On the last day of our trip to New York City for BookCon, we decided to walk down a few blocks from our hotel to go explore Times Square. It’s one thing to see it during the New Years parties every year, but it’s entirely different getting to see it in person during the day.
Times Square is huge and towers over you. I felt dwarfed there from all the skyscrapers and enormous posters and signs. It’s also not really meant for cars either. It’s way easier to get around on foot than it is to drive. The screens were absolutely everywhere. It seemed like every wall had an LED screen on it, and there were a ton of theaters. More than I ever expected.
We also saw a person asking for volunteers to see the Daily Show for free and if we hadn’t been flying out that evening, we would have totally done it!
Overall it was an incredible experience, and I’m happy to be able to share it with you! Check out the video of our last day in New York as we make our way down the bustling sidewalks of Times Square, enjoy a Pride drink at the Hard Rock Cafe, and pop into the Disney store!
When I say that, I don’t mean just the convention. It’s a huge event and of all the festivals and conventions I’ve attended, I felt the most at-home there as a reader than I ever have before. There were reading nooks, book giveaways, inflatable bean bags, and of course, plenty of Starbucks to be found. But what made BookCon incredible for me wasn’t just the event, it was the people.
You see, we had a group of determined indie authors get together and decide that yes, we were going to pitch in to get a booth at BookCon. And yes, we were also going to find a way to get to New York City along with a bunch of books. You know, without going broke. So we did just that. It was really a tough decision, and we all had to budget and plan and coordinate. We had to figure out what we could bring, who could bring it, where we would stay. We had flight delays, panic attacks (have you seen the traffic in New York??), parking woes, and somehow found a way for seven women to share a single bathroom.
I think when most people see an author at a convention, they’re super excited, but they don’t always understand the work that goes on behind the scenes to get there. Writing a book is a truly difficult process. Stolenwas a work of love that started back in 2013, but some authors work on a book for even longer.
At these events, I have to get in front of strangers and talk to them about the books available at the booth. Most seem interested, and that lifts me every time. Others give you a polite shake of the head, say “no thanks”, and move on. Some people might internalize that kind of reaction, but you have to learn to smile and nod, understanding that every reader has different tastes.
It’s still tough though. That’s your book baby that’s been incubating for eight years. It’s a piece of yourself in physical form, a world you’ve glued together, characters crafted out of thin air, and scenes that would possibly blow people’s minds… if they gave it a chance.
We live in strange times, where writing a book alone usually isn’t enough. You have to work to convince people that it’s good, then you have to continue writing. Wash and repeat. I personally love doing this. I love talking with fans about my work and seeing them light up when I describe the premise of Stolen. That’s the response that keeps me going. That excitement is what pushes me to keep grappling with manuscripts, whether it’s in the writing, editing, or proofing stage. That glimmer of curiosity is what motivates me when I can’t sleep and watch dawn come through the curtains of a New Jersey Airbnb on the last day of BookCon.
BookCon was an incredible experience, and I hope you’ll watch the video I’ve put together that shows what it was like. At the end, I list out all the amazing booth members and booth helpers we had, but I wanted to list them again because they were amazing. Go check out their work!