As I was trying to improve my success at conventions, I met Jeffrey at the 2017 AwesomeCon, and picked up his book.
This really is a solid resource for a new author looking to start using conventions to expand his platform. My regret is that I found it a year after I’d been doing conventions, and I read it nearly a year after that.
There are a few things in this book I’m considering, the one I’ll mention (and I assure you there are several ideas in here that new authors should consider) is working with a partner. For me, my current issue is the overhead.
This book agree that conventions aren’t about making money. Most authors hope to break even. My current advantage is that I’m staying local, but even that advantage doesn’t always help. While I think most of the conventions I’ve been at have been successful, I’ve still actually lost money.
I’m prepping for Balticon, and I’ve done the math. I have to see at least 11 pairs of books (or some combination of the two, but the pairs are easier to estimate) to make back what I paid for the table and the actual ordering of the books. I average 15-30 books sold per event. So why do them? First, if I don’t, I don’t sell books. It’s that simple. What this book confirms is the idea for conventions is to build your platforms and find more readers loyal to you. I’ve done that through the years, and that’s the trick for me. If I were able to team up with a few local authors, the overhead would come down, and I could lose less money (maybe even make some) while still gaining new readers.
All of that comes just from that idea. It’s one I’ve tried a few times, but this book gives tips on how to work with other authors. Seeing these ideas gave me a bit more insight into how to do this better.
Like I said, this book is most valuable to those who haven’t started going to conventions yet. If you’re thinking of doing it, I recommend this book to give you a solid start.
Thanks for reading,