|L to R: Colleen Houck, me, Sarah Schmitt, Ginger Scott at RT
RAI was mainly composed of indie authors, though some authors had small/large publishers behind them. There were no panels, and everything centered around a Saturday book fair and after-party. Because the organizer, Liz Long managed to get a front page article in the Roanoke Times, and then nail a TV spot, lots of locals showed up, which was great! I kept the price of my books reasonable and gave out swag with each purchase. When I ran out of the most popular book (Witch of the Cards) I took pre-paid orders and mailed the books out as soon as I returned. I got newsletter signups with the promise of a free story anthology (our Mayhem in the Air one, which I gift via Amazon so we make sales). Long story short, everyone wants a perk with a purchase. The after-party was a great way to blow off steam, and they even had a live DJ. Oh, and I got to meet Cherie Reich, one of our Untethered Realms peeps, who lives in Roanoke! My assessment: RAI was worth it because of the great local advertising and because it was short with a big bang.
|At RAI (I am on the right-ish side, in back)
My smartest move at this book fair was to offer a deal that if readers bought two books they got a third for free. I made a bunch of sales this way, because, again, people always want specials. Many took bookmarks, saying they only read on their digital devices, so going forward, I want to figure out a unique perk for these readers. I ended up selling well, but bringing more books than I sold, so I gave extras away at the Teen Day Party, where I got to meet and greet tons of teen readers and their parents, who also read YA! This con was super-tiring, so I would caution authors not to try to go to all of the events, but pick and choose and make sure to take rests in between. It makes sense to stay IN the con hotel at RT for this reason alone. I'm not a gambler, but I loved the slot machine art and the live performances. Hey, we even saw Britany Spears at Planet Hollywood. I'm no fan, but OMG, she put on a real spectacle with great dancers and incredible sets. Over at my blog, Idea City, I did a photo journal of the events, if you want to see more photos, click here. But first, scroll down to answer a question!
|Dragon slot game
|Caesar's Palace's faux Greek goddess
In June I'll be going to Utopia in Nashville, and I'm sure I will learn even more there. Have you attended a book con? Any tips to share?