I don’t recall offhand if I made a post like this after my second convention, but I know I’ve done this once before, and now, after my 3rd convention, I have some more thoughts & observations to share.
The convention, Icon, here in Israel, took place about 2 weeks ago now. It was my biggest convention yet in several ways, being the longest (3 days), and, fittingly, my most profitable.
This time I (kinda) had one new book out, the Hebrew translation of Light Unto Another World Volume 1. Unfortunately, hard copies didn’t arrive on time, so all I had was the proof to show off, and I could take orders. So, unfortunately, I can’t make any proper statements on how well it did, since anything that’s not physically there is always going to sell much fewer copies.
Once again, Light Unto Another World was my best seller, followed by The Dragon Hand. I did sell one copy of A Greater Duty, but fantasy is still the firm winner genre as of now.
The biggest takeaway from the convention, and probably the best piece of news overall, is that more people know who I am now, and I’m reaching the point where I’m getting reader feedback at cons. I was visited by a few people who’d read at least one of my books before, several of whom bought the next books in the series (primarily Light Unto Another World.) And at least one person who couldn’t buy my books last convention returned & did so this time. Reader feedback has been extremely positive, and it’s just fun interacting in person with people who’ve enjoyed my work who aren’t people I know personally.
Also, one person who enjoyed my epic fantasy novel The Dragon Hand asked about the sequel, so I’ve decided to get back to that; I’ve now finally finished the outline.
But back to the con as a whole. My setup is, one step at a time, starting to look more professional. Got a proper sign holder this time, and I’m planning another couple small upgrades for next time.
As this was another outdoor convention, and still at the tail end of summer, I decided to just go with the horns instead of a full costume. (Also, pro-tip, if you’re going to do an outdoor con, get a portable shade tent. You’re going to want one.)
Another upgrade this time; nicer giveaways! I got some pretty nifty bookmarks printed, and many more people took those compared to my old business cards; who’d have thought readers like bookmarks?
I had new table neighbors this time (and we ended up shade buddies.) Something else I’ve learned doing cons is that, while it may be clear that outside the convention you might have fairly little in common (in terms of politics or other ideological leanings) there’s a comradery among everyone selling their stuff at places like this. We’re all there to make money, and people are always willing to chat, share tips, and commiserate about the damn sun in the sky. Considering how much drama we always hear about online involving conventions, it’s been really nice to see this side of it.
I’m also seeing the progression of my own learning from con to con. This time, I had *nearly* enough small change for the whole thing.
I won’t drag this on too long, but I do want to emphasize that I highly recommend that any indie creator, whether you do books, comics, or whatever, at least try out a local con. Tables shouldn’t be too much, and there are so many benefits beyond making a bit of money over the course of a couple days. Even just passively, you end up networking and meeting interesting people. Last con, someone I met got my in touch with the woman who translated Light Unto Another World Volume 1 into Hebrew, and I met her in person for the first time at this convention. She and her husband even ordered a copy of the finished product!
It’s also just fun, experiencing a convention from a different angle (and it’s extra fun when friends or family attending stop by to say hi). Though, if you want to do anything involving leaving your table for more than a couple minutes, you need to bring or find a partner lol. My only mini excursion over the 3 days was one quick trip to the secondhand store where I made my only convention purchase: All 10 books of Roger Zelazny’s Amber series, for less than $15 in total! (They’re not in order here XD.)
That’ll about do it for now l just wanted to share the quick recap & brief thoughts.
Next up, I’ll be keeping an eye out in case there’s anther con before the next one I already know about. I can’t wait for it too; by next time I’ll have physical copies of my Hebrew book here, and will probably have at least one new Light Unto Another World Volume for my readers. And, within a year, G-d willing, I’ll finally have something to offer the people who stop by seeking manga as opposed to light novels; I’ve got most of Amaranth Angels Volume 1 scripted, and I just arranged with my artist for work to start on that in January.
Onward and upward!
My books are all of course available on Amazon; check them out if you haven’t yet, and if you’ve read & enjoyed them, consider leaving a quick review either on Amazon or Goodreads; it really helps!
Until next time–hopefully soon!