Posts Tagged ‘convention tables’

MileHiCon Recap

Well, Squiders, MileHiCon has come and gone. I manned a table in the Authors’ Row for Turtleduck Press to mixed results, but the con is always a good way to meet other local authors and talk shop.

(I said hi to Connie Willis and she said hi back! Of course, I didn’t know it was her when I said it, because I didn’t know she was at the con as she was not advertised. I’ve been quietly geeking out to myself ever since. I also ran into Carrie Vaughn in the bathroom and exchanged greetings.)

The Authors’ Row is a space where local authors and small or indie presses get half of a six-foot table to lay out their wares, so they can sell books and connect with local readers. I believe they implemented the idea in 2014 (which was the first time I had a table–and I originally applied for a vendor table since there was no Authors’ Row option originally), and from what I understand, interest has grown in it exponentially, so they’ve tried to expand it every year to get more people in. The original section is an L-shape in the main atrium outside the Vendors’ Room and the Art Show. Last year they added a couple of tables across the atrium directly next to the Art Room doors, and this year they added a table on the far side of the Art Room doors and a couple tables down a side hallway directly next to the original L. They put all us presses down this hallway.

It wasn’t a terrible idea. The Authors’ Row coordinator is a sweetheart and trying to do her best for everyone. And this hallway section was directly across from the entrance to the room where the major events were, so I think the plan was that we would get traffic from people going to the events. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way. People going to the events didn’t want to be bothered, and people who hit the original L-section of the Authors’ Row didn’t seem to realize that the other sections (the hallway, across the atrium, or next to the doors) were part of it, so we also didn’t get the same traffic. So sales were not so hot.

Ah well. It was a learning experience.

I do find myself pondering what to do about next year, however. Is it worth it to get a table and hope I get a better spot? I’m pondering dropping doing TDP and just doing me, and seeing how that goes. There were a couple of other published authors from my writing group there as well, and there was some discussion about seeing if we could share a single spot, but I don’t know if that would be allowed.

The other option is to not get a table and use their author co-op option. They have a co-op table, where an author is assigned a 2-hour slot for selling and signing. It could be a good compromise.

Decisions to be made. The sign-ups for Authors’ Row for next year is already live, though, so I should probably get on it.

The other authors around me were awesome, however. MileHiCon is specifically for scifi and fantasy literature, so if you’re in search of some new reads, check these guys out:

Everyone there was super great, but these were the guys I connected with the most over the weekend. Props to them for keeping me company and being generally great people.

So, that’s MileHiCon in a go. How was your weekend? Thoughts about doing conventions in general?

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Survived!

It turns out that it’s rather exhausting to watch a table all weekend. When I got home Sunday night (and also for most of yesterday) I felt like this:

face to ground(Coincidentally, I drew that at the con. You end up kind of chained to your table–unless you have help, I suppose–and there are periods of boredom, when everyone else is in panels, where you can’t leave and yet you have nothing to do. Aside from random landsquid drawing, I drew a cover for my space dinosaurs adventure, outlined a short story, and edited an extremely problematic chapter of the YA paranormal story I have been working on forever now.)

But, anyway, MileHiCon was interesting. I haven’t been to a smaller convention in, oh, years. And it was neat to talk to the other people in the Authors Row, to see how they thought this con was going versus other cons they’ve had tables with, to hear about their books, and to see how people had their tables set up and what was working for them. MileHiCon is specifically for scifi/fantasy literature, so everyone tended to be my sort of people.

I learned a ton and had a pretty good time, all things considered. And I sold a fair amount of books too. I’m hoping for an email from one of the other authors soon, who is going to send me info on some of the other local cons he thought I might like, so I might give some more a try, both as myself and for Turtleduck Press, depending on what seems like a better fit.

So long story short: con fun, exhausting, would probably do again, woo!