The Disorganized Blogger’s Guide to Book Conferences (AKA an Example You Should NOT Follow)

Posted June 23, 2017 by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction in Let's Discuss / 27 Comments

So, I thought I’d whip up a quick post because I’m headed to ALA tomorrow and I’m not going to post this weekend at all. I should be back on Tuesday. Probably. Or I might still be recovering, we shall see.

I haven’t posted much this week because I’ve been busily preparing for the conference. Or procrastinating—more procrastinating really (I read a whole book today and just figured out five minutes ago what time I need to leave tomorrow morning. Hint: It’s early.) My preparation has been spotty at best. Still I thought you all might want my expert advice on how to prepare for a big book conference like ALA. Well, here goes.

The Disorganized Blogger’s Preparation for a Book Conference:

  • Wait to order your tickets until right before the deadline. Actually, you might as well almost completely forget about this step, since your mom will remind you anyway. She’s good like that. (In your defense, you could get tickets at the door. It would just be a much bigger pain.)
  • Procrastinate for a very long time.
  • Approximately one week before the conference, start to look at the list of authors, signings, panels, etc. Get about a third of the way through the list before you end up feeling really overwhelmed and give up. For now. Tell yourself you’ll look at the list again tomorrow.
  • Tell yourself you’ll look at the list again tomorrow.
  • Tell yourself you’ll look at the list again tomorrow.
  • Realize you should have mentioned in your last Sunday Post that you’d be gone this week and that you’d be at ALA. Procrastinate some more.
  • Wait for someone else to send a group DM via Twitter asking about a spreadsheet for author signings (four days before the conference). Get a link to the spreadsheet (which is amazingly helpful) and pore over it.
  • Spend the next two days going through the spreadsheet and the “official” events list so that you can organize your schedule.
  • Stalk the Twitter hashtag for the event and find other authors who aren’t on the official site who you have to see.
  • Realize that there are WAY too many things you want to see and do. Admit to yourself that half or more of it is just not happening. Be okay with that.
  • The day before the event, wonder what you’re going to wear (admittedly, this only works for conferences that are near enough to your home that you’re driving back and forth each day). Wonder if the thing you want to wear is actually clean. Don’t bother checking though. That would be way too efficient.
  • At 9:30 PM the night before the conference, map out your drive and figure out what time you need to leave. Think about getting a rolling suitcase ready for books. Also think about getting clothes for the next day. Don’t actually do either of those things, though. Instead…
  • Write a blog post about your disorganized approach to book events. 
  • Go to bed finally (after actually getting that suitcase and some clothes).
  • Go to the conference. Have fun! Follow your schedule sometimes, but not always. Get a lot of books. Meet a lot of authors. Miss out on some others. But mostly, have fun!

Sounds like a perfect plan, right? No? Hmmm … oh well, too late now.

Anyone else going to be at ALA? If so, let me know in the comments. Or, better yet, Tweet me so we can meet up! Hopefully I’ll see some of you there!




27 responses to “The Disorganized Blogger’s Guide to Book Conferences (AKA an Example You Should NOT Follow)

  1. Have fun at ALA! I’ve never been to a book conference, but I have been to work-related conferences. I’m never prepared. I usually stare at the event list, say “I need to see all of this,” then wander around the conference hall in a daze.

  2. shooting

    HAH! I feel you – it kind of snuck up on me. I’m home now though and I’m already diving into the books I’ve gotten. It was SO awesome to see you and your mom and I hope you had a fabulous rest of the day!


  3. TeacherofYA

    I didn’t get to meet you! But here’s more advice:
    If you room with people, lock your suitcases. ?

  4. BWHAHHA dying! Because YES, this has historically been me at every event. Until this year. When things got even MORE disorganized. Here’s my new plan:

    Wing it. Straight up plan nothing, and hope you figure it out as you go. To be fair, this seemed to work just as well as when I did “plan”? I mean, sure I missed Neal Shusterman, BUT, I always miss something! Last year I did ALL the planning and still somehow slept through Ann M. Martin, so… winging it and/or apathy will need to be your new life plans 😉

  5. Sounds like you and I have similar organization skills! One year I planned like a demon for BEA, then lost my spreadsheet 10 minutes after the doors opened and had to wing it. Still had fun (after the initial panic attack) so decided not to stress over plans for future events. Thanks for the laugh! 🙂

  6. Jen

    Oh. My. Gosh. Just reading this post gave me anxiety lol! I’m one who likes to plan and prepare way in advance, so reading some of the sentences made me say no no no out loud haha! I hope you had an amazing time and now I need to go find your post about it….?

  7. haha! this post cracked me up! I seems EXACTLY how I would do it! 😉 I’m a planner but then I’m not a planer if that makes sense. I plan EVERYTHING in my life but then when it comes to a big event like this I guess I get too anxious and then I procrastinate procrastinate procrastinate 🙂 I read the other post so I knw you had fun anyway 🙂

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