Loncon3

Had a blast at Loncon3, though was a very small fish in a very large literary pond.

A couple that geeks together...

A couple that geeks together…

Got to hang out with Joshua Palmatier after knowing him online for years, and spend quality time with Peadar Ó Guilín, another LJ veteran.

Made some new friends, including Darusha Wehm who is almost as forthright as I, and the couple behind Bundoran Press and a gamer from Belfast (whose card scrap of paper) I’ve lost.

I also got to see some of my literary heroes on stage, and watch a good friend get their Hugo.

Best of all — thanks to my folks looking after our kids for days on end – I got to go to the con with my wife.

A couple that geeks together…

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3 comments on “Loncon3
  1. Geoff Hart says:

    You didn’t mention whether you had been a speaker (e.g., a discussion of things people get wrong vs. how to do it right), had demonstrated swordplay to an admiring crowd, had parcipated in any panel discussions, or had given a reading of your own work. If not, keep these ideas in mind for future conventions. The program organizers are always looking for interesting topics and personalities, and are usually very open to “amateurs” or newbie authors who have interesting credentials.

    I’ve done all of the above, and been a panelist at most of the recent conventions I’ve attended. It gives you a different form of contact with fellow fans because it somehow conveys a mysterious mantle of authority — provided you speak rationally and humbly about your knowledge. (I’ve got the former down pat; the latter is a work in progress.) It also often leads to some very interesting post-panel/demo conversations with people who saw you speak but were too shy to ask you questions publicly, and occasional long-term correspondence with newfound friends.

    Plus, it’s a standard way to advertise your books. Bring copies of the books, prop them on the podium for all to see while you speak, mention them (briefly!) when you introduce yourself, etc. If the cover artist for your books is willing, print the covers up as t-shirts and wear one each day of the con, or give a few of them away. Maybe hand out the artist’s business card in exchange for the right to create t-shirts. (I haven’t done the t-shirt thing… just realized that I need to do so!) If you haven’t already so, print up a bunch of 1-page flyers that feature the book cover and a short but punchy marketing blurb that concludes with the book’s URL. Leave them on the freebies table. Someone will pick them up and maybe buy your books.

    There are tons of conventions every year, pretty much anywhere in the world. If U.K. tax law is similar to that in Canada, you can write off convention travel as a business expense if you do any or all of these things to get the word out on your books. Start looking around for conventions, and see if you can rationalize a trip or two per year to a good convention.

    BTW, don’t know whether you think you could rationalize a trip to the World Fantasy convention this November. Barring any family crises, I’ll be going, and hopefully paneling or doing a reading. They’ve reached their membership cap, but people often have to cancel at the last moment and sell their memberships to people on a waiting list. I’ve already got a room, so you’re welcome to join me. If not, and you want to send any materials to hand out or display at the con, contact me privately and we can discuss details. Failing that, it’s very likely I’ll be going to next year’s World Fantasy in Saratoga Springs, New York. It’s a short drive from Montreal, so if you want to go, start thinking about the logistics of taking time off and getting to Montreal. We could drive down together and share a room.

  2. mharoldpage says:

    This time was pretty much a scouting expedition. I did some networking – just a little – but really was too small a fish to do more. Mostly I just enjoyed fan time.

    World Fantasy would be awesome and tax deductible, as would hanging out in the flesh. However… i can’t really justify something like that unless I have a big fat book on its way to publication. 🙁

    • Geoff Hart says:

      Fair enough. If you want to send along any advertising materials, contact me privately. And do think about next year. You’ve got (4?) books out, which is more than enough to justify a marketing trip.

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