Conference season is afoot and I’ve been taking note of some that I would like to attend next year. With the state that the economy is in, I plan to live more below my means than ever before. However, I still want to do a little promo if I get the chance and I have a plan.
With the exception of Moonlight and Magnolias, no writer’s conferences for 2009. That means no RWA Nationals. RT’s Booklover’s Convention is gone, too. Why? Their guest list might give you a clue. IMHO, there will be more authors attending than readers. Why would I want to sell to my own peeps when there’s a world of readers out there who remain untapped? No more author-centric conventions/conferences next year. The only reason why I’m committed to M&M is because it’s the cheapest of the writer’s conferences (for me anyway), and I need to be around writers, agent, and editors at least once a year.
Now with that being said, what conventions am I targeting? First, they’ll most likely be here in the southeast and within driving distance. Second, they’re small, but their hearts aren’t any less committed than the big cons. Take my local con, Trinoc Con, for example. It’s small, but that’s where I met one of the most amazing, giving writers I’ve ever known. Allen Wold. Also, I’m looking at Richmond VA for RavenCon, which I hear is getting bigger every year. DragonCon is without a doubt, the largest conference I’ve ever been to. Case in point: RWA averages about 2,000 attendees while DragonCon brought in 40,000 last year. It’s a mismatch of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy, and a thrill every second of the day. There’s also ConCarolinas, which is also a smaller version of DragonCon and happens just west of where I live. SheVaCon is another sci-fi fantasy conference with a different twist because it caters to women, though men are there, too. Go figure. I’m only relaying what I was told. 😉 StellarCon is another small convention in my neighborhood. Heck, I can probably drive the hour and a half each way, thereby paying only for the convention itself. That’s $33 for registration, food, and gas money. Not bad. You’ll find that pretty much all of the conferences I’ve listed are around the same pricce, give or take $10.
Normally, I don’t hang out at this many cons, so I’ll be choosing wisely in terms of which ones I plan to attend. At a place like RT or RWA, I’m nothing more than another blade of a grass on the lawn. At a smaller, local convention, I’m more like a patch of lawn itself. Guess where I’d rather spend my conference dollars? 😉
How important do you think it is to promote to other authors? Where does your core audience lie?