After-Action Report: InDScribe Conference and Book Festival
Hi, everyone. I’ve been back from InDScribe for a couple of days, and have spent a good deal of time processing my thoughts. I met so many wonderful people that if I try to list all of them I’m sure to forget someone, and I definitely don’t want to do that. Suffice to say that, as with Heather Graham’s Writers for New Orleans, lifelong friendships have been formed.Anne Perry. Photo by the author
I also learned a great deal. For instance, I took advantage of the opportunity to take two workshops from one of my all-time favorite mystery authors, Anne Perry. Her latest title, A Christmas Revelation, is in Mount To-Be-Read. She is just as gracious and delightful as you might hope, as well as providing outstanding information for writers at any stage of their careers.
I did a book signing on Saturday, and had a chance to meet some wonderful readers. I had many sign-ups for my mailing list. I will admit to some disappointment that sales were so soft, but that happens sometimes.
As with any such event, there were some lessons learned … both about the activity and myself. I found myself feeling like the uncool kid in junior high at one point, if I’m completely honest. Holly Barbo’s and my table for the Reader Rave was filled with delightful folks, but I was scared. Our decorations weren’t as elaborate as some others, and I worried that people would be disappointed.
It turns out that I was wrong about that; people were obviously delighted with what they received, and we had some great conversations. Again, lifelong friendships were made.
I don’t know that I’d do the Reader Rave again; there is a luncheon included in the conference fee, and the Reader Rave is an extra fee for the table host and the diner alike. These conferences are not cheap, and people were likely watching their pennies very carefully.
Now, as I mentioned, I learned something about myself. However, it took mentioning my insecurities on Facebook … at which point a whole bunch of the wonderful folks I met expressed surprise that I had been shaking on the inside. They also opened up about their own feelings of insecurity, and I had a revelation. I was judging my insides by other people’s outsides. That’s never a realistic thing to do. Then, I started thinking about what might help … because I don’t want to talk about problems without talking about solutions.
So, I spoke with an InD’Tale staff member via PM and told her about the Viva Las Vegas Hooch and Smooch. It was a meet and greet event during VLV, with a cash bar and live bands. Every few songs, the hostess, Sweet Pea, would ask people to do something to meet people. For instance, at once point she asked anyone who was at VLV for the first time to raise their hands, so veterans could find them. That’s how I wound up sitting with people who were there for the ninth time, and getting great advice. Questions like “Who is at their first book conference ever” or “first InDScribe” would allow newbies to meet veterans, just for example.
As you all know, I’ve been on convention staff. I know what a tough road it is to make sure everyone feels welcome, and to be disappointed that someone might not have felt that way. It wasn’t so much that as my own insecurities getting the best of me. I think that happens to just about everyone. In fact, I saw this meme (shared by one of the authors at the event) and it summed everything up so well that I had to share it with you as well.