YallWest 2017 Event Recap, Tips for Book Festivals & Giveaway

Crushed on by kelly, on May 26, 2017, in Feature, Giveaways, News / 32 Comments

YallWest 2017 Event Recap,
Tips for Book Festivals & Giveaway

Please forgive me for my belated YallWest post! I had this written up since the 11th of May, but I was waiting on my post-event book mail to arrive to generate a giveaway,  so the giveaway will be randomly selected arcs & swag!! I promise it is worth entering! Read to the end <3

Book Friends are the Best Friends!

2017 was the third year for the YallWest Book Festival and what fun it was! For me personally, this was my second time attending, however Shannon has been to all 3, and she was quite shocked at how much the event has grown or more likely quadrupled in size (not an official attendance tally) since the first event!  YallWest is one of the stand out events that I have been lucky enough to attend, other than the sunburn I can’t seem to avoid each year, I had an absolute blast!

The best part of the event for me, other than being a bookish vacation (woot!), I got to spend time with amazing friends and bloggers. Shannon my best friend in life, and co-creator of our blog, moved to California so it is always a plan to visit as much as I can and combining it with a book festival just makes it so much fun! Hanging out with bookish people who get me, really gives me life.

Bookish friends are what I need and crave and thank the skies for the internet! We all talked books while waiting in lines and I was so inspired by my blogging besties! Meeting some online people for the first time was also a blast! Running into people from instagram, making new friends, and seeing folks I met in person back in 2015 at the first YallWest makes the event just that much more special.

Be sure to follow these amazing book people!

Christy & Nancy from Tales of the Ravenous Reader; Krysti from YAandWine; Christina from Girl in the Pages; Alicia from Shooting Stars; and Enna from Books, Boys and Blogs!; and Joss, all made up our amazing booksquad, including husbands, boyfriends, and moms, which was totally sweet and so useful (critically thinks how I could ever get my partner to stand in lines all day for me…yeah never will happen!)! Additional shout outs to my online friends, wish I was able to spend more time catching up with you all, but this event was packed to the gills with things to do! VIP status goes to finally meeting Sierra Abrams in person and snagging an arc of The Color Project, releasing July 18th!

Fierce Friday:

Fierce Friday was almost an entirely separate event, held the day before at the Santa Monica Public Library. This event was amazing. I highly recommend it especially, since YallWest is only technically 1 day now. It is an opportunity to get many more books signed by authors, games, and fun swag! Even though the lines were long, we happened to get there really early (AKA first), and they allowed you to get at least 2 wristbands for each hour session, to be guaranteed to see those two authors, even though there may be time for more than those 2 lines. The wristbands were supposed to make the line be in numerical order, but no one seemed to actually monitor that, but I was still happy to get all of my ‘Friday’ books signed! If you are smart like say, Christy, you brought all your books, so you could once again, snag a different author to sign her books while she was hanging out!

For us, since we were very early, there was a lot of waiting and standing so once again be sure to come early and come comfortable and prepared to have some snacks and water!



Here are my take-away tips for those thinking of attending a big book festival like YallWest:

Wear Sunscreen. – OK I lathered up like 5xs throughout the day, and used a parasol & still got burnt (not as bad as the first year!) in all the normal places, like my nose, lips, and neck. However, I also burned on my head where my hair part was, and on the back of my knees, what?!

Plan Ahead. –  Make a list, or a color coded schedule like I did, of all the authors, booths, and panels. There are a lot of people at the 1 day event and you will be standing in lines. The author line-up comes out first before the schedule, so once the timing schedule comes out you can plan a better attempt at your day. Panels are amazing, but you will miss any signings that hour. If it is a big name author you might only get to one signing in the hour. Some of the superstar authors will have limited number wristbands/tickets, that you have to get ahead of time before their line even starts. Pay attention and plan ahead.

ARCs. –  If there is a big release coming up and the ARC (advance reader copy) will be there, you might have to make some decisions on what is more important in your schedule, the chance to snag a limited ARC or that panel or that signing line.

Be Comfortable. –  Wear sneakers, no one cares what you look like! I saw people trying to be fancy and they were losing fake nails in line – eww – and complaining about their feet. Well high heels aren’t the right shoes for a large event like this. Soft flowing clothes are best as it was scorching hot out this year (or maybe my east coast ass just can’t understand). So don’t make my mistake and wear all black, my usual color of choice, but after a few hours in the sun I was sorely wishing I had something lighter in color and in texture on.

Rolling Carts. –  They are great even if you don’t have a lot of books, because you can carry water and snacks in them too. Some can even become a seat! This year due to my travel circumstances I used a carry on size suitcase, and it was not the right case for me. My first year I had a better rolling bag, but it was hard to get to books at the bottom, so think it through and plan accordingly. I am still in search of the perfect rolling bag for events. I might need to get my sewing machine in order and just make alterations to a bag to make it what I want it to be!

Water & Snacks. –  Did I mention water & snacks…because so important. Plus the food truck lines are so long, not sure you want to waste your precious book time in them.

Bring a Tote Bag & a Sharpie. –  A tote bag can be helpful if you are running around as a temporary solution, especially if your cart is possibly holding a place in line with a friend! You never know who might be in line near you, so if you have a sharpie with you, you can possible gush at an author until they agree to sign your book outside of the official time! (Thanks Tricia Levenseller <3 )




Just leave a nice comment or maybe a question about the event or events in general! I will pick a commenter to win some recent arcs and swag! INTL OK!

Giveaway will close after I am back from my crazy BookExpo/BookCon week – so around the week of June 5th sometime. I will contact the winner by email or reach out on social media (they will have 72 hours to get back to me or I will choose another winner). I am not responsible for lost or damaged mail, all mail will be shipped with a tracking number (within the US). All items included will be randomly selected and might not have been given out at just YallWest 2017 – I did mention I was going to BookCon, right?! Books pictured are an example of some recent arcs that may be included especially if there is one you want badly!



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32 responses to “YallWest 2017 Event Recap, Tips for Book Festivals & Giveaway

  1. Book friends ARE the best friends! I’m so glad I got to meet you! This is a great wrap up post and wonderful tips about attending too. Cannot wait for next year!!!

    • I miss all you west coasters so damn much! I can’t wait for next year as well! Christy & Nancy are trying to get me to head to YallFest again this fall…I probably will go just to see their beautiful faces! <3

      • Oh, fun! I wish I could YallFest too, but we’re taking out a wall to build in a library. LOL. So I think we’ll have to wait on any more conventions until next year. Can’t wait to see your pics though!

        • Well hell, when you are doing major structural changes to your house to include a library I would say that tops another bookish vacation because you will have a LIBRARY!

          • Hahaha! That’s kind of the way I look at it, but I’m totally going to be sitting in my construction zone pouting while the rest of you are at YallFest. LOL.

  2. Tammy V.

    I went last year to a local book fest and it was very nice and personable. I admit the discussions about writing, plot development, etc. wasn’t very interesting to me but I did like meeting all the authors. Most of them I had already read but I did meet some new ones. Conventions seem like they are on a much bigger scale and with my dislike of crowds may stress me out more than entertain. Or I just may get into seeing so many authors at one time and forget my crowd aversion. lol

    • I too have crowd aversion, but if you are with a solid dependable friend to keep you focused and in good company that helps. PLUS, I get through these massive events with a very well planned schedule so I always know where I want to be and when and I almost entirely stick to it so I don’t get overwhelmed. And it is super exciting!

  3. Someday I hope to get to one of these events. Thanks for the advice about how to prepare. I’d be so over-the-top fangirl at an event with so many authors and books! I’m so happy you shared this with us.

    • Oh I am definitely over-the-top fangirl too! But luckily lines are kept moving and I just turn pink in the cheeks talking to the authors! <3

  4. Kaitlin

    I could probably never go to these events due to not doing to well with crowded areas but at least if i ever do I would know good tips for it. Thanks for sharing them.

    • I hope you try one day! I too have issues with crowds but I think if you have a plan and support system you might be able to try! And the free events make it easier if you can’t stay or get out the door. <3

  5. I’m so jealous (but in a good way) that you got to go and meet the authors and some of your book friends (a few that I recognize from their blogs and instagrams). It really looks like so much fun. One of these days, I hope to make it to an event like this, probably after I retire, if that ever happens – oy! Or maybe something will eventually come to my part of the country. Loved the photos, thanks!

    • Hell I fly or drive to the events. I make it my vacation, because I love books so much that I make these things a priority over the beach etc, due to I like to live by the motto of what makes me happy! I still get jealous of the people who go to more than I do, so I get it! Luckily, I have a good job, vacation time, and no children at home! I hope you decide to go to a big event someday sooner rather than later!

  6. Ahh! I’m so jealous! This looks like so much fun! I have zero fellow reading friends. They all think I’m crazy for reading so much. So, having a bookish vacation with fellow bookworms sounds amazing! Glad you had a blast. I will live vicariously through you 🙂

  7. Thank you so much for all the tips, I’ll be attending my first signing (Four Brits Book Fest) in November. I can’t wait to meet all my favorite authors and get my books signed. Also I am looking forward to meeting my book buddies.


    • I’m most excited for Wonder Woman Warbringer & Ever the Brave! I’m also excited I got to meet so many amazing authors!

  8. Bookish friends are the best! And Nancy and Christy sre pure gems!!! What kind of rolling bag did you get?

    • I’m in the search for the perfect bag which is tall on wheels and zips open in the top & front of you lay it down. Thinking of just seeing in a zipper flap of my bat that opens on the top.

  9. saccalai

    Great advice here, going to my first book con in July and can’t wait! Would love to win some bookish stuff, I will never have enough!

  10. I’ve been dreaming of going to the bigger events like YallWest, BEA, and Book Con. If you could only fit one in your budget, which would you say is the best to go to? I’m aiming to fit one in next year.

    • Oooh well it depends. If you want the signings the most – YallWest. BEA is great for all the arcs, but it’s expensive. This year YW had more arcs than I ever expected. So it was a perfect mix! Highly recommend 😀

  11. I’m not entering the awesomely generous giveaway, but I had to say how great it was to see you and Shannon again. It was my 3rd YALLWest and I may not have ever known about it if it hadn’t been for you telling me about the 1st one. I wish we’d all gotten to stand in line together a bit more, but there’s always a future YALLWest.

    • I know. I missed seeing you this year but the event was so rushed – so much to do! I brought too many books again! One year I’ll learn! Ha!

  12. I’m so jealous right now, if only they held these kind of events in the Netherlands T_T
    But it sounds like you had one heck of a time!

  13. Zaira F

    This is so amazing!! So glad you had tons of fun haha! 🙂 Wish I could get to go to one of these someday <3

  14. I would love to go to a book convention with my daughter. She loves to read teen/YA books, and since I teach middle school I usually read that genre as well. It would be a great experience for us to share.