Guest Post – Conventions as a Stepping Stone
Around the middle of February time, I attended the London Anime Con 2012 with the intention of selling my fantasy novel Trapped on Draconica. As this novel was written with the manga style in mind and included illustrations similar to this style I felt it would be the perfect change to showcase my work. This was something that I had been looking forward to for a long time – but was also dreading at the same time. It was my first convention that I had ever been to as a dealer so I didn't have a clue what to expect. Nevertheless, I knew that I had to give it a go and hope that the anime artwork in my book would be enough to win the manga crowd over.
Nevertheless, Saturday morning me and my Mum (who had kindly agreed to help me) set off for London, found the place and unloaded the gear. I had a bit of a fit trying to find a place to leave the car (London can be a real bitch to find places to park nearby!), but after that bit of stress, we were shown to our table, set it up – then sat down to play the waiting game.
I had put a lot of money into getting ready for this convention, printing off cards, leaflets, getting a banner made and (of course) printing off copies of my book. Still, as I knew most of the stuff on display here today was based on pre-existing manga, I knew that this would be a struggle.
So how did it go? Was it a success? Well, I'd be lying if I said that I sold EVERY copy of my book and made thousands of pounds (in fact I probably didn't even break even once all the costs where considered), but for me it was a resounding YES! The amount of people who brought the book seemed genuinely interested in it and thanks to my Mum (who was an amazing sales person) we got a decent number of sales to justify us being there. Not only that, but I got talking to a few other dealers there and exchanged cards and details with them, was recorded by the local camera man for the event AND I was interviewed for an upcoming documentary about fandom.
Not only that – but I gained two more fans for my book! One of them brought a copy, read 5 chapters, came back the next day and her sister brought one as well! Not only that, but they told me there and then that I was her favourite author alongside Terry Pratchett! Being that he's an author I have the upmost respect for, I was humbled by that comment! So I even let them have a signed copy each! Now they follow me on Facebook and Twitter and have visited my website a few times! The weekend was worth it just for this alone!
Do I recommend doing conventions? The answer to that is a resounding YES! They are great ways of not just promoting your work, but networking as well! Obviously, I do not recommend you going into them with the intention of selling LOTS of stuff, and you also need to pick the right convention that's best for your product. I think that any author, artist, or just a creative person should use conventions as a stepping stone for their work. You're never too sure how it may turn out! They aren't cheap, but they are certainly worth it if you work hard at it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dan Wright lives in Canterbury, UK with his brother and their cat – although he spends most of his time in a fantasy world! A writer of Fantasy that was strongly inspired by Manga, Dan currently is writing a series of books set in the world of Draconica, where dragons once ruled as gods! He is heavily inspired by medieval fiction, Greek and Egyptian mythology and a few RPG’s games.
He has written two books, Trapped on Draconica and The Wandering Valkyr with more planned for the year. Please visit his website for more details!
CONTACT THE AUTHOR
Website and Blog: http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/
TRAPPED ON DRACONIA
THE WANDERING VALKYR