Oh, Worldcon, you scamp

This past weekend was Worldcon, and it…kind of blew…

I know! I guess I was thinking more of Dragoncon, with its costumes and general party air. Worldcon was stuffier, to be sure.

Like many people, I applied to be a guest, and like many of those same people, I was denied, probably because they had so many freaking people apply in the first place. But I bought tickets for me and the Ross because the “Thank you for applying to be a Worldcon guest” email implicitly stated that I had to have tickets in order to be a guest, and I figured it could still be a lot of fun.

And part of it was.

The fabulous folks at Broad Universe had a table where we could sell our books, my first experience doing so at a con:

San Antonio-20130831-00098

(I sold three, just to save you the suspense.) Selling at a con is not easy, let me tell you. I could bring people over to the table all day, just by shouting at them. I call it the Ren Faire effect. I got one guy to come over just by yelling, “Random breakfast.”

Why did I have to shout, you ask?

By luck of the draw, our table was situated between two tables that were empty for most of the con and a set of fire doors. Our table was also at the very back of the room. This means we couldn’t get the casual browsers who were just going table by table, and so anyone coming to see us had to be deliberately coming to see us or be called over. (Random Breakfast is the name of my Pink cover band.) This also meant that people were pretty tired and had already made several purchases by the time they arrived.

On top of that, I was tired, and a little grumpy. The Ross and I had managed to find every over-priced, mediocre restaurant in San Antonio, it was 200 degrees outside, we lost our car in a parking lot once, etc. etc. Every annoying thing that could happen, did happen. And smiling makes my face hurt after a couple of hours. *Grump*

Oh, and the one panel I was excited to see, starring one of my literary heroes, was made boring by some guy who talked way too much. That’s always fun.

Some highlights (In no particular order)!
1) I already mentioned the three books sold…
2) Dinner on Saturday with the fabulous Melissa Brayden
3) Hanging out with Arley of the Outer Alliance crew
4) I found a secret bathroom that no one at the con had yet discovered. Not only a place where I didn’t feel rushed to do my business, it gave this introvert a space to get away from the crowd.
5) Sharon Shinn

All in all, we should have just gone for one day, the Saturday where all those good things happened, and when the bulk of the people go to cons anyway. Seriously, if you’re selling books at a con, consider going for just one day. Books are heavy, and you’ll thank me.

Has anyone else had a con experience they want to share?

(And btw, random breakfast was really a thing that happened. Denny’s To-Go counter gave me something totally different from what I ordered, and I didn’t discover it until I was well away.)


12 thoughts on “Oh, Worldcon, you scamp

  1. About your books, I have a feeling you’re right. I was at Comic-Con as a guest and passed by sooooo many big and small publishers with stacks of books out. And with the exhibition hall filled to the brim with browsers and those putting their wares on display, well, that’s just a whole lot to mull through. I’m glad you sold a few books.

  2. Oh dear. So sorry to hear that. I’ve been told that WorldCon is more a publishing industry event than a fandom-based one like DragonCon. I have been to just one WC (in 2006) and to DragonCon as well. I had a great time at each, but I’ve always gone as a mundane attendee. More freedom, less duty, and I had several friends to hang out and go do stuff with. I’m sure that makes a world of difference. Even so that book sale count just boggles me to pieces. I suspect dealer’s rooms are like real estate–location is crucial.

  3. I’ve never sold books at a con. I think it would be agony for me. I people-watch a lot at these events and you can see the poor vendors trying to get people to give them a few seconds of their time.

    And then there are the browsers (like me) who’ll spend some time talking to vendors but rarely buying. Book buying is a very private and lengthy affair for me. This is why I spend hours at a bookstore or online. I don’t like making split decisions on fiction. And at a con, that’s what you’re counting on.

    There’s gotta be a better way.

    On the plus side, you found a secret bathroom. I’ll bet if you had sold *that* information, you would’ve made a mint. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Let’s Talk About Conventions For A Moment… | Central Texas Home for the Terminally Twitchy

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