I am not a YALC veteran by any means, I only went for one day last year and that was my first time attending too. So, I want to keep this short and sweet and stick to my top 5 tips. It seems like everyone is posting their tips so I am sure you will have heard these at least once but these are my top five.
1. TAKE A WATER BOTTLE
Olympia is a really warm venue, especially up on that packed top floor, plus there is only a small cafe and no water points. You need to stay hydrated and this year, Crush Juice Bar (downstairs in LFCC) will refill your water bottle so you can save money to buy books! If water isn’t for you, there is also a Tesco Express across the road, but of course, everything sells out really early.
2. COMFY SHOES
If you want to get your books signed there are quite big queues but even if you aren’t in queues, there is notoriously little seating. In fact, I only managed to sit on the floor last year and even floor space was at a premium! So make sure you aren’t going to end up miserable with blisters.
3. BRING CASH
I’m not sure if this is still the case, but I do remember some stalls not taking card last year. It is best to be prepared with cash so that you are able to buy all the books you want without problems!
4. TWITTER NOTIFICATIONS
Publishers often tweet out when they are going to hold competitions, giveaway ARCS, or when they announce winners. Of course, these are great opportunities and you don’t want to miss out, so the best way is to have notifications on for all the publishers present. HOPEFULLY we will have a floor plan soon so you can know what publishers will be there and who to turn notifications on for as this is a great reference.
(With that, also make sure you have a portable charger!)
5. BRING A BACKPACK
Obviously, books are heavy and there are all such good deals so it’s best to distribute all that weight over two shoulders in a backpack. In all honesty, even with a backpack, I’d also bring a tote, because like I said books are on such great deals and you could even end up winning books in competitions so you don’t want to be limited by not also having an extra little bag.
And of course, have fun!!
If you are going to YALC, I’ll be there all weekend so please come say hi, I promise I won’t bite.