Help Selling More Books – To Con or Not to Con? Conclusion (get it? CON-clusion…never mind)

So I’ve now written something like 6,000 words on the different types of conventions, which ones I find to be the most profitable, and how to pick the conventions to attend. There’s one con that I haven’t really addressed, and it’s the biggest one that I do every year, and it deserves its own post. Yup, Dragon Con. Dragon Con is the largest convention in the Southeast every year, and one of the largest in the country. With over 75,000 attendees spread out among five host hotels plus the Americas Mart in downtown Atlanta over Labor Day weekend, it boasts […]

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 4 – Pop Culture Cons

This is kind of a new phenomenon in the past decade or so since geek chic has been a thing. I know, several of the cons I’m going to talk about have been around much longer, but they morphed from comic cons into a Pop Culture Con. Many of them still bill themselves as Comic Cons, but only tangentially hold onto that premise. When I talk about a pop culture con, I’m talking Sand Diego Comicon, NY Comicon, AwesomeCon, Spooky Empire (although it’s a little more horror-centric, it’s still a big pop culture thing, just with a horror slant to […]

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 […]

Help Selling More Books – Write More, Publish More, Sell More

That’s the trick, isn’t it? If we write more, we can publish more, and then we can sell more. I publish roughly 2-3 novels per year, plus a couple of short stories, plus anywhere from 9-14 novellas. This year, I will finish up with eight novellas, a couple of short stories, and two novels. Somewhere between 375,000 and 400,000 words of published fiction, plus around 100,000 words of blogging. I don’t count FB posts, but I do count the stuff I write here, because it’s written with intent and forethought, and usually some level of narrative thread. So close to […]

Ladies and Gentlemen, Simon Cowell!

Not really. But I have begin referring to myself as “Simon Cowell of small press publishing.” If you’d really like to see why, you can go check out the finalists of Son of a Pitch, an online query contest that gets things read by actual publishers. My pal Samantha, she of the menopausal superhero novels asked me to participate, so I read the 20 finalist queries, and the 250-word samples they submitted. Out of the finalists, who had been winnowed down through two previous rounds of judging, I requested three submissions. Despite the rapidly growing size of our Falstaff Books catalog, […]

Help Selling More Books – What Good is a Publisher Today?

Yeah, it might seem like an odd question for someone who runs a small press to ask, but bear with me. It is easier now than it has ever been to make money self-publishing. There are more ways to dissect the market, more tools to create and distribute a quality product, and more people making a solid living self-publishing their own work than ever before. So why would you want to work with a publisher? Particularly a small press, which might not be able to do anything better for you than you could do yourself. I teach classes on this […]

Help Selling More Books – To Get Political or Not To Get Political?

Well, I guess we were going to have this conversation eventually, and now seems like as good a time as any. Last weekend, a bunch of Nazi dickbags staged a march in Charlottesville, Virginia, and one of the aforementioned dickbags murdered a woman with his car. Said dickbag was arrested, but the rest of the Nazi dickbags were not, and many online Nazi dickbags started trying to spin the whole mess to make it look like the dickbag driver was actually a liberal protestor. He wasn’t. There are photos of him in the line of Nazi dickbags earlier in the […]

Help Selling More Books – How to Promote Your Books Without Being an Asshole

A lot of people have asked me how I can find the courage to promote my work without feeling like an asshole. Well, I can’t tell you how to do that, because I can’t help how you feel. I can’t even tell you how to promote your books without other people thinking you’re an asshole, because I can’t help how they feel, either. No matter how often I ask my cat to build one for me, I don’t yet have a functioning Public Opinion Control Ray Gun. And I should never, ever be trusted with such technology. With great power, […]