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A tiny fish swimming in a pond filled with dino-sized fish. A recap of BookCon. (With pictures!)

It is almost a week now since BookCon. It seems like a dream. Like it didn’t happen.

I realize most of you probably have not been to BookCon, so let me try to paint a picture. While I expected it to be “big” and I expected there to be lines… Well, let’s just say being prepared, and then actually experiencing it are two very different things.

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One of my big take-aways:

The Star Wars Panel - the only one I could get in to

The Star Wars Panel – the only one I could get in to

Reading IS NOT DEAD. And to many people, authors are better than rock stars. Book fans will wait in line for an hour in the morning to get a ticket for the privilege to stand in line again a half hour before an afternoon event, just to hear their favorite author speak.

(This would also entail getting to the venue before it opens, and standing in line to be one of the first people through the door) They will also show up an hour early to get a wrist band or ticket to secure their place in line so their favorite author can sign their books.

And people were signing. And signing. And signing.

"Backstage" during my interview with BookTuber Ginger Reads Lainey

“Backstage” in the press area during my interview with BookTuber Ginger Reads Lainey

It was hard, at times, to walk through the event because everywhere you turned there were lines wrapped around the booths (I didn’t think to take pics of the lines. I wish I did.)

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Readers flocking to the Simon and Schuster booth

Booths ranged from the small one-table displays with banners (Where I was) to huge structures that felt like walking into a building all its own, complete with sitting areas inside.

And thousands of readers were in those booths.

It was pretty cool to think that all these people loved books enough that they traveled, some coming from huge distances, and paid $35.00 to get into an event showing books, and only books.

So, how did my signing go?

Being a teeny weeny guppy in a pond filled with gold-plated mackerel, I think I did pretty well. There were some pretty big names signing at the same time I did, but people still came (Thanks!)

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There’s Miss Jennifer taking care of the selling. Good thing. I was waaay too nervous

I had the lovely Jennifer Million from Month9Books beside me selling books, and the three outgoing ladies holding up my book and waving people in. (Annie Cosby, Sophie, and Lindsay Leggett: You guys rocked it!)

I met a lot of readers who had contacted me through social media after they read Fire in the Woods. Some came with their books for me to sign, and others picked up second copies so they could have signed ones. I would say that 50% of the books I signed were people who had already heard of Fire in the Woods, and the other 50% were walk-ups.

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There’s the Lovely Annie near the back of the line, holding a book in the air and waving people in line. Her shoulders must have been on fire!

 

When I first got there, the Month9Book Squad plumped down about twenty books in front of me. About 30 minutes into the signing I was down to three books and they re-loaded the table. I’m not sure how many books I signed, but I would guess 30 or so during my 45 minute time slot.

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Right before they reloaded the table with books

 

Not too shabby.

My lines were definitely not starting a traffic jam, but I was pretty stoked when I looked up a few times to see people waiting.

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This girl was adorable. She came up to the booth while there was no one there, looked at the back cover copy of Fire in the Woods, and asked her dad if she could buy it. I signed her book for her, and about ten minutes later she came running back and asked for a picture. I wish I could remember her name!

Shout out to all the parents dropping money on books for their kids. Kudos to you for supporting a healthy reading habit!

Bookcon5All in all, I’d say it was a great day. I had the opportunity to meet fans, and hopefully introduced the book to new fans.

As a newly published author, I took in the lines waiting for fiction superstars with a sense of awe. I’ve always been motivated and driven, but now … well, now I’m even more so.

Bookcon3Now I’m looking to increasing my catalog and broadening my reach. The only difference between us guppies and the gold-plated mackerel is number of books and numbers of readers.

I already have a very well received book. Now I need to get that book into more hands. How am I going to do that?  Yeah… I’m working on it.

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My resolution is bigger than your resolution

It’s that time of year where everyone is making resolutions. In most cases, I don’t so much make resolutions, as much as I make plans.  One of these “plans” though, smacked me in the face.

In 2013, I read 21 books. Read-hold up PKO_0016876Oddly enough, without even trying, I also read 21 books in 2014. So when Goodreads popped up and asked me how many books I wanted to read in 2015, I answered with “21”.

But great googly-moogley! Then it showed me what everyone else’s reading goals were. Holy cow!  100 book in a year? SERIOUSLY?

Scrolling through, I realized that my goal was the lowest of anyone’s on my friend’s lists. It left me feeling lacking… but only for a second.

I could have typed in 100 books, but that isn’t realistic. Not for me. I’m not one of those people who can find the time to sit down and finish an entire book on a Saturday afternoon. It’s just not in the cards for me. Reading a book in about ten days is realistic to me. So why didn’t I enter 35 books?

Well, I normally read about 10% of a book in a day, but I don’t always have time to read every day.

I don’t want reading to be a chore, or to end up one of those people grabbing for novellas just so I can add another “finished” to my list. I’d rather read slowly, relax, and enjoy. I don’t ever want reading to be a competition.

Education Concept. Read Books Sign.What I do want to do this year is read more top-selling, five-star young adult novels. I want to see what the trends are. I want to make sure that I am keeping up with the styles that are making people scream for more.

Here are 10 of the books I have already purchased to read this year. I’ll leave the other ten open for new releases or new books that get buzz going about them.

The 5th Wave

Origins

Doon

A thousand Pieces of You

Alienated

White Hot Kiss

Snow Like Ashes

Lifer (Not a best-seller yet, but I hear it’s good)

These Broken Stars

Gravity

What’s on your bucket list to read this year?

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