Aug 5, 2005

A newbie’s guide to Bouchercon


I have found in past years it works best to pack one smaller suitcase inside a larger one. I always seem to have more coming back than I do on the way there.

I’ve also stopped bringing books to get signed. I just don’t want to blow time standing in lines, and if I do need a signed book, I’ll get a copy there. If there is someone I never get to see I might bring a couple books….

I’ve become one of those people who figures if I forget something, I’ll get it there.

Dress comfortable:

There’s a lot to be said for comfy shoes and fresh socks. One dressy outfit just in case should cover it.

Also, for the most part you don’t really go outside much. So extra clothes to be warm takes up room. Of course this may change in Alaska…

Do some checking ahead of time:

What does shipping stuff home cost? Can you do it somewhere besides the hotel?

Find cheap food or different food near the hotel.

<>Check out transportation ahead of time, buses, cab fares Etc..

Things you might not think about:

Rock Star Energy Drink baby!


<>Extra coffee

Carry a pen with you, you never know when you’ll need it

Business cards save time writing down your email address

Don’t try and do everything. You’ll go crazy. Besides some of the best stuff isn’t on the schedule.

Like sitting down to breakfast and being next to a favorite author, meeting new friends and going out to lunch, things like that.

<>And remember. you can sleep when you get home!

any other tips? I’m all ears.


David J. Montgomery said...

My wife neglected the "bring comfortable shoes" advice, and thus she limped around Toronto while we briefly saw the sights.

I do try to bring a few books to get signed, but you don't want to go overboard. (This year I'm bringing a tube with all the HarperCollins "Wanted posters.")

One piece of advice I give every fan who attends one of these things is that you shouldn't be shy. You don't want to make an ass of yourself, of course, but if you see someone you'd like to meet, go up and say hi. People come to these things to meet fans, so don't waste the opportunity.

And above all, remember: your liver is your friend.

Mary said...

I second the comment that if you forget something you can buy it there. When I first started traveling for business my boss passed along this advice. However, she did add the caution that this doesn't work if you discover you've forgotten something after the research boat pulls out of port.

The panels and signings are fun, but its the other activities that really make the convention. Hang out at the bar - even if you don't drink - go to the parties, etc. You'll get to meet people from all over the world.

I think people who are members of online groups have this figured out. But it must be hard to show up on your own. If you are one of these folks, take Jon's advice and don't be shy. You'll likely hook up with some great people.

Jon The Crime Spree Guy said...

And if you go for a walk with David's wife, check her shoes before you leave!!!!

Definitly true about not being shy. The fact is that 90% of these people, fans and authors alike, come because they like to meet other readers.

And drink lots of water before be if you drink. I'm a recovering alkie, I know these things....

And I'm loading up on Rock Star energy drinks.

Anonymous said...

For the guys: Consider bringing a small, unobtrusive carryall WITH A SHOULDER STRAP to cart around all the stuff that accumulates during the typical day. It's also good for carrying necessities like water, cameras, mood-altering prescription drugs, etc. This may not be necessary depending on what type of bag is given out as a freebie.

For the girls: Bring a big hand bag.

For everybody: Pace yourself.


Jennifer Jordan said...

Never underestimate the wonder and splendor of the nap. One hour in bed and nice shower - bam! You're a perk festival when most resemble a zombie coming down from a speed high.

Know you will miss something. It's oK. You will get to do and see things others will miss. It all evens out.

If you hoist in the bar DO NOT forgo water. This will save you from yourself. Trust me...

Anonymous said...

Stay away from John Rickards. Or go eat Chinese food with him. Your choice.

Jennifer Jordan said...

I thinking of hoisting Rickards in the bar then dousing him with water to keep him from getting hungover.

Then I thought I'd find a jukebox, play "Total Eclipse of the Heart" over and over as I talk drunken Brits into linedancing.

Believe me, some will.