I have never attended a book conference myself, I have heard plenty of stories about them, they can’t be boring because it’s a chance to meet someone that inspires you or that is the idol behind your writing. I was asked to give the topic surrounding conferences some thought and below is what I came up with.
Imagine shaping your own conference experience. Forget everything you thought you knew about them and allow your imagination to grab hold of this idea for just a few minutes. Bring the canvas and let’s paint this sucker…you ready?
In preparation I popped over to Eventbrite.com and browsed their selection of available conferences and events and to be honest I have never seen an organizer that offers such a huge selection of conferences and events around the world. You can see what is available in your area by going here. They also list conferences and events that are totally free, nice right? Pay them a visit and see for yourself!
Anyway, here we go. Brushes out, a splash of color to my dream conference!
1) Authors vs. Characters?
This is easy, when I read a book by an author, known or unknown, and enjoy it I fall in love with both. Yes, it would be nice to meet the author but wouldn’t it be amazing if I could meet the actual characters from the book too. I remember watching a series on television where the characters had to collect clues during a comic convention to get the treasure at the end, in this case, the treasure was meeting the queen from some far away Kingdom which could only be done by collecting all the keys around the convention. So apart from getting the signed book and photograph, I would also like to enjoy the world that shaped the author’s success.
2) All Genres or just one?
Not everyone reads every genre known to man. I, for example, don’t read anything that contains the word history, it’s just a matter of personal taste. Therefore I think book conferences, in my opinion, must shy away from throwing everyone together and rather focus on one genre, not only will it help them attract the perfect crowd, it will be an event that fans and writers alike will remember for years to come. I would much rather attend a conference where I can interact with 50 Fantasy or Sci-Fi Authors than one which features only five of them with the rest of the literature not being of any interest to me. Just imagine how BIG you can go…just add color.
3. A Rowling vs. Indie Author?
It is understandable that conferences need to bring in money and therefore it would make sense to try and get high-profile authors at your conference in hopes of attracting more fans. With that being said I think that the organizers of a conference can also benefit by inviting some indie authors. I know of some who are already doing this but if I as an Author were to be hidden in the shadows somewhere at the back where I would be lucky if anyone notices me I wouldn’t waste my money or my time. I often read on groups and forums about authors helping other authors but I can almost guarantee its still pretty much a game of who you know and whose back you willing to scratch to get somewhere. A book expo or conference should be open to anyone and everyone and the readers should be the ones deciding who should be there and who should not. Run a poll before the conference on social media and support those authors local to your area. That way of supporting others would be more meaningful than just taking someone’s word for it and hoping for the best. In the end, the reader buys and reviews the books so it’s only fair to give them some power in the final decision of attendance and attendees.Many websites have reader favorite lists that rank books, make use of them, I know I would.
More color, more…
4 Lack of books at other expos?
Why aren’t books promoted during other expos? If I attend an outdoor expo, it means I am there because I like the outdoors so why not throw in some books to do with nature. It is a known fact that most people read on holiday, whether on kindle or paperback they do. Same goes for sex expo’s, Halloween markets etc.
I have added some color to this sometimes boring and dull world by simply asking myself four questions, imagine if I had ten? I bet I would rock it and might end up with a Picasso of an event.
Life is hard enough as it is, why not take the ordinary pleasure that is reading and turn it into something extraordinary? Make it worth it, in the end, writing is not just about doing it for you, you write I hope to share your talent and who you are within. If you walk around with the dollar signs in your eyes maybe writing just isn’t your thing and you shouldn’t be hosting a conference in the first place. Food for #thought.
“I hold in my hand a brush and at my side sits the colours of the rainbow. They dont tell me where they need to go, it is up to me to use and brush them around till they come together, perfect or not, and when they do I smile because I did something, something no one else could. That is why I dream.” JR Robberts
Check out Eventbrite.com for events in your area or even plan your own. That’s right, from start to finish Eventbrite promises to make your event the best it can be by using cutting-edge technology, giving you the ability to turn visitors into customers, analyze your data in real time and add the wow factor to your event by providing hassle-free check-ins and sales at the door.
Let me know your ideas about your dream book event? Maybe you can think of something I did not. There is still space on the canvas so leave me a comment and let’s paint together!
To the pot of gold I go,
© JR Robberts 2017