Saturday, 7 March 2020

Preparing for RARE - Sorting Through The Authors

Last October, I fangirled with happiness at securing a ticket for both signing days of the Romance Authors and Readers Event (RARE) 2020 which is being held in Edinburgh on June 26th and 27th.

I looked at the list of authors who were signing, saw a fair number of authors I liked and squeeeed with happiness... 
Then I gasped in shock at the sheer volume of attending authors I'd never heard of, let alone read!

All good though, I told myself, for the event was basically nine months away! That left me plenty of time to read more of those authors... But then something really annoying started to happen. 
The line up started to change! 
Authors were dropping out, new authors were stepping in, and I didn't know whether I was freaking coming or going!
No one warned me of how much flux there is with event line-ups! 
Are all bookish conventions like this?!
I thought as we got closer to the event, things would settle down but it's not really the case and it's bugging my frigging nut!

I have just over three months now until the event and the number of authors I haven't read is startling.
I want to read some of these authors (as many as I can really) before attending but I don't know where to start! And what if I start reading one and they drop out? Irrational as it is (especially if I enjoy the book) but I'd feel like I'd wasted my time... Sigh.

Am I being a basket case about this? I probably am. I just don't want to be clueless about what feels like the majority of the authors in the freaking room.

So, despite line-up fluctuations, I need a plan!

I've made a spreadsheet (I do like my spreadsheets) and I've been working my way through the author list sorting them into:
- Authors I've read
- Authors I've heard of (and own books) but haven't read
- Authors I have heard of but haven't read (don't own books)
- Authors I've never heard of

I then spent some time working my way through the authors I'd never heard of and sorted them into:
- Authors I definitely want to read
- Authors I might read
- Authors you couldn't pay me to read

Now I need a plan to actually read some of the books!!!
I'm going to start with the authors I haven't read but own some of their books... And if all the prep falls apart, I'll just have to wing it.

Any tips and tricks you employ for bookish events like this would be appreciated!


  1. Wow! That is quite a list, and I have read book from many of those authors. I was never good at planning the cons, that was my daughter's job. She amazing at it, and would supply us with both a spreadsheet and powerpoint. Have fun planning!

  2. My suggestion would be to look up all the authors you don't know to see what kind of romance they write, picking those who write your favoured scenarios/plots you like the sound of most and try to read something by them. For the rest, take note of those who would be in the 'want to try when time allows' and see if you can grab freebies by them at the convention. If not, you have lots of reading options for new authors to try when you get home. I don't think you need to read something by every author before you go and it sounds like a lot of pressure you're putting on yourself!

  3. OMG I'm going to RARE as well! From what I understand for big signings in Europe, it's kind of normal to see such a big flux. Life starts happening and the people who committed can't come anymore. I went to RARE London 2019 and it happened there as well.
    If I were you I would read the books that I already have from the authors that are coming and after I finished those, I'd try the ones on the "Authors I definitely want to read" list.
    I'm mostly going for 10-15 authors that I really want to meet and I might try some more(I did try about 5 of those :D) but I'm not stressing over that.
    My other advice is: if you plan to get books signed, buy only those that you would buy anyway, so then you wouldn't feel like shit if the author cancelled. I did it the last time, and it worked for me :)

  4. I love spreadsheets! They're the cat's pajamas! (I'm reading a book set in the 20s, forgive me.) ;) There are SO MANY authors attending this event! I'm a little jealous. I haven't been to a book event in AGES. Children, you know? However, we moved to Virginia this year, so I'm planning on going to BEA in the summer. I haven't been since 2012! Good luck getting through your list. <3

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

  5. People dropping out and others being added is probably common, but I feel like it's a bit more set at places than here. I'd be all confused too. I like your plan of reading authors you haven't read but whose books you own - and hopefully the line up changes will stop!


  6. Wow, that's a huge list of great authors! I think your plan of attack is a good one. I'd prioritize by the authors I really want to see and talk to and rank it in that kind of order. There are some pretty popular authors so I'm thinking their lines will be long, so maybe you can hit others you love but may not have such a huge following first? I have a lot of favorites on that list:
    Kelley Armstrong (Rockton series is amazing!) Lorelei James, Mariana Zapata, Elle Kennedy, Kendra Elliot (Mercy Kilpatrick), Amy Harmon (Making Faces, The Bird and the Sword), Suzanne Wright, Kerrigan Bryne, Penny Reid.

    Hopefully the Corona Virus won't impact the event.