at the 2nd Book Binge Bazaar? What books were you able to take home with you? Tell me all about your experience via the comments section below!
Until the next one!