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Stop, Look, Listen November 4, 2011

Posted by bobv451 in business, conventions, e-books, education, fantasy, ideas, steampunk, VIPub, writing.

What you need to do at a convention like the World Fantasy Convention. There is so much talent drifting around, it’s hard to know who to listen to, what notes to make, how it is all going to affect your work and the way you conduct your professional life.

Talking with editors is, of course, a necessity. But there are new players in the game worthy of more than a few minutes attention. Panels are a good place to pick up ideas (I went to the airships panel. I am a huge airship fan.) As informative as the panel was, talking to other writers afterward probably gave more information. Questions could be asked and speculation trotted out for wonderful results. Engineer-minded Dennis McKiernan came up with the way to conduct air-to-air warfare (you need a belly gun if you’re opting for cannon. Otherwise, rockets are best.) Firing a cannon so you cause the airship to rotate is, well, stupid. The entire mass of the ship has to be used to absorb the recoil.

Newer “professions” are actually offshoots of ones that should have been done by legacy publishers. Publicity is a necessity for VIPub authors, but there is only so much time in the day. Mike Stackpole just sent me a great link about how to best use Goodreads. I don’t have hours enough in the day now. How much more do I add learning the ropes there? I spent a fascinating 45 minutes listening to a woman who had jumped with both feet into the e-advertising game. Mlg lists, places to go (she said Goodreads needs a minimum of 10 recommendations and probably 20 before others will even notice a title–getting a reader to give even one rec is a chore. A Career Guide to Your Job In Hell has solid reviews–but only 6. Does the 10 minimum carry over to Amazon? Maybe. These are things that someone needs to learn. YMMV but every author is in the same boat when it comes to such things. It’s good to learn from pioneers what works and what doesn’t.

Freelance editors abound and Andrea Howe has announced an anthology based on the utterly creepy “Blue Girl” art print in most of the hotel rooms. Looks like fun and who knows, it might garner a touch of publicity for the included authors.

Another of my fascinations (which I have never cadged a ride in)

Goodyear Blimp over LA


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