Marketing Monday: My First Fan Con as a Professional Author

Here I am at my first signing at RustyCon38 (I had someone take a pic but forgot to ask for a copy)

Nothing like curing a case of imposter syndrome like having your first book signing. Unfortunately, we are still in a pandemic and this is Washington state so attendance was low. Another pro said that there were a quarter of the usual amount of attendees. Still, having a signing, reading, and sitting on panels with other pros was definitely a wonderful experience.

Rhiannon “Gibbit” Rhys-Jones Fan Guest of Honor at Rustycon38 (and my editor!)

My first panel was with Bob Brown of B-Cubed Press: “How to start an indie publishing company”. He came from the angle of having run one for years and I came from the angle of being a self-published author wanting to start one. Tragically, our third panelist, Rhiannon Rhys-Jones had a memorial for her husband that evening and could not attend. Unfortunately, as well, no one showed for the panel (Again, there were a low number of attendees due to the pandemic, a memorial happened, and our panel was competing with a few other panels and a burlesque show!). However, I had a wonderful time picking Bob’s brain about putting together anthologies. He gave me realistic numbers to expect to earn and so much more useful information.

My second panel was “Publishing Ethics” on Saturday with Rhiannon “Gibbit” Rhys-Jones, one of my editors for the Midlife Supernaturals series and author Francis Pauli. Francis is a hybrid author, meaning she is traditionally published and has indie-published. Gibbit is an editor, who has worked with several publishing houses as well as freelancing for indie (self-published) authors. I have authored three novellas and a full-length novel coming out October 31. I enjoyed both the panelists and the audience in attendance. So many insightful questions!

My biggest fan and best friend at my reading.

My first ever author reading went like this…

No one showed. (I spoke with another author and she said that only the author reading before her reading showed to hers and vice versa. Again, low attendance due to the pandemic.)

While that was disappointing, I made the best of it and went on with the show. I read the first chapter of Eastside Hedge Witch and fielded my bestie’s questions. It was good practice, but I’m looking forward to real readings now that I’ve done a practice run.

My final panel was “What Comes Next?” with my editor Gibbit and author Maleq A. Jacob. The panel was on world building and the passage of time. Unfortunately, Gibbit had a family emergency and had to leave the con early, but I enjoyed sitting on a panel with Maleq. Jacob’s science fiction books span hundreds of years, involving time jumps and tech innovations. I explained how I did the research for the Faerie Tales series. We talked about our writing processes, how we track timelines (Ex: in my Faerie Tales series, time passes different in faerie than the real world), and we also discussed research rabbit holes (Ex: Kilts weren’t worn in the Middle Ages. Peasants wore braies.)

The audience posed excellent questions. I really enjoyed their participation!

All in all, my first experience having pro status at a con was a mixed bag. It wasn’t any fault of the presenters of the convention, but the plague continues to ravage us of our lives and living.

I hope for a bigger turnout when I have a signing in Vegas. Maybe I’ll see some of you there?!

I will have a table at this event. Come meet me, get an autograph copy of my books and/or free bookmarks!

Comment Section

    • I think if someone organized cons in Malaysia, there would be a lot fans who’d come from all over. WorldCon happens all over the globe. I went to the one in Ireland and wanted to go to New Zealand, but the pandemic happened.

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