Hey all! I have just recently returned from my first vending experience at the SOE Live convention, where I had a great time and met a bunch of great people. I thought I’d wrap up the experience with a run-down of it.
My friends and I have been going to this convention for a few years now because we all play EverQuest II, which I’ve talked about previously. I’ve been a bit sparse in my attendance because I’m not as interested in the panels as my friends; I’m just there to hang out and enjoy their company. However, as we were going anyway, we decided that it would be a great idea to try vending there — because why not?
I’d looked up some advice on vending at conventions, and the wisdom seemed to be that I shouldn’t expect to sell much, but mostly to make connections with readers and fellow creators. So I brought 30 books and my cover artist, the fantastic D. D. Phillips, brought a bunch of prints, and we prepared ourselves to camp at a booth for three days.
I ran out of books in a day and a half.
Fortunately, I had a free promo running and a lot of great promo materials like the bookmark at the beginning of this post, and also this business card:
So I still had those to pass out despite the lack of physical books, and D. still had prints. Thus, we remained encamped at our station for all three days, and talked to lots and lots and lots of great people. I met several fellow indie authors, and I feel like promoting them now, so!
Samantha Jacobey was tremendously friendly and helpful. We talked for a while about publishing and writing processes and our separate experiences in the indie side of the industry, and though our genres don’t really overlap (she does suspense/thriller/romance, and I do fantasy/horror/sci-fi), we still had a great time. Check her out!
I also met William Porter, who writes urban fantasy/horror with an emphasis on werewolves, and Arial Burnz, who writes paranormal and fantasy fiction and also has a podcast over at PNRRadio. Thanks for visiting with me, you two!
Also, there were some awesome vendors and panelists that stopped by the booth. One of our neighbors was a group called MilitaryGamers, made up of current and former personnel from all branches of service. They were a great bunch of folks, and I wish I’d gotten a chance to go over to their booth and check out what was going on under the black tents but I had to hold down my booth to make sure it didn’t fly away. Anyway, shout-out to Stray Tracer and all the others who stopped by!
(Edit: Here’s what they were playing! Artemis Space Bridge Simulator.)
We also made contact with some guys from Able Gamers! My artist has been following them from almost their inception, and she was thrilled to donate one of her prints for their gaming swag wall. They picked one of the Book 1 ones, with the phoenix and leviathan battling each other. I hope it hangs there proudly for years to come.
And ohmigod, BRASSE! So much Brasse. Bearded female dwarf extraordinaire and head honcho of the SOE community management department. BEST!
Other game-folk also hung out with us, and it was cool! Thanks to Bubbley, Bunnyloafers, Fafhurd, Taakemthat, Svoh, and all the other Crushbone folk — and EQ2 folk, and non-EQ2 folk, and… Heck, all the non-gamers who drifted in to stare around at the convention in mild bafflement!
And thanks to the ever-busy SOE folks who kept us vendors afloat, especially Jeff Lucas (I think that’s right!) who rescued our promo materials when the hotel people disassembled our booth while we were at the banquet. They did their best for us floundering newbies.
I am still super-tired, so I will end this here, but I had a great time! And I learned a lot for next year! (Like bring more books!)
My characters say thanks too!