Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Ask Me Again Next Year...

Q: There’s only so much time, and there’s only so much money, while the opportunities are plentiful. How do you decide which writing conferences and conventions to attend? (ie, what are your criteria?)
I'm afraid this post will be brief, as I have little experience with writing conferences or conventions. In fact most of what I know about them is what I've heard from others, i.e. Susan's helpful post yesterday.

The one conference I attended, back when my big goal was to have five minutes with a literary agent, was a bleak experience, because I botched that interview so badly, learned nothing from all the panels I attended, and though I tried chatting with people, I felt horribly alone. That may be all lack of experience/confidence, and the fact that the stakes were so high for me then, and the failure so abject.
I have since been to many festivals and other events, sometimes on the speaking side of the table. I'm not comfortable on that side of the table, sorry to say, and doubt I ever will be. I'll keep working at it though, and book into whatever events my publisher or agent think would be profitable for me -- but not with any kind of anticipatory glee.

Book Expo America at the Javits Centre in New York
(The exception to that was Book Expo America, which I've just come back from. I was on Cloud 9 there, because it was a book signing where I got to talk to lots of people, but one-on-one. My kind of thing!)

Back to the question, though, how would I decide which to attend? What would be my criteria? A lot of stars would have to line up to get me out the door for one of these. Do I Want To Go? Does My Publisher Think it's a Good Idea that I Go? Who's Paying? Do I Have Time? Do I Have the Money?

Working a day job, trying to meet a writing schedule -- with my priority being get the best books out there that I possibly can -- keeping family and friends and house and yard happy, I have to say that the concept of attending conferences falls low on my list right now.

That's not to say it will stay low. Left Coast Crime sounds great, and I'm going to Bouchercon this year -- mostly because my pal convinced me that we must go.  Maybe I'll come away from it totally hooked and willing to mortgage my house to attend every single conference that I possibly can. Only time will tell! 


Dietrich Kalteis said...

I think you'll have a great time at Bouchercon.

RJ Harlick said...

See you at Bouchercon, RM.