I realize that I’ve been terribly late at posting things that happened a couple of weeks ago. Like, oh, the fact that I’d gone to Bookcon and never actually posted anything about it on this blog. A bookish nerdy blog, for that matter. It’s well shameful!
Anyway, this year was my first year ever attending Bookcon. I had actually planned to go last year, but that was when they’d moved the location out of New York City, so I was at a loss there. That said, I figured I’d remedy this by getting at least ONE ticket for one of the days.
Having gone to a few cons already (DragonCon and NY Comic Con), I had expected lines. Lots and lots of lines. And I expected to be standing and walking the entire time. What I didn’t expect was how much I’d actually be taking home. Thank goodness I did have a backpack with me to roll books away!
I did learn a few things at Bookcon, and that was to pace myself and get there EARLY. I had underestimated the craze that Bookcon would have, and because BEA was rather limited as far as attendance went, a lot more people came to Bookcon in hopes of getting the latest galleys and speaking to the authors about their newest work. There were books I saw being marketed that I was terribly excited for. There were authors I wanted to meet and greet, and some of them came to NYC so very rarely that I just had to sign up for tickets to their line!
Which is where my scheduling fell apart slightly. I was so intent on getting to author signings and events that I’d signed up for author signings and sweepstakes around the same time. When I got an email a few weeks later that I’d won one of the sweepstakes (which was the I Read YA breakfast, which included some galleys), I was stoked for a few minutes. I say a few minutes because then I checked the author signings I managed to get and realized that one of them was in direct conflict of an author signing I had to go to. And because I almost never see Laini Taylor do signings in the East Coast, I had to abandon the IReadYA event in lieu of getting to my author signing on time. Sigh.
And let me tell you about those author signing tickets. Like, holy wow, they sold like hotcakes the day the ticket registration thing opened up. I had contemplated on whether or not to go to a Leigh Bardugo signing, but decided against it, since I was pretty sure she’d be high profile enough to warrant selling out in tickets (and when I say “selling out,” I’m not talking about monetary profits…the tickets themselves were free, people just had to sign up). And we were only limited to TWO, so that already narrowed down my author bucket list. So I decided on Laini Taylor and Marissa Meyer. I don’t know how I managed to grab a Marissa Meyer ticket, though, because I swear she sold out just as quickly, but I did!
(I was a little bummed that I was limited to two, because I wanted to see Ahdieh again, if only because Flame in the Mist looks GORGEOUS and I wanted it that day…but my friend was AWESOME and went to Ahdieh’s signing and and…I got beautiful illustrated cards of Mariko, who I’m totally already relating to because our names are similar XD).
But yes, the author signing lines were LONG, though much like DragonCon, waiting wasn’t too bad because there were people on the line who liked the same things I did. I mean, duh, here’s a bunch of us standing in line for a SFF author, so of course we’d all have something in common. I practically assumed the women next to me had read half the SFF books I’d read at that point, so we got to squeeing over ships and characters really quickly.
The only thing about attending author signings, however, is that it really cut down on the panel and exploring times. I had between a half hour to an hour each time just to roam the floor, and barely enough time to even stand and wait for giveaways. I never made it to a panel, and even though I’d hoped I’d be able to make it to Margaret Atwood’s panel, there was no chance I was walking into the panel room, considering people had camped out over an hour beforehand.
So maybe next year–and there will be a next year–I’ll cut down on signings and focus more on getting more galleys to read. Not that I’m complaining about what I got. I barely made it home with an intact back, so I don’t know how much more I could have managed if I kept getting books!
Some fun things:
Underlined’s swag bag and bookcrate. Seriously, signing up for a First in Line account ages back was so worth it. I got a ton of goodies from them, including a small battery pack, a tote bag, a pouch, a towel…two books, and a pouch that I could probably put my bookmarks in.
Posters! I loved some of the posters. My favorite was a dual-sided animal retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. It was black and white on one side and colored in the other, and it is a HUGE promo poster. I loved it. Now I just need to figure out where to put all my posters, considering my room is already filled with them…
Swag! Some booths gave swag every hour or so, which was neat. I also decided on getting a couple of purchases on top of things.
Some things to watch out for:
VIP overhaul. I think the downside to not being a VIP is the fact that much of the author signing tickets had already been taken due to the VIP package.
Extremely long waits. This was more of a concern when you were lining up for well-known authors or authors with a highly anticipated book coming out. Marie Lu’s in-booth line was swamped, and everyone was trying to get to her for a copy of Warcross. I’d heard Leigh Bardugo’s line during BEA pretty much ran forever-and-a-day, and not everyone got the Wonder Woman book she was slated to release. Hell, even Laini Taylor’s and Marissa Meyer’s lines were swamped.
But yes, I did have fun overall, and I will have to come back again next year! Maybe I might even be able to pull off getting a ticket for BEA as an ELA teacher…hmm….