In which that’s enough of that

So here’s the thing about the con I just did: I like all the people who run it. For the most part, I liked all the other vendors I talked to. I really enjoyed the panels I did; they weren’t heavily attended, but it turns out if you put a bunch of authors in a room and tell them to yap about something we’re perfectly happy just to talk amongst ourselves for a while even if there aren’t a whole lot of people there to listen.

Actually, true story: one of my panels was scheduled against the charity auction, which was heavily attended, and as a result there was literally no one there when our panel was supposed to start. The four of us just got to talking about microfiction anyway. Eventually one person showed up and joined the conversation. We did some readings, just for the hell of it. We had one person attend and it was the best panel I did, and I didn’t record it because I didn’t think it was going to last an hour– and somehow it did.

So, yeah, I’m not going back.

And, like, it’s weird– I like these people, and I had fun, and I’m not even going to use the name of the con in this post specifically because I don’t want anyone connected with the con finding it by accident, because this isn’t their fault. It’s not a poorly run show, but this is a small show, and the majority of my sales over the weekend were to other vendors, which is practically unheard of– and there were long stretches of time, especially today, where I didn’t see anyone in the vendor room who wasn’t a vendor. That’s not sustainable. It’s just not.

And the people who do show up for this con tend to do all of the cons in the Indianapolis area, which means I’ll catch them at some point at some other show. I recognized easily 50% of the folks who walked past my booth on Friday. There was a guy who was a booth barnacle from Hell for both of the people on either side of me who was at ConGlomeration in Louisville, and I’m pretty sure he was at the last one of these cons, and when I’m recognizing even the people I don’t want to see again? Sigh.

It’s just not worth it to me as someone who at least hypothetically wants the chance to make some money at one of these damn shows. And, of course, the flip side of that was the couple of people who did buy something from me at the last show, remembered me, and bought more books– I love that. It’s a wonderful feeling. But I spent $90 on my hotel room last night and sold two books today, for an amount of money that did not cover my breakfast and lunch today.

And … yeah. I’ve still got two or three more shows coming this year– and I had to cancel two because of the family stuff I’ve been going through in the last couple of months– but I have to start being a lot more selective about which shows I go to, and this one just can’t make the cut again. I’m not happy about it, but I don’t think I have a choice.

InConJunction XXIX panel schedule

I’ve got four events at InConJunction this weekend, all on Saturday the 6th. I will be in the vendor room for the rest of the time. For those of you who support me on Patreon, I am very likely to bring a recorder and post these to the site over the next couple of weeks. Remember: just $1 a month gets you access to almost everything on the site, and $2 a month gets you a whole novel!

Independent Publishers on Indie Publishing: 10:00-12:00, Indianapolis Ballroom A

Reading: Favorite Fun Chapters: Sometime during 3-4:00 PM, Indianapolis Ballroom B. I don’t know exactly when and I haven’t decided what to read yet. I think something from Tales but we’ll see.

The Challenges and Joys of Microfiction: 4:00-5:00, Indianapolis Ballroom A.

World Building for Authors and Game Designers, 6:00-7:00, Indianapolis Ballroom B.

I’m hoping for my reading to be near the end of that section, so that I don’t have to be away from my booth for that whole time, and I did end up cancelling one event where I got double-booked by accident and another where I just wanted another hour in the vendor room. Six hours of programming spread over three days would have been okay; six hours of what is usually the biggest day of the con … eh.

One way or another, if you’re going to be at the show, come see me!

ConGlomeration Compelling Characters panel up at Patreon!

Here is how you know it was a long motherfucking day: I am drinking an alcohol at the moment, which is a thing that I do not do. Or, at least, I have an alcoholic beverage eight inches off from my elbow on the table next to me on the couch. I have tasted it once and it is terrible and I am probably not going to come close to finishing it but it’s the thought that counts. Or something.

Anyway, I finally got that second panel from ConGlomeration, on writing compelling characters, uploaded to Patreon. So if you’re interested in that sort of thing you should head over there and listen to it. I am, right now, three Patrons short of twenty, and nine dollars a month short of $50, so if anybody wants to help me get to cool round numbers, that would be super awesome. There’s a bunch of other stuff over there too, including a whole new book you’ve never read at the $2 a month tier or higher!

S’worth it, I promise.

In which I do author stuff

I will be in Louisville next weekend at ConGlomeration, held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, also in Louisville. I have my usual table in Artist’s Alley– stand by for further information on that, as I don’t know exactly where I’ll be found yet– but I’m also doing four panels. From their programming page:

FRIDAY:

“Writing Compelling Dialog”
1pm | Perry
Ever wonder how writers manage that witty line or perfect turn of phrase as their characters mouth off to each other on the page? Join us to discuss the ins and outs of writing authentic and compelling dialog.

“Writing Compelling Characters”
2pm | Perry
From Doctor Who to Han Solo, to Spock, these fictional characters speak to us and move us, making their stories epic in a way that can’t be put into words. Come join us to discuss what makes a compelling character and how to write characters that will have your readers rooting for them long after they’ve put the book down.

SATURDAY:

“Success as an Indie Author”
1pm | Perry
Trying to make it as an independent author can be confusing and not a little frightening. Everything depends on you, and it’s up to you to make or break yourself in the field. Join some successful indie authors as they discuss ways to set yourself up for success and build your platform so that you can write stories you love and sell them to people who will love them just as much.

“Writing Fantasy”
8pm | Perry
Fantasy fiction has shaped our culture from ancient myths and fairy tales to current blockbusters and cult-followed classics. Join a panel of fantasy authors to discuss the elements of great fantasy writing and how to make your fantasy story the masterpiece it deserves to be.

I will leave it up to y’all to determine whether I deserve to be on any of these panels; the imposter syndrome is kicking in hard, I’ll admit, but fuck it I’m a teacher and I explain shit to people for a living and if I can’t BS my way through four independent hours of talking about writing … well, I absolutely can bullshit my way through four independent hours of talking about writing, is what I’m saying. I am assuming “Perry” is the name of the hall or the room they’re in, because surely they don’t have the same person moderating every writing panel. Again, more information will follow.

And then, the weekend after next, I’ll be at LaffyCon in Lafayette. This is a Saturday-Sunday only event, with no panels, although I might try and finagle my way into a podcast or something at some point.

After that, IndyPopCon in June, and then … well, I need to find some stuff to fill the summer up with, I think, because nothing else until Kokomo-Con X in October. Maybe I’ll do InConJunction again this year; it was the first one I ever went to so that might be fun. Plus it starts on my birthday.

Anyway, I’ve been designing new banners all day. They’re up on Patreon, even! And I ordered new books, and the point is I’ve spent an awful lot of money on being an author today, and you should go buy a couple of my books because Jesus is this shit expensive. But my new booth setup has potential to look super cool, and I’m excited about that.

In which I’m suddenly taken seriously

I should probably hold this information back a little bit, because right now I don’t have much more than what I’m going to tell you and there’s certainly a lot more to know, but I just got my panel schedule back for ConGlomeration this April in Louisville. And whoa.

First of all, I have a panel schedule. I’ve been doing cons for like four years and I’ve been on one panel. There were four people in the audience. One was my wife. (One of the other three bought a book, though!) I am doing five panels at ConGlomeration.

Friday, April 19, 1 PM: Writing Dialog
2 PM: Writing Compelling Characters
7 PM: Writing Science Fiction

Saturday, April 20, 3 PM: Setting Yourself Up for Success as an Indie
8 PM: Writing Fantasy

I’m not on any panels with Timothy Zahn, which makes me kinda sad, but I think Michael Z. Williamson is on the Writing Science Fiction one? He’s holding a gun with an attached silencer in his picture on Wikipedia and he once wrote a book called Brilliant Liberal Logic: Three Lies in Three Words,  which implies that the word “liberal” is, itself, somehow a lie, which I’m not sure it is.

I’m sure we’ll get along just fine.