Wednesday, May 27, 2015

WisCon 39 WriteUp

It still doesn't seem like a Wednesday to me. How about you?

My first WisCon was in 1998. Since I missed 2007, I've been to seventeen WisCons. That's nearly two months of my life that I've spent going to this convention! Over the years, there have been a lot of changes to the convention, the city, and my writing career. That said, WisCon is still one of the highlights of my year.

Most of Friday was spent packing and taking care of last-minute details as I waited for school to let out. We picked Alex up and drove straight to Madison, arriving around 5:00. As I picked up badges and dropped off my books at the Broad Universe table, I saw friends of ours, then ran into another couple we knew as we headed out for dinner. We wound up having dinner and gelato with both couples and missed the opening ceremonies. I enjoyed the evening, but it was a little bittersweet in that one of the couples was moving out of state and had come to the convention to see us. I hope we get to visit either here or in New York, Dave and Judy! I did go to a panel (Overlapping Magestria--basically about science and religion) after we got back, but I was too tired for the parties.

Saturday morning we visited the farmer's market, then I attended an interesting panel on gender, sex, and science. For lunch, I joined three members of Broad Universe. The weather was gorgeous, and we spent a little more time at the farmer's market while we waited for our table. We returned to the hotel halfway through the first panel, so I skipped it and visited the dealer's room and the art show. Mid-afternoon was the Broad Universe Rapid-Fire Reading; I both moderated and read from Scattered Seasons.I spent an hour at the Broad Universe table before going out for Japanese with my family and "the boys."

Oscar and Little Penguin: SUSHI!
Stan: Sushi?
Rex: Who's she, and why are you suing her?

Saturday night was like Friday in that I skipped the main attraction of the evening (the Tiptree auction), attended another panel on science-compatible religion, and then went to bed. What a wild life I lead.

On Sunday, I attended a few more panels throughout the day, including ethical non-mongamy in fiction, what makes a character come alive, and illness tropes. I particularly found the last one useful.I worked a couple more hours at the Broad Universe table and helped back up all the supplies at the end of the day. (Since I'm the Readings/Events Coordinator for Broad Universe, I will be sending the supplies to other conventions.) We did actually get back from dinner in time for the Guest of Honor speeches, but instead I helped set up the Broad Universe party and stayed there until 11:40 or so. That's about as much as a sleep-deprived person like me can manage.

Monday morning we met some college friends for breakfast, then checked out of the hotel. I finished up some last-minute Broad Universe business before attending the SignOut. I did have a few familiar faces to keep me company and help with the display.

I didn't sell a lot of paper books during the convention, but I did notice a slight upswing in eBook sales. I also put on my publisher's hat and approached a couple of the indie bookstore representatives in the dealer's room about stocking my titles. (I'm setting up my books on IngramSpark in addition to CreateSpace, and IngramSpark offers better terms for booksellers.) We'll see if anything comes from that. I did actually buy three paper books from the dealers, as that seemed only fair.

This was also the first time Alex was old enough for kid's programming. He wasn't in it full-time, since he didn't want to do all of the activities. But the kid's track may make it possible for me to attend some of the local cons as well.

It was an intense weekend, but I got to see old friends and meet other people that I've only known online, visit my favorite city during the best part of the year, and immerse myself in books and SF for a while. I wish WisCon was longer, but it would be tough on my wallet.

Do you ever go to conventions? If so, which ones?


Anonymous said...

Wah~ I'm jealous. I haven't been to any writing conventions since I live in Japan, but during my university days I used to go to anime conventions. Those were fun. I'm looking forward to being in the west again and having these events close at hand.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You're a late-night wild woman, aren't you?
The panel topics were really unique and certainly not what I would expect.
Glad you had a great weekend!

Sandra Almazan said...

Njmagas, I think one of the cities in Japan is one of the finalists for the 2017 WorldCon.

Alex, I tend to wake up around 5:00 whether I want to or not. No late nights for me anymore, alas.

Jolie du Pre said...

I'm glad you had fun at the convention. I've stopped going to conventions, but I may resume attending conventions in the future. Print books don't sell much for me, but I have good success with eBooks.

* * *

Jolie is stopping by from the Post A-to-Z Road Trip!!

Precious Monsters

The Layneworth Monsters

Jennifer Ruth Jackson said...

I hope the bookstores get back to you on stocking your books.
How many business cards (if any) do you hand out during WisCon?
It looks like you had exhausting fun!

Pat Dilloway said...

At least you sold some books. Sounds like you had fun too.

Sandra Almazan said...

Thanks for stopping by, Jolie!

Jennifer, this year I gave out bookmarks with six covers and my website. For the booksellers, I handwrote the ISBNs on the back. I'll be able to monitor sales (if any) through IngramSpark.

Pat, I don't think most authors will sell enough books at a con to make a profit, especially if there are travel or hotel costs. It's best to go with the plan to meet fellow authors and maybe fans, have fun, learn something, and hopefully make some sales on the side.

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