As many of you readers know, the greatest event of the year is coming up: Bookcon!!!!! The event is filled with ARCs, signings, panels, and much more. It is basically a reader’s paradise!
However, despite all the amazing qualities of the event, The event is still a bit tricky to figure out. If you walk into the event without any tips, you may walk out unsatisfied. This event is only three years old. Bookcon is still trying to improve as a convention. There are some faults with the convention. It is a little disorganized, the crowds can get huge, the autograph lines can fill up hours in advance, and it seems like all the volunteers have a different understanding of what’s happening at the event. Overall, it can be very frustrating. However, if you follow these tips, you will be able to have an enjoyable convention.
BRING A ROLLING BAG!!!!
If there is anything that you get out of this post, bring a rolling bag. Yes, you are not allowed to bring the rolling bag onto the show floor, but that’s what coat check is for! Once you get a few books, you can always go and place them in your bag.
You may feel that you will be fine without a rolling bag (I was like that last year), I promise you that you’ll regret it. In the first ten minutes of Bookcon, mostly because I was a VIP, I received two tote bags and six ARCs. I was so excited that I was unaware of the pain that would lie ahead. Because I stayed near the booths, my mom and I ended up carrying FIFTY book in tote bags and it was only the first day. I had bruises all down my arm because of the pain of carrying those heavy books for the whole day. Not to mention, I had to walk back to the hotel while holding the bags. IT WAS PAINFUL!!!!
Do not over plan!!
I did this, too. I thought that I could be at five places at one time. Unfortunately, I was completely wrong. I am going to state the sad truth, you will not make it to half of your events if you over plan. For autographing area signings, you have to be in line AT LEAST an hour before it starts. It does not matter whether you but a book or not. Despite Bookcon stating that you need a book purchase, a purchased book does not mean that you will be able to get it signed. So, if you are planning on buying a book and showing up ten minutes before the signing, you have a slim chance of that happening.
Also, unless you are a VIP, you need to be super early for popular panels in order to get good seats. Panels are first come first serve! VIPs, you get first to pick for seats as long as you stand in line twenty minutes prior.
To be honest, I ditched my schedule and spent most of my Bookcon at the booths. You receive way more free stuff at booths and you can still go to signings that you don’t have to wait in line for hours. Spend a lot of time at booths!
Arrive at Bookcon really early!!
If a person really wants to attend a signing, regular ticket holders should arrive a few hours in advance. Why? You get wristbands at the beginning of the day for autograph area signings. Also, you may get some cool stuff while waiting. VIPs should arrive an hour early. The closer you are to the front of the line, the faster you get into the show floor.
DO NOT CUT LINES!!!!!!
If there is one thing that I despise, it is line cutters. And if you happen to have a habit of cutting lines, you better not do it around me. I will call you out in front of the whole convention center. And since Bookcon has a strict rule against cutting lines, you will be asked to leave. I do not care to hear your reasoning for cutting lines. If I see you cut, I will not hesitate to call you out.
Stay at the Show Floor
So, you can either spend your whole day waiting in line for signings at the autographing area, or you can spend you day receiving many books and having to only waste thirty minutes in line at booth signings. The show area is incredible. Last year, I spent the whole day there and received over 100 books!
Socialize While Waiting
In all honesty, you will spend half of your day in lines. It could go both ways: it could either be terrible or you could make the most of it and talk to fellow bookworms. You are going to be surrounded by bookworms, make friends!!
Wear Comfy Clothes
You will be walking……A LOT! You want to wear shows and clothes that won’t make you in pain.
Do Not Bring Every Book From Every Author You Want To Meet!
You will regret it. You will have to carry those books with you for the whole day. Bring only the ones that you desperately want to get signed.
- Book money!!!! Books are sold at Barnes and Noble price. If you want five hard cover novels, then bring around $110. A lot of booths give out free books so you really don’t need to buy many books.
- Lunch money. Lunch is pretty pricey at convention centers.
- Your ticket!!!!! It is the only way you will be allowed inside.
- A lanyard for your ticket!! You should wear your badge at ALL TIMES!
- One tote bag. You will get more but you want to bring one to hold your books until you find more totes.
- Rolling bag!!
- Some books that you want to get signed.
- A list or schedule of who you want to meet.
- Business cards if you are a blogger, booktuber, author, publiser, etc.
- Will they post a map of the show floor? Yes, but the maps aren’t that great.
- How early should I arrive at the convention center? Two hours before or earlier. The earlier you arrive, the better chance you have at getting wristbands for everything you want to see.
- How early should I arrive for panels and signings? In booth signings: a half and hour. Autographing area and panels: an hour and a half or earlier.
- Will there be food to buy there? Yes, but it will be pretty pricey.
- Will it be okay to bring a backpack with me? Yes, But I recommend bringing a rolling bag and putting it in coat check.
- Do you need to buy books for signings at Bookcon? Only if it says that you do on the details of the signing.