There are SO many reasons I love penguins. They're my favorite animal. They make quality animated movies about them, where they do totally normal penguin things, like surf. And dance. And sing. Plus, they're ready for any occasion! They're always appropriately dressed.
Plus, baby penguins look like this:
BUT, when I say I heart Penguin, I'm actually talking about Penguin Group USA, specifically Penguin Group Young Readers.
This post is a big THANK YOU to all the amazing people from Penguin who attended and manned the Penguin Young Readers booth at Comic Con--from the marketing people to the editors to the authors to the everyone else I forgot to mention.
Now, of course there were other publishers at Comic Con that had booths. I visited all the booths. All of the people working there were very nice. But Penguin--they went beyond nice into true awesomeness. How am I so sure, you ask?
Exhibit A: Free Swag.
I got a TON of free swag (no worries, details and giveaways to follow!). All of the booths were handing out something, like buttons or little flyers about upcoming books or bookmarks. Penguin had those too. They also had free sample chapters of The Penguin Five (The Eternal Ones, Nightshade, The Replacement, Matched, Sapphique) in booklets that gave you the first chapter of each. They also had a marketing packet called Destination Elsewhere, which gave you the first chapter from: Crossing Over by Anna Kendall, Eon by Alison Goodman, The Foundling's Tale by D.M. Cornish, The Painted Boy by Charles de Lint, Pegasus by Robin McKinley and Incarceron by Catherine Fisher. They had other booklets that had the first five (five!) chapters of the first Vampire Academy. (Again, to be fair: there were some other book booths giving similar items out, though I didn't feel like it was with the consistency of Penguin.)
They also were giving out these:
(Photo from Penguin website)
Of course, tons of other places (book booths and otherwise) were giving out tote bags. But this was the only tote that I got that wasn't made from that weird thin weave that those reuseable grocery bags are made of--know what I'm talking about? These were full on cotton tote bags, that came in a different color each day. (I collected purple, orange and blue.)
They also were giving out full size posters--I picked up Vlad Tod and Pegasus, and I wanted a Vampire Academy, but was afraid it wouldn't survive the plane trip home.
Exhibit B: The Generous ARC Giving.
Just walking past the Penguin YR booth, I picked up copies of Matched, The Replacement, and Nightshade, which they just set out for people to take. They were the only booth I saw giving out quality ARCs, not copies of extra books lying around that needed moving. I really wanted copies of Pegasus and Sapphique, but I didn't see them out there. So I asked, hoping they would tell me about what time they planned on putting them out so I could stalk them. Instead, the woman (Mardie, who was SO NICE!) said "Oh, hold on" and dug through boxes under the table specifically to get me copies of both! And these are huge books--she definitely could have let me fend for myself, and that would have been totally fair. But she didn't--she went out of her way to make sure awesome Penguin books were getting into the hands of the reader.
Exhibit C: The Blog Lovin'
Heather Brewer (author of the Vlad Tod books) did a signing one of the days. I picked up Vlad Tod #1 and #2, and I also had a poster that I wanted her to sign. She signed the books to me (btw, Heather Brewer, also awesome and SO NICE!) and I asked her not to personalize the poster. "It's for my blog," I told her. "I'm going to give it away." There was a Penguin rep standing behind her who overheard and said, "You have a blog?" and I told her I did. She told me to go back to the other Penguin booth and ask about the super-secret towel. So I did. And once again, lovely Mardie actually brought me INTO the Penguin booth (a feat in itself, considering how much stuff I was carrying by this point!) and went digging through boxes again to produce a Vlad Tod beach towel! She asked me to put it right into my bag, because they'd only brought a few (like 5!) to the Con. And she gave one to me! Just for being a blogger and liking Penguin! This towel appears to be truly exclusive--I google image searched it and couldn't even find a picture. But I'll tell you that it's white with the Vlad Tod smiley on it in multiple colors, and awesome.
So, fast forward to my last day at the con (Saturday). Penguin had already given me SO MUCH (not to mention everything I picked up at FangFest, the exclusive Penguin party I was invited to--but that deserves its own post), and by this point Mardie knew me by sight. But, because I love Penguin, and because I love all of you guys, I figured I could give it one more shot--press my luck just a little. Penguin had been so nice so far, why would they stop now? So I mentioned to Mardie that I had a blog, and was looking to give away some books, if she had any. And she gave me this!:
This is a box set of The Penguin Five, with ARCs of their five biggest books coming out in the next five months. I'd seen these box sets sitting on their table all week, and I'll admit I seriously coveted them, but I never imagined they would GIVE me one. It's so shiny! And boxed! (And a pain in the butt to pack, but that aside.) And she gave it to me, and then SHE thanked ME. Mardie, this wonderful Penguin marketing woman who had just put me on ARC cloud nine, thanked ME for blogging about the books. I babbled on about how awesome Penguin was and thanked her and went totally fangirl. But I'm not ashamed. They totally deserved it.
I'm proud to be a Penguin fangirl. They (they = authors, marketing, editors, everyone from the person who goes on coffee runs to those in charge of the imprints) are made of awesome. Rock on, Penguin!