For an author, conventions are a blessing and a curse. The opportunity to meet fans, other authors, publishers and agents, all in an environment that is tailored to your genre is the blessing part. There is nothing quite like it, really, and SF/Fantasy authors are especially blessed in that there are a huge number of literary, media, fan and trade shows available where we can show our product and make these invaluable connections.
The curse, or downside, to conventions, is the cost, stress and fatigue. Contrary to popular belief, most SF/Fantasy authors are not rich or particularly famous, and do not get compensated for their appearances at these conventions. We are not flown in, wined, dined and lodged in the penthouse suite. More often than not, we drive ourselves, haul our own bags (and books) pay for our own lodging, meals and sometimes table space to show our wares. In our case, this adventure included the additional effort of flying from Trinidad to Miami, buying a car that we hoped would make the trip, and driving all the way to New England, then across to Chicago. The end result is usually a net deficit in the checking account, even if you manage to sell a bunch of books, but, as I said, the experience is invaluable.
So, we are currently geared up for a three-convention tour that will begin on Thursday, August 9th, and will not end until September 3rd.
First stop: Chicago Comic Con, August 9-12! This will be my first Comic Con, and although San Diego still gets most of the press for Comic Cons, they have now appeared in many other major cities. Chicago’s venue is the Rosemont Convention Center, which is conveniently located right next to O’Hare Airport. There are many hotels nearby, many within walking distance to the convention center, and if you are flying in, you have it made.
After Comic Con, we will be making a short stop at a friend’s house, and doing a talk and book signing at the Mascouta Public Library, Wednesday, August 15th, near St. Louis (on the Indiana side of the river).
Second Stop: GenCon August 16-19, Indianapolis, Indiana! This will be our second GenCon, and we are really looking forward to it. We made a number of valuable contacts at last year’s con, one of which even resulted in our upcoming novel with Paizo Publishing! The connection between gamers and readers is a strong one, and we are joining the ranks of RPG novelists alongside some of the biggest names in the business! This year, if all goes well, we will be releasing our newest Scimitar Seas novel, Scimitar War, at GenCon.
One week off, then we are due for the big one: Dragon*Con, August 31 – September 3 in Atlanta, Georgia! This is our biggest venue, and we are all set up to have a great time, sell hundreds of books and participate in several panel discussions with the SFF Lit Track, and the Writers’ Track, so book a room, if you can find one, and come on down to HOT-lanta for Dragon*Con. We would love to see you!