Well hello to all of you beauties, long time no see! Before I get off on how amazingly awesome BookCon 2016 was and how much you missed out on if you didn’t get to go, I would like to apologize to all of you for my month long absence. After Genrethon I kind of went into a reading slump and just could not pick up a book. I tried Passenger and just wanted to shoot myself and nothing else sounded interesting. Luckily, I decided to pick up The Winner’s Curse to read on the plane to Chicago since it’s the May BOTM for Hype or Like Friday. And guess what?! I LOVED it and finished it the other night! SHE’S BACK!!!!
Okay, now on to BookCon amazingness… I’m just gonna basically bullet point some things of interest because my mind is literally jumping all over the place right now. This is the problem with being away for soooo long!
- This was my first time to Chicago and I have to say it’s a wonderful city! Also, McCormick Place is apparently the largest convention center in the world and after experiencing it for myself, I would say that certainly seems pretty damn accurate. BookCon was literally only in the West Building… There are 3 other buildings this size!!!
- None of these photos have been edited and were all taken with my iPhone, so sorry for the bad quality! There are a few from Instagram that have been edited but just a couple. Also, yes that is a massive scab on my nose. I got sunburned last weekend and then it blistered up, and yes I know it’s hideous.
- Okay, so how the signings work is that all of the major author signings required wristbands to be able to get in line. BookCon doors opened at 10am on Saturday but the wristbands were given out starting at 8am. Each author wristband was in a separate line so you had to try and make it in all of the lines to get the ones you wanted, and even then you weren’t guaranteed to get one as there was only a certain number being handed out. Me and my friend Samantha decided that we just weren’t interested in getting into all of that craziness as the authors we wanted were doing in-booth signings as well so we were just gonna focus on making it to those. And thank God we decided to do that! There were tons of girls upset and crying because they missed out on wristbands, and some had even been in line for HOURS. I can’t even with that craziness!
- This is what it looked like when they opened the exhibition floor and we were actually towards the front of line. We got there about 9:30 and got to bypass the entire line pretty much because there were too many people in the ballroom waiting area so we got to moved to the hallway on the side and basically just went straight on into the convention. Oops!!!
- The first author I got to meet was Dela who just released her debut novel, The 52nd. I had been seeing this book all over bookstagram and the blogging community so I knew I had to get it when I found her booth. She is the nicest person too! I told her that I was blogger and how I had heard about her book and she got all excited and we ended up having this huge conversation about how great bookstagram is. She was so happy to hear about how I had found her book that she even signed a bookmark for me, on top of signing her book. I may be doing a giveaway soon for it! I also found out that she’s turning the book into a series!
- This is the line for the in-booth Melissa de la Cruz signing. We saw people lining up for a signing and so we just jumped in before we even knew who it was! Luckily, it ended up being someone I was familiar with! I read her Blue Bloods series a long time ago and enjoyed it. She was really nice and was signing a bind up of the first few chapters in her upcoming book, Something in Between, which will be released in September.
- The first panel of the day (and only one we went to) was Unwritten: Stories You Haven’t Read (Yet), which was with Del Rey authors – Naomi Novik (Uprooted, Temeraire series), Scott Sigler (The Generations Trilogy), Justin Cronin (The Passage Trilogy), and my reason for attending, Pierce Brown (Red Rising Trilogy). I’m so glad we attended this panel because they discussed their personal writing processes and how they came up with the ideas for their books. It was extremely interesting and ended up being Samantha’s favorite part of the day, and she only attended it because I wanted to! Fun Facts: Pierce Brown doesn’t outline but turns in post-it notes to his editor. Hahahaha! And Justin Cronin doesn’t let anyone read his book until he completely finishes it, not even his editor!
- This is a view of just a part of the exhibition floor. It was lunchtime and during two really popular panels so it looks fairly calm. Don’t let it fool you though, this convention was anything but!
- This is a small view of the line for Pierce Brown’s in-booth signing. We were close to the front and I was basically freaking out at this point.
- I DIED… I finally got to meet Pierce Brown. He was so nice and funny, too! When I first walked up, he goes, “You have really white teeth!”. I got a little embarrassed about it and he was like, “No no, not in a bad way but a good way!”. Then he mentioned the Friends episode where Ross got his teeth whitened and a spray tan and we just started talking about how hilarious it was. Then this glorious photo happened. And before I left, he double checked what my name was and then liked our picture on Instagram. Basically, we’re best friends now. Haha!
- Obviously, I’m a bit excited that I was able to snag a ticket for the Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff signing. That line was insane! It snaked around like 5 different booths and the authors even walked the entire line and filmed us. They were so excited and happy that so many of us were lined up just to see them.
- And look what they were giving out to be signed! I saw that people got copies of this at BEA and I was so jealous! But when I saw this was what they were signing, I literally freaked out! And Kristoff and Kaufman were the nicest people! I wish I could’ve gotten a photo with them but I felt bad taking up more time since there was such a long line behind me. We discussed how I got my dad to read and then obsess over Illuminae, which they were really happy and surprised to hear. Kaufman told me about Kristoff’s upcoming book, Nevernight, which I’m now dying to read. It sounds sooooo good!
- These are all of the books I grabbed. I only ended up with 18 total, but I wasn’t really prepared and only brought a carry-on and a backpack. I didn’t have any room to get more but next year I’ll be prepared! I will be checking an empty suitcase, as well as taking a carry-on and a backpack. I need all of the books, haha!
- Red Rising by Pierce Brown (signed)
- The Official Heckler Handbook by Kevin Nelson (for a friend)
- The 52nd by Dela (signed)
- Six Months Later by Natalie Richards
- H20 by Virginia Bergin
- Jesse’s Girl (Hundred Oaks) by Miranda Kenneally
- Loving and Leaving Washington by John Yochelson (signed, for my dad)
- Gemina (The Illuminae Files, #2) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (signed, currently reading)
- Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz (signed, sample)
- The Boxcar Children Guide to Adventure by Gertrude Chandler Warner (giving away)
- Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow (ARC)
- The BFG by Roald Dahl
- The Paladin by J.M Storin (signed)
- Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (ARC)
- The Cellar by Natasha Preston
- The Last One by Alexandra Oliva (ARC)
- Coming Out: Tom by Aguilar-Zeleny
- Clodagh’s Irish Kitchen Cookbook by Clodagh McKenna (for my mom)
- These are just a bunch of freebies that were being given out – bookmarks, pins, stickers, pens/pencils, magnets, etc.
- Apparently after every one of these kind of conventions, there’s a bunch of drama that occurs. BookCon 2016 was no different. This time it was about the people who grab multiple copies of the free books and ARCs being given out, and about how people are already selling these ARCs on eBay which is basically stealing from the author and publisher.
- Multiple copies: I am all for being pissed off about this. It’s very upsetting to see people running and grabbing multiple copies of books to use in giveaways, etc. By doing that, you’re only promoting yourself and blog, twitter, instagram, social media account. You’re actively keeping someone else who truly has been looking forward to reading this book from getting one, all because you’re greedy and selfish. It’s disgusting to me. There’s no reason to act that way. In turn, you’re bringing a bad name to the blogging community. This has become such a problem that there have been talk of not allowing bloggers to attend conventions and expos, like BEA and ALA. I’ve seen the photos and proof of this firsthand, and I have to say, I’m not impressed with that behavior at all. If you’re that type of person, shame on you.
- Selling ARCs: DON’T DO IT. I don’t care if someone is offering to pay you for that ARC, or whatever. It literally says on the book, do not sell because it is for promotional use only. ARCs cost the publishing companies money to make, in hopes that they will see a return on the investment later on when the book is finally released. By you selling that ARC, you’re basically stealing the publisher’s money, as well as stealing from the author. It’s not illegal in the literal sense, but it’s damn well close enough. As a book lover, sharing it with someone should be the only thing that matters, not making money from it. Instead of selling your copies, trade them, give them away, donate them, etc. Don’t be an asshole.
- And finally, BookCon 2017 will be returning to NYC next June! Samantha and I are already making plans to attend. Hope to see you there!
Have you attended any book conventions or expos? Do you have future plans to? What have your personal interactions with authors been like, good or bad? Tell me about your experiences!