Panel on Conventions and Publishing

FenCon10 Notes on different Cons in the area.

Different conventions:
Sooner Con in OKC was revitalized 10 years ago.
18,000 people SFF
Writers’ workshop with CJ. Cherryh, June 27-29, 2014.

Norman, OK. Steampunk…
2013 in November.
2014 in October.
There is mummy wrapping.
NaNoWriMo group.

ConDFW February 21-24, 2014
This is a literary con.
That means less costuming and more book stuff.

AllCon (big media) March in Crowne Plaza, DFW area

ACon (June) 25,000 people
most 12-20 years old
anime Con

Texas Frightmare Weekend–independent horror films

Ben Stephens is running the Star Wars Con (same weekend as FenCon).
Dallas Comic Con–hundreds of guests. Folks dress up.

Flavor of a con is kind of a convention.

Other comments:

Thomas Cogdell photoDoes stained glass for a living.
Push art shows.
This is what you do. This is how we help you do it.

Worst part of being a magician?
pigeon poop in your pockets
Once there was a drug dog on the train. I was worried he’d eat my pigeons.

What’s the one thing that would guarantee people think I’ve been there/done that?
Have to know a whole lot. Ask questions.

computer and glasses closerOn writing:
Where do you start your world building?
In the kitchens.
Most authors are encouraging, but “Go back. It’s a trap!”

Get into writer’s workshops with authors and editors.
Learn the tricks of the trade.
They can help you figure out stuff.

Never hand a manuscript to an editor.
Go through channels.
Ted Daugherty (a Tor editor) was asked about marketing. He talked about marketing for an hour.

Editors and predators:
Writer Beware. Some places will take your book, but not give you a contract.

Agent. Ask authors who to use. Check with other people on agents.

Real agents don’t charge reading fees.
Agents take 10-15% for shopping the manuscript.

SFWA Handbook has model contract and discussion.

Must read your contract. Know what you are giving away.
Nothing really exists until the contract is signed.
Stupid Contract is ALWAYS the first contract. Ask politely for changes.
Does not matter what someone (anyone) says. It HAS to be in the contract.

Average amount for first contract is $3,000 over 1.5 years.
“It’s in the accounting cycle.” = 4 months.

How do you market your book so people will buy it? How do you create a following?
Go to conventions.
Hear authors.
Go to workshops.
Hear the panels.
Be polite.
Be professional.
Don’t hand them your manuscript.

compare contrast media con versus fan-run con
media con = Star Wars Con, Dallas Comic Con, hundreds of guests (stars)
Folks dress up (costumes), but it is a business. See people you don’t normally see, but autographs cost money.


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