Top Tips for YALC

From 27-29 July, Electric Monkey will have a stand at YALC, the UK’s Young Adult Literature Convention, held within the London Film and Comic Con.

You can visit the Electric Monkey stand for daily giveaways of signed proofs and chapter samples, a chance to meet authors, and the opportunity to chat to Farshore staff about our upcoming Electric Monkey titles.

To get ready for YALC, we asked a few of our authors (and Farshore YALC veterans) for their top tips for visitors to the event.

Laura Steven

‘Bring a suitcase and/or small caravan for the inevitable mountain of ARCs you’ll nab. After 2017’s epic haul, I have tried to grow a second pair of arms, with limited success.’

‘Print out a schedule in advance and highlight the events you don’t want to miss – it’s easy to get overexcited and overwhelmed by all the options. I spent a significant amount of time last year in a bathroom cubicle, rocking gently and singing Soft Kitty to myself.’

‘Speaking of the loos, just a fair warning that none of the toilet seats are adequately stable, and there’s a decent chance you’ll fall off and give yourself a concussion. Please consider wearing a helmet.’

Eugene Lambert

‘My main memory of my first YALC is seeing Malorie Blackman’s signing queue at the next table stretching out to Jupiter and back, in stark contrast to mine. So maybe a box of tissues to sob into?’

‘More seriously, I would make sure to get there well ahead of schedule as London is big, trains can run late and finding the right entrance to the venue can be harder than you might think. So my #1 advice is to be early, so as not to be stressed. That also means you’ll have time to have a good wander around.’

‘My #2 advice would be technology related. Because technology hates a presenter, and if it can fail then it will. If you are presenting material then bring it with you in several forms, e.g. on a laptop, on a thumb drive, emailed to yourself as an attachment, and good old paper. This didn’t happen to me at my first YALC (I was on a Q&A panel), but it has happened elsewhere.’

Portrait of author Katy BirchallKaty Birchall

‘DO listen when the person at the door tells you which floor to get off at. This is key to arriving at your desired book event. Otherwise, you risk following a group of chipper Gandalfs from the lift before proceeding to get mightily lost in the glorious maze of Comic Con. Not that this happened to anyone I know or anything. Whatever, just a thought.’

‘DO watch where you’re going in the bookshop. There are a lot of tables with a LOT of books stacked on them. And it turns out that stacks of books can easily fall to the ground as you knock into them whilst trying to take an awesome selfie of you with all the books.’

‘DON’T try to play it cool. No matter how successful or busy they are, writers always enjoy being told their work means something to someone. Don’t hold back on telling them it means something to you.’

‘DO fangirl. You’re in book nerd heaven. Welcome, my friend. Own it.’

The Electric Monkey team

‘Make sure you bring a portable charger. YALC is all about connecting with others – live tweeting during panel events, meeting up with friends, refreshing for giveaway updates and sharing photos of gorgeous proofs. Your battery might go faster than usual, so make sure you have enough charge to get you through the day.’

‘Keep it light. Temperatures are set to be high this weekend and, although it won’t reach 31 degrees indoors, spending a day walking around stands will be much easier if you aren’t carrying a heavy bag or wearing several layers.’

‘If there’s a lunchtime event or signing slot you don’t want to miss, make sure you give yourself plenty of time for food. Café queues can happen in waves, as people come out of earlier events, so plan your lunch trip carefully.’

‘Comfy shoes are essential. Not only will you be on your feet all day, walking around stands and waiting in signing queues, but seating can often be at a premium. Plus, you never know when you might feel the urge to race after your favourite authors!’

If you can’t make it to YALC, don’t worry – keep updated with the Electric Monkey twitter for hot news from the weekend, and make sure you enter our competition for the chance to win 12 amazing Electric Monkey books!

Find out more about YALC 2018 and all the brilliant YA authors and publishers attending on the YALC website.

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