The time has come for one of my most highly requested posts here on Fangirl Fury: my Book Expo & Book Con Guidebook. I considered creating this post right after I attended Book Expo and Book Con 2018, but I decided to wait until closer to ticket dates. Book Con tickets will be going on sale this Monday, November 19th.
Before jumping into everything you need to know, I am here to say that I am not the absolute expert of the best bookish weekend-I’ll even say below when I am not 100% sure of something. While I’ve attended Book Con three times (2015, 2017 & 2018), I’ve only attend Book Expo once (2018) and there are plenty of other bloggers/vloggers who have attended the latter convention more than me. However, using my own knowledge and some tips I’ve picked up from others’ content, I am here to present what I think you need to know to have the best possible Book Expo and Book Con for years to come!
The last day of my most bookish weekend of the year, Sunday marked the last day of Book Con 2018. It honestly felt so odd thinking that this would be last day of commuting to the Javits Center, since I had attended Book Con on Saturday and Book Expo on Thursday & Friday. My mom, the best Book Con buddy, and I arrived at the Javits Center around 8:45. This gave us plenty of time to read through the PW Daily and strategize for my goal to get Victoria Schwab’s City of Ghosts.
Like Saturday, the show floor opened a few minutes before 10 AM, and this gave me some extra time to get to Scholastic’s I Read YA event. I was among the first twenty people in line, which “guaranteed” me getting to meet Victoria Schwab, Scott Westerfeld, and Kody Keplinger and get signed copies of their upcoming books. While waiting, Rainbow Rowell posted a small announcement on Instagram and Twitter that CARRY ON IS GETTING A SEQUEL CALLED WAYWARD SONS IN 2020. I cannot tell you how nice it was to fangirl over Wayward Sons with the girl next to me in line, who was also a huge Rainbow Rowell fan.
At the I Read YA event, I was able to meet the above authors, and I was especially excited to meet Victoria Schwab and Kody Keplinger. I showed Victoria my friend’s “Anoshe” tattoo and how we basically became BFFs over our love for her books. It was also cool to meet Kody, since The Duff was one of the first YA books that I ever read. I also picked up a Harry Potter 20th Anniversary tote bag and pin with some other bookish pins. Unfortunately due to the speed of the signing, I was unable to get photos while meeting the authors, but I was able to get the following picture taken in front of I Read YA’s awesome rainbow shelves. I later shared it on Twitter, where I Read YA retweeted it and Victoria Schwab liked my tweet!!
As I was finishing up at I Read YA, my mom was again a super amazing soul by braving her first and only stampede of the convention for Naomi Novik’s Spinning Silver. I’ve heard from a few people that this was one of the worst mobs of the convention when Penguin was handing out tickets, so I owe my mom a book or two. It was really cool meeting Naomi Novik, who’s a fantasy icon in my opinion, and she wrote Book Con 2018 under her signature- perfect for bookish memories.
After Naomi Novik, I went to the Autographing Area for A.C. Gaughen, who signed my copies of Reign the Earth and Imprison the Sky. She was so awesome to meet, asking what color pen I preferred her signature to be in (I went with blue!) and we talked about my blog and Broadway shows! She loved my blog name, which SHE LATER SAID WAS THE BEST BLOG NAME EVER IN HER INSTAGRAM STORY!?! CAN I JUST LIVE AT BOOK CON FOR ALL OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA LOVE PLEASE???
After A.C. Gaughen, I went in line for Marie Lu’s signing in the autographing area. I had tickets for both of these signings, but I knew and was correct that people were lining up for Marie an hour before. I had her sign my copies of Batman: Nightwalker and Champion and my ARC of Wildcard, which I kept hidden in my Book Beau until I got to the signing table. The two people behind me in line kept talking about how they would sell their souls for Wildcard, so my grip on my Book Beau may or may not have increased with each minute in line. The best part of the signing?? MARIE LU REMEMBERED WHO I WAS!! I brought up her giving me a Warcross ARC in her line last year, and she was so happy that I already had my hands on Wildcard.
My mom and I met up after the signing, and we decided to wander the showfloor one last time. I picked up a Scythe poster and a Riveted Teen tote bag, and we both went to Owlcrate for one last spinwheel giveaway, where we won a fountain pen and Anna and the French Kiss-inspired tea. I also took some photos in front of Bloomsbury’s Kingdom of Ash poster, and after getting my Throne of Glass fill, we decided to end our Book Con 2018 adventure. After grabbing a late lunch at one our favorite diners, Book Con was over. I am beyond appreciative of my experiences at Book Expo and Book Con, from getting my hands on my most anticipated books to meeting some amazing authors and bookish friends.
If you want to know more about the most bookish days of the year, check out my experience posts for my Thursday and Friday at Book Expo and my Saturday experience at Book Con. I also posted my combined Book Expo and Book Con haul here.
Did you attend Book Expo or Book Con? If you could choose one book to have signed, what book would it be? Share in the comments!
If I order one or eleven new book shelves from IKEA this week, there’s only one thing to blame: Book Expo and Book Con 2018. Can you really blame this reader for coming home with 38 books??
For the sake of this post not taking over your screen for 74 years, I’ve decided to break down my haul day-by-day And never fear, I’ll be posting experience posts for Book Expo and Book Con over the next two weeks. While getting 30+ books may seem contrary, I was strict with myself and only picked up books that I genuinely see myself reading and enjoying.TRUST ME GUYS, THERE ARE WAY TOO MANY AMAZING BOOKS THAT ARE COMING OUT THE REST OF 2018 AND THE START OF 2019 THAT YOU NEED TO READ!
Book Expo Day 1 (Thursday)
What I Want to Read NOW:Wildcard by Marie Lu, Dry by Neal Shusterman & Jarrod Shusterman, The War Outside by Monica Hesse, Odd One Out by Nic Stone, and Check , Please by Ngozi Ukazu.
Book Expo Day 2 (Friday)
What I Want to Read NOW:Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor, The Wicked King by Holly Black, A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi, Imprison the Sky by A.C. Gaughen (not pictured because post Book Con-tiredness & forgetfulness), and The Girl King by Mimi Yu
Book Con Day 1 (Saturday)
What I Want to Read NOW:Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody, Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West, Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan, and Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand.
Book Con Day 2 (Sunday)
What I Want to Read NOW: City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab, That’s Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger & Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
Did you attend Book Expo or Book Con? What 2018 or 2019 release do you need immediately?? Share in the comments!
If you’ve been around Fangirl Fury for a while, you know that I can work Book Con into any bookish conversation. The land of all the books, Book Con is an annual book convention held in New York City at the Javits Center- sorry for my Midwest readers, but this fangirl never wants the convention to move back to Chicago. I attended Book Con in 2015 and 2017, so 2018 will be my third time attending the convention, but only my second time going for both Saturday and Sunday.
Since I consider Book Con to be one of the best weekends of the year, I want to help you make Book Con your favorite weekend too! Even if you’re not attending Book Con, these tips can also be applied to other conventions and bookish events!
Plan ahead and stay organized- The Book Con schedule is typically available on its website and app a month before and is updated leading up to and during the convention. In general, the schedule includes autographing sessions (both in the autographing area and in-booth), panels, meet-and-greets, and new for 2018, writing workshops.
I highly recommend planning out what events you’d like to attend BEFORE going to Book Con. It may not include every thing you’ll want to do over the weekend (the Publishers Weekly guide available the morning of each day usually includes book-drops and events that aren’t in the online schedule), but I HIGHLY recommend having back-ups in case a line gets capped for an event.
You can use My Show through thebookcon.com and the Book Con app to keep track of both the convention schedule and your personal schedule on your devices. I also recommend creating a printed version of your schedule. I know a lot of people use Excel to create their schedule, and last year, I used Word for mine. I kept track of the events I knew I was definitely attending (the autographing sessions in the autographing area) and in-booth events that I wanted to attend. I brought three copies to the convention, two for me and one for my mom, my Book Con buddy. I also recommend bringing a pen so you can check off or add events.
Wear comfy shoes and clothes– By all means feel free to dress up to meet your favorite authors or even cosplay- there were so many awesome Six of Crows cosplays last year! But whatever you choose to wear, make sure it’s something that you’ll feel comfortable wearing and walking around in ALL DAY. For me, sneakers are definitely a must—Book Con requires A LOT of walking and A LOT of standing (although you’ll be able to sit in some lines). Last year, I wore sneakers, capris, and a t-shirt each day-there’s no better time to show off your Harry Potter and Hamilton gear. I also make sure to have extra hair-ties in my bag.
Bring a tote bag or backpack- Speaking of bags, make sure you bring at least one tote bag (think beach bag size) or backpack with you. Publishers do an awesome job of handing out tote bags, but you’ll want to make sure that you have something to put all your books and bookish swag in! And in my experience, I’ve needed at least 2 bags by the end of each day to hold all my stuff! Book Con does provide a Coat Check/bag area, but I’ve personally never used this service. I bring a backpack to the convention, with a tote bag stored inside. Going back to dress attire, it’s also important to remember that you will be carrying stuff all day when planning your outfit.
If possible, have a Book Con buddy– I know this isn’t possible for everyone, but going to Book Con with a friend or meeting with someone at the convention can make the convention a bit more stress-free. I’ve attended Book Con every year with my mom, who’s also my ultimate reading buddy. We make a mother-daughter weekend out of it, and it’s fun getting to travel and wait in line before/during the show together. While my mom does attend events for herself and my bookish sister, she’ll also go to book-drops for me if I’m at another event.
Bring snacks and drinks– When you’re carrying books around all day, you’re going to need some food! In my trusty backpack, I pack snacks and drinks, like water bottles, granola bars, and fruit. I typically snack in line before the show floor opens and in line for signings.
Don’t be afraid to make some time in your schedule for lunch. While you can totally pack your lunch too, my mom and I grab food from the Javits Center if we decide to break for lunch that day. We took a half hour for lunch on Saturday last year, since we stayed at the convention until 5, but we skipped on lunch on Sunday, since we planned and did leave before 3. And yes, lunch at the Javits can be a bit pricey (I think it was $30 for my mom and I to eat), but you can never go wrong with chicken fingers.
Bring cash– While the Book Con/ReedPOP, the Strand (they provide books available for purchase at most autographing sessions), and the cafeteria definitely take credit, some booths may only take cash. You don’t necessarily need to spend money at the convention, but in the past, I’ve spent money on autographing sessions that require a book purchase, lunch, Book Con merch, and at other booths.
Make sure to give yourself some time to explore the show floor, including its many vendors! The Strand typically has a big booth set up with their own merch, and this year I’m on the hunt for some new book sleeves and bookish candles.
Take the dust jackets off your books– If you’re bringing books from home to be signed and they’re hardcovers, leave the dust jackets at home! Obviously book sleeves can avoid damage to jackets, but give yourself a bit more peace of mind by avoiding wear-n-tear in your bags.
It’s not necessary to arrive at the crack of dawn– While the show floor does not open until 10AM each day, I believe the Javits Center opens for lining up between 6 AM or 7 AM. By all means you are welcome to arrive at Book Con as early as you want and yes the earlier you get there, the sooner you’ll get on the show floor at that 10AM start. If there’s an event at 10 AM that your bookish self MUST attend or really want to attend, it’d be a bit more advantageous of you to get in line sooner rather than later. But you don’t need to be one of the first in line at Book Con to have a good time. I typically get to the convention around 8:30 AM and I’m usually on the show floor by 10:10.
And for those of you who want to attend events at 10 AM before they’re capped, it is possible to attend them without being first in line. For example, in 2015, Rainbow Rowell had a Q&A and signing event scheduled later in the day, but in order to attend the event, you had to buy a copy of Fangirl from Macmillan starting at 10 AM. While I was not the first in line for getting on the show floor and even at Macmillan (I probably didn’t get on the show floor and figure out where I was until at least 10:15), I was still able to get a ticket.
Have fun– I know it sounds cheesey, but have fun being your best bookish self at the convention dedicated to books! I admit that it’s easy to get stressed out over fear of not getting to attend certain panels or signings but just remember to breathe and stay optimistic! And it’s okay if everything doesn’t go to plan; I promise you’ll come home with some great books and a great experience no matter what. Remember to keep a smile on your face and be nice to others. I myself have stressed about getting certain books or ARCs. While it may be disappointing to walk away from the convention without your most coveted ARC, remember that you’ll be able to have a nice, shiny, finished copy soon!
I’m very excited to announce that I will be also attending Book Expo for the first time ever this year! It’s honestly been one of my bookish dreams to attend Book Expo, and I cannot wait for these four bookish days!!
If you want more of an idea how much you can do in a day at Book Con, check out these posts about my Saturday and Sunday at the convention.
Are you attending Book Con this year? What are some of your convention tips? Share in the comments!
While my Saturday at Book Con 2017 was amazing, my Sunday at Book was even more incredible. This was my first time attending both days of the convention (I only went to the Saturday of Book Con 2015), so I was looking forward to seeing what Sunday was all about. My mom and I entered the Queue Hall of the Javits Center around 8:30 in the morning, and we were able to get into a separate line for the Sarah J. Maas signing. At 10:00, my line was brought right up to the autographing area, Sarah and Papa Maas ready for signing. This was my second time meeting Sarah, and we both fangirled over Charlie Bowater’s latest A Court of Thorns and Roses artwork as she signed my copy of Crown of Midnight.
After Sarah’s signing, I headed straight to the Penguin booth and I received a ticket for E.Lockhart’s signing of Genuine Fraud. I’m so happy that I was able to meet E. Lockhart because I loved We Were Liars and The Disreputable History Frankie Landau-Banks, and Genuine Fraud is one of my most anticipated releases of fall 2017.Since I was one of the first people in line, I also received a makeup bag with an awesome quote from the book (pictured below).Right after that signing, I met my mom at a smaller booth and got in line for Meg Kassel’s Black Bird of the Gallows. While I waited an hour or so for the book, it was really awesome to meet Meg because she was so excited that I had been anticipating her book, as it was her first novel. She was even more happy when one of my friends in line asked for a photo with her!
As you’re probably starting to tell, Sunday was alllll about running about from signing to signing for me. Right after Meg Kassel’s signing, I headed right to the best part of my day—Marie Lu’s autographing. Like Sarah J. Maas, Marie Lu is one of my all-time favorite authors, as the Legend trilogy is one of my all-time favorite series and I plan on rereadingThe Young Elites and continuing that series very soon. This was my second time meeting Marie, and I loved meeting her once again. She’s just such a kind and super-sweet person, which you can easily tell anywhere talking to her in person or following her social media accounts (she stays up-to-date on current events, author news, and more). While Marie signed my copies of Legend, Prodigy, and The Young Elites, one of the topics we talked about was the craziness of her Warcrosssigning on Saturday and how I unfortunately couldn’t get a ticket for the event. After she finished signing my last book, she told me that she happened to have a copy of Warcross in her bag AND SHE WANTED ME TO HAVE IT AND SHE GAVE ME IT! I was completely blown away, and as I felt tears in my eyes. I told her that she absolutely made my weekend (not to mention, MY LIFE).
Soon after, I met back up with my mom at the Owlcrate booth, where we both received tote bags and little 2017 calendars. We took some time for a bathroom and snack break, where we both freaked out over Warcross (my mom even cried, guys), and then we spilt up again, my mom headed to Jeff Kinney’s signing for my sister and I made my way to Adam Silvera’s signing. I loved reading Adam’s More Happy than Notand History is All You Left Me, and I’m so pumped for They Both Die at the Endto come out this fall. While he signed my copy of History is All You Left Me, we talked about his soon-to-be appearance on Flea Market Flip—I read this on Twitter, as Adam is also another great author to follow on Twitter.
After taking one last lap around the showfloor, my mom and I called it a day and thus my Book Con 2017 was over. To be honest, after having an amazing time at Book Con 2015, I was a bit nervous about how my Book Con 2017 would go. I ended up having an incredible time at Book Con this year, from meeting so many authors to receiving 14 free books to meeting bookish people and more!
I didn’t realize how many amazing books were coming out this fall 2017 until I went to Book Con. If there was one fall 2017 release you could have right now, what would it be?? Let me know in the comments below!
Book Con, the land of all things books and story-telling, came back to New York City on June 3rd and 4th. This was my second time at Book Con, as I first attended in 2015 and wanted to relive this amazing experience. I woke up Saturday morning, yelling “Merry Christmas” to my mom- the tickets were a Christmas present and my mom was my buddy for the convention- and I couldn’t wait to get to the Javits Center.
My mom and I arrived at the convention center around 8:30 AM In my ‘professional Book Con attendee’ opinion, unless you’re aiming for a ticket to a main stage panel or event, there’s no reason to show to the convention before 8 AM. It’s awesome to be one of the first to enter the show floor, however, not being one of the first in line or even in one of the first lines has ever affected my experience. At 10:00, people started heading up to level 3 of the Javits Center in a pretty orderly fashion, but the hecticness started as soon as I entered the show floor. My first stop was the Penguin-Random House booth for an exclusive Underlined tote bag and possibly getting into Stephanie Perkins’ autographing for an ARC of There’s Someone Inside Your House.
I received the Underlined tote bag, which I’m super happy about because the tote bag was the nicest quality bag I received over the weekend and was filled with goodies, such as an ARC of The Breathless and a beach towel that says “Don’t Get My Books Wet ”. I ended up not getting into Stephanie Perkin’s autographing line, as it was pretty long plus I was disappointed that she was only signing a partial ARC of There’s Someone Inside Your House.
After some walking around the showfloor and not being able to get into Adam Silvera’s signing at the Owlcrate booth (I was really hoping for an ARC of They Both Die at the End), I made my way to the RWA booth. There, I went to two autographings, the most exciting being for an ARC of McCall Hoyle’s The Thing with Feathers . The Thing with Feathers is one of my most anticipated releases of fall 2017, so it was awesome to be able to get the book and meet McCall herself. Afterwards, I met up with my mom, where we both attended giveaways at Penguin. We received copies of Phillip Pullman’s The Golden Compass, an ARC of Jared Reck’s The Short History of the Girl Next Door, and a finished copy of The Serpent King by Jeff Zenter.
My mom and I then took a break from the showfloor and had some lunch—you can never go wrong with chicken fingers and French fries- and we went over our plan for the day. As soon as we were done, I made my way to the Autographing Area for the Rainbow Rowell signing. This was my second time meeting Rainbow, as I went to her Carry On-inspired meet and greet at Book Con 2015. All of the authors I met at Book Con were super-nice, and Rainbow was no exception. We talked about how my day was going, and she signed my paperback copy of Carry On (bought because I had to for the signing, but also for its gorgeous cover design), my Barnes and Noble edition of Fangirl, and my B&N edition of Eleanor and Park. Right after Rainbow, I jumped right into Jenny Han’s autographing line. I was lucky enough to be one of the first twenty people in line so I received a cute Sixteen Candles-inspired card with Lara Jean on the front. Jenny signed my bind up of The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy and my copies of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before andAlways and Forever, Lara Jean.
After Jenny Han’s autographing, my mom and I did our best to try to get a ticket for Marie Lu’s signing of Warcross (aka one of the most, if not the most wanted ARC of Book Con). The signing was taking place at Penguin, and while Penguin had some amazing authors and volunteers this weekend, they were just not prepared for how many people wanted Warcross. Fans were swarming the booth before tickets were being handed out, and volunteers continued to warn that they would call security if people did not clear the area. I kid you not, as soon as tickets were finally being handed out, a line of people took up over half of the showfloor. Despite my efforts, I was unable to get a ticket for the signing. My mom and I went to Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse booth for The Language of Thorns photo booth and buttons and then we called it a day, as we were completely ecstatic about the books we had received and the events we had both attended.
My Sunday at Book Con is soon to come! Now here’s a question for you: if there was one author you could meet and have sign your books, who would it be?? Let me know in the comments!