Last year @ReadDreamLive13 decided to create a Twitter chat called #YALCchat for those going to YALC at the end of July to chat about fears, tips and what they’re looking forward to. On my old blog (18 Things Before) I decided to summarise the tips and hints that were shared during the chat. Here is the post from that blog again as a reminder before the next chat Friday 7th July 2017 at 8pm UK time.
Me at YALC 2015
1) Chat with those in the queue
@yalc_uk said “It really is one of my favourite things about the event. Love seeing people make new friends in queues! #YALCchat”
@ReadDreamLive13 said “the queues do seem the perfect place to meet people #YalcChat
Don’t be afraid to chat to those in the queue or even to ask them to take a picture of you getting your book signed.
2) Book signings
A big query is what happens with book signings – do we have to get a ticket or just queue?
Well the answer is – it depends as @yalc_uk explains
“In most cases, just turn up and join the queue. If queues are long, we may introduce virtual queuing (1/2) #YALCchat”
“This works like a deli counter – you get a numbered ticket and come back when your number is called (2/2) #YALCchat”
Also don’t worry because as @iloveheartlandX says “The authors are really nice, not scary at all, honestly! #YalcChat”
3) Purchasing books
There are many stalls selling books. There will be a Waterstones stall selling many of the books especially for authors who are signing. There are also many publisher stalls who as @yalc_uk says “our publishers love the chance to chat with readers”. Last year they were really friendly and they are great at recommending books to make your TBR even bigger. Some of them also had special deals and competitions running throughout the weekend so don’t forget to check them out.
Remember to take cash! I can’t stress that enough and neither could @yalc_uk who said “…Lots of stands (including our #YALC merchandise) are cash only so make sure you come ready #YALCchat”
4) What to wear
A general consensus from the chat was to wear comfortable shoes as you will be on your feet most of the day.
In terms of clothes, some people like to cosplay and feel free to if you’d like. Many people will be doing it so you won’t be alone.
(With regards to cosplay, make sure it fits. You don’t want to be spending your day trying to fix it when you could be doing something else.)
You could also just wear a fandom t-shirt. I’m probably just going to wear a Hogwarts one. Overall though, just wear what you feel comfortable in as @yalc_uk said “Wear whatever you like and feel comfortable in. We love #cosplay, but don’t feel any pressure if it’s not for you! #YALCchat” Remember though, it gets very hot in the venue so bear that in mind when choosing what to wear.
5) Food and Drink
My advice would be to bring food and drink. You will get hungry and thirsty and you won’t want to pay venue prices or wait in their queues. @AddyPNewton agrees and said “Defs bring your own food and drink. Venue f&d is expensive, tho there is a handy Tescos across the road #YalcChat”
6) Other tips and hints
@AnnaliseBooks said “Take cash, expect to buy books! Get there early and check out the rest of the show at some point! #YalcChat”
You are definetly going to struggle if you’re on a book buying ban and you will break it. And I completely agree, LFCC was great last year and had amazing merchandise on sale so you won’t want to miss out.
Have some restraint. You will want to buy everything. So my advice would be to follow @ChloeSeager1 ‘s words of wisdom “It’s my first #YALC but think I’ll bring enough £ to buy a good no. of books, but not so much I can’t afford to eat through August #yalcchat”
Keep your water away from your books. A lesson many have had to learn including @iloveheartlandX “Yup. Lesson learned, keep your water bottle far, far, far away from your books. #YalcChat”
Bring a well charged camera or phone. You are going to want to take loads of pictures. If you’re lucky enough, you might get one with your favourite author.
If you’re unsure about carrying all your books, don’t fret. There are many stragegies to help. Either have lots of totes or have a large rucksack or suitcase. The lovely @yalc_uk also reminded us “For those of you who want to bring/buy lots of books, remember we have #YALC cloakroom facilities where you can put bags #YALCchat” The cloakroom does have a small cost at around £1 a small item and £2 a large item.
Or you could just move closer just like @AnnaliseBooks is planning to do “Also planning on moving closer next year so can actually get them all signed! #YalcChat”
Finally, have fun, it’s the most important thing.
If you have any more questions feel free to comment below and I will do my best to respond or tweet @yalc_uk.
Note: I have edited this post slightly so that any dates mentioned are up-to-date