cocoajava: Sassy (pic#128381)
I have tomorrow off work!  *dances*

I think I am going to spend half the day pretending I am a successful author. I need to update my monthly cost and sales sheets, get a bunch of scribbled paper notes typed into their proper manuscripts/plotbunnies/
reference documents, do some editing, and start finding good research articles online, or books, about bizarre Victorian era fads. Like eating mummies. So I will be ready for a panel discussion at Motor City Steam Con in July. And possibly throw all my costuming stuff artfully around the girlcave and try on things to decide on outfits to wear to that - three days, three outfits.

Then in the afternoon, I will lounge on our back deck with sunglasses, a glass of wine and my current book, which is this odd little charmer titled Elizabeth's Midnight,
written by an author-friend. 
cocoajava: Inquisitive (pic#128424)
Whee! I was wondering what news I'd have for "Postcards From Industralia", when just like clockwork, something new dropped right into my lap. I'll get that monthly postcard out tomorrow, cause right now I want my dinner, and then a good long read. If you're not subscribed, hop on the steamwagon now and you'll be all set to get the newsletter tomorrow night.

(Not to worry, I don't make a habit of advertising in my journal, but I do mention stuff from time to time. I have some new friends here at Dreamwidth, so thought I'd make a rare mention in case anyone's interested!)

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cocoajava: Profiteery (Vintage Girl Pirate)
 Motor City Steam Con will be here before you know it! Are you registered? Will I see you there? I sure hope so! Tentatively, I'll be on two panels: Eatin' Mummies and Other Strange Victorian Fads, and Writing for Young Adults. I'll also be part of the Character Creation Challenge (which Tee Morris rocks to bits and you should NOT miss his brainstorming!) and the Writer's Block Author's Slumber Party (pajamas encouraged!) I'll also read aloud to everyone at some point. Warning: Some events may contain hilarity or pithiness. Snacks may appear at random. Authors could be hiding behind any given potted plant, so approach anything leafy with caution.

If you are able to get to Detroit, Michigan for this one, do it!


cocoajava: Skeptical (Default)
So, last Saturday me and the Caribou spent 7 hours in hard plastic seats at a hard plastic table, which we'd arranged as attractively as we could, with my VistaPrint banner dominating the floor to one side and smaller table posters, stacks of books, piles of bookmarks and author contact cards, and a sign up sheet for my monthly newsletter. The venue was the Breslin Center, which is Michigan State University's big sports center, home of our NBA often-winning Spartans. The Breslin had been taken over (thus the event name Breslin Takeover) by a kid's carnival, petting zoo, dunk tanks, face painting, other fun stuffs, and vendor tables. Things I learned at the vendor tables:

* Small adorable children are attracted to brightly colored books and will happily stuff them in their tote bags at any opportunity.  This is followed by a sheepish conversation with the parents that the books are not, in fact, freebies.

* A table just outside the restrooms SOUNDS promising, since everyone eventually answers the call of nature, but we didn't count on the gawdawful loud hand drying blower machines, which brought conversation to a screeching halt every time someone dealt with their hygiene.

* Selling kid's books for $3.00 is a good deal but people will BUY them when you offer 2 for $5.00. This left me with a net profit of minus 23 cents a book, but hey! Books in kid's hands are good, right?

* Next time, bring snacks. And water. We found some, but it took some doing.

*People are honestly, genuinely thrilled when you offer to sign their book purchase. Most don't actually put two and two together and realize they are speaking with the author until that's said, in spite of my name being literally on everything and my introducing myself to each visitor to my table. That's kinda fun.

* Buddy systems for tables are vital. You need bathroom breaks (and boy did I abuse that hand blower dryer just to get even with everyone), plus, you need to walk around and find the OTHER authors to introduce yourself and give them some support and camaraderie, too.

* Face facts before you even leave the house. You will not get rich at a vendor table. You will rarely even break even. What you are doing is moving a few books BUT more importantly, you are introducing yourself to the community, and giving them a reason (and a bookmark with purchase info) to pop into Amazon and buy your books later on.

* Even so, every single sale is a huge validation and makes your insides go all glittery and free floating. Totally worth everything.

September 2017

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