#REVIEW: 5 Critical Things for Successful Book Signings, by Adam Dreece

Calling this a “review” might be overstating the case a little bit, I dunno. Think of it more as a public service announcement for those of you who are authors who do book signings:

Pick this book up, and read it, (it’s only about 130 pages, so it won’t take terribly long) and internalize its teachings. The meat of the book is right there in the title, so there’s not a whole lot of need to go into details about what the book covers; just be aware that Adam is really good at this sort of thing and the advice in the book is spot-on.

Necessary disclosures: I got to see an early ARC and provided a blurb for the back cover and the Amazon description, and even before then I’d been stealing ideas from Adam since my first show at InConJunction several years ago. That said, he rejected my first blurb– which is fine, as I suspected he was going to, and provided him with the one he actually used a few minutes later. That said, since this is my blog, and not his book, here’s the first blurb I tried to get him to use:

“This book gives you all the advantages of Adam Dreece’s knowledge and experience without the mess and effort of hunting him down and consuming his brain and living soul. Highly recommended.”
—Luther M. Siler, author of THE BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES

Can’t imagine why he didn’t use it.

Anyway, if you’re an author, this will be money well spent. And you can even write it off on your taxes! So everybody wins.

On ConGlomeration

So it occurred to me that I never really talked about ConGlomeration. Cool thing, first: I am right now listening to an MP3 of my first panel, which was on writing dialogue. I have recordings of two of the four panels, both of which will be posted to Patreon as soon as I have listened to them and made sure everything sounds good and that I’ve edited out the one place where I randomly blurted out what school I work at to someone. There aren’t a huge number of people in the crowd, but it’s still a fun talk.

Three of the four panels went really well; the fourth didn’t precisely go badly, but I quickly found myself not feeling like I belonged at the table. I really liked the people I was neighbors with in the vendor room. For the most part the folks who were there as con-goers were nice people. I sold … decently? I’ve had better shows, but I’ve had some that went way worse.

A couple of minor announcements: there will be second editions of both Skylights and The Sanctum of the Sphere coming, once I’ve sold out of my current physical stock of both of those books. Skylights is going to be slightly updated (no story changes) to eliminate references to the year it takes place in, and Sanctum is going to be released as a standalone single volume without The Benevolence Archives, Vol. 1 in it. I’m hoping this happens by the end of the year, but again, it’s depending on selling out or getting close to selling out the books I have which may take a while.

But, man, y’all … Kentucky.

I opted out of one of my panels because one of the people I was supposed to be sitting with is well-known in the Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies movement. If you don’t know what that is, don’t look it up, just trust me that it was not a good idea for me to be on a stage with this guy.

(Man, I really talk too much on this first panel. Granted, there’s only two of us, but I didn’t realize I was talking as much as I do. Geez.)

Anyway. The thing about being in an area that is much much much more conservative than what you’re used to is the weird phenomenon where motherfuckers will say absolutely anything to you if you’re a white guy and assume you’re just going to agree with it. And … fuck, did I spend a lot of time not starting, or at least not continuing, shit with people. Like the guy who had three different wildly offensive Second Amendment/ MAGA/ anti-Obama shirts, one for each day of the show, and kept insisting on parking himself right in front of me at my panels. Or the three or four people who randomly brought up wanting to shoot people if they find themselves in certain neighborhoods. And … shit. It just got to be too fuckin’ much sometimes, y’know?

(Meanwhile, the other half of the crowd is the LGBTQIA+ hyper-liberal types who I’m much more comfortable and friendly with, and those folks were all cool.)

So, yeah. I was having fun, for the most part, interspersed with these occasional weird moments where I’m either just cringing or trying to keep myself from losing my shit at somebody. So … is that a decent show? Sure, why not, right?


Still haven’t seen Avengers: Endgame, as family medical drama continues. So I’m still spoiler-dodging and mostly avoiding the internet. I’m hoping to rectify the problem by this weekend. Just FYI.

In which I forgot to title the post again

Only one cosplay photo to share today, but it’s a doozy– I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Hagrid and this dude was born to cosplay him. If you look carefully you can see he’s got lifts attached to his shoes but even without them he was a mountain of a human being.

I wonder what it’s like, to be a cosplayer and to realize that you already basically look exactly like a certain character and are perfect to cosplay as that person.

At any rate: I am home, and only about half-dead, and in my recliner, and I wore earplugs for the entire drive home because the Goddamned crashwrap they put on my window was so unbearably loud. Insurance is covering the loss 100%; I have decided to pretend I just lost the sunglasses (which I rarely wore anyway) rather than trying to pursue whatever I might need to do to get some sort of reimbursement for them.

I have about fifteen blog posts percolating about in my brain right now; we’ll see how many of them get written over the next couple of days, or whether I wake up tomorrow with the vague feeling that at one point I had a bunch of blog ideas and now they’re all gone. I do intend to talk about the con in more detail; for now, the fun parts were fun, the not-fun parts were at least interesting, and I’m not sure yet whether I’ll return next year or not. But again: more later.

I miss anything important this weekend?

#ConGlomeration cosplay

Again, not a ton of pictures today, but I suppose not-a-ton is better than the none I took yesterday, right?

(Note the complete lack of superheroes. There have barely been any! This has been a very different crowd than I’m used to seeing at these things; I’ll get more into that tomorrow, maybe.)

Late-night first day #ConGlomeration update

holy crap am I tired

So, weird thing: for the first time at one of these, I have no cosplay pictures to post today. Attendance wasn’t stellar but the folks who were here were buying; my next sale will pay off my booth, moving me into the coveted Sorta Profit status, where I’ve made money if I ignore travel, food, lodging, and the fact that I had to pay to order the merchandise I’m selling. And the broken car window. It will take … a few more sales to get beyond that.

But for whatever reason there really weren’t a whole lot of cosplayers today, and the only one who really caught my attention didn’t get close enough to me for me to get a picture of him. The masquerade ball is tomorrow, and it’s after the dealer room closes, so if nothing else I’ll try to get some pictures there.

The two panels I did went very well, I thought, particularly since they were scheduled during the first two hours of the convention and I was expecting next to no attendance. I’m really looking forward to my two tomorrow.

But now I must be asleep so that I’m still alive for it.