Life is back to normal. Or, at least as normal as it can be with me in it. Some of you may be aware that I had spent this past weekend at LibertyCon–a SciFi writing convention held in Chattanooga, TN. My main reason for going was two fold. Learn about the industry and get to know professional writers.
Friday was a slow day, but I’ll hit the highlights. I was able to get the first two of three Thrawn Trilogy books signed by Timothy Zahn. Which is super awesome. Because these were the first books I really remember reading. I told him as much, but I think he hears that all the time so was less than impressed.
The big panel for me that night was one on writing for YA. The moderator for it was Holly McClure from Sullivan and Max–an agency–and one other panelist, Jim Minz from Baen Books. The information was fairly good. What I learned was that you can’t be too preachy with any type of message, and that YA is really starting to break a lot of taboos. It is not unheard of to have sex within the book.
While mine doesn’t have any sex, it does let me know that I can get away with more gruesome scenes if I would like.
Saturday was the big day.
I started it off with a panel on Self-Promotion. It was moderated by John G. Hartness, writer of “Bubba the Monster Hunter” and “The Black Knight Chronicles.” When I began to ask questions, Hartness called on me as “Clark”–as I wear thick rimmed, black glasses–which was fine, because it gave me a hook for future panels. They all remembered me from session to session, which I can’t Hartness enough for that. If there is anything I learned from my days in theater, you want to be remembered.
There wasn’t much more I learned in that one, as a lot of what they talked about I already do. As for as social media is concerned. What I drew away from it was that the biggest form of self promotion you can have is Volume. The more work you have out there, the more visible you will be. Which I think we all can tell makes sense.
During the panel I asked, “How do you promote yourself to Agencies/Publishers at a Con?” They responded with telling me about talking with them about your book and getting email addresses. I followed it up with, “And if you happen to have the first five chapters with you?” The entire panel exploded with a resounding, “NO! We don’t want it. We won’t take it home with us.”
So much for getting those chapters together before I went. At least I was over prepared 🙂
After the panel I was heading off to my kaffeeklatsch with Brandon Sanderson. I was on my out of the panel when I was stopped by a nice lady that asked me my name and where she could find my work. I was floored. She was a reader that wanted to find out where she could read my stuff. I felt pretty honored. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to get her name and every time I saw her again I was busy with other stuff.
So, if you’re the nice lady that stopped me outside Gallery AB and asked for my information, and you are reading this now, thank you for making this young author feel like a pro. I hope you enjoy the work and stick around for my future releases.
I’m going to end the wrap up for now. I don’t like for my blog posts to get too long. It is my personal opinion that most people drop out of blogs around the 500 word mark. I could be wrong though.
Check back for Part 2 where I talk about meeting Brandon Sanderson and what I learned from the Self Publishing panel with John G. Hartness.