Your intrepid editor has been dipping into virtual conventions throughout the past year, believing in the power of connecting with writers, publishers, and readers without having to leave her book-lined cave.
The latest was held “in the Metaverse” and proved quite science fictional. Bookycon was created by the app Booky Call, which calls itself “a free book discovery platform cleverly disguised as a dating app.” Held on November 12, the festival promised to feature more than 100 author interviews and limited free tickets to 3,000 attendees.
After creating a dashing avatar (attendees could make their favorite book appear as their chest while topping it with their headshot), I rolled through the virtual convention site, taking a seat at the stage of my choice to listen to author interviews, and then meet the authors afterward for one-on-one video chats. All of it worked quite well although lining up with the room map boards to find out where things were proved oddly tricky. However walking through chairs and walls was more fun than stumbling down long corridors at a BookExpo.
I managed to hear at least six interesting interviews while completing some household chores (you can’t fold your laundry and put away the dishes if you’re at a real con), jotted down some book titles to look up later, and had a nice chat with a member of Independent Book Publishers Association via our avatars.
Like the Hotel California, Bookycon was easy to enter but I never found a way to check out. So my avatar may still be there, wandering around saying “hello, hello, anyone here?”
If you are putting on a virtual convention or have been promoting books in one, comment and let everyone know how it worked for you.