Friday, May 20, 2011

Nebula, BEA, Balticon…Oh My!

This coming week, beginning yesterday and running until a week from this coming Sunday, (okay so that’s not really a week, but it’s closer than calling it a month,) is going to be a very busy time.

The Nebula Awards are being held here in DC and I am participating in a few events. Tonight I will be doing the book signing I mentioned a bit ago. This Sunday morning I will be speaking as part of a panel discussion called “Old Ways New Ways,” which is actually described on the SFWA site as: “An amazing moderated interview of SFWA’s brightest stars provides a compare and contrast of practices from times past and today. We know our panelists, both young and not so young, are so witty, wise, and well spoken that we guarantee insight to and chuckles about our field will be well worth sitting in on this fifty-minute hour.” I will be joined for this discussion by Joe Haldeman, N.K. Jemisin, Christopher Kastensmidt, and Jack McDevitt.

This should be interesting because I have not only never been on a “panel” before, I’ve never seen one, and my co-speakers are all multiple award winning/nominated authors of great renown. And I am…well, me—the guy who hasn’t even traditionally published a book yet and have only been a member of the SFWA for a few months.

Then Sunday evening I am off to New York City for the BookExpo America. This is the big publishing event in North America, more of a business trade event than a fan event. I’ve been invited by Orbit to stop by their booth and sign some ARCs of Theft of Swords that I believe they will be giving out to book sellers at the show. I’ll also be having lunch with some folks from the publisher and it seems there is a cocktail party somewhere in there. Robin is going to make me get dressed up for this, I think.

Just as the BEA ends Balticon in Baltimore, MD starts, and it would seem I am on several panels there. Robin has yet to tell me what they are. I am instructed to just go and be myself--only nicer. Baticon should be fun since I will be seeing both Marshall Thomas and Nathan Lowell again--Ridan authors, both of who’s books are punching holes in Amazon’s bestseller lists at the moment. Nathan I’m sure knows he hit number one on the Movers and Shakers List yesterday with his new Full Share novel, but I am certain that Marshall has no idea that his six books have become overnight successes.

Marshall is a great guy who has been writing and selling his Soldier of the Legion Science Fiction series quietly for years. He attends the local conventions religiously, but never had much success. Two years ago his booth was next to mine, and he noticed I was selling a lot more books than he was. Robin and I started giving him advice which helped his sales, and the following year he discussed becoming a Ridan author. We spent a year getting all his books re-released with new covers and formats and now that Robin is working on Ridan full-time, she began trying to see what she could do to kick Marshall’s books into high-gear by adjusting the price point. It worked.

This is a guy who was so thrilled when a reader decided to buy his whole series at once that he was at a loss because the reader wanted them all signed and Marshall ran out of new things to say in each book. Can’t wait to see his face. He’s happy when he sells twelve books, I wonder how he will take it when he learns he is selling thousands.

So if you are in DC, or New York, or Baltimore this coming “week” drop by and say hello. I’ll be the awkward looking one trying to figure out what I’m supposed to be doing.

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