It’s time for Dragon*Con again, which means I’ve got work to do (more than usual). Aside from anything I might need to do in preparation, I thought it might be interesting to put together a list of things I need or want to do while I’m at the big Atlanta con.
Most important, I need to speak with editors. There’s nothing more important I can do there. I need to shake hands, put on smiles, pass out business cards and show everyone I meet that I’m not only professional, but creative too. Over a year ago, I put together a list of four guiding principles, the third of which is Books don’t promote themselves. I take this very seriously and whether it’s Mind & Machine or Vitamin F, I have to showcase my work where people will be curious about it. This goes double for anyone in the book publishing industry.
Visit with Kerlak Publishing. These are the fine people who are putting out a steampunk anthology called Dreams of Steam II: Brass and Bolts. I’m sure it’s a fine book and I know of several friends who are planning on picking up a copy. That’s not my plan; I’m hoping to write my name in a few books. I have no doubt this will be my first signing opportunity as a professional writer–I’m getting paid for the fourth story in the book, “Dreams of Freedom.” It’s a different form of self-promotion, but I think it’s almost as important as discussing my novels with agents and editors.
Browse the small press room. This is something that paid off for me last year, so I need to do it again. Anyone with a small press should be just as much an option for my work as a large press might be. As James A. Moore told me, you can get a book out from a small press and, if it does well on a small print run, you can take the same book to a big publisher and do a much larger release. If it’s a shot to get into another anthology, that’s great. I just have to talk to people, get aggressive in my promotion, and make more contacts.
Go to Joe Benitez’s booth. Totally geeking out on this one. This writer/artist is a visual master when it comes to comics. I’ve loved his work since I first saw it in The Darkness, but his Wraithborn series proved to be a lot of chilling fun too. Now he works on Lady Mechanika, which is one damn fine steampunk comic book. At his Dragon*Con booth, there’s supposed to be full color prints on sale for $25. A must have.
See some friends. I met a few friends when I went to Dragon*Con last year and I’m looking forward to seeing them again this year. I have tentative plans with one to team up and talk to editors. If nothing else, I think we’re going to meet up, have lunch, and a few laughs.
Surprise! I have no idea what else might happen. That’s the fun of Dragon*Con. Just when you think you know what to expect, something happens to blow your mind. I’ve got to rearrange memory on my digital camera, just so I can visually keep up with everything going on. Cosplayers, people I might meet, friends, sights, there’s no telling what I might see or what I might want to remember.
Funny thing is, I have more of a plan this year than I had last year. I just hope it pays off for me.