This was my very last day at NY, and so I decided to attend BookCon against my better judgment. I expected to arrive at the Javits and find complete and utter chaos. Instead I arrive and find complete and utter… organization.
What might have looked on the outside as a chaotic mess (SO MANY PEOPLE) was actually very organized. People arrived early and instead of cramming them all in front of the exhibit hall entry (as they did last year) and then moving them outside and then inside again (alas, as they did last year) they opened up the bottom of the Javits center in order to make lines so that people could patiently wait for the opening of the doors.
I was impressed, but there was no way in hell I was joining the lines to enter the exhibit hall (I would not be surprised if there were more than 800 people waiting to get in). So instead I sat down on the Javits middle floor level where the Starbucks is at, ordered me a cup of coffee, and read Soundless by Richelle Mead until the clock hit 10:10 am, at which time I assumed everybody had ample time to get into the floor and so I could so into the floor without getting (a) trampled and (b) annoyed at the entire universe.
THE EXHIBIT FLOOR
Where there a lot more people than normal on the floor? Yes, but it actually wasn’t as bad as last year. They really learned from their mistakes and organized everything in a better way. The floor was still only half open to the entire crowd, but most of the big name authors (like Jenny Han, Meg Cabot, Richelle Mead, Among others) were sent to the bottom floor of the Javits where people could make longer, more organized, lines.
This helped make the exhibit floor a less congested place where people could wander in earnest and explore the various publisher booths.
There were some signings on the exhibit floor, but not that many and the lines weren’t incredibly long (plus the authors were being very quick). I got to meet Patrick Ness who signed for me a copy of A Monster Calls (he gave the option of choosing one of three books: A Monster Calls, The Knife of Never Letting Go, or More Than This). I also got to meet Kim Harrison!
She was signing her upcoming novel, The Drafter (about a kick ass chick with trust issues who can alter time, plus she is on the run).
Also, shout out to EpicReads who brought their marketing A game at Book Con.
They gave us this booklet promoting all their upcoming titles that was fun, colorful, and exciting! I spent the entire Patrick Ness line looking through it. I also kept it when I came home and didn’t throw it away because it is so full of awesome (and isn’t that the true sign of success when the reader wont get rid of the marketing material right away?)
After going through the floor I finally made my way to the bottom floor of the Javits to do the two author lines I was looking forward to, Jenny Han and Nick Offerman. I did the Jenny Han line for about an hour before it started “moving” and then had to give it up because it seemed that in order to get the book signed by Nick Offerman you had to buy the title (something not specified on the online site). So I had to cut my losses and lose out on missing Jenny Han, instead I did an hour and a half line to get the Nick Offerman book (which cost me $30).
One Small Step, One Major Line.
Alas, the Nick Offerman line had already started so I got in line 3 hours before he was supposed to sign. That line was crazy long, specially since people kept cutting in line and joining their friends. After numerous hours waiting to meet Nick Offerman we are told we cannot take a picture with him, and so the only way to get his picture was from afar. This was a major downer because the people doing the line for Meg Cabot (which was right next to Offerman’s) just took out their camera and took pictures of him (her line was also going ten times as fast). So you could have essentially seen him and taken a picture without ever doing his line. At least I got to pay $30 for his book and get it signed right? I wanted a picture with him so I could show my husband, the was the whole point of me doing the line and I didn’t even get that.This was perhaps the biggest disappointment of all.
The old saying is right, it is all about quality over quantity.
Overall I enjoyed BookCon day. Will I attend next year? Probably not, but only because BEA is moving to Chicago and I cannot justify going to NY for BookCon only (I would have to pay for hotel, airfare, etc.) For those who are near NY it is a good place to spend your afternoon, specially for $35 as an entry fee. You get your money’s worth; just make sure you prioritize which famous person you want to meet because their lines are the worst.