I’m sitting here recovering after my most successful conference attendance as an author since becoming published. I just got back from Authors After Dark 2o15 in Atlanta, and I’ll tell you it was extremely successful. I met a ton of new readers, which was my entire purpose in going. I met many new author friends that I can learn from, and I made more contacts for my graphics business. Not to mention nearly selling out of the 60 books I took!
Here’s what I like about attending conferences:
- Meeting new fans – this is the best! You feel like a street vendor, but you get the chance to tell hundreds of readers about your book in your own words.
- Meeting other authors more successful than me – I steal ideas shamelessly
- Fellowship with other writers who are my friends – no one else gets you like another writer – I leave feeling energized and ready to write
- Getting out of the house for a few days
- Signing books!
Here’s what I have to think about prior to registering:
- Will it be worth the money?
- Conferences are not cheap and you rarely make back all you spend. You have to be willing to get the payback in other ways
- Will there be high enough reader attendance? I love my author friends, but I am looking to build my fan base of readers.
- Will there be bloggers in attendance? Never under estimate the power of bloggers!
- Will I have a decent spot at the signing or be overwhelmed by the headliners? I want to have my table where I will catch the traffic from the headliners as well as not have things so jammed up that my fans can’t get to me. You don’t usually have control over where you are placed, but if I think, based on feedback I’ve gotten from other authors, I’m going to be shoved in a corner, I give attendance more thought.
- How well promoted is the event prior to attending? You want to work with promoters who are going to be shouting about the conference from every rooftop. The last thing you want is to pay a lot of money and then hear crickets on the day of the signing.
- Can I be on a panel? I like to pick conferences where I can participate on a panel. Readers and other authors can get to know me better, and I can pay it forward with all I’ve learned in the industry.
There are other things I consider, but I’ve hit the highlights. How about you? What are some of the things you think about as a reader or as an author when you think about attending a Con? If you know of some really good ones list them in the comments!
In 2015, I set a goal for myself to attend one event per month. So far I’ve hit that goal, but I have to say my writing has suffered. So…I made a decision. From now until the first part of next year, I’m staying put and finishing up those WIPs that keep haunting me. Stay tuned to my website and sign up for my newsletter so you’ll be the first to know about the new releases. I’m shooting for October for a Paranormal Romantic Suspsense Series about 4 brothers who shift into their spirit animals to save their sacred land, and the psychic women who love them. The Guardians of Lobo Canyon!
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