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Free and Not So Easy May 17, 2011

Posted by bobv451 in business, contest, conventions, e-books, ideas, iPad, movies, movies & TV, New Mexico, science fiction, sense of wonder, steampunk, VIPub, writing.

The Albuquerque Comic Expo is coming up next month. I bounced some ideas off Scott Phillips about drawing some eyeballs at the con since I am only selling books and not doing artwork or comics. Granted, mine are game tie-in books and even a movie tie-in novelization (for Stink of Flesh) but competing against professional displays, Stan Lee, movie and TV stars, well, it is a daunting task to draw people hurrying past. I suggested some ideas that would end up in a giveaway, such as going to several booths, getting a “key word” and then on completion winning something. Scott is a veteran of comic cons, especially the granddaddy of them all, San Diego Comic Con, and he said this wouldn’t work.

Giveaways don’t attract people to buy but rather to stuff freebies into their bag and keep going. Booth babes attract. Major established stars attract. What else does? I’m willing to try stuff since I don’t have anything to lose on this. If I sell one book, cool, if I sell a hundred (fingers crossed!) better yet. If I don’t sell anything at all, I’m still coming out ahead being surrounded by all kinds of fun stuff.

I am thinking of cards with discounts at my online store, for a short length of time. But this isn’t going to pull in new eyes but rather only go to established fans. Not bad, of course, but how do you lure in people who aren’t familiar with my work (but who would like it if they knew about it)? Dressing up, maybe steampunk to plug my story in the new anthology? Problem here is blending into the masses since there will be a lot of better costumes. Lots better. Ideas are appreciated.

But this goes to a bigger question of pulling in new readers online. Giveaways don’t work (over 3k copies of a short story were d/l’d and the best I can tell, this produced zero new readers for my for-sale work). Sampling might work, but they have to find the sample somehow. ACE is a microcosm of the bigger world. Using my iPad to show book covers works at other cons, but mostly with other writers. What would draw *your* attention at a con dealer room? (Other than the aforementioned booth babes, of course).

edited by Jean Rabe & Martin Greenberg



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