Last year BookCon was held in Chicago, IL. for the first time. My husband and I were able to go since it was close enough to us. Travel expenses were small. This year, it is in New York and from a financial standpoint we will not be able to attend. I sincerely hope it is in Chicago again next year!
Those who will be able to go I am sure will post about it on Youtube and I can’t wait to see what I will have missed out on! (Even going to it and being there, you can’t possibly get to see and do everything so it is nice to see what was missed after the fact. When we went we didn’t attend the panels, so those were nice to catch online by a few vloggers kind enough to have uploaded some footage of it.)
BookCon is like ComicCon for book lovers. There are panels with authors, you can meet them, chat, have them sign your books. It is a great time. Plus the book swag is ridiculous! Book bags, pens, and oh yeah TONS of ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) not yet released. It is a book fangirl/boy utopia. Plus about 75% of our books were signed by the authors and that was a great opportunity to chat a little and get to know new authors and network.
My best advice to anyone new to BookCon would be to plan out your main goals first. Is there a specific author you really want to meet? Do you want to go to a certain panel? Do you want to have a meetup with a bigger name author that you will need a wristband for? Once you get these things planned, and figure out what lines to get in for the wristbands in the morning to be part of the queue for the bigger name authors, make sure your tote bag is empty/ready and you will be good to go.
The food was pricey. We were expecting that. The pop/energy drinks/water were too. Budget these things in so you don’t get financially blindsided.
I planned out our route for weeks ahead of time. I wasn’t OCD about it though. We were very fluid and open to approaching new authors at new booths not mapped out. Being able to go with the flow brings you some wonderful experiences not to be overlooked too.
After we got back last year, we had over-flowing bookshelves. We were glad that we got a hotel right in the same building area as the event since we had to keep bringing our books back to drop off. We couldn’t carry them all.
Once we steadily made our way through the reads, we then passed them along to the various little libraries around our city.
We got to meet Danielle Paige (Author of the Dorothy Must Die series). The big name authors had wristbands you had to get at the very start of the morning for their queues. Each author had specific times through the day for their signings so you had to wait to find out what lines to get in for which authors.
Decide ahead which author is your top preference and go to that line first. If you have time then jump into your second and third lines. If you luck out, you can get more than one author you want to meet together in the same chute. There were several whiteboards with the authors name and the times of their signings. After reading the “chute board” you then figured out which chute to get into the grab your wristband for their signing. It was an orderly way to do things in theory, but the lines started to blur after awhile due to space constraints. It was a long wait to get in after getting those bands, but you know what the best thing to do while waiting in line is? That’s right! Read!
I’m glad I had my phone with since I was able to load up my kindle app. It wasn’t until later in the day that hubby and I were able to feel more comfortable chatting with other booklovers in line.
Getting to chat with up and coming-as well as firmly established-authors was a huge bonus. Not only did we get to branch out to different genres by going, we also got to meet some amazing people along the way. Standing in long lines tends to lead to small talk and you get to speak with your fellow bibliophiles.
There was also an app that BookCon goers could have to post about the event. (It is a free app you can download through the Google Playstore.) A lot of fellow book lovers posted pictures about who they got to meet, what swag they got, and their thoughts and feelings about the event. It made it feel like a community which was nice. That app is still going strong and a lot of book lovers stay active on it throughout the year.
The BookCon 2017 is two days this year and I hope that next year it is also a two day event as well. In Chicago(!). *Fingers crossed!*
BookCon is being held on June 3rd and 4th, 2017
at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
UPDATE: THEBOOKCON 2018 WILL BE HELD IN NYC AT THE JAVITS CENTER AGAIN. JUNE 2ND & 3RD. HUBBY AND I ARE GOING TO PLAN TO GO. THAT’S RIGHT! WE WILL SEE IF WE CAN MAKE THIS HAPPEN!