BEA 2019, Pt 4- BookCon

And now, the last.


BookCon first popped up in 2014 when the creative minds behind BEA decided to cash in on the supernova that was the YA market and separate the bulk of it from the main show. They sectioned off the wing where the Autographing tables were and pushed every small/indie YA booth over there with them.  Wheras BEA is pretty much an industry- related event, BookCon was wide open to the public.  


This was most likely where the term "shitshow" first started.


While BEA attendees could travel back & forth, BookCon patrons were kept corralled on their side.  Which meant you couldn't move, you couldn't talk to any vendors and there was no point in going over there since every nook & cranny was filled with people who had nowhere else to go.  All lines for all drop/events/autographs were filled hours beforehand mainly because there wasn't anything else for them to do.


As I'd explained in my first post, since my application for BEA had been rejected I signed up for BookCon.  Since it was a separate event happening after the Expo, I hadn't given it any thought and they had to have improved things since then... right?


Well... the price was cheap.  It was only about $60 for the weekend as opposed to $300 for the 2 1/2 days of BEA, but you also get what you pay for.  Like any big event, the devil lies in the details.  Unlike BEA where only the high profile events and celebrity appearances require pre-registration, for BookCon you need to sign up (and pay) ahead of time for EVERYTHING- lectures, seminars, even the Autographing Tables!  A big reason I attended was to try to get some things I'd missed at BEA- and turned out I still didn't.  All the stuff that's free upon admission at BEA is treated like DLC at BookCon. Heck, where BEA is for promoting the main reason for BookCon is to sell.  It's more like a flea market than anything.  


Floor Map


First thing I noticed was that the showfloor's been halved.  For the BEA the entire floor was available; for BookCon they cut off the side where all the indie & smaller publishers were located.  


Instead of letting us all queue up on the atrium floor as we do for the BEA, were we shuffled off to the side wing- again where the Autographing Tables were usually located and behind the UnBound vendor area.  Which meant you were gonna have 4x the attendees in literally half the space.  


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To top that off, everyone who'd attended those panels & lectures that you had to preregister for got early access to the showfloor.  So they were already in line for drops & events that were listed to happen at right 10am when the floor opened up, which blew my morning since now I couldn't do any of the stuff I wanted to.  Real smooth.

Did manage to pick up a couple of titles I'd missed out on at BEA.  Only thing was because of the crowd the line took over TWO HOURS to move and yeah- I missed out on two other signings because of it.  *sigh*



I did manage to snag a copy of an exclusive ARC by Melissa de la Cruz, so there's that.


Melissa de la Cruz


Finally, there was a particular ARC I'd wanted from Harper Collins- the Tiger Queen- that was listed to drop that afternoon, right before the close of business. Come to find out they'd given out all their copies the day before and didn't have any left for the advertised drop that afternoon... 


For me, BookCon was basically mop-up duty for the BEA.  I met some folks, had a few good conversations and managed a few things but overall... it's literally just for people who don't attend BEA, publishers to sell their catalog & a cash cow for the promoters.


There was only one thing left for me to do after all the bullshit:




Here's the BEA haul and the good stuff from BookCon.


BEA Haul