I'm not going to do a Links du Jour today 'cause there's not a lot of news. Frank Miller's Ronin is getting made into a movie thanks no doubt to the success of Sin City and 300, but that's about it. I'm trying to figure out what the next Miller comic will be to get snatched up. Martha Washington maybe? Miller and Dave Gibbons have another installment of it coming out, so maybe. Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot would be even cooler though.
But anyway, what I really wanted to talk about was this article by Von Allen about trying to promote his graphic novel the road to god knows... at conventions. It's interesting because he's put a lot of thought into what he's doing at conventions and what he hopes to get out of them. He's done a lot of research in order to find the right conventions to go to in order to find people who might like his work. And he's been willing to spend some real money on tables and advertising and giveaways, all in return for some word-of-mouth. Unfortunately, the point of his post is that he isn't getting what he hoped to out of it, but it's making me think about my own convention experiences and what I'm trying to achieve while I'm there.
The only conventions I currently attend as a creator are MicroCon and FallCon. They're both local, so I don't have to travel or pay for a hotel room, but that's not why I go. I go because the tables are free for creators. As a writer, I can't draw sketches to sell and make back my money on a table. All I can do is sell comics. If I were better known and had more published to sell, I could probably justify buying a table at an out-of-town con, but I'm not there yet. And I'm not interested in spending a lot of my own money to promote what little I do have published right now. So, a lot of Von's article doesn't apply to me.
On the other hand, authors are expected to do a lot of their own marketing and publicity these days and I need to learn how to do that. I may not need to spend my own money to do it, but I need to be willing to follow Von's example and think hard about making the most of the conventions I attend. I need to think about what I'm specifically trying to achieve at each con.
For example, if everything goes according to plan, Dust to Dust should be in the October issue of the Previews catalog. FallCon is in October and a lot of local retailers will be there. In addition to talking the book up with fans, it might just be a good idea to use some of my con time to talk to retailers about it and see if maybe I can arrange some signings or something. Anything that'll help them to remember Dust to Dust later that month when it comes time to place their orders.
Each con is going to be different because I'll have different projects with different needs that I'll be trying to promote. What I need to remember is to spend a lot more time thinking about how to best use those opportunities, rather than just trying to figure out how to make a couple of bucks and have a good time. Not that I don't want to do those things too; I just want to be more thoughtful about it.