signings

Back from Shore Leave

C.E. Dorsett Shore Leave was amazing this year! This was my first convention since Liquid Sky came out, and it was wonderful!

Friday, July 7, 2006

Things were a bit confused when we arrived early on Friday. Since my panel was confirmed little over a week before the convention, no one knew what my status at the Con would be. When I received my badge, they gave me a regular attendee pass and didn't know if I would be included in any other events at the convention. I felt a great deal of support from the other attendees who supported and accepted me immediately upon my arrival. After being bounced around to several people, I got my badge fixed. They attached a program participant notice to the bottom, hopefully I will earn a guest badge in the future. I was also welcomed at the "Meet the Pros" writers' alley later that night.

The first book I sold a copy of Liquid Sky too at Shore Leave was to the wonderful people from Selmak.org. They were a great deal of fun, and good people to boot. They took a picture of me with Selmak, and I am told it will be up on their site soon.

I met a lot of wonderful people Friday night, and that night, I was seated on the "Meet the Pros" writers' alley next to Ray Villard!! As a science geek, this was like sitting next to a rock star. This man has done so much to bring science alive in my imagination and countless others.

Being there, surrounded by all of these writers that I have admired for so long was an amazing experience. After so many years on the other side of the table, I was privileged and overwhelmed. Everyone did so much to make me feel at home and at ease among so many great writers. I have to add here, Paulette, if you read this, I really enjoyed our conversation and I hope you enjoy the book.

Saturday, July 8

After such an amazing day, I was afraid of what I would find on my full day at the convention. Quickly, I found my fears were nothing but jitters. I met many wonderful people really early on. Mark, it was great to talk to you. I really felt like I met kindred spirit in you.

A high point for me was the Gay Fandom: a melding of two communities panel. I was happy to see so many GLBT people coming out to discuss the good and the bad aspects of the portrayal of GLBT people and themes in SciFi media and press. This is a subject near and dear to my heart, especially since I have found it so difficult to publish any of my stories with prominent GLBT characters and themes. I also hope to begin a relationship with Dragon Lady Productions.

That night, I met Martin and Teresa, two very cool people who hung out for the rest of the night with me. Cheers y'all.

My panel, "Anime Themes in Literature" spent most of our time discussing the differences between Japanese and American SF, and the difference being more one of style effecting content, and not content in and of itself. My thesis was simple. Japanese SF is focused more on telling and imaginative story whereas American SF is preoccupied with the definition of "odd things" as odd. Maybe I'll write an essay for the site. The panel went well.

Sunday, July 9

I got to attend the Writer's Only Breakfast! I sat next to A.C. Crispin, who is one of the reasons I became a writer. She offered me a lot of good advice, and really made me feel like a novice. She was blunt in her comments, but her words will hopefully help me as I shop "Shine like Thunder" around.

Our Breakfast was accidentally paid for by a representative from Pocket Books. A.C. Crispin became enraged, while Brian and I slipped out.

Other Notes

In short, Brian and I had a great time. Our reception at Shore Leave was amazing. I hope all of the people who we met will stay in touch. I hope you all enjoy the book and I hope to see you all next year.

After consultation with a good deal of people, we have decided to make Liquid Sky into the first Audiobook available from Podiobooks.com. I hope to have it ready soon.

Thanks to everyone who made our time at Shore Leave so enjoyable.

Back from Shore Leave

C.E. Dorsett Shore Leave was amazing this year! This was my first convention since Liquid Sky came out, and it was wonderful!

Friday, July 7, 2006

Things were a bit confused when we arrived early on Friday. Since my panel was confirmed little over a week before the convention, no one knew what my status at the Con would be. When I received my badge, they gave me a regular attendee pass and didn't know if I would be included in any other events at the convention. I felt a great deal of support from the other attendees who supported and accepted me immediately upon my arrival. After being bounced around to several people, I got my badge fixed. They attached a program participant notice to the bottom, hopefully I will earn a guest badge in the future. I was also welcomed at the "Meet the Pros" writers' alley later that night.

The first book I sold a copy of Liquid Sky too at Shore Leave was to the wonderful people from Selmak.org. They were a great deal of fun, and good people to boot. They took a picture of me with Selmak, and I am told it will be up on their site soon.

I met a lot of wonderful people Friday night, and that night, I was seated on the "Meet the Pros" writers' alley next to Ray Villard!! As a science geek, this was like sitting next to a rock star. This man has done so much to bring science alive in my imagination and countless others.

Being there, surrounded by all of these writers that I have admired for so long was an amazing experience. After so many years on the other side of the table, I was privileged and overwhelmed. Everyone did so much to make me feel at home and at ease among so many great writers. I have to add here, Paulette, if you read this, I really enjoyed our conversation and I hope you enjoy the book.

Saturday, July 8

After such an amazing day, I was afraid of what I would find on my full day at the convention. Quickly, I found my fears were nothing but jitters. I met many wonderful people really early on. Mark, it was great to talk to you. I really felt like I met kindred spirit in you.

A high point for me was the Gay Fandom: a melding of two communities panel. I was happy to see so many GLBT people coming out to discuss the good and the bad aspects of the portrayal of GLBT people and themes in SciFi media and press. This is a subject near and dear to my heart, especially since I have found it so difficult to publish any of my stories with prominent GLBT characters and themes. I also hope to begin a relationship with Dragon Lady Productions.

That night, I met Martin and Teresa, two very cool people who hung out for the rest of the night with me. Cheers y'all.

My panel, "Anime Themes in Literature" spent most of our time discussing the differences between Japanese and American SF, and the difference being more one of style effecting content, and not content in and of itself. My thesis was simple. Japanese SF is focused more on telling and imaginative story whereas American SF is preoccupied with the definition of "odd things" as odd. Maybe I'll write an essay for the site. The panel went well.

Sunday, July 9

I got to attend the Writer's Only Breakfast! I sat next to A.C. Crispin, who is one of the reasons I became a writer. She offered me a lot of good advice, and really made me feel like a novice. She was blunt in her comments, but her words will hopefully help me as I shop "Shine like Thunder" around.

Our Breakfast was accidentally paid for by a representative from Pocket Books. A.C. Crispin became enraged, while Brian and I slipped out.

Other Notes

In short, Brian and I had a great time. Our reception at Shore Leave was amazing. I hope all of the people who we met will stay in touch. I hope you all enjoy the book and I hope to see you all next year.

After consultation with a good deal of people, we have decided to make Liquid Sky into the first Audiobook available from Podiobooks.com. I hope to have it ready soon.

Thanks to everyone who made our time at Shore Leave so enjoyable.

Virtual Books Signings?

C.E. Dorsett I have really mixed feelings about this...

LONDON - Margaret Atwood has had enough of long journeys, late nights and writer's cramp. Tired of grueling book tours, the Booker Prize-winning Canadian author on Sunday unveiled her new invention: a remote-controlled pen that allows writers to sign books for fans from thousands of miles away (AP on Yahoo!).

It is hard enough to attract an audience as a Non-Booker Prize winning writer, but it would be impossible with a virtual machine. This is an invention to help big wigs sell more books... not to be selfish, but what does it do for people like me?

Over the last 5 years or so, all of the best fiction I have read has been either posted to the internet or self-published because it does not follow some predetermined formula. These writers aren't huge because they don't have the money behind them to tour and promote their books... Low budgets are hard on a writer. Why would someone stop at a booth for a writer they have never heard of?

While Margaret Atwood is tired of book tours and writer's cramp, there are plenty of writers who would gladly take her promotion budget. It is one more why for well-to-do writers to distance themselves from the rest of us.

Virtual Books Signings?

C.E. Dorsett I have really mixed feelings about this...

LONDON - Margaret Atwood has had enough of long journeys, late nights and writer's cramp. Tired of grueling book tours, the Booker Prize-winning Canadian author on Sunday unveiled her new invention: a remote-controlled pen that allows writers to sign books for fans from thousands of miles away (AP on Yahoo!).

It is hard enough to attract an audience as a Non-Booker Prize winning writer, but it would be impossible with a virtual machine. This is an invention to help big wigs sell more books... not to be selfish, but what does it do for people like me?

Over the last 5 years or so, all of the best fiction I have read has been either posted to the internet or self-published because it does not follow some predetermined formula. These writers aren't huge because they don't have the money behind them to tour and promote their books... Low budgets are hard on a writer. Why would someone stop at a booth for a writer they have never heard of?

While Margaret Atwood is tired of book tours and writer's cramp, there are plenty of writers who would gladly take her promotion budget. It is one more why for well-to-do writers to distance themselves from the rest of us.

Self-promotery

C.E. Dorsett This is a topic near to my heart:

Can an author promote their books too much? That seems to be the question of the week making the blog rounds.

...

In the end, like any form of advertising, anyone who is tired of the advertising can always tune it out, or change the channel, or turn off the radio (SF Signal)...

As someone who is really into punk and goth, I have to say that I feel that any self-promotion is millimeters away from selling out. I feel queesy about charging money for the book... It feels like selling out to me, but I have to make a living somehow, and if I don't sell the books, t-shirts and such, I won't have time to write. Justine Larbalestier writes:

Accusations of being too self promotery make me a bit jittery. Promoting your books is part of a writer’s job. If no one knows the book exists how is it going to sell? A writer should be out there lining up bookshop appearances, sending out postcards/business cards/tshoshkas of some kind. You should be attending cons/trade shows/schools/libraries or whatever will help get the word out about your work. It may not have that much effect (no one really knows how to get word of mouth going*), but it might, and besides, for your own peace of mind it helps to know that you’re doing something (Justine Larbalestier.com).

Tell me about it. At book signings, as a new writer, people treat you like a caged animal in a zoo. People point you out to their children, “That is the endangered SF Writer of Heartland. Don't get to close, they are unpredictable. Be sure not to feed them or they will come to expect it from you.”

It is even harder to get the attention of an editor. So many want to be writers... If only every would be writer would be a reader... then maybe their would be more magazines and opportunities to be compensated for creative impulses. What is a writer to do?

I just witnessed the most obnoxious slush submission EVER. Someone sent us a letter informing us of the impending arrival of his brilliant new story, along with a bunch of quotes from people he knows that say how good it is. But the best (or worst) part about the submission is that it was full of red, white, and blue stars, which got all over the place when I opened the envelope. And to make things worse, they're made of some material that's very static-clingy, so they're very difficult to pick up and/or brush off your hands (The Slush God).

Not that, sure, but I can understand the frustration that would drive someone to put confetti in a submission. With an editor spending on average 2 seconds on each submission, you have to stand out somehow...

Maybe if books were moved to the front, out of the stakes based on merit rather than huge paid placement deals, it would be easier to attract an audience.

Will I stop going to cons? No way. Here is why. Read Seth Godin’s book ‘Permission Marketing.’ He talks about primary ’sneezers,’ people who spread the word about a product or something they fall in love with (think mac evangelists, or religious cultists, or in biology, Typhoid Mary). Book ’sneezers’ are the kind of people who will go to a convention or a reader at a convention, or come to a signing. So if you want to prime that pump, you need to meet sneezers, and that’s why I think cons and readings and book signings are not initially profitable, but in the long run, start the first level of word of mouth (Tobias Buckell.com).

On that note: I will be at Shoreleave this year! Hope to see you there.

What is a writer to do? Honestly, what? I blog...