Another weekend, another convention, so it’s RECAP TIME again. You’d think these things would get old, but they never really do. It’s sort of like reliving the highlights of the weekend one more time, in detail, before putting the convention to rest for good. And like all conventions, FandomFest had its highs and lows. Of course, as an author and vendor, my perception is much different than just your regular attendee.
One of the first things I judge a con by is sales, and sales were meh. Just meh. Part of that was probably location: our table space was surrounded by high-walled vendors on all sides but the back, and there we had the publisher’s banner. So people walking around the other aisles couldn’t spot our books and we were reliant on independent foot traffic. The layout wasn’t bad–the celebs were all in the back of the room as were the photo-ops–so people had to flow by the vendor space to get to what they really wanted. All that is well and good, but our table was offset from the doors, so we weren’t a straight shot back to the celeb area, and all this means little to most people, but table real estate is a key factor in selling well. Also, horror isn’t the biggest genre at this type of convention. These are more comic, sci-fi, and fantasy readers, with just a smattering of horror people thrown in. Maybe if there’d been a few more horror movie/television guests, it’d have been a bit different, but maybe not. All that said, I’d still like some sort of magic bullet to help increase my own personal visibility. My wife tells me to be “nicer” and “talk to more people.”
I participated in two panels this weekend: The Walking Dead and a panel called Paths to Publishing. I enjoyed The Walking Dead much more than the other, simply because I’m a huge fan of both the comics and the television show and it’s awesome to talk to other fans in a kind of no-holds barred environment. Good insights all around. The panel was moderated by L. Andrew Cooper, and the other participants were Michael West and Jettie Necole. I’ve read some of Michael’s work before and he’s well worth your time. My wife picked up Ruby by Ms. Necole this weekend.
My other panel, was also fun, was more of a “work” panel, talking about publishing and writing and contracts and that sort of thing. So if you’re a writer and want a recap of that, here it is in a few words: write good shit, read your contracts, make good network contacts, research potential publishers, and be a professional.
Now FandomFest wouldn’t be anything without its fandoms, now would it? And believe me when I say some of the most excellent costumes were on display this weekend. There were so many that I couldn’t keep up, so as you browse through my photo gallery, you’ll notice not every picture has a caption. Mostly that’s because I have no idea to which fandom they belong and would rather leave it blank than fuck it up and offend someone. If you see a picture and know the fandom, drop me a line through the contact form and I’ll update the gallery. Click on over the FandomFest Gallery and gaze upon the magnificence that is Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Dr. Who, and others. Oh, and yeah, this fucking guy was there doing Drake from one of the best sci-fi/horror movies ever, Aliens.
As always, it’s good to catch up with my fellow scribes. In a perfect world, we’d be able to have these good times and good conversations much more often than we do. My shout-out to Tim McWhorter, Tony Acree, Stu Thaman, and Terri-Lynne Smiles.
A special thank you, too, to the fine folks at Post Mortem Press for continued support and letting me take up massive amounts of space at their table. You should click that link up there and hit up the website, buy some books, support the arts, and be scared.
Next up for me is the Dan Emmett Music & Arts Festival in Mt. Vernon, Ohio. I’ll have a table and be selling with the incomparable Violet Patterson. Come by and see us, have some good conversation, maybe even buy a book or two. We’ll be waiting.
Come back Wednesday to read about writing in someone else’s sandbox!