A Tip Guide to Book Con
Hey guys so for many first or even regular convention goers, the crowds and lines can be overwhelming so here are some tips.
(Many of these tips can also be applied to other conventions.)
Tip1: Plan ahead.
Tip 2: Follow exhibitors Twitter accounts and turn notifications on.
Tip 3: Make a rough schedule for each day of the convention. I would divide each day by half-an-hour and hour slots. Do not limit yourself to just one event per time slot. As they do limit the amount of people in certain lines and if you do not make the cut you want to have other options.
Tip 4: Bring a rolly bag or suitcase. You may feel stupid walking around New York with the empty suitcase but your back will thank you by the end of the day.
Tip 5: Work as a team if you can. Going with a family member or someone who lives in the same house as you is great because you can each stand on a different line for a different book and share it.
Tip 6: Do not limit yourself to just those books that are being given out for free. Use this opportunity to find out the best sellers from each publisher.
Tip 7: Use your time in line with random strangers to your benefit. Ask those around you for recommendations for series, stand-alone titles or authors in which they enjoy.
Tip 8: If it’s free take it. What better way to explore new authors then to get a free copy of their book.
Tip 9: Don’t be afraid the of the indie publisher stand. Although they rarely give out full versions of their book for free, many of these publishers have a closer relationship with their authors and the titles in which they publish and therefore a more intimate knowledge of the book and their catalog.
Tip 10: Get to the convention early. Exhibitors often have exclusive giveaways at the start of each convention day.
Tip 11: Don’t ever listen to an exhibit worker when they say they no longer have something they were giving out for free. Oftentimes exhibitors limit the amount of what is being given out at one particular time, this is so that they can ration the thing out over the course of the entire convention. This usually does not apply two things that are being purchased.
Tip 12: Conventions often give out magazines which cover the events. They often list special events, panels and giveaways. They also almost always list all of the vendors. Take advantage of this knowledge. This can help you with tip 3.
Tip 13: This goes for all conventions. Wear comfortable shoes. Sneakers are good make sure they are running or basketball sneakers which are design to support your feet during a lot of activity. I have also found that Doc Martens are a comfortable convention shoe.
Tip 14: Eat a large and hearty breakfast before leaving for the convention. I often pack a empty plastic water bottle. Check with the convention center to make sure this will not be a problem, I often bring what is typically not considered a reusable bottle in case security will not allow it. Bring snacks. Convention food is often expensive so keep this in mind.
Tip 15: Don’t be afraid to read the back of a book before you get on a line for a free giveaway. You don’t want to waste your time standing in line for a book you don’t want. Although you can always gift the book.
Tip 16: This goes for all conventions. On the last day of the convention if you are attending stay until the end. Often times exhibitors heavily discount or giveaway merchandise they don’t wish to have to ship back to a warehouse.
Tip 17: Make sure you leave early. Especially here in New York City during the weekend, which is when conventions are commonly held, public transportation is often disrupted and does not run as it usually does. In the case of New York MTA.Info trip planner is very useful.
Tip 18: Bring a sweater. Although conventions are often held during the warmer months, inside of the convention hall is often chilly. You don’t want to spend all day uncomfortable because you are cold.
Tip 19: Pack any bag you are bringing as light as possible. You will be on your feet for long periods of time and you don’t want a heavy bag on your back before you even start to buy or get giveaway items.
Tip 20: The day before the convention starts make a large dinner which can be eaten over the course of several nights as conventions can be exhausting thus discouraging cooking.
Bonus Tip: Have fun. A book convention may not seem like the place for cosplay but you would be wrong. Celebrate by wearing your favorite fandom attire and accessories.
Bonus Tip 2: Some panels and autographing sessions require advance tickets so keep your eye on convention news find out windows will be given out.