If you’ve been to a convention before, you know they usually tend to be overwhelming af. But we’re here to make sure you are prepared to survive the Mother of All Book Festivals: BOOK CON. BookCon (for those civilians who aren’t power book nerds) is a day for book nerds to unite over their love of books, meet their favorite authors, and attend amazing panels! It takes place in Chicago this year on May 14th at McCormick Place in Chicago. We’ll be here this year with our very own Epic Reads lounge. Come visit us and book shimmy!
PLAN + GET THERE EARLY
Look at all the panels, events, etc. and prioritize which ones you’ll want to go. Plan to be there early because panels fill up fast! There’s also a handy BookCon app for all your needs. Plus, there’s a planner on the site itself! Here’s the BookCon FAQ.
Panels & Screening info
Visit the Epic Reads Lounge!
But also be flexible! The best rule for BookCon is just go with the flow. You’re not going to get to everything you want but that’s okay. Be flexible and you never know what cool booth or panel you might stumble into! Have your priorities but also, make room for things that could be fun as well.
There’s no way around it, most likely you’ll be waiting in lines lines lines. Don’t fret though, you are surrounded by fellow book nerds so BOOKS are always a safe topic to discuss with your new line buddies!
BRING A SUITCASE
Chances are you might pick up a few books while you’re at BookCon. Chances are you might pick up TONS of books, but alas you only have 2 arms and 5 tote bags! What’s a book nerd to do? Bring a suitcase! Most of these huge book festivals have a suitcase drop off location where you can deposit any books you pick up over the course of the day. That way you aren’t lugging them around with you all day and it’ll be easier getting them all home at the end of the day!
WATER + SNACKS
HYDRATE because you don’t want to actually faint from seeing your favorite author! Bring a reusable water bottle. Also, since you’ll mostly likely be in heaps of lines, bring a snack! We recommend granola or energy bars or nuts, etc. Maybe even a sandwich if you’re feeling fancy because convention food court prices can be a little …wow.
BRING A FRIEND OR PARENT
What happens if the author you’ve been dying to see is only signing books at the same as the giveaway of the upcoming galley you’ve been dying to get your hands on? The solution is simple: beg your parents or a friend to come with you and be your official “spot in line proxy!”
Don’t know what you’re doing? Or wondering where that person got that awesome swag? ASK! People are usually more than happy to lead you to the right place and it’s always better knowing where you’re going than wandering around like a lost puppy.
BRING A PORTABLE CHARGER
You should bring a portable charger because we know batteries die quicker than a Game of Thrones character.
Remember that portable charger? It’s going to come in handy because hi, PICS OR IT DIDN’T HAPPEN. What’s more perfect that living in the moment than documenting what you’re doing via Snapchat or Instagram? Or finding out in real time what’s going on through Twitter. Also, we totally encourage you sharing with us through the Epic Reads lounge!
WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES
You’re not going to have a problem meeting your FitBit count with all the walking you’ll be doing. So bring comfortable shoes!! A book nerd work out is walking to get free books, obviously.
BRING CASH + CARD
You should definitely bring something to carry all your books in!! But most booths will also have free totes or something to give away. Just in case, you should also bring cash + card because you never know what a booth use as a form of payment. Sometimes the books for signings are free but sometimes you have to pay. It depends but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.
KEEP CALM AND BOOK SHIMMY ON
HI, YOU’RE AT BOOKCON!!! Hanging out with the best people in the biz: book nerds. Have fun!!
P.S. If you’ll be at BEA aka the industry convention that occurs before BookCon, check out the list of galleys we’ll have! YAY BOOKS.
Will you be at BookCon?? Let us know in the comments below! We can’t wait to see you in person!