Without any more procrastination, I’m finally sharing my BookCon experiences. I had such a blast for the entire four day experiences, but the fan enthusiasm at BookCon was almost electric!
The crowd of Book Con are made up of consumers and fans and they are intensely passionate. Since they didn’t all go to BookExpo they’re also even more determined to stand in line and to be enthusiastic about free books. This whole thing is strange to me because when I was growing up, there was no concept of galleys and the idea you could read a book before. But the general public nowadays is very much aware and they want to be involved. So while the concept is something I’ve only been familiar with lately, seeing it in person was an entirely different experience! But it definitely speaks to the love and enthusiasm of the fans! They all love books, and who doesn’t love other people who loves books?
For me, I just picked some ‘lower excitement’ events that were less risk. This allowed me to be able to take advantage of more booths which had merchandise to sell – I bought many pins – and to walk around and take in the energy. If I wasn’t so wrung out by BookExpo I think I would have loved BookCon more. I will say I went to way more panels during BookCon and those were spectacular. I’d recommend the ticket alone for the panels. They’re very personable and entirely worth it. Make sure to line up early as these panels can fill up, especially for very hyped authors.
Lucky enough, I was able to have my partner attend Book Con with me. That made it even more interesting because he never goes to these types of events. So it was particularly intriguing to see what he thought of Book Con and the entire book community. Also we were able to split up during the day and I finally got to eat lunch! He was pretty cute the whole day as I drew him maps of where he needed to go and when we’d meet up again. When I was waiting in lines and he didn’t want to, he would go to different panels and let me know how they went.
10:00 Orbit Arc Drop
11:00 Fierce Reads Arc Giveaway
1:00 Slayer Sampler Giveaway
2:00 Swoon Reads Arc
2:00 A Room Away From the Wolves Signing
2:45 Poppy War and City of Brass Signing
3:30 Novl Win a Random Arc
4:00 Graphic Novel Giveaway
10:15 We Need Diverse Books Panel
11:00 Art of Losing Signing (My partner went to this one exclusively)
11:00 Riveted Simon Teen Carnival (I really loved how this event was run. There was a larger window so it was less stressful and you could play as many times as you wanted. You also didn’t just get Simon Teen arcs, you could get different ones too. Plus the line people were super chill)
1:00 Fierce and Fabulous Panel (again my partner went to this one by himself)
2:30 LGBTQ+ Creators Panel
And then left early. I needed to leave early because I had work on Monday as well! I also just needed an early evening of a good meal and some nice sleep.
I almost wish that each booth had dedicated line space. This could be where the lines are held and where spill over is held. I feel like this could eliminate some of the tension.
There was a lot about titles I was already hyped over, but I wanted to fall in love with other smaller frontlist titles. I got pitched the TOP title a lot – and walked away with a few of these galleys over the four days by accident – and I wish I had found these hidden gems. I know this is sort of a Catch 22 because how will I know if I walked away with gems? But even after when I was watching people’s haul and Rachel (from recitrachel) was talking about undertalked about gems I found so many I wanted to read. A few I had picked up by accident, I just wish there was more attention on these underrated gems.
Diversity. I’ve been thinking so much about Diversity, and I even went to a BookCon panel about it. I wanted there to be TONS of diverse titles. Of course without photos or bios it’s hard to tell how diverse the spread was, but I almost want to be inundated with diverse underrated debut gems. I know it’s now a ‘selling point’, but then sell it to me! Because I’m ready to buy.