Today’s question comes from the Insecure Writers’ Support Group … and it’s both good, and difficult to answer.
I think I would have begun doing additional/different appearances earlier in the year than I did. I realized a need to expand my calendar, and started with a few local conventions/events. I didn’t know much about them, but was invited to participate by the con holders and figured it couldn’t hurt.
From this decision came a great realization: I cannot do back-to-back events. I had one in Campbell, Calif. one weekend, and one in Modesto, Calif., the next. Even though they were not far from home, it was just too much to manage. So, the great lesson here was no more than one event per month. My current health situation means I need some time in between events to rest up and restock — not just on books, but on self-care.
Also, while convention sales can be hit-or-miss no matter who or where you are, I realized that I need to find some appearance opportunities that are more in line with the direction my own work has taken rather than sticking with a given show because “I’ve always done it.” When your writing takes a different direction, your audience changes. Sometimes, economic realities have to trump … especially when you’re laying out your own funds to purchase sales space since there’s no publisher behind you to handle the initial expenses.
And yes, sometimes you’ll lose money … which you won’t know until you try a given show.
In any event, the bottom line remains that I would have expanded my horizons sooner and planned a little better based on my own health situation. So, that’s what I’m working on for 2018. How about you?