The last day of Book Expo is always bittersweet. On the one hand, Book Expo is easily one of my favorite weeks of the year. On the other, by Friday, I’m ready to return to waking up after the sun has already risen and my back, feet and (weirdly enough my toes this year?!) aren’t crying from the fifteen pounds of paper I’m carrying around in my backpack and totes.
Friday was my earliest day at the Javits, arriving around 8:15. I had a lot planned for Friday, but it felt like a much calmer day. Much of this was because I had gotten most of my biggest or most wanted titles on Wednesday and Thursday. Maybe because Friday is the earlier end time of the three days, but the showfloor also seemed quieter. My top three somewhat achievable priorities for Friday were Christina Lauren’s Twice In a Blue Moon, Kim Liggett’s The Grace Year, and Ashley Elston’s 10 Blind Dates.
Once the showfloor opened at 9 AM, I rushed to Simon & Schuster for Christina Lauren’s Twice in a Blue Moon, which I got, and I picked up Jason Reynolds’ new MG Look Both Ways. The rushing was not over, as I sped walked to Macmillan for a ticket for Kim Liggett’s signing. Throughout the convention, the Macmillan ticket lines were long, but having early ticket pickup times was such a smart move on their part. Although it was on my schedule, I really wasn’t expecting to get a ticket for Rainbow Rowell’s Wayward Son poster signing, but I did! As much as I would love to have a currently nonexistent Wayward Son ARC, much like my feelings about Marie Lu’s Rebel and Holly Black’s Queen of Nothing, if these ARCs existed, there would be absolute chaos. I was also excited for the poster because I have the Kevin Wada) poster for Carry On.
Right after Macmillan ticket pickup, I joined the line for a 9:30 drop of Brigid Kemmerer’s A Heart So Fierce and Broken. I tried getting this on Thursday, but the line was capped decently early. My ticket (aka post-it note) marked me as 55. While waiting to get the book, I watched a crowd gather at Penguin for a secret drop of 10 AM drop of 10 copies of Erin Morgenstern’s The Starless Sea. Fortunately or unfortunately, I was not there to see the results.
After the drop, I went to Workman and picked up How to Build a Heart by Maria Padian. You can probably tell by my haul, but contemporary books were my #1 priority this convention and this 2020 release was recommended by The Book Bratz. I then went to Fierce Reads Recommends, where I met with Jess from The Book Bratz, Cait from Cait’s Books, and Ben from Ace of Bens. I received The Liars of Mariposa Island by Jennifer Mathieu. I read a lot of Cuban literature this year at school so excited for this one (plus totally on the hype train for Amy Poehler’s adaptation of Moxie).
Don’t get me wrong, book conventions are all about being in bookish environments and having fun. But don’t get me wrong, they can be very stressful, even with a highlighted Excel sheet in tow. I couldn’t be more excited for Thursday, but this day was filled with many of my most-wanted books of the year and most of them were only available that day. My absolute priorities were Emery Lord’s The Map from Here to There and Ruta Sepetys’ The Fountains of Silence.
My second day of Book Expo 2019 started with my 8:30 arrival at the Javits with Dunkin’ iced coffee in tow. I took the half hour of sitting in line to go over PW Daily and read over my schedule.
When I got on the showfloor, I picked up Cara Wall’s The Dearly Beloved from Simon & Schuster and Elizabeth Ames’ The Other’s Gold from Penguin. Penguin Random House was being pretty quiet about their drops throughout the convention, so I often just checked their booth whenever I had a break in the day to see what was going on.
My stress books and events didn’t start until 10:30, so I spent some time walking around, picking up Renegades swag and Nadine Jolie Courtney’s All- American Muslim Girl. From there, I lined up for Hachette’s 10:30 ARC drop, picking up Sarah Henning’s Throw Like A Girl and The Bone Houses, which I later passed on to Taschima from For the Sake of Reading. I got my desired fantasy and historical fiction reads, but contemporary was the name of my Book Expo.
Returning to stress, the night before I should’ve been able to get 7 hours of sleep. In reality, I only got about 5. Why? Because I was stressing out about getting an ARC Emery Lord’s The Map from Here to There. Now readers, I know that not getting this book would not have been the end of the world. There was another drop on Friday, not to mention that the finished shiny copy will be out in January. But let’s be honest: this book was in my top five most wanted books of Book Expo, if not my number 1 goal. I ran for this 11 AM drop right after Hachette. While a line had formed, my spot was close enough where I was guaranteed the book!
Book Expo has been on my brain since it ended last year. I can work Book Expo and Book Con into almost every conversation. My non-bookish best friends each got a countdown Snapchat for the past two weeks. That being said, this reader was more than excited to get to the Javits Center on Wednesday morning for the first day of Book Expo. My second time attending the convention, I had debated on attending for the full day on Wednesday, but there were many more book drops and signings than in years’ past.
I arrived at the Javits around 9:30, picking up my badge and sitting for a few minutes reading through the Book Expo book. I also took advantage of the fairly empty lobby to take photos of banners. I soon left to head over to Bloomsbury with a few other bloggers through Blogbound Con. Bloomsbury hosted us for breakfast and discussed their upcoming 2019 and 2020 YA and children’s titles. We were each given an ARC of Phil Stamper’s The Gravity of Us-highly recommend checking this one out AND following Phil on Twitter. As everyone chatted after their presentation. I met Lili from Utopia State of Mind IRL. We knew of each other’s blogs, but it wasn’t until after we walked back to Javits together that we realized we were on the Small Town Hearts blog tour together!
We got back to Javits around 11:45, where there was a crowd waiting to get on the showfloor. If you were at the convention or having been following it online, you’ll likely know that much of the hype surrounding Wednesday was a 100 ARC signing of Leigh Bardugo’s adult book, Ninth House. While I wanted Ninth House like everyone else, I really wasn’t expecting to get a ticket for the signing, but I figured I would swing by Macmillan to at least try. I’m not sure what bookish goddesses were looking down upon me, but I managed to get a ticket to the later signing when I got on the showfloor.
While still in shock, I had a little lull in my schedule to walk around the showfloor. I picked up Shea Ernshaw’s Winterwood from Simon & Schuster, Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow from Hachette, a Pumpkinheads sampler from Fierce Reads (yes, I’m still sad this wasn’t a full ARC), and a ticket for Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker’s Mooncakes. At some point during my travels, I also saw and talked with Cece from Problems of a Book Nerd, who I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen in two years!
I then went to my first scheduled event of the day, which was an ARC and tote bag giveaway for Karen Dukess’s The Last Book Party. Despite that a lot of ARC drops line up and get capped before the scheduled time, many publishers (understandably) still wait until the designated time to start the event. However, I was glad that The Last Book Party started two or three minutes beforehand because I was then able to go to Sourcebooks’ 1 PM drop for Gina Lamanna’s Pretty Guilty Women and Kath Shackleton’s Survivors of the Holocaust: True Stories of Six Extraordinary Children. Right after, I made my way to Penguin Random House, where I talked with one of the publicists and received and Katherine McGee’s American Royals! This is one of my most anticipated books for the fall, but I wasn’t sure if it would be at Book Expo. Read More »
Book Expo, the best week of the year. And yes, in my head, I wrote that line in Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle’s best Treat Yo Self voice.
Book Expo 2019 was my second time attending this book convention centered around the publishing business. I was fortunate enough to be approved for a blogger pass, having the opportunity to meet various bookish people, from publishing staff to my fellow book bloggers. Last but certainly not least, one of the best parts of Book Expo was being able to pick up so many of my anticipated 2019 and 2020 releases.
In 2018, I combined my Book Expo haul with my Book Con haul, but I decided not to attend Book Con in 2019. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Book Con because it was my favorite bookish experience as a reader before I became a blogger. I decided not to attend in 2019 for a variety of reasons. I felt I had spent enough money on Book Expo between my pass, travel and other expenses. I knew I would likely be physically and mentally exhausted from the 3 days of Expo (which I was correct about, being that I could barely feel my upper back and shoulders Saturday morning after ten hours of sleep). Book Con has honestly gotten crazier and crazier each year, especially for ARC giveaways and signings. If I had attended this year, I likely would have gone for some panels (which are often uploaded to Youtube), socializing, and maybe another book or two.
However, as you’ll be able to see by my haul, having books to read won’t be a problem for a while! I am absolutely head over heels in love with my Book Expo haul. Out of the 40 books that I picked up over the week, I only went for books that I knew I want to read or sounded like something I will actually read. It’s definitely easy to be caught up in all the free books and hype. I am so beyond ecstatic and thankful that I got all of my must-have ARCs. I ran a Twitter poll on Friday to best decide how to break down my haul, and the most popular answer was my haul for each Book Expo day. I’ll also be including the current release date for each title.
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!
My favorite weekend of the year has already passed us by, Book Con 2018. The land of all things bookish, Book Con 2018 was my third year of attending the convention, with my mom of course being my convention buddy. I obviously love this weekend because I get to meet my favorite authors and pick up some books, but also because I get to spend it with my mom.
I admit that I went into Book Con a bit more casual than I usually do- don’t worry, I still brought spreadsheets for both of us- largely because of Book Expo, where I was able to pick up 25 books within those two days. Additionally, as I was planning my Book Con schedule over the two weeks prior to the convention, I was a bit dismayed at a few publishers’ schedules. I picked up so many of my most anticipated books last year, but I found that many publishers did less ARC signings and giveaways this year, or at least publicized them less on social media. I think this largely has to do with the madness over some books in 2017 (the line for Warcross took up the main aisle of the show floor, while Wonder Woman: Warbringer drew a stampede), and unfortunately, the ILLEGAL selling of ARCs online.
However, I did have a few events that I wanted to get to on Saturday. My mom and I arrived at the Javits Center around 8:45, and on both days, everyone was allowed access to the show floor before 10. In my opinion, this was a good idea so people who wanted to attend events at 10 and 10:30 had some extra time to line up. I first stopped at Scholastic to grab a finished copy of Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West (I finally have no excuse to read my first Kasie West book!), and then went to Hachette for the 10:30 signing of Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan. While in line, a girl in front of me kindly gave me her extra copy of Rule by Ellen Goodlett! It was cool meeting Natasha Ngan, who told me this was her first Book Con and her first time in New York City. While meeting her, my mom went to Kevin Kwan’s signing of Crazy Rich Asians. It was a fun experience for mom, who laughed at loud while reading this trilogy, and she got the book personalized to me.
After Natasha Ngan’s signing, I went to Epic Reads for their 12 PM ARC drop. I knew I had to get there at least an hour advance, since everyone at both Book Expo and Book Con had their hearts set on Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera’s What If It’s Us. Epic Reads gave out tickets for the event at 11, which caused a mini stampede and a lot of angry people who had been waiting in line, but I was able to score a ticket. I stayed at Epic Reads until the drop, where I met two awesome people in line, Maddie and Lincy. Maddie was super sweet (she posted a fun Book Con vlog), and I gave her my Morgan Matson signing ticket, since I already had a review copy of Save the Date and wasn’t planning on staying at Book Con until 5. Lincy was also awesome, and she’s the co-founder of a new bookish app called Book Sloth! She gave me a Book Sloth sticker, which has already found a home on my laptop case.
At the Epic Reads event, they were dropping 4 ARCs and you had to play Plinko Ball to decide what ARC you received. The ARCs included Pride by Ibi Zoiboi, Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand, For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig, and What If It’s Us. I won Sawkill Girls, which I’m really happy about due to the amount of hype surround Claire’s Furyborn. During this drop, my mom was again super awesome by going to Harlequin Teen and getting me a finished copy of Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody.
I then wandered the showfloor for a bit, and I picked up some swag, including a Penguin Teen t-shirt for being an email subscriber and a Renegades by Marissa Meyer poster. My mom also picked up an Alex and Eliza pin for me, which is easily one of my favorite things from Book Con this year! I really didn’t have anything else planned for the day and some of the giveaways, especially at Epic Reads, Fierce Reads and Penguin, seemed too crazy to me. Meeting up with my mom, we decided to end our day a bit early around 1 and rest up for a longer day on Sunday.
Did you attend Book Con? What’s one book you’re looking forward to in 2018 or 2019? Share in the comments!
I, Haley of Fangirl Fury, fiercely loyal Hufflepuff, Pawnee Ranger, honorary member of the Terrasen Army, reader, blogger, and lover of ‘90s movies, am now officially a Book Expo slayer. In other words, 2018 marks the first year that I have ever attended Book Expo. Thanks to Booktube and many of your lovely blogs, Book Expo has always been my #1 bookish dream and I was beyond fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend the convention this year. Today, I’ll be walking you through my first day at Book Expo, and my experience posts for Friday and Book Con will be coming to a Fangirl Fury near you soon. You can see my full haul from all four days here.
Held at the Javits Centers in New York City, I made my way into the convention’s Crystal Palace (aka main lobby) around 9:30. My first stop was at the Fierce Reads booth for a sampler of Leigh Bardugo’s King of Scars. I’m usually not one for samplers, but like the Language of Thorns sampler, King of Scars was too beautiful to pass up!
My first stop on the show floor was at the Owlcrate booth, where I realized one of the differences between Book Expo and Book Con. At Book Con, the line for Owlcrate’s spin wheel giveaways can wrap through multiple passageways and often includes anywhere from a fifteen minute to an hour wait. When I got to Owlcrate at Book Expo, there were maybe 5 PEOPLE ahead of me in line for the spin wheel give away. I won a finished copy of Becky Albertalli’s The Upside of Unrequited, which I’m super excited to have because it’s my favorite Albertalli book and I had borrowed it from the library. After, I went back to Fierce Reads for a giveaway and received an ARC of Check, Please by Ngozi Ukazu.
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!