Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Prepping for #UTOPiA2017! #StepWriteUp #BookFreaks

By now a lot of you have already set your accommodations and travel plans, but now is the time to put yourself in gear to make the most out of your trip to UTOPiA. Lists are always helpful to keep on track (that is if you remember to bring your list LOL) Make sure you email that list to yourself. Don’t be that guy haha. Yes, I’m talking about myself. I am not an author so I can’t tell you what you would need when it comes to prepping yourself for the convention.

You can see more suggestions here:

Before I get started, check out the

 limited edition ‘Circus Freaks’ Lit-Cube! 

In the box, you will get:
  • circus/freakshow-themed book
  • a circus/freakshow-themed awesome t-shirt (unisex)
  • yummy treats
  • lots of other fun and useful items
Not only did UTOPiA partner with Lit-Cube to bring you something extra special, they also partnered with Book Beau, the water and stain resistant book sleeve protectors that just wrapped up a successful Kickstarter campaign that brought in five times its original goal!

Book Beau has created an EXCLUSIVE sideshow-carnie-designed book sleeve (see picture) that 100 lucky buyers will receive in their box!

Check out the post for more details 

>>>Limited Edition ‘Circus Freaks’ Lit-Cube<<<

Everyone’s lists will be different but here is my list with suggestions from other attendees:

Start saving money now if you haven’t already!

Photo i.d., credit cards, and cash!

I can’t stress to you how important it is not to forget theses…especially if you’re flying. (derp)

Dress for the occasion

As Janet has said, it is hotter than Hades in June. I kid you not, it’s like the outer realm of hell. You are the judge of your own temperature so dress is layers. Better to be safe than sorry. I lived in sundresses last time. If you’re going to wear a dress, bring a sweater. It’s in the Nashville Airport Marriott and it's the first time there. Be prepared!

Bring comfortable shoes! This is not the time to bring those hot new sandals that you haven’t broken in. Unless of course, you like pain. In that case…bring it on lol

The Awards ceremony! There is no dress code and you can wear what you want. I’ve seen everything from jeans to prom dresses. Wear what’s comfortable for you or go all out and deal with the pain on Sunday

AND if you aren’t staying at the hotel, bring an extra set of clothes in a backpack or in a friends room. I like to change if it gets too hot or if my feet are killing me.


If you plan to buy books, you’re going to need extra luggage. Depending on your airline they may charge extra for checked baggage fees. Always check beforehand. I decided to ship my books home via FedEx and it cost me about $30 but it was worth it. Who really wants to carry an extra 25 lbs? Of course I couldn’t locate a USPS office when I was there. Damn that GPS! It may be more beneficial to ship FedEx because it’s insured. USPS can get expensive if you aren’t shipping via media mail(use at your own risk!). The year after I flew Southwest (2 FREE checked bags) I left one carry-on completely empty and it worked out great because it was full when I went home. It was really heavy though so if you aren’t built like the hulk, FedEx is always an option

Also, bring a tote/backpack to the con. You’ll want something to carry all those books/swag you get. You get a tote bag with your Con entry but it never hurts to have an extra.


Don’t forget these. Expect some soreness from walking around all day. Parajunkee also suggested 5 hour energy. GET THAT! P.S. don’t forget your daily meds if you’re on any.


I’d hope that you don’t leave your phone at home. You may also want to bring a camera, laptop, tablet, headphones, etc. Bring them! But don’t forget the charger/batteries/memory cards. Also be sure to have extra batteries for cameras. I ran out my first year LOL.

Autograph Books

Notebooks, photo books, scrapbooks, Kindle/Nook cases, whatever. Bring something that you want signed for authors that you aren’t purchasing a book from. Pens don’t hurt either and you’ll probably get one on a table or two. Business Cards…bring a handful with you. It’s okay to network just don’t be a spammer.


From what I remember, there may be coffee and waters out but it’s very limited and only at certain times. Basically don’t expect there to be some at all times. The hotel has a restaurant and bar from which you can purchase food an beverages. Outside food/drinks are highly discouraged. If you are staying at the hotel be sure to have your room stocked. Same goes for wherever you are staying. I’d suggest Walmart before arriving so you can stock up on the cheap.

Hair/makeup products

If you have something in particular that you don’t want to buy, say a hair straightener or your fav. shampoo, bring that with you. I like to travel light when it comes to toiletries because it’s just easier for me to buy them when I get there. Take that, TSA! Don’t forget your makeup if you wear it. Also, make sure you don’t have a pocket knife in your makeup bag. Oops. Ren-1, TSA-1.

Bring a book!

Go figure! You’re going to a con, that’s a given right? I made the mistake of shipping them ALL home one year and guess who got stuck in the airport with dead electronics and nothing to read? This chick right here. Also, don’t forget your books from home that you want signed. If you know which books you definitely want, see if your author has a pre-order form so that you can purchase in advance. This also helps if your author sells out so you’re guaranteed to have the book there. Maria has a great list of pre-orders up https://www.facebook.com/notes/314920831946257/UTOPiA%202017%20Preorder%20Forms/1101183273320005/.

Bring something special for your Favorite Author!

I heard from a little bird that they like that stuff…. and this is totally optional. If you’re from an area that has certain candies, bring it! Or you can personalize something for them. They eat it up!
Contact lenses/Glasses

Don’t forget these! Also bring an extra set if you have them. I WOULD be the one to break my glasses.

As always, I’m probably forgetting something. Never fails when writing a going away list.

What are your suggestions?

I hope to see you all at UTOPiA 2017!

There will be plenty of panels that are helpful for everyone and you wont want to miss it!

To see what UTOPiA is all about, visit http://www.utopiacon.com/

and for tickets visit