In my earlier report I forgot to mention the coolest thing that happened at the convention!
Angie Fox arranged for me to have a complimentary table to display books and do signing etc. (thanks again, Angie!) I spent a lot of the convention at the table because people kept coming up to chat.
On Saturday, a man in an Ox costume came up to the table with a box in one hoof and a clipboard in the other. He silently handed me the clipboard; on it were names of various nifty guests and places for them to sign. Not having the faintest idea what was going, I put my initials by my name. The Ox Man then handed me the box, which had my name on the top.
"What's in the box?" Gary asked.
At this point I was flashing on the movie Se7en. The silent Ox Man made a "continue" motion with his hooves.
"I think you're supposed to open it," Gary prompted.
So, with terror in my heart, I opened the mystery box.
Inside was a stuffed toy badger with little Xs for eyes and a handmade toe tag.
(image above courtesy Orvan)
Best. Guest gift. Evar! I laughed long and hard.
Another cool gift we got was a souvenir wooden blank bullet from Romania, courtesy of Michael Z. Williamson. He told us that his supplier says these wooden bullets are used to minimize target shooters' lead exposure, but of course that's a fabrication: clearly wooden Romanian bullets are ammunition against vampires!
I must have signed at least 30 copies of the book during the course of the convention. While I was in a panel, some guy came by the table and lectured Gary that we'd made "a terrible mistake" having ILDB "traditionally published" and that if I'd had any sense I should have self-published the book.
Pete at CGP gave me all the control I wanted over the project, and since project control is cited as the main advantage of self-publishing, we can scratch that off the list.
What other advantage would I have had if I'd self-published? Oh, right. I'd have had to pay for printing and artwork and copy-editing and everything else that Pete and co. have taken care of. And I would have had to beg and plead reviewers to accept the book, and have most of them shut the door in my face. That'd be all kinds of advantageous, wouldn't it?
The guy who lectured Gary on the evils of traditional publishing clearly thought we'd wasted time on a lengthy editorial process. Yep, guilty as charged: the book took me a couple of years to put together because I wanted most of the stories to go through the magazine editing process and to get some reader feedback before I wrote follow-up stories. Me and my silly desire for quality control!
The parties Saturday night were a lot of fun, although Gary and I were too tired to stay up terribly late (and also the architecture of the 3rd floor of the hotel was strange and gave us vertigo). We ran into author Anne Harris on her way to the roving Pirate Party, had a pleasant-but-brief chat with her, and we saw Tobias Buckell at a distance.
On a final note, here's a video montage that Jeff deLuzio made of the convention; you can see me and Gary for about 1.5 seconds ;-)