I must admit I was a bit nervous coming into an event like this as a vendor for the first time not knowing how a literary author would do at a convention that primarily is about comic books and other visual forms of media. I had no prints, comic books, graphic novels or posters of well known characters to offer. I had a few placards made showing visual representations of a few of my characters and a banner behind me depicting one of the more prominent figures I had created along with one of my ships. These worked great as they gave a visual for people to look at and opened the door for me to engage them if they seemed relatively interested then I could tell them about the characters and my story. For a first experience it could not have gone much better than it did. There are a few reasons I think that helped. The visuals I already mentioned, I had a plan before going in, I actively engaged people as they walked by, and finally I was consistent.
I think it also helped that my table was relatively nicely presented and organized (I had help with that). It was not cluttered and there were a few things that caught peoples eye as they passed. It just so happens that I am a large person and that helped catch some folks attention. As my size 6’9″ 350 lbs is something I cannot really control if you are looking into doing events if you’re not my size you will have to find something else to depend on. That’s not really important just thought I would at least address that my personal circumstances can either augment or hinder depending on the situation. Here it was an advantage because people approaching to mention my size gave me the opportunity to ask if they read science fiction. Now there were plenty of people who answered that they in fact did not read a whole lot regardless of genre and that was to be expected but they said they would however be interested if I had my story in graphic novel or comic book form.
This was good because it allowed me to gather contacts who would A.) be interested in the comic, B.) liked my story got the book and would also like to be beta readers for the second novel, or C.) all of the above. I was just as interested in building up a base of beta readers to give me feedback on not only the first book but the second which is important for authors, especially indie authors. If you are interested in writing you will learn that reviews are our life blood sometimes! Sounds like I am being dramatic but after 25 reviews it triggers something in Amazon’s algorithm and you will start to show up in the “also bought” mentions of your genre. I am sadly only at 7 but rising. After a few more events like this I will get there soon. Working on getting a schedule of events up on this site so that people will know where to find me as I begin touring around with my book.
Finally I would like to advise that if you are thinking about writing or have written and thinking about going to events like this be sure to bring the most important ingredient with you. Your passion. Be about your business, have fun while doing it but be passionate in your presentation! I know I met many people who were not even into the genre for one, and not totally sold on my synopsis whether they read it or asked me to explain it, but I cannot deny that some stopped me in my tracks and said ” You know what? You’re passionate about this and that’s what sold me. Let me have one.” It was these few moments injected amidst the plethora of people there that were heavily into science fiction or fantasy that let me know that I was in the right for pursuing my dream of bringing my stories to life and sharing them with others. I want very much for those of you out there thinking about doing the same to stop thinking about it and go out and do it. We need more creators and dreamers from all kinds of perspectives and backgrounds to push their stories out there to the world. It would be cool to see one of you at my next event as a fan but even cooler if you had an exhibitors badge on too! Until next time.