The Other Thing I’ve been doing these last few weeks are holding three very different book events. Let’s talk a little bit about them, and how they were set up.
Icon Launch Party: This year at my hometown con Icon in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, I did my usual thing of organizing and participating in Paradise Icon, but late Saturday night, I held a book party. Because so many people have known me for so many years, it was really easy to convince the convention to let me have a party and an event. How did it go?
Smashingly! All the people I know and some I didn’t wanted to buy books. I ordered a theme cake (Cake of the Dead!) from a friend who had a friend whose mom makes arty cakes. And I had a lot of fun and sold a lot of books and had more fun. This is a great example of an easy event in a very friendly environment. I did have to get organized, get change for purchases, get receipts and advertise, but overall this was a low fuss high reward event, both personally and fiscally.
Deep Dish Reading: This reading was put together by Mary Anne Mohanraj in Chicago. It was an event planned by the Speculative Literature Foundation and SFWA, and it was held at Volumes Book Store. (By way of plugging the even for the future, watch for the next reading in December!) Look at all these impressive readers!
Now, how did I come to be involved with Deep Dish? Largely because of Chris Bauer, a fellow VP alum and a Paradise Icon attendee. I wrote to him about where might be good to read in Chicago, and he talked to Mary Ann, and this happened. I am very grateful to both Chris and Mary Anne. It was a fun experience, and I really enjoyed participating in the literary scene in Chicago.
Iowa City Book Festival: My friends at Mindbridge agreed to let me hang with them at the Iowa City Book Festival, where I sold a few books, talked about SF and F in Iowa, and met a lot of people. It was very much a classic book fair, with a chance to talk about what I did and reconnect with some friends. Again, past connections helped out.
This post shows three models for how authors can get out there and meet people, and underscores a very important point. This is so important I’m going to block quote it. You ready?
The friends you have are the ones who will help you with your book networking. All of the web appearances I’ve had recently have been through friends or friends of friends. All of these events, and all the future events I have will be opportunities because of friends, people I’ve known for a long time and I’ve met in my beginning years as an author. If you play well with others, and you do nice things for other people, and you help others when you can, things like this happen.
So go out there and make some friends. See where that takes you. And keep writing. Which reminds me…