A Message From Our Treasurer

Becky / beckydore

Please read on for a message from our treasurer Becky, summing up how your money was spent at the 2011 Nottingham Unconvention.

“As the treasurer on the committee, I wanted to give you an insight into some of the costs involved in the Nottingham Unconvention. The UK Uncon is totally financed by the attendees and we received no funding from BCHQ or elsewhere.
At the start of the year, we have a list of known ‘mandatory costs’ that we will have to incur. The most expensive of these for every event is the venue. This year it cost £750, which was very reasonable for the space that was available to attendees. The tea and coffee, whilst not to everyone’s liking, were included in the cost of room hire.
We can only estimate the number of attendees at the start of the year. In the past few years, we have had a minumum of 50 attendees so set the initial fee at £15, with the aim that we would keep the cost to attendees as low as possible and only add in extras once the mandatory costs had been met.
Once we had enough confirmed attendees to cover the room hire, we could start to spend on ‘extras’ such as booklets (£81), goodie bags (£34), release bags (£32.70), prizes (£100), charity donations for authors, this year increased to £30 each (plus cupcakes), sweets, biscuits etc. The aim was to hopefully increase the benefit to attendees without affecting the ticket price charged.
We saw a few last minute attendees this year and additional income from raffles (£121.10), giving us a larger than expected profit of £255.
This will be added to the funds from last year, enabling us to book and pay deposits on a venue prior to selling tickets. This also gives us a ‘buffer’ for next year in case of a lower number of attendees.
The ticket price for next year will be largely determined by the cost and choice of venue.”

A Very Successful Uncon!

Thankyou to all who attended (all 95 of you!) and helped to make the 2011 Unconvention in Nottingham such a roaring success! You can now see an updated list of who attended on the Attendees page and if you scroll down you can see a list of those who registered but were sadly unable to make it for the weekend.

Friday 23rd September

Quiz Winners - The Blue Virgins

For the organisers and our team of willing volunteers, the weekend kicked off early on Friday afternoon, when we began setting up the rooms and getting goodie bags together for all of the attendees. Other BookCrossers began to arrive and register for the event from 6pm and by 7:30 we had a good crowd gathered for the Friday evening quiz, who were sorted into teams by MissMarkey‘s Robin Hood sorting hat. Our quizmaster GaryJ did a brilliant job keeping us all on track and keeping the increasingly raucous quiz teams in check! The eventual winners were The Blue Virgins, with a fantastic final score of 113/140, winning them a box of rather yummy looking Bally Hood cupcakes, some Robin Hood notebooks and BookCrossing labels.

Saturday 24th September – Morning

Saturday morning started bright and early with the registration desk open from 9am, leading straight into our first author talk by Eve Makis. Eve talked about how she got into writing, interspersed with readings from her books, including an extract from her latest work in progress featuring an Armenian grumpy old man.

BookCrossers enjoying one of the many book buffet tables.

The UK Supply Store (open for one last time) did brisk trade during the morning manned by gingergeoff with some support from other BookCrossing members. Alongside the Supply Store were a wide variety of interesting tables including:

  • constantweader selling signed copies of her poetry book This Is The Me I Would Be If I Dared, two of which she kindly donated to the raffle.
  • suedo selling her beautiful and uniquely dyed baby clothes and t-shirts.
  • miketuk demonstrating an interesting home-developed app for easy bulk registration and release of books.
  • Tables for each of the authors to set up and sell and/or sign copies of their work, while meeting and greeting BookCrossers.
  • The traditional book buffet tables, which this year spread across four table including special areas for Nottingham books and children’s books.
  • A table for BookCrossing and Kiva where interested BookCrossers could find out more about this money-lending initiative.
  • A table for our Make A Ballycumber competition entries.
  • Last but definitely not least the NSS and gift table, which looked different every time I saw it, but always seemed to be overflowing (a testament to the generosity of BookCrossers!).

Stephen Booth presenting at the Nottingham BCUK Uncon

After the morning break, we were treated to our second author talk from Stephen Booth. Stephen talked about the influences on his writing and got us all thinking about whether we could murder somebody under the right circumstances – surprisingly all but one of us admitted we could! So if you want to be completely safe then visit MissMarkey, although apparently her reluctance to admit her murderous tendencies may in fact mean she is the most dangerous one of all!! Stephen enjoyed his experience of BookCrossing so much that he stayed around for much of the afternoon.

Saturday 24th September – Afternoon

After lunch on Saturday things got off to a great start with our third and final author talk from Catherine Cooper. Catherine talked about the creation of her characters (many of whom joined her for the afternoon!) and the locations in her books, as well as discussing how she got into writing and became a successful author.

The remainder of the afternoon was very busy, with the ever popular bookswap games leading into intriguing presentations from Dublin (Gizmopuddy, leamhliom, hon-no-tomo, Azureskippy helod) and Gothenburg (elisfromSweden), future hosts of the BookCrossing Convention in 2012 and 2013 respectively. These were followed by a discussion led by the regional managers (ardachy and KiwiInEngland) and a live link-up and Q&A session with Bruce at BCHQ in Idaho.

We rounded off the Saturday afternoon events with the prize giving, including the much anticipated raffle draw. The prize for best Make A Ballycumber entry was won by ApoloniaX for a rather cute felt Bally, with a runners-up prize for lytteltonwitch. Both won a selection of Nottingham branded goodies and a limited edition Bally Hood tote bag.

Presentation of raffle blanket to rahar109 by project coordinator beebarf

The themed raffle was hugely successful with raffle ticket sales reaching well over £100 for the 12 prizes on offer, the profits from which will go into the pot for the next Uncon event. Winners included Spike1972, Mai-day and the very lucky foxyfiona1986 who won two prizes! Our star prize, featuring the unique Ballycumber blanket, as well as a number of books to read and music to listen to while snuggled up, was won by rahar109.

Saturday 24th September – Evening

After a quick freshen up, several groups gathered on Saturday evening for a selection of evening meals around the centre of Nottingham, including an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet, a tandoori restaurant, Ask Italian and a traditional pub just moments from the hotel entrance.

After delicious meals, many of us found ourselves back in the hotel bar, where we had chance to catch up and relax with friends both old and new. The lucky ones amongst us had neck and shoulder massages from the lovely elisfromSweden or enjoyed some loving in the last lift of the night (am not sure if anyone was fortunate enough to experience both….)!

Sunday 25th September

Bagging up books for the release walk.

Many of us struggled to get up on Sunday morning (am still sure it can’t have been as late as the clock said when we went our separate ways on Saturday night!). Despite this a huge group gathered in the hotel bar to bag up books for the traditional Sunday morning release walk (much to the confusion of other hotel guests popping down for a quiet Sunday morning breakfast!).

After singing Happy Birthday and sharing a cake with nu-knees, we headed off for the start of the walk in Nottingham’s Old Market Square. Away from the normal traditions of the release walk, our Entertainment Coordinator MissMarkey had organised the Hats Off to BookCrossing flashmob. As Sunday morning shoppers and visitors to the Ikea tent passed by, around 50 or so BookCrossers donned a variety of hats and started to read. One minute passed (in what felt to many like an hour…) before everyone threw off their hats, released their books on the steps of Nottingham Council House and disappeared into the crowd. The end of the flashmob was met with comments including ‘great flashmob’ from passers by. There were prizes for best hat, won by safrolistics and Jones-the-Strim and for best themed release, won by earthcaroleanne for her book titled Dutch Courage!

Before the release walk.

Once the prize giving and photo opportunity were over, we set off on the release walk, with 16 teams adding in a treasure hunt organised by our Local Committee Member garibaldisghost. Due to a number of over-zealous roadsweepers and street cleaners, a few of us decided to stay in the Old Market Square and hand out books in person, but at the end of the walk the majority of us met up at Ye Olde Jerusalem pub for a final meal before heading home. The last prize giving of the weekend saw treasure hunt prizes, consisting of more Nottingham branded goodies handed out to suedo, rahar109, CaterinaAnna, kittiwake and earthcaroleanne, who all scored an amazing 59/60.

To sum up what was a fantastic weekend, many new friends were made, fun times were had and books were crossed and we can’t wait to do it all again (and better!) at the next BCUK Unconvention.

A big thankyou to ardachy who took all of the photos featured in this article. If you want to see the whole range of ‘official’ photos taken over the weekend, or larger versions of those in this story, visit flickr.

The Final Countdown!

Photo by shining.darkness

We’re finally here! After all the planning and deliberations it’s just 24 hours to go until the official start of the 2011 BCUK Unconvention in Nottingham!!!

Some of you will already be in Nottingham, maybe having a quiet drink before the action kicks off tomorrow. Others will be frantically packing suitcases, travel bags, cars or checking train or plane tickets to ensure a timely arrival. Whatever you’re up to this evening, don’t forget to pack your books (as if you need reminding!), get a good night’s sleep and we’ll see you for a fun-filled weekend, with registration starting at 6pm tomorrow.

The Unconvention team can’t wait to welcome you to Nottingham!!

All About earthcaroleanne

St. Andrews graduation in the snow

I joined BookCcrossing in 2008 after reading about it in a newspaper.  The idea of books in the wild just grabbed me.  Unfortunately I’ve never caught a single book and have only had 4 wild releases journalled – but they may turn up yet!   What I especially love about BookCrossing is being introduced to new genres by other BookCrossers.  I also love RABCKs – not just receiving books but receiving messages from people I’ve sent books to.   The last one started “I think I love you!”.  That just made my day.

I’m looking forward to meeting lots of people at the Uncon and I love the author talks.  I’m delighted to have discovered Stephen Booth and can’t believe how many Uncon bookrays we’ve got through.  I’m afraid I won’t have many books to release this time because my 4p flight doesn’t give me much baggage allowance but it will stop me bringing too many books home.  For anyone not reading the fora, my attempt at reducing Mt TBR is failing miserably as I now have 9 years worth of books waiting.

As for life outside BookCrossing, I don’t seem to have one.  I graduated last November after doing my Masters part-time while working full-time and I hoped life would start again after that.  However work took over instead and I worked seven days a week until June.    I’ve spent the last couple of months sleeping when not working and my plan is for life to start in October (or maybe 23rd September).  I’ve attached a photo of me at my graduation but I’m very far away, as I don’t like my photograph being taken.  I managed to avoid being in any photos from last year’s release walk by taking them for people.  I believe that is my handy work on the home page.



Free Cuddle With Every Purchase!

A message From suedo, who will have a table at the Uncon:

Suedo Design will be making a special appearance at this year’s BCUK Unconvention.

Tie dye or plain dyed London 2008 T-shirts are available in small and medium. I also have original white T-shirts available. Take the opportunity to see these bright and funky T-shirts then buy one or order your own unique pattern. Sizes small, medium and large available in limited numbers.

All T-shirts are available at a special convention price of £7.

Also appearing will be a small selection of baby clothing; vests, sleepsuits and hats at the special convention price of £9 for vests or sleepsuits, and £3 for hats.

Check out more info and pictures on www.suedodesign.co.uk or the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/suedodesign

In a further attempt to shamelessly exploit my son for commercial purposes I am offering a free cuddle with every purchase!

Who wouldn't want a cuddle from Luke?

One Week To Go!!!

One by Mrs Logic on Flickr

The time is almost here – we are just one week away from the 2011 UK BookCrossing Unconvention in Nottingham!!!!

Registration has now closed and if you haven’t already done so you have just a few hours to pay and confirm your place at the UK BookCrossing event of the year.

The committee are working hard on the final details for the event, making sure that everything is ready to make next weekend as fun and entertaining as possible. We can’t wait now to meet you all in Nottingham and enjoy a fabulous weekend with you all.

See you all in Nottingham next week!!


Supply Store News

Here’s a short message from gingergeoff regarding the sales of the remaining UK Supply Store items following our previous update about it:

A quick update concerning the Supply sales at the Nottingham Uncon. BookCrossing have agreed to let me sell my remaining UK stock at the sale prices from earlier this year. Not only this, but I have also negotiated a 10% reduction and I’ll be giving away one pack of Taglines Bookplates for every £25 spent.

As an example, 25 Bookmarks are currently on the BC site for £6.08, I will be selling them for £3.85. 25 International Sticky notes are £2.41 on the site and I will be selling them for £0.55. All Bookplates (apart from Secret Lives & Econo) will be sold at £2.15 for 25 – these are no longer available on the US site.

A reminder that Geoff is scheduled to be doing these sales for just over an hour on Saturday morning, so

Want to volunteer?

If you want to let us know that you’re happy to be used as a volunteer for any tasks that the committee members feel would be useful during the Uncon event, please let us know via our Volunteer page.

We’ve had a couple of people offer their services already, and we’ve planned at least one task that they could help with, but it’s better for us to know who would be willing and not necessarily need them, than struggle through a lack of time, and find that lots of you could have helped out!

Thank you!

All About GaryJ

Gary / GaryJ

According to my GaryJ profile, I’ve been on BookCrossing since January 2006. That’s slightly misleading, as I’d been to the 2005 BCUK Unconvention in Birmingham as well as several local events before that, although I was known back then as Gazza1980. My other half (katie1980) was already signed up to BookCrossing in the hope of “being able to give away lots of books” (!) and I was just tagging along.

I’m not much of a book reader, probably only reading a 2-3 books a year (yes, a year), though once I get started on a book, it’s usually finished in a couple of days. I have no desire to start a new book, yet when I do, I’m often as excited as anyone to get to the end.

My favourite authors historically are Andy McNab and Chris Ryan (both for the SAS / covert operations stories), Dean Koontz (although some of his books don’t grab me), and various horror authors that get passed on after katie1980 has finished with them.

If I’m not an avid reader, why am I part of BookCrossing? Quite simply, it’s the social aspect for me. I’ve made good friends from BookCrossing (several attended our wedding) and I enjoy the atmosphere at the meets.

Some BookCrossing socials just can't be explained... (Uncon 2007, Brighton)

My interests lie in web development, which is handy considering that I work as a freelance web developer. It’s for this reason, having been disappointed with the websites and information communication from previous Uncons, that I volunteered myself for this year’s BCUK Uncon Committee as the role of webmaster to show how I think it could / should be done.

We’ve not been 100% perfect, but from the compliments we got when the site was launched and the ongoing feedback (and perhaps more importantly, the very few problems highlighted to us), I think it’s been successful. Everyone has access to the information from a variety of sources and media that suits them, and we’ve provided several methods of getting in touch with the committee.

The rest of the committee have done an excellent job with each of their different roles, and without skirting around the cliché, it’s been a real team effort to get everything organised. I have every confidence the event itself will go as smoothly as the planning has. If it doesn’t, you’ll find me in the corner, reading a book…

Tired Readers, by suedo283 on Flickr (Convention 2008, London)

Looking Forward

Congratulations to our winners!

With the big event just 10 days away, we in the Uncon Committee team are starting to get really excited about the Nottingham Unconvention. To get us even more in the Unconvention spirit, we’d love to know what things you’re looking forward to about the Unconvention weekend.

Comment on this news post to tell us what aspects of the event are getting you excited and we’ll post as many as we can to the Unconvention twitter feed and Facebook wall to get everyone in the mood for this fantastic event! (Let us know your twitter ID or Facebook name if you want us to specifically mention you in the message)