I’ve spent the past year working conventions almost every weekend. While that hasn’t left a lot of time for writing, it has gotten me out of the house to meet people I otherwise wouldn’t. Having all these experiences helps recharge my writing batteries.
As I type this, I’ve just wrapped MidAmericon II, this year’s WorldCon in Kansas City. The previous weekend was Myths & Legends Con in Denver, and before that was GenCon in Indianapolis. Over the past 12 months, I’ve worked GEARCon, GenCon 2015, Sasquan/WorldCon, Rose City Comic Con, Steamposium, Jet City Comic Show, OryCon, OrcaCon, RustyCon, FLYA, Norwescon, ArtsWalk Olympia, Lilac City Comic Con, The Brass Screw Confederacy, the Fremont Solstice Festival, Westercon, and a collection of small craft and book fairs. I may have forgotten a few.
Along the way, I’ve learned a great deal.
Most famous authors are ordinary when you meet them, person to person. Some people take their hobbies much more seriously than I do. There is good cosplay and there is attempted cosplay, and both are entertaining to see. People who claim to not have space for more books usually do, but they just don’t want your book (which is totally okay). Working a convention is more work than it looks like. Overestimate the number of business cards you need by 100, then add 100 more. Fancy displays will only get you so far–you have to know how to pitch your books or you won’t do very well in person.
And so much more. All this and much more was compiled into book format with my friend and ConBuddy, Jeffrey Cook. Working the Table: An Indie Author’s Guide to Conventions is the first of its kind, a compilation of tips and anecdotes to illustrate how to go about handling the potentially daunting task of selling books at conventions.
Also, I’m tired.