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OryCon Highlights & Lowlights

I am back from OryCon 2010 with some wonderful memories and some cautionary tales. Good stuff:

First, I was able to meet one of my editorial interns, Erika Holt, who is a delight to be around. We chatted about the present and future, we read from her anthology Rigor Amortis and generally had a good time whenever we were able to meet up.

Second, I found out from a convention goer that he did not need to buy any of my books because he already had them all because a Portland University History professor recommended me and my books on his list of Pacific Northwest authors and editors his students should read. I was and am flabbergasted. I'm also dead chuffed. Unfortunately, the convention attendee could not remember the professor's name. So, I can't write him a thank you note. [If you are that history professor, reading my journal, please drop me a line.]

Finally, I also had the prime example of why I'm an author happen right in front of me. The young teen daughter of one of my friends asked to read something from In a Gilded Light. I let her borrow the book and then talked to her father to make sure it was all right that she was reading the collection (as it is very dark) and if I could give it to her. He thanked me for asking and said yes because she did not usually read and anything that got her reading was an excellent thing.

I got back just in time to be able to watch her read the last of the story and see the expression on her face as she got to the end. The smile was worth everything. Her astonishment and glee when she found out I was giving her the book was amazing. Watching her bound through the dealers' room with my book to her father to squee over the book with him was the best gift anyone could get for me. Right there. That happy girl. That was the very reason I write.

The lowlights of the convention are more cautionary tales to would be authors than anything else.

First, do not tell three editors that you self-published your book and bypassed "all that publishing house and editors and stuff" because you "just didn't need them." It is rude.

Second, do not toss a card advertising your book on lulu.com (with the misuse of one word, three punctuation mistakes and one run-on sentence) down on front of the table in front of the three editors in some (assumed) hope we will buy your book. At least be courteous enough to hand it to one of us.

Third, if you must hand us a copy of your self-published book (new guy), please tell us if it is a gift to one of us, if you just want us to look at it for some reason or if you would like it back. Randomly giving the book to one of the editors at the table with no explanation of why you are doing so leads to confusion and the book being given to the Dealers Liason by the end of the convention.

Finally, please, please, please do not stand in front of our dealer's table, blocking potential customers while you A) Rant about the injustice of the publishing industry. B) Talk about some sort of alien and/or conspiracy. C) Try to sell us a book, a short story or a poem after we have told you how to do any of it. At least step to the side and allow someone who might actually want to buy one of the fifteen different books we have out for sale get to the table.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 16th, 2010 02:00 pm (UTC)
You're right. That story about the girl is a clear example of why being a writer is worth it.

As for the tale of self-published writers annoying the editors, it's one I've seen many, many times. It seems they never listen when editors ask them to act professionally.
Nov. 16th, 2010 03:25 pm (UTC)
"Watching her bound through the dealers' room with my book to her father to squee over the book with him was the best gift anyone could get for me. Right there. That happy girl. That was the very reason I write."

That is a very moving story. It makes it all worth it right there. :)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )