Like many authors, I run an email newsletter as a method to engage with readers and market my book. Building an audience for that newsletter is a slow process and there are few shortcuts. Most of the time, it’s about engaging online through your blog or social media and encouraging people to sign up. Yes, there are places out there that will sell you a list of email addresses, but it’s a bad idea. Purchasing such a list typically breaches privacy legislation in several jurisdictions due to lack of consent, and the list will often make you fall foul of spam traps (fake or abandoned email addresses monitored by spam companies to identify offenders).
So, you want to go to a convention. Maybe you’ve attended conventions before, but now you want to go professionally — to make contacts, sell books, or to be a celebrity. Depending on the convention you attend, a booth/table could set you back a lot of money, so how do you make sure your con is successful? My latest article is up on the Writing Bloc exploring this topic with input from several community members. Read it here.
My second article is up on the Writing Bloc! This is the first of a new series we're starting titled Whichcraft?. We're going to produce a series of recommendations for writing craft books our members love. This one is for Elements of Fiction Writing: Characters & Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card. Read the article here.
This weekend was the Anime Island Convention in Hobart. It was my second year attending this small local con with a table to talk books and I had a blast. This year, organisers changed things up and put the fan traders on the upper level outside the halls, which meant I had an amazing view, lots of sun, and a direct line to the coffee cart!
As you might expect, I had to book my table a bit in advance. At the time, I’d been hoping to have a few more things ready for Blood Capital, but alas that didn’t work out. Instead, in addition to chatting about the book, I loaded my table with books from some of my author pals and gave away a set at the end of the weekend (info on each at the end of this post). It was great fun and exciting to see so much interest in both my book and the others. A huge congratulation to Demi who won the book pack. All-in-all, things felt quieter than last year, but there were still lots of people to meet and some great cosplay.
Books from the giveaway
Below is a list of the books I gave away this weekend and some information on each — click on the book cover to jump to the book's webpage.
The Punch Escrow, Tal Klein.
It’s the year 2147: a time of enduring peace on Earth. The Last War ended half a century ago. We can cure most ills, the air is pure, and teleportation is how we get around. Sounds great, right? So why does everyone suddenly want to kill Joel Byram? I wrote a recommendation for The Punch Escrow on my blog here. The Punch Escrow is currently in development as a movie by Lionsgate.
Kill Creek, Scott Thomas.
It was supposed to be a simple publicity stunt: four famous horror authors spending the night in one of the world’s most notorious haunted houses. But their presence awakens an evil that will haunt them long after they leave… Kill Creek was shortlisted in the Stoker Awards this year and made the Barnes and Noble list of top horror for 2017!
Sync City, Peter Ryan
Altered Carbon meets Mad Max In a post-apocalyptic future, fractured timelines are wreaking havoc on the world. Only a tough, hard-drinking enforcer named Jack Trevayne can hold things together. This is gritty, hard-boiled sci-fi with attitude. The future is complicated. Jack is not. I wrote a recommendation for Sync City on my blog here.
Devil's Call, J. Danielle Dorn
On a dark night in the winter of 1859, three men entered the home of Dr. Matthew Callahan and shot him dead in front of his pregnant wife. Unfortunately for them, his wife, Li Lian, hails from a long line of women gifted in the dark arts--the witches of the McPherson clan. Devil's call follows that witch's journey across America seeking revenge.
Rise, Brian Guthrie
On a world brought to the brink of destruction, life now clings to the shattered remains of the planet's crust. These fragments are the Shells: fragile wastelands of desert and rock, protected from the cold of space by a water shield. In the struggle for survival, its people have depended on ancient technology, controlled by the omnipresent Network, to sustain the entire population. But the Network is breaking down, water is sparse, and a complete societal collapse is imminent.
The Anime Island Convention (AICon) is on again in Hobart, running from 6 to 8 April at the Wrest Point Convention Centre. Last year was my first time with a table. It was just after successfully winning the Launch Pad competition and I used the weekend to chat to people about the book and learn how to do a convention. When I booked my table for this year, I was hoping to have early copies of my book to show off, but… that’s not going to be ready. But don’t worry! I have plans! My book won’t be out, but I have a bunch of friends published by Inkshares (my publisher) who’s books are out, so I’m running a giveaway! I’ve bought a set of Inkshares books that should appeal to my audience and I’ll be giving them away by the end of the weekend. If you’re attending, come along to my table to enter.
Speaking of my table, I have a sweet location this year — right outside the second hall. Check it out!