Episode 13 – Conventions!

In Episode 13 of Beyond Writing, host Dachary Carey and guest host Kay Rhodes talk conventions! Convention season is upon us. BookCon is in NYC this weekend, and conventions are kind of a hot topic for writers, so we wanted to give you some tips for getting the most from conventions – no matter what stage you’re at in your career.

We’ll discuss:

Types of conventions, including:

  • Fan conventions
  • Writing conventions
  • Publishing conventions
  • Book fairs, etc.

As an aspiring author, what do you hope to get from a convention?

  • Education and skill development (oriented toward the craft of writing, and/or pitching to agents and publishers)
  • Networking!
  • Post-session hanging out

As a published author, what do you hope to get from a convention?

  • Opportunity to market
  • Networking!
  • Education and skill development (more oriented toward marketing/sales)
  • Potential speaking opportunities

General convention notes:

  • Don’t try to initiate physical contact unless the other party invites it (Yes, this is a thing! Prepare to be amused, and/or mildly saddened)
  • Don’t plan to attend every single session
  • Do plan which sessions you’ll attend ahead of time
  • Don’t go into a con thinking you’ll sell books, unless you have a signing scheduled, or you’re an exhibitor
  • Register as early as possible to get a room at the convention rate, in the convention block
  • Remember that the cost of a con may be tax-deductible

Notes about behavior and personal safety:

  • Topics to avoid discussing at cons
  • Review a con’s code of conduct
  • Keep personal safety in mind – including citing a specific incident related to BookCon

Is there a point at which going to cons becomes a waste of time?

And as promised in the podcast, the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) often hosts ‘fringe’ cons related to mainstream cons, that are more focused on self-publishing. You can visit ALLi here.

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