Home > Uncategorized > Pro-con or con-con?

Pro-con or con-con?

To con, or not to con. That is the question.

Anybody who tells you not to con is obviously conning you. They are important. They are the life’s blood of the industry. They are where your readers get to come and mingle with you. They are where you unveil your latest works. They are where you sell your books. They are friggin expensive!

I make a decent living. I’ll be honest. I work by day as a telecom engineer. I should be comfortable, and I’ll be honest, if it were just me in today’s economy, I’d be living large just like The Sitch from the Jersey Shore (just a lot smarter, safer, healthier, less annoying, less stoopid, and staying 6 miles away from Snookie at all times). The problem is I’m not single. I’m married, have two children, and enough animals to fill a petting zoo (seriously: 1 dog, 2 cats, 4 fish, 3 bunnies, 3 ducks, and a sugarglider). Most of my income goes into the house and utilities. Let’s just face it. Everybody’s does.

My next black hole of financial doom is the chillens. No, they’re not old enough to be borrowing twenty dollars everytime they walk by, but that day is coming. No, see they go to public school, so no biggy there right? HA! I won’t make a list of how that drains my wallet (okay so i lied. School pictures, cookie dough fundraisers, afterschool enrichment, jeans day, hat day, school dances just to name a few). The other killers are tae kwon do (80$/month plus 40$ for belt testing, $250 for sparring gear, you get it), band and orchestra (trombone and cello rental). I hope you see my pain.

So what does all this mean? It means, I don’t have the funds to be a world class traveler let alone take time off of work to make my way around the country for the multitude of essential conventions specifically designed to promote not only authors, but their work as well (deep breath, long sentence).

So where does that leave a father of two? Crap outta luck. It’s kind of frustrating. I understand the importance of these things, and I want to go. Trust me, I do. Patience has never been one of my strong suits. I’ll be honest. Neither has hand eye coordination, speaking in front of large groups, the Chinese language, or the art of Debate. I guess I will have to learn patience until my books sell several billion copies, I cure my debt, and have the funds to do the cons for the purpose of selling MORE books. Kind of a catch 22, eh? I thought so too.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. March 23, 2011 at 10:01 am

    This is where you get yourself involved in co-ops and find some buddies. FInd those people who do go to the conventions and festivals and have them take your promo materials, perhaps even sell copies of your books for you. Of course you want to compensate them for this, but imagine if you had buddies in 3 states. Say, CA, NY, and IL. You cough up $10 bucks or so (to help with their expenses and the time-which is darn cheap) and you send each of them 100 pieces of promo material that they set out for you. Perhaps they hand it along with their stuff. That is 300 hits of promotion for $30 or however much you offer up.

    This is probably more actual exposure than you would get from a newspaper or magazine ad that would cost you several thousand dollars. The key is, you are being pro-active. You are not just waiting until you can afford to go yourself.

    When the time comes that you CAN afford to go, you pay it forward. It’s good author Karma.

    Promoting doesn’t have to be expensive, it just has to be done.

    Karen Syed

  2. March 23, 2011 at 10:27 am

    All in favor of cons. Lots of people who read the types of books you write, and opportunities for you to get a speaking gig as well. In the book-friendly cons you can get either your promo or even your books on someone’s table and send people that way. Not all cons require a hotel stay either, if you or a friend live close enough, or the cost can be reduced if you are willing to share a room. But the purpose of cons is not to sell books, unless you’re a dealer. The purpose is to meet people and make sure they know your name (in a good way).

  3. March 23, 2011 at 10:27 am

    I know. I was planning on it anyway. This was a rant, pure and simple. Consider it part of the new author blues. We get to do all the marketing in every form available. What we do and what we WANT to do are two different things. I WANT to go to every convention out there. I WANT to do book signings and interviews and what I shall now refer to as GLAMOUR marketing. You know, the FUN stuff.

  4. March 23, 2011 at 10:37 am

    It will all come sweetie. It will. But until then, you buddy up and get that name out there, then when you do the events, you will already be famous. đŸ™‚


  5. March 23, 2011 at 11:18 am

    I always loved going to cons. Now, at the ripe old age of (almost) 25, I’m a single parent to my niece and have 2 dogs and a cat to raise in addition to her. Between money and time commitments, going anywhere is almost impossible.

  6. March 23, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Cons are a good place to pick up people. By that I mean friends. Lol. Other writers who will be your friends for life. Also a place to get re energized like Muslems to Mecca.

  7. March 23, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    I completely feel your pain. No kids, but Hubby and I are ranchers so even getting a day off now and then in a challenge. Since your book is in ebook form, you could look into being a part of a virtual con. I was a panelist last year at the online con “Coyote Con” (they set up discussions and lounge areas in a vast chat room system that mimics a brick & mortar convention center), and it went VERY well. The coolest thing is that you don’t have to even leave your home, and since you already pay for Internet access…!

  8. Kristina Meister
    March 24, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Congrats on the book! Am reading now!

  9. March 24, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Oh and I con at least 3 times a year. Check my site for con proof. In fact last year I won best costume for my giant cat puppet costume. For proof see my Facebook profile pics albumn! Facebook.com/kristinameister.

  10. March 24, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    Really good points. I’m hoping to go to a con in Denver this fall. *crosses fingers*


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