What you can learn from Conventions

Last weekend I attended Supanova Comic-con in Brisbane, it a great learning experience with each convention I attend. How it can help promote yourself, to network with some fantastic creatives or just introducing someone into the world of writing and publishing. Then there are cons being at a Con, being ignored or laughed at, periods of times of boredom and desperation and can sometimes affect your manner of how you interact with new readers. Here are some observations I gathered from the Nova.

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Next, to me was Clive Johnson, an experienced non-fiction writer who is now cracking into the fiction side of writing, in the genre historical fantasy. His first and second books in the series Eye of Egypt are The Pharaoh’s Greatest Gift and The Mirror Chamber; soon his third will be coming out, which will be called All will be Black. As this his first convention I was surprised in his understanding how these things work. I could assume that his past experiences in the field of writing gave him an edge. Having book bundles, a television having your book trailers playing also offering a prize through an email entry. Marvelous ideas. I am going to borrow some of these for April’s Cons.

Across the way was Avril Sabine, a speculative author with over fifty titles to her name. That wasn’t the most impressive part, the attention to detail of the booth she set up in Artist Alley. Solid pine desk, cupboard, bookcase, table and chairs. Also, the whole group were dressed up in steampunk costumes. It was an incredible sight; I felt like I was transported to her books and could relive them in this reality. During the weekend she had a least two interviews and a large number of pictures. As it isn’t right to ask how people go, I would assume that this would have benefited sales.

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Then to my booth, it had one pull-up banner, one book also was my fellow author’s book Caligation by Brhi Stokes. I had posters of my ebook covers, designed by Julia Raymond of ShootingStarShooter, and had new flyers to help promote my books. This no means a horrible set up, as there were others set up similarly to me. As there is a lot to take in, you need that edge for people to come over and interact with you.

Looking forward, I can still improve, costumes, book trailers, new banners and more books. This Supanova is my third convention and each one I take something away so I can develop the next.

Conventions are an essential step for any author who writes in the speculative genre. It allows you to connect with new readers and expand your connections. You do also need to walk into this with an open mind; you might not break even or feel depressed by how people ignore you. Just remember this is a journey and you have taken the first steps, believe in yourself and great things will follow.

                                                                                                                                                                  

I am taking orders for my book Lake Merrin, head to www.samuelcolbran.com

The Protagonist is a half-human, an average guy looking for work and a roof over his head and food on the table. And of course, something happens that could rock the Duchy. As there are Adventurers/heroes everywhere, he has to ask ‘should he stand up to be a hero? And would it matter?’

Lake Merrin is a city in the North-Western part of Western Duchy, Favinonia. It is also known as Iron Dukedom. Duke Trahern Isenhart III is the ruler of Iron Dukedom, and his third cousin Count Darel Isenhart is the ruler of Lake Merrin, and it’s county.

Lake Merrin is home to twenty thousand people, and it has the second oldest Adventuring Hall in Favinonia; nearly nine hundred years old.

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Becoming a Quality Quantity Author

A post just went up in a group I am a part of, and the question was, are you a Quality or Quantity Author? After my disaster at the beginning of the year for my debut novel, Lake Merrin (and many weeks of depression) I realised that you need to become more than just a four-novel a year author, you have to produce four books but at high quality as well. Hence, becoming a Quality Quantity Author.

There were two articles for each argument to this, one by Lorraine Devon Wilke and the other by Dean Wesley Smith. Each has good points (links below), but being a fantasy writer and also talking to successful published authors like Kimberley Clark and Nick Earls, I came up with a different approach.

Producing four full-length novels (around 100k) would be hard, and yes the quality will drop but what about short stories or novellas?

By the end of this year, I will have published seven ebooks and three paperbacks, two of which are novellas. These short stories/novellas range between four thousand to 21 k each, some taking a week to write and others a couple of months. What this does is create a reputation as an author.

Each short story ebook cost me around $200, that is a cover artist and editor.  The novella cost me another $150 for formatting and my new cover for the book $120. So three months of releases, 200 a month (600 in total) and in the fourth month a paperback another 270. The grand total (excluding printing) $870!

How much will it cost me to produce a novel, that could fluctuate between people? So far (minus my lousy choice of editor at the beginning of the year) it has cost me 4 to 5 thousand dollars.

I am not a rich man, but I do have an imagination that can think and produce many different story arcs, so if I produce one novel and at least twelve short read ebooks which will make around 4 novellas a year, why not?

At Oz Comic-Con, an author of four books commented on my novella; FableLands: Interrogation Part One, as breaking all the rules. It because in one book, I have three short serial reads in 1st, 2nd and 3rd person and the first three chapters of my book Lake Merrin coming out in December. I responded ‘I became a writer, so I didn’t have to follow any rules except for the ones I deem important to my own creativity.’

The argument with taking your time with your writing will produce a good book, that is determined by your readers. I have raving reviews for my short reads, but if it all was based on one novel, I am not sure that I would have a similar following.

The more you write, the better you become. The more you push your boundaries, the more you can be creative. In the end, do what you want to do, not what the creative industry dictates you should do.

 

Links:

FableLands: Interrogation Part One, Website or Amazon

Dear Self-Published Author: Do NOT Write Four Books a Year by Lorraine Devon Wilke.

Don’t Be a Wuss, Write Four Novels a Year by Dean Wesley Smith.

My Novella, FableLands: Interrogation.

I skipped my blog yesterday as I knew my publisher, Ocean Reeve was dropping off my proof copy of FableLands: Interrogation Part One. Looking though it makes the whole process real! Only months ago did I start writing this short story series and soon I will be at Oz Comic Con as a published author. How time flys!
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This isn’t the final copy but having the book in my hand. Seeing my name on its cover is a dream come true. I would never think that two years ago that a book on mine would be on paper.

I have some other great news, next month, the fourth part of FableLands, Sammy Trickster will be out for e-book and a new series Favinonian Tales, titled Rise of the Green: Trinity which is based in the same world as my main novel, Lake Merrin.

I am heading back to expose my readers to the rich history of Favinonia, so they can live and breathe in Amsul (the world Favinonia is set in).

Another thing is that I have been helped by my father to finish Lake Merrin, so fingers crossed that it will be out this year. I have my editors booked in, and away we go!
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On the 13th and 15th of September, I will be having a book signing at BELLA’s Bakery in Southport Central from 11 am to 1 pm, see you there if not see you at OZ CON!!!

 

What is happening?

It has been a while since I have written a blog. Some of it was due to the lack of motivation to write one, being distracted by either my writing or groups that I am a part of. Even typing this seems to be a little hollow and passing the buck. Just need to harden the truck up and do some blogs!

I have thought that Thursday will be my blog day, need to do something once a week. If I can’t do that, then why have a blog!

So what has been happening in the world of Samuel Colbran?

First off I now have a paperback of a superhero fantasy anthology which includes Kayla, Briana and Ciro with an addition of the first three chapters of the newly updated Lake Merrin! I have been ecstatic about this. Soon I will have a book in my hands with my name on it. It will be like book-crack for me!

This came about because I was invited to go to Oz Comic Con in Brisbane! Even a few of my author friends are going to have tables as well. They are Melissa H North and Karen Tyrell. It will be the first time I will have met Melissa, it going to be indeed fabulous!
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There is one version on Amazon of FableLands: Interrogation, but you can buy off of me, a special edition of the book! Find out more at www.samuelcolbran.com.

My current working on a short story connected to the history of Favinonia (the country Lake Merrin is set in), called Rise of the Green. It delves into the rise of the fictional religion of Favinonia, in where the first saint rose, Saint Mela of the Green.

Saint Mela—the plague-ender; life-giver; and first saint—represents the Green Aspect. People who follow this aspect give thanks to the first saint for bringing the Trinity to Favinonia.

Discovering her story has been a highlight. It will be the first of three, under the title ‘The Trinity’ from the series Tales From Favinonia. There are about twenty stories to be written under this series name, some of the heroes of the past. A few of these stories will be about the political arena of Favinonia. This is mainly to expand the world of Amsul.

So that ends the first of, (fingers crossed) my Thursday blogs. See you next week!