The Write Stuff writers conference this weekend proved my point yet again about the power of presenting. After delivering a fun and engaging session first thing Saturday morning on “Writing the Compelling Short Story,” I proceeded to sell 10 books at the afternoon book fair. Compare that to last year where I worked only as a volunteer and sold one book.
Going back further in the time to 2014 when I last presented at the Write Stuff, my sales at the book fair were higher than one year later, when I was the conference chairman.
With one exception, it never fails that delivering a quality solo presentation—or participating in a discussion panel—and connecting with an audience will generate books sales for an up and coming writer. Whereas merely showing up and sitting at a table with your books without first building a rapport with the attendees will almost always fail to generate decent sales unless you’re already a well-established name/best-selling author.
After decades of attending conventions like Shore Leave and Farpointand becoming a regular participant in discussion panels there, I can always count on selling at least a few books at these conventions. Whereas at Philcon or Balticon, where I am a relatively fresh face, sales are few or nonexistent right now. These things take time.
The aforementioned exception to my rule was last year’s Great Philadelphia Comic Con in April in Oaks, PA. There, I had no presentations or discussion panels. I merely set up a table and proceeded to sell about a dozen books. It was an amazing weekend and I will be returning to the Great Philly Comic Con again in two weeks along with writer pals Steven H. Wilson of Firebringer Press and Bob Greenberger, Peter David, Aaron Rosenberg, and Russ Colchamiro of Crazy 8 Press.
All told, the Write Stuff conference was a fantastic three days filled with brilliant presentations, excellent information, and most of all, camaraderie with generous and supportive writers. Keynote speaker Michael Hauge was outstanding.
Kudos to two-time Conference Chairman Charles Kiernan and the entire Write Stuff committee for their herculean efforts!
Smart Rhino Publications began in 2012 with the horror anthology ZIPPERED FLESH: Tales of Body Enhancements Gone Bad! The book included stories by Graham Masterton, John Shirley, Lisa Mannetti, L.L. Soares, Scott Nicholson, and 15 other notable authors. The book was so well-received, we decided to do a second anthology with the same theme.
And now we are pulling together the third in the ZIPPERED FLESH series … and this time you can help with the project! Our main goal for this Kickstarter campaign is to increase our payments to our authors, aiming for professional rates. Our superb writers deserve it! As a small independent publisher, Smart Rhino Publications strives to publish quality books and provide venues for talented writers. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated … and rewarded!
Check out the many great rewards we’re offering for your support! We’re sure you’ll find something of interest, especially if you love horror and suspense fiction.
I’m ecstatic to announce that Beach Nights is now available for purchase! We will be launching the book at Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach, DE on Sunday, November 13 from 2-4PM. You can purchase the book now via the links below.
In Beach Nights, readers will encounter a ghostly WWII tower (Phil says:hey, that’s my story!) and a couple with an unusual annual tradition; a girl who finds her voice at a jazz club and a boy who learns the snow cone king has a secret; an old lady who is inspired to get a tattoo, and a despondent man who is resurrected through the tango.
Beach Nights opens with a funny and romantic story involving a high school prom, and continues through tales that involve a mermaid’s moon, a “Vampire Surf Club,” senior disco queens, a seemingly haunted Funland ride, a murder at a Rehoboth hotel, a moonlit sea turtle rescue, and a kid who sneaks into a James Brown concert and meets the man himself.
In addition to myself, fellow anthology authors Melissa Carta Miller, Stuart Roth, and Susanna Reilly will be there to sign copies of volumes one and two of our Middle of Eternity speculative fiction series.
We appreciate your support of independent and small press authors!