Monday, February 17, 2020

After-Action Report: Two Cons, Two Weeks

I know it's been awhile since I posted anything, but these last few weeks have been busy. In particular, I've spent two weekends in a row working conventions here in Atlanta--the horror-themed Days of the Dead and the steampunk/alternate-history AnachroCon final show.

At Days of the Dead, I split the table with Nathan McCullough, whom I know from the Atlanta chapter of the Horror Writers Association and who was selling his new novella/short-story collection Drag You Down. That was a good weekend--I got 35 e-mail addresses for my semi-monthly newsletter and sold 33 books. The Thing in the Woods dominated with over half, but I sold a fair number of Little People, Big Guns and even seven copies of Battle for the Wastelands despite it not being a horror novel. I made at least one sale by comparing it to The Dark Tower, which helped me make a horror connection even though both Battle and TDT series are primarily fantasy.

I also handed out all my remaining Thing note-cards with QR codes for the e-book, which based on my Amazon rankings seems to have led to some upticks in sales. Unfortunately the relatively high table cost, even though I split it with Nate, and the high costs of parking led to a net profit of only around $25. Still, given the large number of books sold, the addition of new people to my newsletter, and advice Nate gave me on how to fix a minor glitch in the first print copies of Battle, this overall was a good experience.

(Going forward I'm thinking of carrying books to and from conventions in a rolling suitcase and taking Lyft rather than driving myself and carrying the original shipping boxes on a hand-cart. With a more stable suitcase, I could even take MARTA even though it's slower and shave off even more dollars. That'll be really helpful with the upcoming Atlanta Comic Con at the Georgia World Convention Center.)

AnachroCon proved more profitable, since I was a convention guest. I appeared in five panels, listed here. The most lively one was the one on tropes--we got into the ones people found annoying like Tragic Mulatto (I brought up Mr. Spock as the rare male example, since McCoy gives him crap about being a Vulcan and other Vulcans think he's too human) and characters getting "fridged." I sold 19 books there (Thing was the biggest seller surprisingly enough, followed by Battle) and since I didn't have to pay any costs, I made $121.50 in profit on 19 books and got 17 e-mails for my newsletter. Although it's unfortunate that this will be the last AnachroCon, the Atlanta Steampunk Expo  is moving to February to take its place next year and I've been in talks with the organizers about attending as a writer.

Time to get "Son of Grendel" revised and posted on Amazon and get working on the sequel to Battle of the Wastelands. :)

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