YALC – a convention for all things YA!

28-30 July 2017

The Young Adult Literary Convention (or YALC) is a massive annual celebration of the best young adult books from around the world. Thousands of book lovers and authors descend on the London Film and Comic Con and we were absolutely thrilled to be there again this year. It was a chance to meet big authors like Rhian Ivory and Philip Womack. We even spotted actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Matt Lucas wandering around…

So many book fans!
So many book fans!


It was a whirlwind few days, with three of our fabulous authors – Olivia Levez (The Island, The Circus), Nikki Sheehan (Swan Boy, Goodnight Boy) and Sarah Mussi (Room Empty) – hosting workshops and participating in panel discussions before signing copies of their books. Meeting the people who love your books is such an exciting part of the writing and publishing process.

Some of Rock the Boat's beautiful covers on display
Some of Rock the Boat’s beautiful covers on display


This year was particularly exciting for us as we revealed shiny, early reading copies of our big new title for autumn, Otherworld by writer and actor Jason Segel and author Kirsten Miller. This is the first in a fast-paced sci-fi and gaming trilogy that we are obsessing over here at Rock the Boat. The story centres around 18-year-old Simon, who has always used gaming as a way to escape his tedious life. When a top-of-the-range virtual reality game called Otherworld launches to a select few gamers, he can’t wait to get his hands on a headset. But behind the incredible graphics lurks a very real danger.  And soon Simon finds himself battling through wondrous and terrifying realms to save his only friend Kat. At its heart, this engaging thriller asks the question we’ll all soon be asking: if technology can deliver everything we want, how much are we willing to pay?

Our lovely shiny Otherworld advance proofs
Our shiny advance proofs!


Otherworld isn’t out until 31 October 2017, but some lucky YALC-goers managed to get their hands on the limited edition, dazzling proofs. We held daily raffles and book blogger giveaways via twitter throughout . It was great to see the buzz generated both at YALC and online. Even Jason Segel was getting in on the action, liking and re-tweeting posts by the raffle winners and bloggers who took to social media to voice their enthusiasm!

Lucky winners
A few lucky winners of Otherworld proofs


The response has been amazing, with some incredible reviews from YALC bloggers already online. Blogger Queen of Geekdom wrote: ‘I came to the novel hoping to have it compete for my love of Ready Player One. What I got was so much more… This is a book that has been missing from my reading life for a long time.’ The Tween Book Blog has said ‘I was literally reading it everywhere, on the bus, at the playground, whilst I was walking and in shops… you couldn’t put it down.’ We love that they enjoyed it as much as we do, and can’t wait for more fo you to experience this brilliant new world Jason and Kirsten have created!

Even Superman and Batgirl got their hands on a proof...
Even Superman and Batgirl got their hands on a proof…


It is always such a treat going to YALC, engaging with you, the readers, and seeing your excitement and support for our lovely and talented authors. The convention really pulses with high spirits throughout the weekend.  YALC is a great reminder of why we do what we do and a fantastic opportunity to connect with fellow book lovers.

We spoke to one fan in particular who had sat down and read the entirety of AJ Steiger’s gripping Mindwalker in one sitting at the convention last year! That is real dedication…

Until next year YALC, it was a pleasure.