Convention Basics for Authors


meGoing to a convention for the first time as a vendor can be intimidating for an author. What do you bring? How will you take payment? How many books? What should the table look like? Signage?

After attending about fifteen conventions, some total failures and others great successes, out of state and local, I feel like I’m at a point where I can dole out legitimate advice.

Let’s begin!

The Mindset

First, before I say anything, let me say this: conventions are not about making money. Do not go into one thinking you’ll be walking out with fat stacks of cash. For most of us, while it’s certainly possible you could turn a profit at one of these things, especially if’s a local con, there’s a possibility you won’t. It’s pretty simple: after you add the cost of the table, cost of books, marketing materials, food, parking, transportation, lodging…

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Two new writing/author podcasts for my little collection…

John L. Monk

No, you don’t have to go out and immediately listen to them, haha. Is that what you think I’m suggesting every time I post some new podcast? For my part, I’ll be listening to them on my daily commutes and when the wife and I go driving to various places on the weekends (e.g., the grocery store, and thousands of interesting places you can’t even imagine).


Author Strong: indie-centric podcast with an emphasis on craft and achieving publishing success. By indie-centric I mean they have a lot of top-selling indie guests like Libbie Hawker and Robert Chazz Chute. I love how these guests return repeatedly (of course — because they’re good guests!).


The Taylor Stevens Show: a new (brand new) podcast with Stephen Campbell of “The Author Biz” and “Crime Fiction FM,” where he co-hosts with NY Times Bestselling author Taylor Stevens. Sure, she’s not…

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2004-2014: How the E-book Changed Adult Fiction

Nicholas C. Rossis

This is the first post of two on the subject of changes in publishing. I came across an interesting post by Jane Friedman on the subject, based on a Nielsen presentation by Jonathan Nowell. Studying the last decade, one can reach a number of interesting conclusions.

When looking at the graph below, it’s interesting to remember that the first Kindle was released in late 2007, while 2011 saw the release of Kindle Fire.

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books by Jane Friedman

  • Fiction ebook sales: Romance started off as the strongest genre in ebook format, and has remained dominant since. Today it constitutes 24% of all ebook sales.
  • Fiction print sales were up 20% from 2004–2009, and have decreased 37% since then (as a result of ebooks picking up momentum).
  • In the latest quarter, adult fiction accounts for 65% of ebook sales.
  • Overall U.S. print book sales in 2014: 37% juvenile, 23% adult fiction, and…

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Guest Post: Amos Cassidy

 Hawthorn by Jamie Cassidy
Series: The Darkling Saga book 1
Genre: YA Horror/Fantasy

  A house on a hill. 

A house filled with mirrors. 
A house with eyes that watch your every
“I hate it on sight. It’s dull and large and
clunky, a creepy old house with a creepy house smell.” 
Learmonth Village has a history, a past that it
holds dear, superstitions that it clings fast to. Learmonth House, however, is
governed by its own set of rules, its own past. Gemma and her family are about
to discover just what those rules are. 
Learmonth has a pact with the darkness… 
The darkness is hungry…  

Amos Cassidy is the pen name for Richard Amos and Debbie Cassidy.
Amos is a 31 year old Diva and Cassidy a 38 year old mother of three; well,
four if you include the husband. A common love of all things Joss Whedon, Urban
Fantasy, and a tug of war over Jensen Ackles, brought them together, and one
cold February afternoon, over nibbles and coffee, their partnership was
You can find Cassidy hard at work in her fortress of solitude
which has eaten up the majority of her garden, and Amos…well he’s still
trying to get the invisibility gizmo he got off a friendly alien in exchange
for a pair of earphones to work. Funnily enough he hasn’t been seen around much
Frequent doses of Sugary snacks, coupled with regular injections
of caffeine aid in their production of a unique brand of cross genre tales.
They are always writing, but are happy to take a break to chat to their
wonderful readers, so drop them a line at, or just pop over to
see what they’re working on and they’ll bust out the biscuit tin.

I’m still searching when I spot the
strangest looking tree. It’s larger than the others, but that’s not what makes
it stand out. It’s the trunk that draws me, split in two in the middle and
twisted at the top to make an aperture that looks like the eye of a needle.
It’s wide enough to slip through. At least I think it is. I am overcome by the
strangest feeling of familiarity.  I take a step toward the tree, and
then another, suddenly eager to find out if my theory is correct.
“I wouldn’t do that if I was you?”
I spin around in alarm to find the
owner of the voice.
“Hi.” He is leaning against a tree,
all casual-like. He’s tall, taller than Liam, with dark messy hair and dark
eyes. He is striking to look at, the kind of guy you expect to see in one of
those Cinderella story movies, or a character from a young adult paranormal
novel. I stare at him, expecting him to disappear or grow some pimples or
something, but he remains as gorgeous as ever.
Liam. I love Liam, I remind myself.
He holds out his hand. “Come on,
those things can be dangerous.”
I look glance at the tree then back
at him. “You have to be joking.”
“So you’re saving me from a tree?”
He nods sombre-like.
I feel a stab of irritation. Who
does he think I am, some gullible twat from London or something? I step back
and touch the tree and quirk a brow at him. Hah!
His smiles. “Maybe I just wanted to
hold the pretty girl’s hand.”
I don’t know what to say to that.
“I’m Sam.”
“Nice to meet you, Gemma.” He
flashes that smile again, all white even teeth and a dimple.
“You live up at Learmonth, right?”
“Yeah, what about you?”
“I don’t.”
God, he’s trying to be cute. I hate
that. “Um, anyway, I best get going.”
“Why? You just got here. There’s
some lovely spots to sketch. I can show you if you like.”
I frown. How does he know I sketch?
My pad is in my backpack.
He cocks his head as if listening to
something. “You have artist’s hands and an artist’s eyes. I see the way you
look at things.”
Once again I don’t know what to say
to that apart from, “You been watching me?”
He smiles. “I spotted you a few
minutes ago. So, you coming?”
I hesitate. “I don’t know, you could
be a serial killer or something.”
He nods. “True, but then we’re far
enough from your house and the village for me to just grab you if I want.” He
grins disarmingly.
I laugh. “Okay, you have a point.
Lead the way.” He turns and I follow. This could be good. He looks my age,
maybe a little older. Making a friend could be good, make starting college easier
with a familiar face to look forward to.
I can’t help study his back, tapered
down to his tight butt. Damn, now I’m checking him out. He does have nice arms,
though, wiry and strong-looking even if he’s as pale as the moon. He doesn’t
seem to feel the chill in the air.
I wonder if he’s wearing sun cream.
I bet he burns easy.
I trip and stumble, but don’t hit
the ground because he has me.
I don’t know how, but I have to ask.
“Are you a vampire?”
He stares at me for a long beat and
then bursts out laughing.
After a second I join in.
I realise he is still holding me,
his hands warm on my skin. “Come on then, show me this place.”


He lets go of me and ambles off
again. “Eyes on the trail now, Gemma.”

Update – May 2015 – Crunching Numbers, Another New Project, New Blurb

Brandon R. Luffman… keep on writing!

Brandon R. Luffman

So, how about another monthly update?

As I’ve mentioned lots of times, one of my biggest hurdles is just staying motivated and keeping my productivity up. I’ve also mentioned that my goal for this year has been to average 500 words per day. That’s not a lot, really, but it adds up in the end. For someone not writing as a full-time job, I think it’s a passable goal.

I just crunched some numbers… Taking how many days have already passed this year (145), and considering my goal of averaging 500 words per day this year, my current total word count for the year (79,610) puts me only about two weeks ahead of schedule.

Writing a novel really sounds so reasonable when you look at the raw numbers. If you crank out 2,000 words per day (which I do on good days, but usually I’m closer to 1,300 or so)…

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New Release – Anything But Zombies! Edited by Gerald Rice

“Anything But Zombies” anthology now available!

Life With Words

Now Available!

Anything but Zombies!

Edited by Gerald Dean Rice

Anything But Zombies! Edited by Gerald Rice

For decades we’ve had vampires, werewolves, Jason, Freddy, and Michael. And now zombies have gone all Hollywood.

In this tongue-in-cheek take on the zombie sub-genre, author and publisher, and lifelong horror enthusiast Gerald Rice has assembled a fresh and downright disturbing collection of stories.  Inside new breeds of monsters emerge like sentient sex dolls, anti-zombie terrorists, suicidal cultists, the woman who can smell sin, and there’s more.

ANYTHING BUT ZOMBIES features original short stories from some of the most clever and imaginative horror writers of the day including Armand Rosamilia, Jake Bible, Tonia Brown, Rebecca Besser, Jimmy Pudge, Gerald Rice, MontiLee Stormer, Lee Moan, Jeff Strand, Tim Curran, and Faye McCray. This diverse cast of writers lends their extraordinary talents to usher in the next wave of monster.


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