It’s the beginning of what would have been convention season. We should have had 2 or 3 under our belts already, but fate had other ideas. My publisher is filling the gap and running a virtual conference.
Here’s the information from their site:
Renaissance Press is organizing an entirely FREE, entirely online convention!
With everyone and everything being shut down, a lot of conventions and fairs have cancelled, and a lot of authors and publishers have lost precious revenue. Renaissance has also been affected, so we thought:
Why not do something online, make a weekend of it, and get as many people involved as possible?
So today, we are reaching out to everyone we know who writes and sells books to see if they want to be part of our big event!
What will it look like?
An online convention/book fair, completely free for everyone involved. Authors will be able to promote themselves and their work through panels, readings, and workshops. We would offer 2-3 days of programming. When you mention your book in the panel, there will be an accessible link right there! Panels will also be recorded and later posted to YouTube, along with the links.
There will also be a virtual vendors room where we will link everyone’s books, and your books, along with whatever sale or flash deal you or your publisher are currently having, will be promoted before and after each event.
Our big online book fair will happen on the weekend of May 30-31. We plan to have programming from 10 AM to 8 PM on the Saturday, and from 10 AM to 6 PM on the Sunday. We might have programming on the Friday evening if we have enough content/demand. The hours can be expanded, and a second weekend is possible, depending on demand.
Who can participate?
We would like to invite as many authors, publishers and associations as possible. Basically, if you write and/or sell books, and want visibility, you’re whom this is for! And since this is online, anyone from anywhere in the world can participate!
What if my book is from another publisher?
Your publisher is welcome to have a free, virtual “stand” in our online dealers’ room. Or, you can participate and have us link back to your publisher’s page without your publisher having to be there if they don’t want to. To be in our virtual vendors’ room, there is no other requirement than for us to have a link to their shop, a logo, and be informed of any sale or flash deal they are having. All we ask in return is that you and/or your publisher help promote the event by posting about it on social media.
What kind of ideas are you looking for?
We’re up for anything! We have a selection of panels that have already been pitched to us that you’ll find here, that you can simply apply to be on, or you can pitch us your own idea. If you have a workshop to present, it’s always best if it’s closely related to your books (for example, if your aliens eat delicious desserts, you could always teach people how to cook your favorite dessert). Or, you might want to read from your recent new release. We are looking for content that can appeal to a wide public! We are also looking for some programming geared towards children for the mornings.
This past weekend the entire JenEric family went to one of our favourite conventions; Can*Con. The people were lovely and the event was wonderful, but boy am I glad it’s over.
It’s definitely the most stressful convention for me. Most conventions, my job is to stand there, look pretty, and sell coffee. At Can*Con, I’m also an author and need to talk about my books and my experience. Often times, with people I respect and am in awe of.
This year I had a panel about multiple point of view narratives with Tanya Huff and Kevin Hearn. Both amazing writers and extremely intelligent panelists. I think, to my surprise, I didn’t come off as a complete fool, so yay. (A personal fanboy moment was when Tanya chided me for not mentioning my Aurora nomination.)
I also had a signing with Charles De Lint. I spent half the time chatting with people in line to talk with him and half the time chatting with him. He’s a really nice person and we chatted about book formatting and support structures.
Now all that was stressful but awesome. Unfortunately, all 4 of us came down with a cold just before the convention. So doing a convention with a 3 year old and a baby while being sick was… exhausting.
Despite all of us being exhausted, we decided we needed to go to the Aurora awards banquet (we were both nominated but didn’t expect to win). Keladry wanted to dress up and we were just too darn tired so we didn’t. We were the schlumps in t-shirts and jeans but we had a great time.
On the Sunday I had a reading and took Keladry to ensure I had an audience. To my surprise, there were three other people. At least one of which was there to hear me read. Yay, I have a fan! Thanks S!
Doing conventions with kids is hard but totally worth it. Adrien mostly slept, but Keladry was as good as possible. She listened, didn’t touch things, and only melted down a few times. I’m really proud of them.
Doing conventions with kids isn’t easy, but what makes it infinitely better is doing it with people who love them and like to entertain them. S. M. Carrière being the godmother spends a lot of time helping us at almost every con. Nathan of Renaissance was amazing despite being busy 99% of the con. Heather Chambers was absolutely fantastic with Keladry. She drew with her, played, and spent lots of time laughing.
There are more people that helped then I can name.
To everyone who helped, chatted, bought something, listened to me read or rant, or just made this convention amazing. Thank you so much!