Tag Archives: conventions

Does Convention Visibility Matter?

In the past few weeks, I’ve seen many successful writers make mention of the issue of visibility – the connecting of interested reader with published story.  These writers were not happy with their current visibility, and all commented about how difficult it was to know what would and wouldn’t work to increase success.  And these writers are trade-published, having the same conversation self-published writers have every day.

Gen Con’s Writer Symposium was quite educational in that regard.

A panel on how to get reviews was very specific in how writers were to approach reviewers, with all emphasis on demonstrating proper etiquette and expecting nothing in return.  The writer should submit a request.  The writer shouldn’t expect a response.  One panelist stated publishers didn’t do the reviewer-approaching for most writers anymore and the other panelists nodded agreement.  The consensus was that all but the most-publicized writers should expect to actively seek and collect their own reviews.  Whether the trade-published author was expected to send the reviewer an ARC and/or eARC at their own cost wasn’t clear to me.

As the panelists went into greater detail on the methods of gaining reviews and properly reacting to reviews, I was thinking to myself it was great information.  I’d love to approach other reviewers and–fingers crossed!–achieve a little positive visibility.  Here was the roadmap, right?

Nope.

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Wiscon Bound!

I registered today for Wiscon!  I even put in to be on a panel!  Yeah, the panel isn’t related to writing craft and such, but I still think there is a multitude of writers out there who know much more than I do about any and all of those panel topics.  I’d rather listen to them than myself.

Ya know what else is cool?  There are panels specific to self-publishing, and I didn’t see a single one with a title akin to, “Is it real?” or “Is it a good choice?” or “Will it ruin your career?”  It simply is.  Nice.

I mentioned on Twitter that I didn’t do much in the way of connecting with folks when I went to Wiscon years ago, and I mentioned that result was deliberate.  And then I realized why I like traveling alone.

I am an outgoing introvert.  Sounds like a contradiction, yes?  It is.  I can quite easily spend a few days on my own, with minimal small-talk conversation undertaken with strangers.  I can easily show up to teach an all-day seminar, and interact with the attendees for a few hours after.  The first is natural, the second was a learned ability, but I do enjoy both.

But that first part–spending days alone–is almost impossible to come by in real life.  I’m a mother.  I teach.  I have friends who deserve interaction.  I’ve community responsibilities.  If I want to spend a day hiding in my home, or if I don’t seem to be chatty, people start to worry, assume I’m depressed, or think I’m upset.

But when I go somewhere else, no one gives a damn if I don’t say a single word for days.  No one gets concerned.  No one wants a reason.  And if someone thinks I’m acting all strange, they’ll tell their own friends rather than ask me to explain.

Before Dev came along, I’d take myself camping somewhere in the California mountains or deserts.  There was nothing so wonderful as that aloneness.

Travelling by myself is my ultimate introvert indulgence.

But this time!  I’m meeting up with Viable Paradise folks (some of whom already experienced my “sometimes I’ll disappear at the end of the day” tendencies), and am looking forward to it more than you can imagine.

Even introvert-travel doesn’t sound so wonderful as that–likely because I’ve felt so creatively-lonely for so very long in this town.  (And there’s a topic I might write of someday: How Small Town Folks Tend To Think You’re Stupid If You Don’t Have A “Normal” Job.)

If you’re going to Wiscon, let me know!