Book Signing Review: RARE ´19 London

On September 21st, 2019, RARE was able to add another book signing event under their belt. With the location set in London, U.K. and the promise of 150 attending authors from the romance genre ( including fantasy romance writers ) there was no doubt the signing was going to make many literary dreams come true. As a dedicated RARE event hopper, I was ready to have my literary mind blown away.

 

RARE ´19 London is going to be epic!

 

That´s what the finger-lick-worthy author line-up promised.

Was the event as special as I hoped it would be?

Weeeell, let´s put it this way: If I were to treat the event ( and everything around it ) the way I review the books I read then I´d definitely give RARE ´19 London a 3 out of 5 rating.

RARE rating

 

A few weeks have already passed since the event happened and I can´t say if I´m happy or disappointed. It´s a 50/50 sort of thing. I had a great time in London, but I´m not able to give the RARE event much credit for that. My biggest highlight was being able to spend time with my book bestie, the incredibly awesome, Sabrina @Brina and the Books. This was our first time meeting in person and I can, without a doubt, say that she´s one of the loveliest human beings I´ve had the pleasure of hanging out with.

Also, the few authors I met and chatted with at the event were lovely. Kandi SteinerT. L. SmithStylo FantomePoppy J. AndersonDevney PerryDylan Allen,  Jeannine Colette and Lesley Jones were all dolls. Each took their time. Each author I spoke to made my day. I guess you can also say my book purchase was a success, as well.

 

RARE haul

 

I didn´t go home empty-handed. 12 books in total, including swag. My tiny suitcase was stuffed at the end of the event. I spent a total of 90 GBP.

 

Some books cost only 5 GBP.

Other books cost me the standard 10 GBP.

I paid the proud amount of 20 GBP for one paperback.

A few books were given to me by very generous authors.

 

So, those were my positive bam-bam-bookish-glam highlights of the RARE ´19 London event. Not so many, huh? I know. I wish I had more positive things to share about the 4 hours I spent there.

As for the things that disappointed me: I think it´s safe to say that it wasn´t the event alone. My disappointment started right after the tickets went on sale and that feeling lasted throughout the whole year leading up to the event.

  • Tickets weren´t cheap. At first, I thought the 48.42 GBP per general admission ticket was a lot but then I thought about the author line-up. 150 authors for that price? It´s actually a decent price.

 

  • The easiest way to get any info regarding the event was through their Facebook page.  I have a FB account but don´t really have the nerves or energy to spend much time there. Same with Twitter. So, this made it difficult for me to be up-to-date with any news or changes because people were constantly publishing posts… Posts that buried the significant stuff I needed to know. I ended up not knowing much of anything until it was too late. I would´ve loved to have been able to check a website out- if there had been one. There probably is a RARE homepage somewhere on the internet but I wasn´t able to find it. I spent a year looking for a proper homepage that provided regular updates. All links directed me toward the Eventbrite site which looked like a hot mess.

 

  • The finger-lick-worthy author line-up? It changed. Not once, not twice… In combination with the buried posts on social media, I found out too late that the authors I wanted to see ( the authors I paid good money to see ) had canceled. I´m the type who´ll visit every author table if possible so I knew I´d be discovering new authors at the event. That wouldn´t have been a problem. The issue I had was: I saw the names of my favorite authors on the attendee list, purchased a not so cheap ticket to see them, then eventually saw that their names had vanished from the attendee list. And this happened after I booked my flight. So, fat chance of ditching the event. This issue has been touched on in the RARE Facebook group and the event organizer kindly provided their apologies along with positive encouragement to give other books by the remaining attending authors a go. The organizer took action appropriately, in my opinion. How else would one handle a bunch of disappointed people? Exactly.Despite the friendly video message from the event organizer, I remained disappointed. And I don´t feel I´m wrong for feeling bothered by this, either. I´m allowed to feel crappy when I specifically want to see authors and find out they canceled. And I´m allowed to bitch about it, too.

Then there were minor issues with a few volunteers who helped out at author tables.

  • The `Only I take pics` people. Yeah, sweet-cheeks, I heard ya. And I´m not handing over my phone to a stranger. You ain´t touching my phone. If not giving you my phone results in me not getting a pic of the author then so be it.

 

  • The table- sitters. Bless them, for they had the exclusive job of fending off people who dared to look at an author´s table while the author was at lunch break. Okay, I get it. Don´t go snooping around an author´s table when they´re not there. Someone could steal the goods. Gottcha. But… the tables had table-sitters. I made the mistake of getting to close to a table and was asked to keep my distance.

 

 

You mean to say you willingly signed up to be a volunteer and accepted whatever role you received ( in this case table-sitter ) and can´t watch over the table?

What´s the job of a table-sitter? To watch over a table, I´d assume.  I´m sure I´m allowed to look. I mean- I´m the one interested in spending money. I would´ve returned after the author’s lunch break and would´ve bought a few books if I hadn´t been shooed away.

 

  • There were 10 ticketed authors. Not a bad idea if you think about it. To skip waiting in line for hours you can get a number and wait until that´s called out. This would´ve been brilliant if it hadn´t been for the fact that people still had to wait.

 

So, with that being said… The event was eventful on all levels. I´m hesitant to say this but, RARE ´19 London didn´t feel like it had much structure. As an outsider, it all looked very chaotic. Many volunteers gave the impression that they were overwhelmed ( which they had every right to be ).  The RARE table ( which I assumed was also the info table ) was often not occupied.

146 tables.

2 tables for narrators.

2 tables for Passionflix.

3 tables for the RARE team. 

That leaves a total of 139 authors. 

 

I paid:

48 smackers for a ticket

131.00 Euros for my flight

90 GBP on books

I don´t believe I´ll be visiting another RARE event. Personally, it´s not worth all the hassle I put myself through. It would´ve been easier if I had stayed at home and used the money to purchase books online. It would´ve been easier to drive down to Sabrina´s place and visit her where she lives.


 

On a kind note: I´m aware of how much work goes into these types of events. I´m not sure how large the RARE team actually is but my guess is that it´s not large enough to handle an event without the help of volunteers. I actually applaud the RARE team for their efforts. Every event ( bookish or not ) has hiccups- Things that can´t be prevented sometimes. Shit happens when you least expect it. I´m not mad at anything or anyone- Just a little disappointed in how things went. The main goal of any event organizer is to have people leave at the end with the best experience ever. My experience was okay, but not okay enough for me to want to attend another event.

 


 

So, that was RARE ´19 London. I hope everyone else who attended had a fabulous time and got to see their unicorn authors. ❤


 

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. I really appreciate it.

Share the book love,

Morgana

 

 

 

 

How Many Books Fit In A Small Hardshell Suitcase?

Remember all my little reminder posts about me going to the RARE´19 London book signing? Well, I thought it was time to organize a suitcase. To my utter shame, I don´t own a medium or small suitcase. When I travel, it´s usually with a duffle bag, backpack or a larger sports bag ( I apparently like to carry shit ).

As I was complaining to my bestie about having to buy a suitcase for my 24 hour London trip ( that´s right. I´m flying in Saturday morning and flying back out Sunday morning ) she mentioned I could use hers.

 

Me and me

 

The signing isn´t due for another few weeks. I didn´t need to get the suitcase right away. But I kind of did. I´m at an author signing event with 150 authors. There´s a high possibility I´m coming home with books. So, I need to plan things out.

 

How many books am I able to fit into a small hard-shell suitcase?

 

First, let´s look at the suitcase I´ll be traveling with. The idea is to fly in with a nearly empty suitcase and fly back with hopefully something that doesn´t weigh more than 20-ish kilos.  The object at hand:

 

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The size looks fairly decent, right? And it´s pink. It´ll be easy to spot at the luggage belt.  It was time to start my experiment. Sloppy Book Tetris:

 

OPTION #1

 

 

10 semi-large books ( and a hoodie ). 400-500+ page books with a few 280-page books thrown in.  To say I was surprised would be an understatement. Hell, I thought I wouldn´t be able to fit any inside. Not bad. Not bad, at all. ( excuse my purse in the background )

 

OPTION #2 

 

 

15  230+ page novels ( and a hoodie ) fit in the small hard-shell suitcase  ( excuse the remote control in the right pic ).

 

And the best part? I still have a little room for 1-3 books with either option! I think I got this book luggage down.

So, to answer the question in the title- 10 large paperbacks and 15 thinner novels ( give or take a few ) fit in a small-sized hard-shell suitcase. That, and a hoodie AND a small vanity bag I stole from my daughter ( because I don´t have one of those, either ).

In case anyone has questions about packing a suitcase for a book signing… Just ask me. I feel like a damn pro now.

That´s it for today, my dear book-loving people. I hope this was somewhat helpful and less boring. We´ll talk about this again when it´s due day and I´m in full panic mode.

 

Feel hugged and loved,

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100 Days Until RARE ´19 London

We´re officially scooting our way towards September, y´all! Only 100 days left until the RARE ´19 London book event!

In celebration for the 100-day mark, Sabrina @Brina and the Books I thought we´d reveal our unicorn authors! Our ultimate favorite writers who´ve put us through impossible emotional rides with their badass stories.

RARE ´19 London has announced 150 + participating authors from all corners of the romance genre. 150+!!

rare attendee banner

What an impressive line – up

Personally, I´m not sure if I should weep with joy or feel financially screwed beyond repair. But we´re talking about books. Books I´d like to have.

Actual footage of me at an author´s table

So, who am I looking forward to meeting/see/say hi to?

It´s time to introduce my personal unicorn authors.


lesley

`Carnage` was my first Lesley Jones read and I can´t say I´ve ever read anything like it before. Brutally emotional in a crude and beautiful way. `Carnage` isn´t for the faint of heart, nor are the other books in the series ( check out my review here )

I met the author back in 2017 at the RARE Berlin signing and even got myself a signed copy of Carnage. I´ve put some extra $$ aside in case Lesley Jones is selling other books at the London event.

Monica

Monica and I go WAY back. I can pride myself by saying I was the first who created and hosted a book blog tour for her, back then, first book release `I surrender`. I´ve been a fan of the lovely and charming Australian author for the past 6 or 7 years and continue to be a fan of her incredible romances. She´s THAT good.

Since it´s hard for me to visit any book signings I hardly get to see any authors in person. Well, I made it my mission to meet Monica at the RARE ´17 Berlin signing. It was a mission accomplished. My hopes for the London signing? To finally spend all the cash I saved for the rest of Monica´s paperbacks ( should she bring any with her ).

Jessica

I did an actual happy dance in my living room when I saw Jessica Sorensen’s name on the attendance list. This will be my first time meeting the author. This will also be the first time I won´t need to purchase a book ( s ) at a fav author´s table because… I already have all her books. I might get a picture with the author, though. And maybe I´ll even get a chance to profess my undying love for her books. We´ll see…

Either way, I´m excited and I´ll probably won´t shut up about it anytime soon.


Of course, the list of must – meet authors is a tad longer…


A small list of 8 authors compared to the number of authors attending, I know. But this just means I get a chance to introduce myself to new authors and in return, see all the goodies they have for us desperate book loving romance readers. I seriously can´t wait.


Be sure to head on over Brina and the Books and see who Sabrina´s unicorn authors are for the RARE ´19 London event. Don´t forget to leave my book bestie some book love ( and virtual chocolate ). Drop a comment and leave her a like while you´re at it. ❤


Do you have a unicorn author? Whether he/ she is on this list or not… Share them in the comments down below. Let´s chat about our unicorn fav´s! ❤

I hope you all have a wonderful day. Don´t forget to share the book love.

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150 Days Until RARE ´19 London

Only 150 days left! Hard to imagine the book signing event is practically around the corner.

To celebrate the event I´ve teamed up with my book babe, Sabrina @Brina and the Books ( who´ll also be my partner in crime at the signing ) for a little milestone countdown. On day 150, 100, 50 and day 0 we´ll be giving you insight on our RARE expectations, our unicorn authors and of course a sneak peek in the life of preparing for a book signing event happening in a different country. To sum it all up – Sabrina and I decided to reveal juicy details on day 0.

 

 

Today we´re here to celebrate the 150 days left until RARE ´19 London, Romance Author event. Why not start with our expectations? Our hopes and wishes for the event?

 

Fortunately for me, this isn´t my first RARE book signing event. I´ve had the pleasure of visiting a few in the past. I wouldn´t necessarily call myself a RARE expert but I do think I have a pretty good idea what to expect.

 

Authors and books. 

 

That´s what any book signing event is about, right? To go and see authors and have books signed. In a nutshell, yes. But these RARE signings function a little different. This isn´t just a get in – get out affair. RARE signings go a little deeper than that.

 

It´s all about having a good time.

 

If there´s one thing I´ve always experienced during my RARE visits, then it was definitely fun. Having a fun time with authors and having a great time mingling with like-minded people. RARE has never been a simple meet & move on. The promise of 150 authors for this year´s event sounds like a sure guarantee that the signing will be explosive! A bomb of a dream for a romance book blogger.RARE I´m going to unicorns

So, what exactly are my hopes for RARE ´19? I don´t have any for the event itself. Aside from meeting my favorite authors and discovering new authors I´m pretty sure there won´t be much new for me to expect ( unless the orga – team offers a Magic Mike show and a triple chocolate welcoming cake. One can always dream ). My hopes are aimed towards having a fantastic time with my friend, Sabrina.

A useless fun fact: Sabrina and I both live in Germany ( and not too far from each other, either ) and we´ll be meeting for the first time in person in London. How sad is that, huh? I can´t seem to get my booty in the car and visit her but here I am booking flights to meet my friend… in a differently country ( the shame is real, y´all ).

Also, while spending time with my favorite fellow book blogger and friend I´ll also be enjoying the event with my bestie Lindsey.

 

 

What I also expect is to be financially ruined for a few weeks afterwards. Books aren´t cheap, guys. I see a very dark and penniless future ahead. Not sure how I should feel about that.

 

My face while thinking about how poor I´ll be

 

Of course, I expect to walk out of the event with a shit load of books and more swag than I can handle. It´ll be a blast! Spending time with my loved ones and lusting over books will be awesome. Because that´s what respectable adult bookworms do.

 

 

That´s it for the 150 day mark, my lovely bookish Padawans. I hope you enjoyed.

Be sure to check out what my book babe, Sabrina @Brina and the Books Rare ´19 London expectations are. ♥ This will be Sabrina´s first RARE event and she´s definitely got some exciting things to say. 

Before I go I would like to know:

 

♥ Have you visited a RARE signing? Would you like to visit RARE? Have you been to other book signings? What was your experience? Let´s chat. ♥

 

Wishing you all the best.

Much book love,

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RARE ´19 London Romance Author & Reader Event, I´m Coming!

I´ve waited ages, AGES ( since August, really ), to share this news and now I´m going to blurt it out: I´m attending the RARE ´19 London book signing event.

For those of you who don´t know what RARE ´19 London is…. I´ll get to that after this next announcement.

I won´t be attending the signing event alone. My girl, Sabrina @ Brina And The Books  and my bestie, author of the brilliant The Whitechapel Chronicles and the award-winning story HedoschismLindsey Clarke will be joining me on this huge author signing adventure!

I can hardly contain my excitement! Me and my chicas, on the loose in London on September 21.

But before I put you guys through a full blown teenage meltdown… Let´s start with what this post is about ( because it´s not just about me going ape-shit over a signing event ).

What am I even talking about when I say I´m going to RARE?

RARE is short for Romance Author & Reader Events. It´s a book signing. A fun one. For me, this is my third RARE event. I was at the very first one ( done… Meeh, I can´t remember ), my second event visit was in 2017 at RARE Berlin, and now… I´ll be attending my third and probably final RARE event. But who cares about that right now. Important to know is that I´ll be going.

RARE I´m going to unicorns

Meet My Unicorn Romance Authors!

That´s right. Authors from all across the globe will be attending. To be exact- 150+ authors! That´s a reason to faint on the spot, wouldn´t you think? If you´re a romance advocate, definitely!

Won´t you look at that lineup!

rare attendee banner

To be honest- I´ve read quite a few books from close to half of the authors listed in the lineup. The other half? No flippin´clue but I´m looking forward to meeting some new authors and letting my grabby hands on the loose.

And being the good book blogger I am I couldn´t resist looking up the authors I´m not familiar with beforehand. Looks like I´m going to find out for the first time in my life what being penny less really means.

I´ll have no money and no shame. But I´ll have a shit load of books!

With 150+ authors I´m bound to help my already thin wallet become thinner. But that´s okay, right? It´s not like I´m going to throw my money out the window. Going to a book event means I´ll be making an investment. A good one. ( And one day I might even believe that ) Because which romance reader can resist buying books from such a huge and amazing lineup? Certainly not me.

Aside from wanting to meet new authors and catching up with others I´m also looking forward to meeting new people in general! The place will be infested with readers and book bloggers and I´m one of those people who´ll talk to anyone who doesn´t look like he / she will want to murder me.

Not to forget the awesome people I chat with online! To be able to see these people in the flesh will be something fab!

If you´re going to the RARE ´19 London event please stop and say hi! I´m the short blonde with an american accent wearing black. Lol. ( no one will ever find me with that apocalyptic description ). If you´re not going to the event but would still like to meet up over the weekend… I´m available for a hot chocolate and cake! Let´s meet up! ❤

See you in September 2019, bookish Padawans! ❤


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