Wednesday, June 3, 2015

#IWSG: Starting the Con Circuit


My one novel out there in the world is a superhero novel, which might be science fiction or might be fantasy depending on who is shelving the books, but is definitely speculative fiction.  So, this means that one of my best promotional strategies is the con. Not a Leverage sort of Con, but con, as in, short for convention. A gathering of geeky folk.

I'm not new to cons. I've been attending on the consumer side for a few years now, pretty such since marrying my husband raised my XP and leveled me up. But this will be my first year appearing on the other side of the table/podium/etc. I'm really excited about that, and also nervous as heck.

So, I've been dipping my toes in the water. I got an author table at a local book festival. I've agreed to be a presenter or participant in a couple of library events this summer. And, I've started applying to be a guest at cons.

In light of that, I went to ConCarolinas on a day pass this past Saturday (here's my article on GeekDad about it). Much as I learned to read like a writer, now I'm learning to "con" like a writer. I walked around the con, looking at the tables that attracted consumers (and didn't) and figuring out what they had, so I could learn to have that, too.

I wish it was as easy as just buying the same paraphernalia they had: book racks, standing posters, displays, swag, etc. But I can tell it's something more ephemeral than that, something about being approachable and attractive without being pushy.  Dang. It's another "you know it when you see it" thing, isn't it? Like pornography and bad marketing on Twitter?

How about you IWSGers? Any advice for a neophyte book peddler heading for the world of cons?
______________________________________________

This posting is part of the Insecure Writers Support Group blog hop. To check out other posts by writers in a variety of places in their careers, check out the participant list. This group is one of the most open and supportive groups of people I have ever been associated with. You should check them out!

14 comments:

  1. Hope you figure it out so you can tell me! As a horror writer published with Samhain, I'm getting some pressure to attend cons as well. It's where my fellow authors sell a lot of their books.

    But I just don't feel like a con kind of person. Please let me know how it works out for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My current strategy is not to go alone, but to share tables with other writers I like to talk to. Maybe one day we can share a table somewhere.

      Delete
  2. No advice as my book isn't yet out, but I've gone to a few comic cons (not THE con SDCC but Chicago and Portland) and would love to have a booth at a con sometime. I have my eye on Romantic Times next spring. Vegas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm starting with smaller, more local cons. Best of luck to you as you start this journey, too!

      Delete
  3. Samantha, I'm going to ramp things up later this fall and start doing more public events. My advice, go with everything and anything as long as it makes sense. Good luck with everything!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed. I'm happy if I break even on the cost of participating. I figure each event is an investment towards the future. You never know whose eye you'll catch at one of those things and what it might eventually mean.

      Delete
  4. I haven't done any cons, but I do craft shows with my jewelry and knitting and always leave a spot open for my books. Sometimes I'll sell a few copies and other times not. One of these days I might just do the books, but that's the future.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm looking to share a booth with my artist daughter at a local fair soon. She'd be good company at least :-)

      Delete
  5. Oh my gosh. With my steampunk series coming out I think I'm in the same boat. I have to start researching these cons...yikes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let me recommend checking out Broad Universe, an organization for women who write speculative fiction. They've already been invaluable to me.

      Delete
  6. Sounds like all kinds of fun. Wishing you much success.

    ReplyDelete
  7. yay for you! i love the cons! in fact i gave tips for book events during the a to z challenge =) i think i'm getting better at it, the more you do, the easier and more comfortable you are with them - good luck!

    ReplyDelete