I still owe you a DemiCon 30 report, but this week it’s time to get ready for ConQuesT 50. In a couple more weeks, it’ll be time for SoonerCon 28. Maybe I’ll eventually catch up with myself, but one never knows.

There are a great many Indie authors who don’t understand why anyone would go to that many science fiction conventions, much less three additional ones (SpikeCon, FenCon, and Archon), over the course of the next few months. “I always lose money,” they say, or words to that effect.

I have a working hypothesis that, in the parlance of marketing, they are seriously discounting the value of brand-building, and focusing too much on lead-generation, but never mind. I guess this summer will be a “living laboratory” to test my own hypotheses about book-marketing.

Here's a photo of Jan S. Gephardt standing next to her fantasy paper sculpture Art Show display at DemiCon 30. Photo by Lucy A. Synk.
Here’s me with my DemiCon 30 Art Show display of fantasy paper sculpture.
Photo by Lucy A. Synk.

Thing is, long before I had this book to sell, I went to sf conventions. I sold art. I even ran an art show (at ConQuesT) for three years. I have yet to sell enough artwork to break even on expenses. On the other hand, I met lots of other authors, artists, editors, and individuals in science-fiction-adjacent fields, such as astronomy and rocketry.

I met all three of the literary agents who’ve represented me, at sf conventions. I met and had good conversations or other interactions (minds out of the gutter, people!) with artists, writers, editors, and more. With people whose names you’d know, if you are interested in my genres. Not to mention finding nearly all of my closest friends there.

I remain an active member of both KaCSFFS, the Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Society, Inc., and ASFA, the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists, Inc. Eventually, I’ll probably join SFWA, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Why? Because I value their input, their wisdom-of-the-group, and their network. Most of all, my friendships within them.

I just have to admit it. They’re my peeps, and I love them. They know a lot, too. A lot of things, a lot of people, and a lot of fun stuff. They’re lovely human beings (even when they’re kinda “out there”), and over the years they’ve taught me amazing things. They’ve introduced me to wonderful new people, books, media, and ideas. My life would be much less wonderful without them.

My question to the doubters is, “Why on earth wouldn’t I go to science fiction conventions?

IMAGE CREDITS: I’d like to thank all the conventions whose headers I used: Capricon 39, DemiCon, ConQuesT, SoonerCon, SpikeCon, FenCon, and Archon. I appreciate you! Nearly all of the rest of these photos were taken by me at DemiCon 30, with the express permission of their subjects. I deeply appreciate them! The sole exception is the photo of me, standing by my DemiCon 30 Art Show display. That one was taken by Lucy A. Synk, and is used with her permission. Thanks, Lucy!