I attended BookCon 2018 this past weekend in NYC. It was at the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan on June 2nd-3rd. I’m not sure how I found out about it, maybe on FaceBook maybe on Litsy, I’m not really sure. It was booked as a convention of authors, books old and new, and bookish items.
I like going to new events and since I can easily get to NYC and have a place to stay I thought that it would be a neat event to attend. It was priced right at thirty dollars pre-sale and it looked like a good venue to receive ARCs and bookish fun items on book series that I may have read. BookCon also had a very large amount of authors who would be in attendance for the Saturday and Sunday dates.
The venue was great and was easy to get to by subway from Brooklyn. The Javits Center is very large and the areas to find the rooms to listen to panels were very easy to locate. I went to listen to James Patterson and Bill Clinton introduce their book, The President is Missing. They were both very interesting to listen to as they described how their co-authoring of a book came to be. Weird part of this was that the book was to come out on June 4th but yet it was not offered for pre-sale at a book convention. I would have bought one there. I didn’t require it to be signed or touched by the authors! I think someone missed some easy presales for that book. Hey but what do I know!
I also went to a panel entitled “Fierce and Fabulous: Find Your Inner Beyonce!“. I did not go because of the title, I went to see two authors who’s books I have read and enjoyed. These authors are Nicola Yoon who has written The Sun is also a Star and Everything, Everything and Nic Stone who wrote Dear Martin. These three books are YA and are very attuned to today’s happenings. The other authors in the panel were Jenny Han and Alexandra Bracken. The panel was very outgoing and the questions that were given by David Levithan were fun. They also gave over a few minutes of the 45 minutes that were strictly set for this panel for audience questions. I enjoyed this panel even though I think that the title was kind of silly, but that’s just my opinion. What should have the title been? I’m not sure but where Beyonce fits in I am not sure. All of the authors are women, other than that I have no idea.
The main show floor that was for the vendors was of substantial size and there was plenty of room as all of the people roamed to find what was available. We had a problem though when it was time for ARCs to be had or when other items were being given away. You either had to get a ticket from I do not know where or you simply found a line and took a leap at what was going to be given away. You took the chance also that once you reached the booth that was giving books away that you may not get anything. People were grabbing at will and piles were depleted in minutes. It actually was a free for all. I’m not one to enjoy standing in line for something that I really know nothing about. I really think that some people there just took whatever they could grab even though they had no interest in that genre of book. This was the part of BookCon that I think could be improved. They have an app that allows you to look up and to sign up for signings and informs you of certain give aways but I just took the time to go as I pleased and enjoyed the afternoon.
I did get to talk to some authors who took the time to sit with their books and had the personalities to explain their books. This I enjoyed. I bought a couple of books from new authors and also some of these authors when they heard that I taught at the middle school level just offered me their book. I will read all of the books that I got at BookCon and will email the authors that asked for my reaction to their book.
You were able to sign up for book signings at BookCon but I did not take advantage of this. I would love to go to book signings for an author if more came to the Houston area but I did not want to take the time to stand in the lines at BookCon. The signing areas did look like they were well planned and orderly but once again I hated to wait and waste my roaming around time. One weird “signing” item that I found, Leigh Bardugo’s books were for sale with not a signing from herself but her stamp of her name with BookCon 2018 included in the stamp. Did she herself stamp these? I just think that is a lazy way to personalize a book for a reader. Once again, my opinion but guess what? I noticed no one was buying them.
Now the only weird thing that I saw at BookCon was the four booth layout for L. Ron Hubbard’s books. Yes, the Scientologists bought space to sell his science fiction books and they also had auditors there talking face to face to participants. Needless to say I walked by very quickly. I have no need for that goofery.
I enjoyed BookCon but would I go again? If someone wanted me to go with them I would because it was a fun day to discover some new books and to hear from authors. It is priced nicely and is in NYC. I just think that they need to work on how the lines for giveaways could be organized a bit better. Maybe give the ticket holder two books when entering and then the rest is up to them to stand in line for? I’m not sure but the lines were snaking in places that most did not even know why they were in them. Overall it was fun to go to and I can mark that off of my bucket list.