Sunday, August 4, 2013

Lessons From FandomFest

BlackWyrm Authors
Next time I attend Fandom Fest, I'm bringing a GPS.

Having a few cons under my belt, one thing I've learned is to get there early and find where I need to be, such as panel rooms. And look for landmarks. It's easy to get turned around if you're not used to someplace.

Although, I'll admit the view of downtown Louisville from the skywalk was lovely.

This was my third year at Fandom Fest and my first year selling eBooks. My publisher had given me coupons with codes on them. When people bought the coupons, they were instructed to create an account and then input the code to download my story. Grand total of coupons sold: 2.

In contrast, my friend sold 33 print books. Now, granted, I was probably the only author there exclusively selling digital books, so I had an uphill battle. But, like the other two years, I had business cards and promo post cards with links to my site, including social media, to hand out.

For me, the con becomes more about networking than sales, at least at this point. Now, if I have print books will that change? Hard to say. Depends on how you handle it, and no, I never did the hard sell. Having worked in sales, I know that doesn't work. Well, it can, but it can also leave a bad taste in a customer's mouth. So, no.

My friend and I would engage people, ask them what they liked to read. If someone mentioned genres we wrote, we told them about our books, invited them to take postcards, and, in my friend's case, let them browse through her books before making a decision. And every time, whether they bought a book or not, we thanked them.

This was also my third year being on panels. I think I'm getting the hang of it. :-) I was on three: Plotter or Pantster; Love and Sex for Geeks; and Screenplay Writing. Ironically, this past April, during ConGlomeration, I was on a panel, "The Love Connection." Is there a pattern emerging here? :-) Even more ironic, during Fandom Fest 2012, I was on a panel called "The Perfect Kill" with Cassandre Dayne (also writing as Bethany Halle) and Christian Jensen, and this year we were on the "Love and Sex for Geeks" panel. Talk about a contrast. LOL

In closing, I'd like to thank Amy and Missy for their help. Can't believe I forgot to get a picture of our table.

Next stop: Context.



Marian Allen said...

See you there! I was never able to sell electronic books at a spec fic con. Mystery readers -- they LOVE ebooks!

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Stacy McKitrick said...

I didn't even know this con existed until you mentioned it earlier (on a loop or something). It almost seems similar to Dragon*Con (which I will be attending this year). Do the celebrities have panels, too? Or are they just there for autographs and pictures? I couldn't tell from the website!

Hopefully you garnered some interest in your NAME while there, and those people who stopped by your table ended up buying your book via Amazon or B&N. You never know!!

PamelaTurner said...

Marian, that's it. :-) Time to start saving money for those mystery cons. I've never attended one yet, although I want to.

Stacy, I think some of the celebrities did Q&A sessions. Many of the ones who were at FF are scheduled to be at Dragon Con. And agreed, it is about getting your name out there. I think I do make one or two sales from cons. Anyway, hope springs eternal. :-)

J.Q. Rose said...

This post is timely for me. I just posted on my own blog about our book signing last week. My friends all sold their print books, but I didn't sell one e-book. I had one lady ask me to put them in print version. Umm, that might be expensive to sell one, eh? You made me feel better about myself for not being such a loser. Wish we could cram those books into their kindles and nooks some way. Thanks for sharing...your fellow Muse sis, Jan