Help Selling More Books – To Con or Not to Con? Part 5 – Autograph Cons

This will be the last of my deep-dive posts on the different types of conventions, and next week I’ll do a wrap-up overview kind of post and maybe go over everything I’ve booked for 2018. Spoiler – we’ve over 20 and it’s not even December 2017! And at some point Dragon Con will get its own post because it’s almost every type of con all rolled into one. This last type of event is my least favorite, and the type that I will frequently avoid. These are the Autograph Cons, or as I unpleasantly (and perhaps unfairly) call them, Starfucker […]

Help Selling More Books – To Con or Not to Con? Part 3 – Exhibit Hall Cons

Welcome to Part 3 of my series on conventions, what they’re about, how to make money at them, all that jazz. Today we’re going to talk about what I call Trade Show Cons, or Exhibit Hall Cons. These are most often your comic cons or your book fairs (where you’re not a big guest, just a schmo with a table). They bring with them a whole new set of challenges, strategies, and expectations. What is an Exhibit Hall Con? Well. these are the cons where you sit behind or beside or in front of your table all day and work […]

Help Selling More Books – To Con or Not To Con? Part 2 – Fandom Cons

Last time I talked about Industry Cons, like World Fantasy Con, World Horror Con, RWA Nationals, and other pro-centric cons. The greatest benefit of these cons is often the networking, as they are light on fan attendees and heavy on pros. They can be a great place to make or renew relationships, to meet people who can have a real impact on your career long-term, but you should never go into a conversation with someone just thinking about what they can do for you. That’s not networking, that’s being an asshole. Real networking, the kind that will actually do something […]

Help Selling More Books – To Con or Not To Con? Part 1 – Industry Conventions

So y’all might have heard that I was in St. Louis last weekend, hitting up both Penned Con 2017 and Archon 41. My conversations with several people at both cons raised the question – Is it worth it? It’s a valid question, and one I ask myself often when I go to conventions. Last week I drove over 1500 miles round trip. I was away from home for six days. I spent five nights in a hotel, and ate out every meal for six days. That’s not an insignificant investment in time, effort, and money, and that’s before we go […]

How to Sell More Books – Personal Appearances

Nah, I’ve still got DragonCon brain, so I’m not going to try to drop any knowledge on you this week. But I’ll tell you where you can find me in the next few weeks to ask me yourself! Saturday, September 9 – Bookmarks Literary Festival in Winston-Salem, NC I’ll be there sharing a tent with Matthew Saunders, Darin Kennedy, and Gail Z. Martin. We’ll have a shitload of books for you buy, so bring a wagon! Also attending will be awesome people like Christina Henry, Leigh Bardugo, and Sherrilyn Kenyon. They won’t be in the tent with us, but they’ll […]

Help Selling More Books – DragonCon Survival Tip Edition

Yeah, I know I post something like this almost every year about this time. These tips are still relevant, and become only moreso as the convention grows and the hotels do not. So here are Hartness’s tips for surviving Dragon Con. Carry a water bottle. You don’t have to carry a full one, there are water stations all over the place, and many of the hotel bars will fill your bottle for you if you’re nice and don’t jam it in their faces when they’re crazy busy. But it’s hot as Beelzebub’s ballsack in Atlanta Labor Day Weekend, and humid […]

What’s on John’s Kindle this week?

Here’s a quick rundown on what I’m reading this week (and maybe some of last week, because I forgot to do this post last week). Currently I’m in the middle of (more like 3/4 of the way finished with) Jake Bible’s Salvage Merc One. I’ve had this on my e-reader for a while, I probably picked it up when it was on sale because I like Jake’s writing, and he’s a good friend. I’m really enjoying it so far. It’s mil-SF, but like most of the stuff I enjoy, and most of the stuff Jake writes, it’s got a fun […]

The world as I see it.

Hey there – Just dropping in for a quick update. My writing, at least as far as the stuff I’m publishing, has been slowed down a bunch this summer by travel and the fact that I have been slamming on Black Knight #7 as hard as I can go for a while now. But the end of that project is in sight, so I have managed to get started on Bubba Season 4, Episode 2, where Bubba deals with his psycho Granny, Mad Queen Mab of FairyLand. I also have a short story due by August 1 that I should […]

Upcoming Events – ConCarolina Schedule

ConCarolinas is next week, and I’ll be there, as always! This year is going to be something special, because we’ll be launching Lawless Lands (which you can totally pre-order now from your favorite digital store), and we’re doing a live Authors & Dragons podcast with THE ENTIRE CAST! I’m really excited to hang out with the boys at my home con, and it’s going to be very cool to actually meet Steve Wetherell and Joseph Brassey for the first time. So if you want to come hang out, here’s where to find me – Friday 4PM – I Talk of […]

Busy Couple of Weeks

Hey folks, how’s it going? It’s the beginning of con season here, which means it’s stupid busy. I spent a fair chunk of Friday packing boxes of books (yes, in between episodes of Iron Fist, which I enjoy, but not as much as I loved Luke Cage) for SC Comicon next weekend. I’ve got several appearances and signings coming up in the next few weeks, and I’d love to see you at any or all of them. Actually, maybe not ALL of them. That might be a little creepy, and I might have to wonder if you don’t have anything […]