Ad Astra 2015, anthologies, anthology, Book, book launch, bookselling, con report, convention, convention appearance, convention report, Elizabeth Hirst, Ira Nayman, Stephen B. Pearl, Victoria Feistner
This is a continuation of yesterday’s post series on Pop Seagull’s wonderful time at Ad Astra 2015. Yesterday, I recapped our experiences on Friday with setup and seeing old friends. Today, I’ll report on the most exciting day of the con by far… Saturday!
So, with a good start to the weekend on Friday, and a good night’s sleep under our belts, we headed into Saturday. I got up early, went to the lobby, and printed out posters for the launch. In every convention outing, as in camping or any other trip, I fully expect to forget one necessary item, and this time, paper launch posters were it. So, I went into Microsoft word, made excessive use of the tables feature, and crafted up something that looked pretty nice. I spent the rest of my time before the dealers’ room opened putting the posters up, and none of the time realizing that there had been a discrepancy in communications about the launch location.
Luckily, it was all on the same floor, and there was a very nice gentleman from con staff (thank you, and please comment or tweet if you see this so I can thank you properly) who was penciling in the correct info by the time I realized my mistake. It was a funny scene, actually. I was at the elevators, and I saw him changing the location with a red pen, and I walked up behind and said a hearty “Thank you!” to him, to which he replied, “You’re welcome… what for?” We both had a good laugh.
At the booth, Ira and Mum and I continued to have a good time, made even better by the arrival of my fellow Hamiltonian Stephen B. Pearl. With the party looming large, we pontificated even further on the joys of cake and Japanese candy, and met some more lovely people. My friend Robert from Genrecon (You see that Robert? I got it this time now that I’ve had sleep) came by, and we exchanged many hugs. Mum was also happy to see him, as she has a sort of reflex to want to spoil him rotten.
At noon, I performed my first demo on cover design, which I feel was quite well-attended. I got lots of interesting questions, and one attendee even gave me the privilege of critiquing his work. I found the demos to be quite rewarding, and a great opportunity to pay it forward and use my knowledge to inspire and inform. In fact, there will be a future blog post based on some of the things I’ve wanted to express to newer indie authors that solidified during my workshops this past weekend.
After the workshop, we pretty much had to go straight into party setup mode. We gathered our stuff, somehow got it into the elevator on the cart, and met with the launch liaisons. Everybody was great, there was good security and support at the event room, and our load-in went fairly seamlessly. Due to earlier events going a little over time, however (as they pretty much always do), we were a tad behind in setup. Stephen did a great job of keeping everyone happy and entertained while I set up the book table and the Skype feed, and if it hadn’t been for Jules from the launch team’s fast thinking, we would have been left without an internet connection, so thank you for helping me problem solve in the moment.
I also got to meet one of our authors, Victoria Feistner, for the very first time. Victoria is a lovely and warm local author who wrote an awesome myth retelling set in Toronto that has been quick to garner good reviews. She also came with an enviable group of friends and supporters who helped greatly with the setup (thanks, Marc and Liane!). We are well met, and I think we all hope to see more of her in future.
And now, here are the party photos!
As you can probably tell from the photos, we had a great crowd out, not only in numbers, but in engagement. Everybody really enjoyed the readings, and most people stuck around for the whole party, which was awesome. And, we had a line-up for the book! An honest-to-goodness line-up! Woohoo!
The rest of the day was a whirlwind. At the end of the sales day, we were down to only three copies of Love, Time, Space, Magic, and had sold respectable volumes of our other titles. I had intended to attend as many of the other launch parties as possible, but by the end of the day, I was hungry, footsore and totally, totally wiped. I spent the evening in bed, eating pizza buns and low fat puddings, because I’m a cool cat like that.
Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion… will we sell all of our copies of Love, Time, Space, Magic?
Oh, wait, I already spoiled it. Still going to be a good story though.