Geek Expo

Peacekeeper Pathogen is up to 44,428 words. Today should be a good writing day--you should see the word count go up quite a bit next week.

Geek Expo
Several years ago, an Olympic training facility named The Spire was built just down the road from our house. My wife and I use it to walk. The secretary who takes our walking fee knows I'm a writer. Two weeks ago, she pointed out a flyer for an event called the NorthEast Ohio Geek Expo. I'd never heard of it. Interested, I grabbed a flyer. Later that day, I went on the web and found out that it was much like a local comic convention. Unfortunately, the window to apply for a vendor space was already closed. I sent them an email asking to be put on the mailing list so I would not forget next year.

About a week later, I received an email saying they had some spots available and also wanted me to do a panel on self-publishing. Of course I accepted. With the event only 4 days away, I quickly fired off an email to my local author friends and told them I had a table I was willing to share. On the day of the event, it was me and one other author selling out books. We had a great time and I sold a lot of books.

We assumed that due to the location, the event was going to be small. We were wrong. Toward the end of the expo, I asked one of the organizers how many people they believe had attended. I was told that they had expected about 1,400 but ticket sales (although not confirmed) seemed to be more toward 2,000. That made the Geek Expo a fairly large event. As the only authors there, we did quite well. I sold a total of 12 books which more than covered the shared cost of the table and the one meal I ate there.

The self-publishing panel I did went very well as well. Instead of just standing up in front of a group of people, I turned it into a Q&A session. That way, the audience could ask me the questions they wanted answers to concerning self-publishing. One of the people there asked some very pointed questions. I later learned that she is a best-selling romance author who is traditionally published. After the panel, she stopped by my table. That was when I learned who she was. She explained that she asked those questions to get the ball rolling. It helped.

She's also a member of a local writers group. In fact, quite a number of people at the expo including one of the organizers are members. I think I'm going to have to check them out! Here's a picture of me at our table taken by Andi Lawrencovna--the other author who shared the table with me.

The lesson here: Even if the window of opportunity appears to be closed, take a chance and make a polite inquiry. You never know what might happen.