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.
Ok that last one was a trick and actually pretty positive.
The point is that even when you’re published you have to work your ass off to get your book in peoples hands and only 25% will actually read that book. (These statistics are my educated guess.) From those that read your book they’ll tell you they like it and then put it on their shelves and forget about it. Until you publish something else and if they actually liked it they might buy the next one.
That’s the life cycle of a regular book. One that doesn’t get turned into a TV show or movie, explode in sales, or cause a kerfuffle with its content.
I see what some fantastic authors do to encourage their book sales and I feel like I should be doing more. More writing, more advertising, more promotion, more writing, more events, more submitting to review, and did I say more writing?
The real problem with writing, novels specifically, is the speed of return. I so envy my friends who write fanfiction and can receive almost immediate feedback and love. A book takes me a year or two to write, another year to edit and pitch, and (if I’m lucky) another year to edit and publish. Sometimes it’s longer. This week marks the four year anniversary of me starting to write Everdome. It will hopefully be published in either 2019 or 2020.
So being an author is hard but there’s nothing like the feeling of holding your book after all that time or having someone tell you how much they loved your book.
Long story short or as the kids-these-days say TL;DR, it’s not easy but I love it and I’m not going to stop.
If you like reading, writing, or being around books… this is the place for you. A lot of awesome authors will be there go check out the Programme. I’m particularly excited for the Imagine (Fantasy Panel).