BookCon, ALA, and Blogoversary…Oh, My! 

I’ve been putting off this post because there’s just so much that goes into writing a recap…first I went to BookCon, and I was going to post my recap right when I got back but I had reviews to post…then ALA came up out of the blue with an invitation and I was planning for that. Now it’s almost my Blogoversary and I just can’t wait anymore…we need to talk Cons! 

I’ve tried to think of a way to do this all together…and I think I figured out a way…

First of all, I want to THANK EVERYONE who helped me get to BookCon in the first place! I met amazing people and got business cards and it was wonderful to know that people knew me from Twitter and my blog. Without you guys, I wouldn’t have ever been to a Con in my LIFE. 

I’ll be giving back to the community with some giveaways this month, which also coincides with my 1 year Blogoversary on July 14, the anniversary of my first WP post. 
I’ve already started with a small one on Twitter: it’s the money for shipping that makes it hard for me. But I’m going to do my best, darn it! 

There was also some tough times during some of these events but I’m going to stick to the positive and then give some tips about what I learned when going to Cons. It will make going for me much easier and hopefully will help others who decide to take the Con plunge! 

So let’s break down BookCon first, since it was the first one I attended, shall we?

Ok. So with the help of amazing people, I got to take a Greyhound to Port Authority, and then I roomed with several people also going to the Con. One of the girls staying there had been to BEA and she had some amazing books, which made me super excited! 

We got there early, which was good bc it is open to the public, and the line was LONG! I put a “Hello My Name Is” sticker on my shirt with my Twitter handle so people who were attending might know me. It worked! 


  (Remember, I was in line from 7:30 to 9, then the running around the convention, so I didn’t look my best here. You’ll want to keep that in mind when attending and taking pics)

I started with my hair down and then decided it was WAY easier to just ponytail it up! I wanted to take more pics but you get so caught up in the frenzy! You forget so much! 

*I didn’t even know you could use the side volume button for selfies: I was using the home button!*

I also met some amazing authors and got Instax pics and had them signed. Of course, I ran out of film with Marie Lu, but got several cell pics with her. (Made up for the film faux pas)

 I have a ton of signed Instax pics from Cora Cormack, Renee Ahdieh, Victoria Aveyard, Adam Silvera, Lauren Bird Horowitz, and others! I’ll have to take pics of the pics like I did for the VE Schwartz signing.
Marie was my fave bc she ran into me multiple times AND I saw her at ALA. I was thrilled to meet Cora because I love being on her street team with Roar. My friend gave me a HC copy and it’s beautiful. And I was so busy I missed her lunch invite. 

I did take some pics of my haul but mainly it was in suitcases bc I have no room. But I think I’ll be sharing that in my blogoversary post with some giveaways! 

It was great and I was stuck on Greyhound getting back…I had a 9 hour delay so I’ll be remembering that for future travel! 

Ok, so that was BookCon! Let’s get into ALA before I have you all snoring from my trip! 😂


I was generously invited to go with some people to ALA. I was very excited and I was also able to save us some money on tickets through LibraryThing: Proquest was offering complimentary Exhibitor Guest passes to those going to Chicago! So that was a great email and I love that app (I use it to organize my library). 

(I’m not going to get into any drama but again focus on the positives. I’ll make a list of dos and don’ts that I learned after)

ALA was THE BEST. Blew BookCon out of the water! 

I posed with Mr. Shuu. 

I met BroodingYAHero’s “co-author,” Carrie. (SkyPony Press is awesome!)


Marie Lu and I (again) – I was so happy to see her so soon again! 


Sarah Best Durst and I (author of The Queen of Blood and The Reluctant Queen…I also own her book Vessel from a library sale)


Mary Weber, author of The Evaporation of Sofi Snow


Maggie Stiefvater and I – need I say more? I’ve always wanted to meet her! She’s THE BEST!


Katherine Locke and I – with The Girl With the Red Balloon 🎈 


Cindy Pon knew I wanted Want, and she remembered I was excited for it! She stopped by to say hi to Axie Oh! 


So I got to meet two of the best people I correspond with online! Yay for Rebel Seoul!


I thin Anna is an angel because for some reason, my camera did this ONLY when I was with her! What an effect! 


Dhonielle Clayton, you stole my heart! 

Those were some of the best pics of the event. I got more cell pics bc I was told that my Instax would be considered unprofessional, and it does make sense. ALA was filled with Educators, Librarians, and Bloggers. No running or shoving like a BookCon. I met Mrs. Feiwel and some great people (as I sub I don’t really have business cards, and I never thought to make them for my blog) who gave me their cards for the Education dept of the Imprint, which carries Discussion Guides and Lesson zplans made up for the material in advance! Access to that is Heaven! (Do you know how long a lesson plan can take sometimes? Or a Unit Plan?? 🙄)

It was great, and I ended up with some great books. 

THE DO’S AND DONT’S OF ATTENDING CONS:

  1. Try not to travel or room with people you haven’t been with before. Personalities clash. I’m attending ALA Midwinter with my mother and possibly Fernanda. Costs are high but emotions can run higher. 
  2. Lock your suitcase. I did this with BookCon but not with ALA. I mainly did it at BookCon for the Greyhound bus but I think it’s just a good idea. 
  3. Get there early. I’d rather wait in line than miss out. I’m sure you would, too. BookCon was essential when it came to getting there early. It’s a MUST.
  4. TRY TO exercise before you go: there’s a lot of walking involved and if you’re a bigger person like me, you will be EXHAUSTED. I was embarrassed to be sweaty and hug authors. You don’t want to do that. 
  5. Bring a backup charger. I didn’t have one at a BookCon but did have one for ALA. Didn’t regret it. I have a case that charges the phone to 100% when it gets low. I also brought a charger. Defintely a plus. 
  6. Take a haul pic if you want! I did it for me and it’s cool…it also helps you remember what you have already. Limited space. 
  7. No matter what, the good outweighs the bad. You’re getting to attend an amazing experience, and though drama and bad can happen, don’t let it take away from the good: books, friends, authors, and fun. That’s why we go…and that’s what I’ll always remember. (I got to meet Em and Liz, too! In person!)

Ok…if you’ve hung in this long, then you’ll be able to hear about my BLOGOVERSARY! 

Since this post is already so long, I’ll make a separate one with the details…but here’s the gist: my 1 year is on July 14, so I’ll be celebrating all month with some great indie authors, fun giveaways, and blog tour events with Rafflecopter entries! It’s a month long extravaganza and you’re all invited! I’ve been planning this awhile and I wanted to let you know now that it’s here! Hang in there, baby. Like the cat poster says: we are going to celebrate! 


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92 thoughts on “BookCon, ALA, and Blogoversary…Oh, My! 

      1. They make me smile, too! Kester’s a very good friend but Carrie did say she would send me a classroom copy that is finished, and I think that’s much better for students to read than the ARC.
        I have some bookmarks too that the kids will get as rewards! Right now I only sub but I’m hoping when fall starts I can get a perm position and share more Broody love! 😂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I was so lucky to be able to meet so many people I’ve always wanted to meet. I will want to go more often now: I’m addicted! 😂
      It must be how it is for you with all those authors you get to meet.
      But the books!! Omg the books! 😍❤️
      You wanna go with sometime?? Will you be going to anything coming up? The only cool thing soon is Bardugo on Sept 30 in Grand Rapids…but I would love to go to Midwinter ALA!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s so amazing! I’m so excited for you! LOL. It is like meeting rockstars, isn’t it? I would love to, but I’m probably just going to do YALLWEST and RT next year honestly. With The King’s English here, I hate to spend that much money to travel to meet authors. I would love to go to BookCon one day though. Just not next year.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Great recap Stephanie, and it seems like you had an incredible time at BookCon too. One day I’d love to go to New York for BookCon, and one day I will. 😀
    I can’t wait to see your post for your one year blogiversary, congratulations on reaching it (I’ll say congrats again on the actual day) I bet it’s been an amazing year for you! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Beth! It has been: it’s been a year of ups and downs, but it definitely has shown me how wonderful/horrible people can be. I learned who my real friends are and I learned that people actually like my blog! (I never thought my blog would make a dent). And I made my dream of teaching come true this year. It’s been a big one. But I never thought I would have this blog that long…tbh, I thought no one would follow and I would be lucky to get 20 people to follow me! ❤️❤️❤️
      My fave part? I met you, one of the best blogger friends ever. Always can count on you to comment or drop in or anything! I’m going to try to do an INTL giveaway and as long as it’s swag, it should be able to work! 😍😘

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right. Hopefully this year has been full of more ups than downs then in that case. I think as long as that proves true you can count it as a successful year. 🙂 I love you blog, and it sounds like it’s been a pretty amazing year for you as well.
        Meeting you has been one of the highlights of blogging for me as well. There are so many wonderful people on WordPress I’m so thankful you, and they, started blogging so I could find them how I did! 😀 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you…I did!! Some drama llamas but it’s not worth focusing on and ruining my outcome! I got some great books and met some awesome people!
      And the blogoversary is just getting started! Whoop whoop!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG I’m so happy for you. You got to go to a Con and got to meet so many amazing authors and bloggers that I’ve been dying to meet too! I bet all the walking was worth it! I’ll keep all your tips in mind for when/if I ever go to a convention. Also congrats in advance to you one year blogoversary! I hope there’s many more to come.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awwww!! Thank you!! It was worth the walking and I’ll be keeping it up just so I’m ready! 😂
      Yes, please keep the tips in mind: #2 is especially important even if you think no one would do that (that’s the lock your stuff one, right?)…it happened to me and I don’t want it happening to anyone else. It feels like such a violation of your privacy.
      I hope we have a good time celebrating this month! 😊😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I’m thinking about Midwinter ALA bc by that time there will be new books out. Yallfest seems more like BookCon and that wasn’t as exciting as ALA. If I go again, I want to go to something like that where you don’t have to worry about being shoved and run past.
      So I’m going to keep my eyes open for what’s coming up over the next several months…and definitely go with family or friends I know WELL this time! 😂
      Let me know if you ever have plans to go: I’m always up for an adventure!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ooh cool, I haven’t even heard of the Midwinter ALA till now. Yeah that sucks the joy out of the whole experience. Yes going with people you know and are comfortable with is wise. I would never dare to go alone or with people I don’t know because I’ll already be so nervous and anxious and won’t be able to have fun.
        Agh I wish! That would seriously make my life beautiful. I’ll have to ask my parents and also save up money and lookup where they host these conventions. 😅Being a teen can make these things harder than I like sadly.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. That is true but I wish they had these conventions when I was a kid! Now I feel like I’ve missed out on so much! You being a teen is great bc the possibilities will open up soon instead of closing down, lol!
      Look forward to it…you can always find signings in your area most of the time and that’s what I used to gear up before the Cons! 😉

      Like

    1. Besides the drama llamas, I had an excellent time. I didn’t want to go into that stuff bc it just negates all the best parts of the trip…mainly, the convention. And I had a great time there.
      Defintely will try to go to more like ALA in the future!

      Like

      1. Yeah, I saw some of your tweets. 😦 Sorry some people were a little crazy! I went to ALA once, and it was a lot of fun! I haven’t been to BEA/Bookcon though.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Yeah, that’s why I added the lock your suitcase note. But I’m not going to let it ruin my time…I’m not going to let people I don’t know ruin my time!
      Thank you. I don’t think BookCon is worth it bc it’s so crazy but ALA is as you know!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. One of the best things I can advise is to lock your suitcases. I did it for BookCon and no problems, but I didn’t do it for ALA, and I lost something that was important to me.
      But have fun is the main rule! Don’t let anything get in your way of having fun! 😘

      Like

  3. Wow! Your trip sounds amazing!!! I’m so glad you got to have all that fun (and I’m really jealous too haha). I loved all the fantastic pictures, stories, and tips! I absolutely loved reading this recap post and hopefully I’ll get to go to some book Cons in the future 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Omg!! 3 years!!! Congrats 🎈🎉🎊🍾
      I did have such a good time at the event that I’m hooked. BookCon was so-so but ALA was fantastic! I’ll have to go to Midwinter bc I won’t last a year! 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy one year anniversary of your blog!🎉Thank you so much for sharing your experience at BookCon and ALA. I haven’t been able to go yet, but hope to in the near future. Loved the pictures, so glad you got to experience it and visited the Sky Pony booth 😊 I appreciate the tips!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! I hope you get to go: it made me want to keep going! I’m glad you liked the pics – I always feel silly when I show a lot of pics 😳 but I guess that’s what you do in these kinds of posts! ☺️
      Thank you again, Kathleen! ❤️❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a great idea when people know you as this identity and not by your pic. I never used my picture bc I was just starting out and wanted to look professional, and now I’m attached to it as like a brand.
      So it helps when people know you only from Twitter!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Brilliant… you really had a great and busy time! So many books and pics and you got to meet all those authors!
    Well done on surviving the Greyhound! 9 hours on a bus would drive a person mad but I hope you got some naps and read some books 🙂
    Glad that all the trips went safely for you and can’t wait to celebrate your blog anniversary with you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a nightmare at the time but I know can laugh about it. The best piece of advice is always lock your luggage…you never know who will go through it.
      I had a great time, got great books, and met great people and authors!
      I can’t wait to celebrate with you too!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! Are you going this this YALC thing? I hear it’s big in the U.K…but you’re right, we do have a lot here.
      I’m very excited for the month of giveaways I have planned so I hope you enter! Thanks so much for liking and reading my blog! ☺️❤️

      Like

  6. Ahhh Happy Blogiversary 🎉🎉 Reaching the one year mark is so awesome!! The cons sound amazing. I’d definitely love to go if I wasn’t on the other side of the world or had a lot more cash to spare 😂 So glad you had a great time, Stephanie!!! Super jealous that you got to meet Maggie 😍😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hate that you are over there and can’t come with me: Sammi from Onebookishgirl in is AUS and we send books to each other and pay the shipping. Especially when it is a book you’re wanting to get your hands on.
      I had no idea I would meet Maggie and it was my first time ever! I’m also lucky to see that Bardugo will be in Grand Rapids in Sept so I can finally meet her: at BookCon she was so swamped that I couldn’t get into the line! 😭
      I hope to go out there sometime bc you would be great to meet in person!!

      Like

  7. Pingback: The Sunshine Blogger Award – Darque Dreamer Reads

  8. klkranesya

    Great pics! Great post! Seems like you had a lot of fun and stayed positive. It was really fun to read about your bookish adventures. Thank you for sharing and happy Blogoversary!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you! I DID have a good time. No matter the drama, no one can take those memories from me. I plan on going again to the next one ASAP and I am trying to do some giveaways here and on Twitter to celebrate!! 😊😊😊😘

    Like

  10. Ahhhh it looks like you had an amazing time! I’ve always wanted to attend BEA, but I’ve heard BookCon can get a little crazy… I still want to go someday. I actually would love it if they did it in Chicago again as it would be much cheaper for me to travel to Chicago (only 5 hours from where I live). I’m so happy you got to meet Maggie Stiefvater! I got the chance to meet her last year and hear her speak… she was probably one of the most entertaining authors I’ve ever encountered.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I was thrilled to finally meet her. I agree with you on Chicago: so much closer to me than NY. Next year they are going to New Orleans, which is just so far from me…but BEA is something I’ll be more willing to try: BookCon was madness. Def more of a ALA and the like fan.

      Like

    1. It was!! And it took me awhile to remember to take some at BookCon, so I tried to make up for it at ALA. I also have more physical pics from BookCon bc of my Instax camera.
      I had The authors sign the pics which was fun.
      I am hoping to go to Midwinter, what about you? (And this time, I’m going with my mom prob so no drama llamas)

      Like

  11. This post made me so, so happy, I loved seeing all of these pictures! It seems like you had such an amazing time meeting all of these authors, even if, well, it had to be exhausting as well, that’s for sure, I’m guessing it was worth it all in the end 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was! I am addicted now! I want to go to another one In the winter bc I cannot wait another year!
      I got so many wonderful books and met authors and pubs! Now that I know what to expect, I know I’m def going to have to return.
      I’m wishing I was on my way into another one!! 😂😂🤣

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I did have a good time! It almost got ruined bc of mean people, but I remembered it was all about the books and the friends and the authors, and it got me through. I want to do it again and go to the next big event: it’s totally like Disneyland for the book people!
      I’m doing two reg giveaways now: one for three copies of The Intuitives, and one for a Cassandra Clare pin on Twitter. I also did an audio of Girls Made of Snow and Glass. Because it is my blogoversary, I want there to be lots of giveaways! So the biggest will be near the end of the month. I hope you stick around! ☺️❤️
      I love meeting new bloggers in my comments!

      Like

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