BookCon For Beginners: Part 2

It’s that time of year again! For the people who are unaware of what “that time” is, it is when BookCon is close and many newcomers are prepping for their first time. BookCon can be best described as a beautiful chaos. The event is incredible and allows you to create many amazing memories, however, if you are ill prepared, you will not enjoy the event. Conventions, like BookCon, are not something that you can simply arrive at and hope for the best. The events require some knowledge and planning. Luckily, this being my third time attending, I am here to help you!

If you are familiar with my blog, you may have noticed that I had a similar post last year. Also, I had weekly posts leading up to the event to help you fully prepare. Because those posts were so popular and helpful, I decided to recreate them this year and include some new tips. Because BookCon is a primarily new convention, they are continuing to improve so my posts will be different from the originals. If you all enjoy this post, let me know and feel free to contact me with any questions that you may have about BookCon!

Though a rolling bad is not necessarily needed, it could be a massive help!

At BookCon, you will get plenty of books. As you all know, books are heavy. Carrying many books with only a few tote bags is complete hell. If you want to save your back and arms, put a rolling bag in coat check. NO ROLLING BAGS CAN BE ON THE SHOW FLOOR, YOU HAVE TO CHECK IT INTO COAT CHECK!!

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 (especially if they require a wristband). For autographing area signings, you have to be in line AT LEAST an hour before it starts. It does not matter whether you buy 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!!

I do not know if BookCon is still having wristband events because they haven’t announced the autographing schedule yet. However, the wristband signings were significantly better than the sessions the prior year where it was based off who arrived at the autograph line early. The prior years, people would buy the book but not be able to get it signed. However, the wristbands were given out before BookCon even started and GUARANTEED you an autograph. Only problem, the people in the front of the line to get into the convention get first choice of wristbands. If you are at the end of the line, you WILL NOT receive a wristband. It’s annoying but it is, in a way, fair because if you show us at the convention at 4am you do deserve the wristbands you want. I arrived at 4:30 AM last year and I was one of the first thirty people in line. Because of that, I got all of the wristbands that I wanted. (In the picture above, that was all of my friends and me waiting in line at 4:30. It’s tiring but it’s so exciting that you do not care!)

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 many amazing books! However, DO NOT (UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE) TAKE MULTIPLE COPIES OF ARCS!! You are the biggest asshole if you take three ARCs when there are other people who paid to go to BookCon who would love to have one of those ARCs. You only need one ARC and if your friend wants one, share the ARC. Don’t be annoying. You will be the reason publishers refuse to bring ARCs and we will all hate you. Also, SELLING ARCS IS ILLEGAL AND A SERIOUS MATTER. There was a lot of controversy over these two topics after BookCon last year, If you do these things, you lose respect in the book industry and will probably never receive ARCs again. ARCS ARE A PRIVILEGE, NOT A RIGHT!!

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. Keep in mind, the floors are concrete and only some exhibitors have carpet floors. Concretes is hard on your feet if you walk on it all day. Also, flip flops, although they are comfy, aren’t desired shoes.

Get the App!

The BookCon app is truly a blessing. Not only is it informational, the people you meet on the app are so amazing. I still am great friends with many of them. On the app, there are planners that you can use to organize your schedule for BookCon. Also, it allows you to see whats going on during the event. Another fun thing is every year, I make a group chat with newbies and experienced BookCon attendees where we plan meets ups and talk about books. Usually, we will all go out to dinner one night during BookCon. If you are interested in joining it, contact me!

There are events around BookCon, too!

The fun of BookCon will be available at other places around the city! Because, so many authors will be staying in New York, book stores will typically host events with them after BookCon. If you look at the event tabs on bookstore websites, they will list when they are hosting events around the time of BookCon. Many Attendees will be at the other events as well.

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. Also, some authors may only sign one book so it would be a waste. Bring only the ones that you desperately want to get signed.

Bring Snacks!

My friend and I forgot to bring snacks because we were planning on buying lunch instead. However, me and my friend were too bus looking for books that we wanted so we never bought lunch. Starving, my friend and I ate left over food from Penguin that had been out all day. I would strongly advise you to being snacks so you don’t have to eat stale food and have people look disgusted at you.

Follow and turn on post notifications for publishers and other people at the event.

Many publishers and authors will tweet about give aways at the event. When I was there last year, all the books that I wanted  had received  because of these giveaways. Once you see a notification, you have to sprint to those booths because their items will be gone in seconds. Last year, there was one final copy of Futhermore by Tahereh Mafi (she is my favorite author ever) and I waited by that booth until they finally tweeted it. I ended up getting that book sixteen seconds after they tweeted it.

Bookcon Checklist

  1. 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.
  2. Lunch money. Lunch is pretty pricey at convention centers. Snacks are a far better option since lunch is expensive and takes up too much time.
  3. Your ticket!!!!! It is the only way you will be allowed inside.
  4. A lanyard for your ticket!! You should wear your badge at ALL TIMES!
  5. One tote bag. You will get more but you want to bring one to hold your books until you find more totes.
  6. Rolling bag!!
  7. Snacks!
  8. Some books that you want to get signed.
  9. A list or schedule of who you want to meet.
  10. Business cards if you are a blogger, booktuber, author, publisher, etc.

 

Bookcon FAQs

  • 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.

Bookcon Prep: FINAL. DAYS. BEFORE. BOOKCON!!!

WE HAVE FIVE DAYS UNTIL BOOKCON!!!!

In four days, I will be getting on a plane to travel to Chicago, a place that I have never been before, to go to Bookcon!! This is my second time going and I am so excited to meet you all. Let me know if you all want me to post my schedule on here!

Since it is the final days before Bookcon, I don’t expect you to have a lot to do. Here are the FINAL things you must do for BEA and Bookcon!!

  1. Print and laminate your schedule!!! Why laminate it? I am extremely sloppy and do not want to get my schedule dirty. Laminating it will make sure it won’t get ruined.
  2. Look for book events around Chicago to do after Bookcon. There are many cool signings after Chicago that many attendees are going to.
  3. Print out the Bookcon app badge. What’s the Bookcon App Badge? It allows people from the app to meet each other.
  4. Get all your questions answered. Need any Bookcon help? Ask me, Bookcon, McCormick Place, or the app. I wouldn’t suggest the app because the questions get repetitive on there and people get annoyed. Plus, Bookcon and McCormick Place are your better options because they know more than the attendees.
  5. If traveling from out of town, schedule tours and make restaurant reservations now!!! You want to get most out of your Chicago experience. Ask locals on the app what is good in Chicago and plan some stuff to do.
  6. Follow publishers and exhibitors on social media (preferably Twitter). Turn on notifications, too!  Exhibitors use social media to inform you of things they are giving away.
  7. Start packing. If you are from Chicago, start planning what to wear!

Now that I covered what you should do, I am going to help you know what to pack.

  • Clothes for your trip! You cannot do anything without clothes.
  • Comfortable shoes. You will do A LOT of walking.
  • Your schedule.
  • A FEW books from home that you want signed.
  • YOUR BADGE!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Money. Do not only rely on credit cards.
  • A lanyard.
  • Your phone and charger.
  • Make up (if you use it).
  • Hair products (if you use it).
  • A camera.
  • Business cards.
  • Plane/train ticket.
  • Bookcon app badge.
  • One tote bag or backpack. You will get plenty more.

So, that is all I have left to prepare you for Bookcon. I hope you all have an incredible time! If you see me, please say hi. I will be way more excited to meet you than you are to meet me. Let me know how you liked my Bookcon Prep posts on my blog.

Bookcon Prep: Two Weeks Until Bookcon!!!!

TWO. WEEKS. UNTIL. BOOKCON!!!

We are so close to Bookcon and BEA. I am so excited and stressed! Because it is so close, I feel like I am way behind on planning. However, this post will help you all be prepared for the awesome events!

Start finalizing your schedule!!

Last week, I told all of you to create a general list of authors that you want to see. I, also, mentioned that it is okay to have overlapping events. Today, I am telling you to create a schedule including the overlapping events. For the schedule, include the name of the thing you want to see, the time, where it is located, and if it requires a wristband or purchase. All of these things will help you be informed of events at Bookcon. Despite not following my schedule last year, it was nice to see my backup events incase something fell through, and to know if I needed money for an event. Also, writing which booths you want to see will help you keep track of where everything is. Knowing the publisher’s booth number will help you find them if they are giving away ARCs. I highly suggest color coding your schedule! For example: blue=necessity, yellow=kind of want to see, orange=only a backup to the backup, and green=booths.

You should have done this already, but if you are a blogger or a booktuber and you want to interview an author, request an interview with them in the next few days!!

Even if you can’t interview them at Bookcon, you may be able to interview the author after the event. However, authors are busy and they have many other bloggers asking for interviews. If you really want to interview an author then you need to email their publicist now.

Start planning hangouts with your book friends.

Do you remember how I said to download the Bookcon app last week? Well, here’s why: You are going to meet so many awesome bookworms and you may even meet up with a few of them. If you are on the app then you may have heard about a Google Hangouts group. I started the group to initially help the newbie Bookcon attendees. Now, we are all planning on going out to dinner twice during the weekend of Bookcon and hanging out at Bookcon. If you’d like to join, contact me. Anyway, meeting a few attendees before the event will only benefit you. Also, make reservations for restaurants, if you are going out to eat with other attendees, soon! You do not want to have to wait for a table for a long time, especially if it is right after Bookcon.

If you are traveling from out of state, make sure you booked your hotel and airplane.

Prices are going up for airlines and hotel. If you want a hotel near the convention center, you need to buy your room now. You will regret it if you wait any longer.

Start planning how much money you will bring to Bookcon and/or Chicago.

You do not want to go into Bookcon being blind to how much money you need. Look on the website, they will say which authors require purchases. The price of books at Bookcon are the same as Barnes and Noble’s prices. Honestly, it is not worth it to buy books that you don’t need for signings. You can probably get the book for cheaper online. Bookish merchandise is the same price as it is online, but if you check ‘Show Specials’ they will tell you if anything is on sale. Lunch at Bookcon is pretty expensive (at least it was last year). There is also a Starbucks at McCormick’s place so if you think you will buy coffee, bring money for it.

Start choosing which books you will bring to Bookcon!

Bring no more than ten books from home!!!!! If you stay near the show floor for most of the event, you will get more than thirty books. If you did not know, thirty books or more is really heavy. You do not want to carry thirty books from home along with the books you get. You will be in pain. Only bring the books you really want to get signed!

So, that is my “Two Weeks Before Bookcon” checklist. Incase you missed my original Bookcon Q&A: here it is!! Also, here is my “Three Weeks Before Bookcon” checklist! Comment below any Bookcon/BEA questions that you may have!


Also, I really hate doing this but I had to create a Go Fund Me in order to get money from a scholarship and I still need a little bit of money to cover some funds for my sign language classes.

The scholarship was for relatives of Entangled Teen authors. Since my aunt is an author at Entangled Teen, I was able to enter. The scholarship required you to write an essay saying what you would do with the money if you win. I wrote my essay about the A.S.L. classes that I want to take. Fortunately, I won the second place prize of $500.

The closest class to me costs over $500. Also, you need to pay to test into the class, get a non-drivers license, and pay the $20 fee. Sadly, I need more than one class to become fluent in A.S.L. It is my dream to be fluent before college. If you can, can you  help me achieve my dream by donating a little money to my page? Thank you so much!  Here is the link: https://www.gofundme.com/signlanguage.

Bookcon for Beginners!!

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.

bookconnn

Within the first ten minutes of waiting in line before the convention even started.

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.

Bookcon Checklist

  1. 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.
  2. Lunch money. Lunch is pretty pricey at convention centers.
  3. Your ticket!!!!! It is the only way you will be allowed inside.
  4. A lanyard for your ticket!! You should wear your badge at ALL TIMES!
  5. One tote bag. You will get more but you want to bring one to hold your books until you find more totes.
  6. Rolling bag!!
  7. Snacks!
  8. Some books that you want to get signed.
  9. A list or schedule of who you want to meet.
  10. Business cards if you are a blogger, booktuber, author, publiser, etc.

 

Bookcon FAQs

  • 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.