YALC is fast approaching, and i know i haven’t shut up about it recently on the blog, but it’s true that it’ll be here before we know it. And after all, it’s the biggest weekend in any U.K. book bloggers year! As you all know i started my YALC preparation a few weeks ago now, and i have a few tips and tricks for before YALC and the actual weekend to make sure that everyone is happy and healthy!
Research The Authors
This is such a simple one and one that i’m sure everyone does, but specifically, i’d make a note of all the authors that are going to YALC that you want to try and meet or hear talk. It’s so much easier over the weekend to then somewhat ‘cross off’ who you’ve managed to speak to and who you haven’t. It gives your weekend some kind of structure if you’re going for the ‘go big or go home’ kind of few days. The ‘research the authors’ also leads me on to the next two points…
Buy Your Books In Advance
That’s right, i’d buy some of your books in advance if i was you. It’s true there are numerous publishers stands you can purchase books, and also an onsite Waterstones in which you can get books to be signed, or sometimes already signed. However, to save a little bit of money and time while you’re at YALC, i’d buy some books in advance. This does mean you might have to carry some around with you over the weekend, but it’s such a relief to know you have those books already in your backpack to be signed instead of having to hunt down a copy.
Start Reading In Advance
This is a huge one, and something i didn’t do soon enough last year. Start your reading way before YALC. I cannot stress this enough. It’s frustrating whilst you’re at the event and everyone has read something by V.E. Schwab and you still have no clue about any of her books. So i’d choose what authors from the YALC list that you really want to read something from, and get to it ASAP. There are so many authors that attend these events, and without a doubt they’ll be more than you realise that you want to read when you pull it all together.
I will always take quite a few books with me to these events so i feel prepared for anything. That also means you need to take quite a big case to get everything from the weekend to and from home. Something you may or may not realise is the amount of ‘stuff’ you will acquire over the weekend. There are constantly free things being given out, books for sale and pretty much anything else you can imagine. Be prepared to go home with a lot more than you set out with.
Speaking of that…tote bags and bags. Make sure you have a tote bag on you for ease of slipping books in somewhere when you’ve got them signed, to shove books in that you’ve bought and pretty much anything else. It’s always useful to have a tote bag out (but you’ll probably only need one because every single publisher will thrust them at you when you pass, trust me). A strong backpack is always incredibly useful too. Last year i ended up carrying home eight books in my backpack and eight in a tote bag, and it actually worked out quite well for me. Books are heavy, we should know this by now!
This is something that i’ve kept with me over the numerous cons i’ve been to. Keep yourself healthy! You’ll be indoors for a full weekend in the summer with a lot of people crammed close to you. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times and make sure you’ve eaten enough. I cannot stress the importance of drinking water when you’re stood around in lines all day and walking around the floor. Make sure you keep yourself healthy so you can enjoy it to it’s full extent!
I hope some of this has come in handy for anyone who is new to YALC, con-ing or has just forgotten what a con weekend is like!