BookCon: Survival Guide

So, as many of you probably already know, I’m going to BookCon tomorrow!!!!!!

Since this is my first time attending – and because I am very Type A – I have been obsessively scouring the web for information on what exactly I should expect. The amount of information out there is overwhelming. So I thought I would compile it here for both your benefit and mine.

When I began my research, the very first place I consulted was the BookCon Website itself, which contained a very helpful overview of the process.  Using this as my base, I have added and modified until I have assembled the final product that I will now present to you, in a very logical and organized fashion.

Step 1: Registration

Activating Your Badge

BookCon actually has a couple of registration process that you may have to go through. the first and only required one is Activating Your Badge. BookCon has a through description of this process and why it is necessary here.

Autographing Area

This is a process that is new to this year. Basically some of the more popular authors have signings in the Autographing Area. To be able to get into these signings you had to order tickets online from the Autographing Ticket page on the BookCon website. This is closed now, but don’t worry. All extra tickets are kept at the Registration Desk on Level 2 of the Javits Center, so if you’re browsing the website and see an author with a signing in the A.A you still have a chance at getting your book signed.

Step 2: Planning and Using Your Resources

As I said before, I am a very Type A person, so this is something I always do. But even if you aren’t an organizer you should at least glance over the following lists and places so you have a dim idea of the things that are happening and the events you don’t want to miss.

The BookCon Website

As you can probably tell from the links scattered throughout this article – I find this site pure gold. It isn’t the best site I’ve ever navigated, but it has information, and a lot of it.

The BookCon App

Available on the Android and Apple Appstores, this app not only has a list of all the events, panels, and exhibitors, but also have a devout community of readers, many of whom have gone to BookCon before and are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Social Media

This is a BIG one. Not only should you look at this the day before, but also the day of as many publishers post information about exclusive swag or ARC drops only in these places. Some publishers also have secret pass codes posted as well. But never fear! Rather than having to wade through hundreds and hundreds of tweets, the awesome Chi-Chi Millaway has done it for us and made a ginormous spreadsheet! See it here.

Step 3: Packing

Here is a simple list of the things you should bring with you to BookCon

  • Badge
  • Autographing Area Tickets
  • Rubber Bands
    • To roll up any posters you might get and lessen the risk of folds!
  • Ziplocs
    • To protect your ARCs/Galleys/Swag
  • Battery Pack
    • Lines are going to be long and outlets far away. If you don’t want your phone to die bring a battery pack. Of course, even if your phone does die, you’ll be surrounded by many many fellow book lovers, so you’ll never get bored.
  • Charger
  • Money
    • Some booths only accept cash, others only credit, so bring both!
  • Snacks/Lunch
    • The Javits Center allows outside food to be brought inside, so I would suggest you do so, especially because the food there is known to be mediocre and overpriced
  • Luggage
    • You can’t bring wheeled bags onto the Showroom floor, but you can check them into the coat check! This way, when you have tons of books you need to unload, simply go to your luggage and do so!

I think that’s everything. Have Fun Guys!


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