YALLfest 2018 Guide

YALLfest 2018 was amazing and here are ways to make next year’s even better!


Hello fellow book nerds! This is Mary the Graphic Designer and Social Media guru for Bookstacked. This year I got to take part in my first ever YALLfest in South Carolina. I loved every second of it, but there were some moments that I just thought to myself… “Wow Mary, you really could have done that differently.” So, in effort to make everyone else’s future YALLfest experiences better, I have made a list of what to do/not to do when you go to YALLfest.

To Do:

  • Bring comfy shoes and clothes.
  • Get an Air BNB in West Ashley.
  • Uber in from outside the city.
  • Bring cards with your name, insta, website, and email. You will be meeting a ton of people, and you usually don’t have time to put your number in their phone.
  • Bring a battery pack.
  • Have a rolling bag for books.
  • Bring every friend that you could possibly have to stand in lines for you while you are going to panels.
  • Know what ARC’s are.
  • Make friends with people who are going to signings, so you can do a book swapping and get all your books signed.
  • Have a notebook in panels. The authors have so many good things to say.
  • Bring rain gear to protect yourself and your books.
  • Don’t be intimidated to talk to authors. They’re people just like you and me.
  • Keep in contact with all the people you met! They are a great resource for book recommendations.
  • Geek out with all your fellow fans! For me this is the once in a year event to share my love for my fandoms and fangirl with people who know what I am talking about.

Not to do:

  • Don’t wait till the last second to get tickets.
  • Don’t stand in the fierce reads lines…just don’t. They only give out a set number of books.
  • Don’t wait till the night before to plan out what you want to see.
  • Don’t stand in line for four hours for a book. You can get your friends to do that.
  • Don’t go and not know what authors will be there. Everyone in line will be asking you if you have read anything by “Blank” author and you need to have some knowledge about who they are.
  • Don’t spend all your time at the sponsor tents. Panels are the best part, and you get to ask questions.
  • Don’t overpack your books.
  • Don’t forget to check the weather.
  • Don’t forget to bring food! You will have zero time from 11-5 if you plan to go to all the panels and signings you want.
  • Don’t spend all your money at the merch tent, spend it all after when you want to get books from all the new authors you saw.
  • Don’t feel like you have to go to have everything, it’s ok to take a break at a park and watch some Quidditch.
  • Don’t get out of line to get into another line. Just stick with one, and it will move eventually.
  • Don’t skip Fierce Friday if you can. The tickets are so cheap, and (I heard) it was a lot of fun.
  • If it’s your first-time don’t be afraid to tell people. Everyone has been there, and they can tell you what the best thing is to hit.

These are just some things that me and my photographer noticed, but we would love for you to chime in on the comments below! I also strongly encourage you to get your ARC’s or books you got during the event, and go read on Folly Beach on Sunday. I hope to see more Bookstacked followers next year!

Mary Sanders is a North Georgia based artist who is receiving a Graphic Design degree. She has several skills in the art world including marketing and advertising. She does it all: painting, graphic design, drawing, book jacket design, photography, website design, and many more!

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