A con book, conbook, or program book is simply a collectible small-press publication compiled specifically in connection with a convention. It is usually issued or sold at the convention to attendees or issued as part of a package of materials related to the convention and its subtituent events. A con book, like a program issued or sold at a concert, performance, or sporting event, serves not only to inform attendees about the convention but also to promote sponsors of the event, and it gives credit to staff and volunteers.
Furry con books
In science fiction, fantasy, comic book, anime, and furry conventions especially, con books are desirable because they typically contain stories and artwork by fans, for fans. Since this practice is foundational to the furry fandom, furry con books are typically held to a somewhat higher standard.
Since the practice of inviting a guest of honor began, con books at furry conventions have typically included a special piece of artwork by the guest of honor, which is usually displayed on the outside cover. In the case of conventions which have more than one artist as their guests of honor, the cover artwork is often a collaboration piece.
Advertising and promotion
Many conbooks contain paid advertising in order to defray their cost of production. It is also common practice for events to perform "ad swaps", each exchanging one slot in their respective conbooks.