Wednesday, October 29, 2014

#BristolCon - Aftermath

So the one day SFF convention is over and I'm back home. And you'd like to know how it went, right? Well...

I've already done a post on what I took to the convention (which you can find HERE, and you can check out my indepth posts on the Brigade blog HERE from the 30th October) so I won't go over it again. Misa took download codes for all her ebooks, plus the print edition of three of her novellas bundled together as a collection in one book, as well as her bookmarks and a banner. The book bundle giveaway and Breathless Press wristbands aren't in the photo as this was our set up on the Friday evening before the event, and I didn't want to leave them lying around.

Mine and Misa's table at the con

The view from our table
How did it go? Well, it was nowhere near as terrifying an experience as several nightmares had tried to make me believe. BristolCon is a small, friendly, welcoming and predominantly SFF book orientated convention. The organizers are an awesome bunch of people set on ensuring guests, visitors and dealers are all happy. The panels I attended were fantastic (Death and Sex, and YA dystopia - I wish now I'd attended the Alien Sex one too, but I felt I couldn't keep leaving our dealers table all the time) and I felt it was completely safe to let my 12yo daughter wander around by herself, go to a panel, and spend an hour chatting to her favourite author (Janet Edwards) during a signing session (also in the company of MY favourite author Jaine Fenn, who signed my book and somehow ignored my ridiculous girlfanning while I chatted to her). I think my eldest actually enjoyed the convention even more than I did. I also treated myself to a little geek themed necklace to add to my sonic screwdriver necklace and lightsaber earrings. 

So on a personal level, BristolCon rocked for me and my daughter. On the level of an author looking to promote herself...maybe not such a success. I made ONE sale as a result of the convention (that I know of for sure. As an aside, I did see a small spike in sales the day after the convention (more noticeable because my sales had been nonexistent for the beginning of October, breaking my consistent sales since the end of July) AND gained three new Likes on my Amazon page, which had remained static for over a year. I can't say for sure these were due to BristolCon, but it seems a bit of a coincidence if not. The one sale was of great personal significance, though, as it was by an author I have a lot of respect and admiration for, especially as she made the effort to come to our table and chat TWICE (I suffered a dose of 'I'm not worthy!'). I did feel that being opposite the Forbidden Planet table - double length and full of glossy, big selling name books, many signed by the authors attending - put us at a big disadvantage, especially as it was the first thing most visitors saw on entering the dealers room (I will note that I didn't see them make a huge number of sales either, and they packed up about two hours before the rest of us. If FP couldn't sell a lot of books, I guess it's no surprise that we didn't either. Another dealer mentioned that he'd found it quiet too). 

I learned a lot. I can't discuss it all - it meant more to me personally than being of any use to anyone else - but any development as a writer is important. As a first experience as an author trying to promote herself at a convention, I'll say this was probably the best it could have been. 

So, my first convention is under my belt. I have a box full of stock ready for the next convention (and I do intend to do more, so at least I won't be paying out for new stuff), and when I go I will have more titles in print. I did have interest over my display copy of Keir (taken purely because I am still so proud of that debut novel, and I really, really must get it back out) which was both flattering and yet a little gutting since I still haven't re-released it. Soon! People loved my jacket. Apparently my bright, spiked hair are a recognized trademark. I got my book signed. I'm following a few new authors as a result, made some connections and friends, and pimped some lovely geek jewellery on Facebook. All in all, I would have liked to make more sales but overall I'm not disappointed with the experience.

For those interested in the process of making download cards, please swing by the Brigade blog from the 30th for a more indepth description.

Today is cover reveal day for my futuristic UF No Angel. This is my last reveal for the year, and also my last release for 2014 (it releases on the 19th December, with my superhero romance When Dark Falls releasing on the 21st of November). Wow, what a year! I now have so many titles, they don't all fit on my Goodreads author page, lol. Right now the only definite release I have for 2015 is Zombie Girl: Dead Awakened, the first part of a planned YA dystopian trilogy coming out in April. Other than that, budget and time will decide what I'll be self publishing next year, but top of that list is Keir, and the sequel Keir's Fall, both long overdue. 


It's the last auction for Scream! For the Cure this Friday, and the final auction bundle is PRINT BOOKS! Urban fantasy and horror are the genres - please go and check it out HERE, and spread the word if you can. Any help is much appreciated.

I'm currently taking part in the Romancing Halloween blog hop organized by KM Fawcett, with a gift card grand prize. Check out the participants HERE. Tomorrow I'm one of the hosts for KG Stutts cover reveal for a new scifi novella series - the Amethyst Chronicles. Visit my blog HERE to see it! On the 31st I'll be telling you my top five fears as part of the Aussie Owned and Read Haunting Halloween blog hop, and my tour for Hallow's Eve will be winding to a close. 

And then it's November. At this point I'm still undecided on what to do for NaNoWriMo. Will this be the first year I actually fail to take part, having actually plotted and planned to do it? Dun, dun, DUUUUUUN! 

Ping Pong

Laurie, I am not a JD fan and don't know the song, but I know what a huge influence and inspiration music and lyrics can be. For me they've inspired characters, settings, plotlines, or even just the feel of a story. Without music I think I'd have written so much less, or found it lacking some of the depth that it has. What a boring world it would be without music.

Donna, spaceships are one of my favourite things about scifi. From the TARDIS to the Enterprise, X-wings to the iconic Liberator in Blake's Seven, they are a big part of what drew me into science fiction as a kid. But like anything else used as a setting, the basic logistics are important to make them realistic.


  1. Thanks for the update, Pippa. I've been following your preparations, getting ideas since I've not done this. Your information is very helpful, and I'm glad you and your daughter had a great time!

    1. Thanks Laurel! I feel I should add that this is a UK convention, so perhaps some of the things we did would work better at a US con, and vice versa. If you use any of the ideas I've posted about, would you let me know how it goes? I'd be interested to know.

  2. Pippa, congrats on your first con and having it turn out to be a great experience. I've been told the number one rule of promo is this: Show up! And you did. I'm sure the next will be even better.

    Interesting that you're already seeing a spike in sales. Maybe that number one rule has some real merit. :)

  3. I picked up a new newsletter subscriber from the UK Sunday, and I'm attributing it to the goody bags.


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