by Eric Beetner
In every aspect of my creative life the most fun has been bringing the work to an audience. I’ve played in bands, screened films for festival crowds, performed plays on stage (albeit a looong time ago now) and now I am about to do my first crime fiction convention this week.
The Left Coast Crime convention is coming to LA so I don’t even have to spring for air fare or a hotel. I’ll be meeting other authors and many readers. Hopefully I can turn them into readers of our book with my charming and informative panel discussions. (Or maybe Jennifer should fly out a sub in for me at the last second)
I’ll be discussing Pulp Fiction, the writing genre, not the film, on Thursday and I’ll be a part of a Meet A New Author panel on Saturday.
I love getting out of the dark 9X12 space of my converted garage/office and meeting people. Real people. The people I have met online through social networking and book sites have been great but meeting real folks in the flesh still has no substitute.
My sister, the most avid reader I know who just informed me her To Be Read pile stands at 237 (!), has stated that she is compelled to buy a book when she sees an author speak almost without fail. She might never pick up a book based on the jacket, blurbs, reviews, etc but if she sees someone speak at an event she will take that personal connection and buy a book. Quite often, I’m happy to report, to great success. Those authors, too, are likely to become ones she will look for again.
All that just from a 20 min. Q&A.
Getting out in front of readers isn’t as easy as playing a nightclub on a Friday night. There is a small infrastructure for an author who wants to invest in touring but unlike selling t-shirts from the stage after a show we don’t see our profits until months later and even then we are getting a much smaller piece of the pie. Indie rock and indie publishing are very different business models.
Still, there’s nothing like meeting a fan. I hope to make some connections this week and not just sell a few books, but gain some new readers. Readers who will come back for the next one, and the next. I hope I can let people know how appreciative I am of their loyalty and their willingness to take a chance on a book they’ve never heard of yet.