Monday, October 22, 2018

2nd Stop--Portsmouth, VA for the GRL Conference

Sorry I missed Friday, but Thursday was a whirlwind and Friday was busy and I just didn't have a chance to sit down at a computer and get something posted.

So Portsmouth is a charming little town and the conference was a success in as much as it could be for this being my first year attending as a writer.

As a supporting author, I had to pay a little higher registration fee, but I was able to participate in the supporting author book signing Thursday morning as well as schedule two author lounges; lounges are an opportunity for fans or prospective fans to chat with an author. No book selling.

Here is me at the signing:

My setup was minimal because I needed to make sure I had the funds to get/be there. I didn't spend a lot on swag--I bought pens and paperboard coasters. I gave away more coasters than pens which is fine. I sold one physical copy and convinced maybe a dozen or so people to download the free ebook.

I did learn a few things:

A) I do need some sort of  table drape. I tried to buy one a month or so ago, but the image I wanted to use wasn't high enough pixels per inch to allow it to look okay at a larger size. So I didn't end up getting anything. During the signings and other author lounges, I looked at what other authors did. Bottom line...even just my name will work, if that's what it comes down to. But I have an author slogan, so I can certainly incorporate that if I choose to.

B) My book full of QR codes was well received and I got several compliments on having it. So that's a standard going forward.

C) Even if I don't have physical books, I need to print 5x7 copies of the covers and use those standup acrylic frames to show off all the titles... I'm not sure why I didn't think of that this time. (and have the QR codes handy)

D) (and my least favorite but not unfamiliar lesson) Swag is king and draws the crowd. I only took one opportunity to check out swag this year and was amazed by what was on offer. Mostly all I could think of is "why"? I guess mine is not to wonder why, but to provide meaningful and interesting goodies. I have a few months to decide if I'm going to next year's (probably) and then I need to decide on swag and start gathering.

I did get to explore the area a bit too and I'll post some pics on Wednesday.

Hope you're all well and happy Monday.

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