Monday, June 10, 2019

How to Survive BookCon: Five Essential Tips

One of the most enjoyable things I've done (as a book fanatic) has been going to BookCon 2019. This year was my first time ever going--and although it was super fun, it was also a little stressful, trying to figure everything out inside the crowded convention center. So, if you're planning on attending any future BookCons, here are a few things you might want to keep in mind. :)

1. Get in line early

My mom and I had tickets to a book signing with Marissa Meyer. This didn't start until 3:45, but on a whim we decided to check to see if a line was forming around 3:00. By the time we got there, there was already a line forming, and it was beginning to snake around. If you want, you can wait until closer to the actual signing time to start lining up, but by getting there early, you can spent most of the time sitting as opposed to standing--which, if you've been walking around all day with bags full of books, is a much better alternative.

Also, if your author posts something about giving away samples of an upcoming book at BookCon, you should really want to get in line early. Marissa Meyer gave away samplers of the first 75 pages of Supernova at her signing--but only for the first 100 people.

2. If you see a line forming, don't be afraid to hop on

Lines get real long, real quick, as I just mentioned, so if you see some people crowding around a booth--join them! Just ask someone what the line is for, and if you're interested stay in line. If you're not, move along to the next thing.


via giphy

If you're going to stay at BookCon all day--bring snacks!! There are a few food vendors inside the Javits center, but beware: all food is ridiculously overpriced. The sandwich my mom and I split cost more than one of the hardcover books I bought. (And I'm sure we'd all much rather be spending that money on books, anyway.)

4. Look through a schedule beforehand, and mark the things you want to do

Again--this was my mom's idea. (What would I do without her?) BookCon will post through their app the times of ARC drops and unofficial book signings ahead of time. So, the night before, Mom and I looked through and picked everything we were vaguely interested in, and put it on a spreadsheet, along with the time that it was happening, and the booth number where we would need to go.

It was SO much easier to just look at the sheet, and see what and where we should go, than to be wandering around the convention center, looking for anything that seemed entertaining.

5. Don't have high expectations

I know this is kind of a weird one, but all of the scathing reviews for BookCon that I've read have been by people who were angry they couldn't get as much free stuff as they wanted. When my mom and I went, we had no certain mentality that "I HAVE TO GET THIS ARC OR I WILL DIE!!" Okay, that might be a little on the extreme. But by just going with the expectation of attending the signings you bought tickets for, you won't be disappointed by things that aren't guaranteed.

In fact, if you have this mindset, I think it would be hard not to leave without being happy. Because although you might not wind up with an armful of free books, you'll still be able to find a ton of discounted ones, and a butt-load of free bookmarks. (And for someone who loses bookmarks so easily--that one's definitely a bonus. 😂)

Has anybody else been to BookCon, or any other book convention? (If so, do you have any recommendations for which ones I should attend next?)



    And great post! I definitely want to attend sometime. I’m glad you have an awesome time! <3

  2. Sounds fun! I will remember these tips if I ever get to go to a bookcon.

    1. It was super fun! Hope you get to go someday. :)


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