THURSDAY 10TH JULY 2014
Packing day and last minute preparations before I left, and wasn't prepared for the amount of books I was taking with me. I had a suitcase full of books, a suitcase full of clothes, and had to squeeze books into that too. I had a lot of help from the friends I was travelling with, who mostly packed somewhat lighter than me.
FRIDAY 11TH JULY 2014
We arrived in London about midday and after getting settled into our rooms we ventured out to Earls Court. When we got there the queue was round the entire building, and down a little side street. When we got into the building we promptly made our way straight to the book area and managed to grab ourselves some cool swag and proof copies of books and also check out what they had going on the next day.
We then wondered round investigating all the stores that were there, and I spent money on these vinyl bobble head dolls for family and b/f.
When it was all finished we headed out for something to eat before going back to our room and getting ready for the next day
SATURDAY 12TH JULY 2014
We were up and out, and queued by 7.30am, and even then we still had to walk around two corners, the queue after us to get in went on for miles and ended up coming back on itself towards the front of Earls Court.
I have a few things to say about today, ABSOLUTE MADNESS, the queues for some authors were ridiculously long going up and down the pathways between stores or signing areas. It was hot and stuffy and felt like there was no air at all. I had some great friends, and Luna from Luna's Little Library, who helped getting signed books for authors I could not make it to see. Once we were all finished for the day we hauled our books back to our room, and ventured out again for #forthefringe, where we met a few more authors and got a few more books signed. After the event we stopped for pizza on the way home, and somehow managed to drag our tired, weary shoulders, legs, feet back to the room.
SUNDAY 13TH JULY 2014
Another early arrival again today, about 7.30am. Today's queue was a lot more quieter and we were already closer to the start than the day before. Inside it was slightly more quieter, and less hot but still busy on the LFCC side with photo shoots. Started out the day with a Blogger Breakfast with Jenny from A Life Bound By Books, we got to meet a few authors I had not met yet (Non Pratt) and re-met Holly Black, Matt Haig, and James Dawson (who actually remembered me from Hot Key Books blogger brunch) and get a few things signed. We both came away with a goodie bag with some swag, posters, and James Dawson's new book inside. Once over we found our friends and made a strategic plan for the rest of the day
The occasional author queue had to get moved along, or had to start a corner queue to make sure we didn't interrupt the queues for the signings. I got all the books I wanted signed by authors signed, and at 5pm there was a giveaway in the Book Zone of all the books that had on display and a few packed away in boxes.
Overall I had a great time. This was my first ever convention, large gathering, type thing, and although it was busy, it was also a lot of fun. I also loved how the Cosplay people actually let you take their photos, or interacted with the younger children that came along, stopping conversation to talk to them, or spending time to stop and talk too. A young boy shouted at Iron Man and waved, he stopped his conversation to reply to this child and wave back. I also spotted a Disney princess and Tinkerbell crouching down and having a conversation with a little girl that lasted a while.
However there were a few things that I thought could have been handled better.
- The way the YALC area was set up could have been arranged with a better attention to queues and signings. It would have helped for authors to have their own author area and a proper queue system in place so that it didn't interfere with everything that was going on around.
- The talks that were given were ticketed, which is why we got there so early in the morning, but in the end, people were still allowed to stand around and listen to the talks without tickets. On the Sunday the queuing system went out the window and people just dove into seats. We had people queueing for pictures sitting in the seats to wait their turn, having conversations that made it impossible to hear what the authors were saying. This could have also benefited with being in a more secluded area.
- The workshops were a great idea, however being in an open area made it impossible to hear what was being said. I was in the second row for one and could not even hear what the people in front were saying, never mind the authors.
Would I attend this next year? One hundred percent YES. Also check out my slideshow below of photos I took throughout the weekend and a list of other bloggers write ups can be found below.
Jess @ Jess Hearts Books - Day One & Day Two
Jenny @ A Life Bound By Books - Write up here
Jessie @ Books 4 Teens - Spending the Day at YALC
Iris @ IrisjeXx - YALC Recap
Kayleigh @ K-Books - The Undoubted Success of YALC
Andy @ The Andy Robb Site - Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 2.2
Kendra @ Kendra Leighton - YALC Review