I have been attending TBF for about six years so I can tell you first hand that the Autographing Session is one of the busiest and the most crowded times during the entire festival. However the Autographing Session is extremely fun and exciting. So in this blog post, I'm going to be sharing my secrets and tidbits I picked up about the Autographing Session.
1. You can bring your own books
Yes, you can bring your own books from home. There are no restrictions on that. However, I will recommend that you at least buy one book from the Barnes & Noble booth (that is located in the Gym where the Opening Author Panel, the Autographing Session and the TBF Merchandise booth will be). Not only has Barnes & Noble been a generous sponsor but if you buy some books at the festival, some of the money will go to TBF next year! Cool new books AND help TBF? Win!
2. Alternative to buying books? Buy bookplates
Have a ton of TBF books you want signed but don't want to carry them all day long? Want some books signed but don't have enough money to buy a book at TBF? Problem solved! At the TBF merchandise booth (right next the Barnes & Noble booth in the Gym), they will be selling bookplates. What are bookplates? Bookplates are stickers that authors can sign for you and afterwards you can stick it in your book! Super light compared to those heavy books.
3. Best time to buy books is before the Author Parade and during the Author Sessions
In my experience, this is usually the best times to buy books. Usually there is not a crowd at the Barnes & Noble booth before the Author Parade (8:45am). I recommend arriving at the festival around 8:30am if you want to buy books before the Author Parade. I would NOT recommend stopping at the Barnes & Noble booth after the Author Parade. Many attendees will file into the gym and a good number head over to the Barnes & Noble booth. It is very crowded over there at that time period. The other time I suggest buying books is during the Author Sessions. At some point during the day you should eat lunch (the food options are listed here!). Maybe before and after you eat lunch, you can stop over at the Barnes & Noble booth and buy some books. Typically the booth is not crowded because everyone is at an author session or eating lunch.
4. If an author line is SUPER long, please bring only THREE items for the author to sign
It’s no secret that some author lines will be longer than others. What I consider a "super long" author line is 20+ people waiting in line. If the line is super long but you want more than three items signed you can always hop back in line.
Note: PLEASE do NOT ask authors to sign your books, items and have pictures taken after the Author Session. Our authors are on a strict schedule and we do not want them to run late on their next Author Session, lunch break and Autographing Session.
5. If you want a picture with the author, PLEASE ask them
Most authors will happy to take pictures with you but ask them. TBF author assistants will be with the authors so if you want a picture with the author (after they give permission), ask one of the assistants. Or you can take a selfie.
6. It’s okay to ask and talk to the author during the Autographing Session
Usually you have an opportunity to ask questions during the Author Sessions if the author(s) leave enough time at the end for questions (it’s all up to the authors). I totally understand if you are uncomfortable asking questions in front of fifty people during the Author Session. The Autographing Session is a great way to ask questions and fangirl/fanboy over the author.
7. If you want to make sure you get your favorite author’s autograph, get in line ahead of time.
If you are at an Author Session and you sneak out before it ends to be the first person in line for the Autographing Session that is extremely rude to the author. I recommend not going the last author session and sit in line.
8. Some authors will NOT be signing at the Gym
This year, some of our authors will not be at the Gym during the Autographing Session. Instead they will remain in the same location as their Author Sessions. These are the authors who will not be signing in the Gym and their locations during the Autographing Session.
- Ellen Hopkins (She will be located at the GAC Basement)
- Sarah Dessen and Gayle Forman (Both authors will be located at the GAC Chapel)
- Jonathan Maberry, Neal Shusterman and Heather Terrell (This author trio will be located at the Library Study Area)
- Heather Brewer and A.S. King (Both authors will be at the Shults Forum)
Whew! Lots of important information for you. I hope this helps returning readers and new ones coming to TBF!
And we love hearing and seeing pictures of you at TBF! So make sure you use #ROCTBF2015 to share the experience throughout the day!
Hope you to see you all there soon!