Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Wondercon March 2016

I thought I had it all figured out.

Wondercon in Los Angeles was my first West Coast con.

I've done several in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee.

The fans of Wondercon are a great crowd. Those who are regulars to this con are used to it being in Anaheim -- so I'm not sure how many were attending Wondercon in LA for the first time?

I know I was.

Comic cons are where I sell my YA supernatural/paranormal books, the St. Blair series. And, for the most part, I have been growing response and sales with each con.

So here is what I have been measuring and learning as an author:
  • A small con of 2,000 people won't equal the sales of a con of 40,000+, but could still be profitable.
  • However, an artist alley table could equal the sales of a larger booth, if the location is in a high traffic area.
  • Location is king.
  • Booths that are positioned at the end section of a convention center, away from celebrity signings and a food court, are the road less traveled. Unless! it is a rainy day and conventioneers are stuck there.
  • Signs and banners must be positioned very high up and should be double-sided as the best option (I need double sided banners).
  • Better table display makes for improved sales.
  • Pricing should be easy to locate on items and signs.
  • Let people approach your table and browse before engaging in conversation.
  • Recognize the person who has taken the time to come to your table, as they could be elsewhere.
  • Thank people for their opinion.
  • Have candy for hungry shoppers.
  • Have an email signup.
  • Make notes by the person's name on the email list (Blogger. Producer...) so you'll remember who they are. You won't remember once you travel home.  
  • Give something free. I give away bookmarks.
  • Enjoy yourself!
 So how was Wondercon? It was good.

It was topnotch professional. Awesome fans.

The help the Wondercon staff provides at load-in and load-in is THE BEST!

Sales were low for the booth size I had.

I've had the same 10x10 in 4 conventions and near the same volume of traffic or greater at Wondercon. The only difference was location and visibility. My Wondercon location was further away from the action, but near the food court (a plus). It seemed like a great location. But once all our neighbors had their booths up, it was a competition for attendee attention. I'm not complaining. I was very impressed by the creativity of the other vendors. We can always improve.

I still scratch my head on this one. It seemed to have greater potential.

I'm not sure why sales weren't at least the same as other large conventions? But the fans were great! We met a lot of fun people and hope to keep in touch with them.

Nevertheless, it was a wonderful experience. I think I'll try again, if they'll have me.

Loved the LA Convention Center.

Me with Blair, my filmmaker daughter.

Note to self: Get a bat signal to call attention to my booth. 

 Omini Hotel deals for Wondercon were WONDERFUL. These two would agree.

Con rule #1: Dress appropriately.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Writing The Diary of St. Blair

I have been so perplexed about blogging.
Everyone says write what you know and what you are passionate about.
So here it goes...
I just got home from mass and I am so inspired! The readings and homily were spot on what I needed to hear.
This was part of today’s reading.
Luke 10: 17-20
"Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name."
Jesus said, "I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky.
Behold, I have given you the power to 'tread upon serpents' and scorpions
and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you,
but rejoice because your names are written in heaven."
I mention this same passage in the first book, St. Blair: Children of the Night.
I listened to everything the priest said. Ideas are flowing and I am thinking, I need to go home and write, NOW!
If anyone in mass noticed, I was nodding in agreement, a lot! I was reacting to my inner writer and the messages the mass conveyed. I felt divinely inspired.
I would love to tell you the ideas that came to mind... but I need to write the book.
Then you’ll see them.
For now, thank you for briefly indulging me. I have work to do.
As Lin-Manuel Miranda said: You have to live with the notion of, If I don’t write this, no one’s going to write it. If I die, this idea dies with me.

Monday, May 9, 2016

A Day In The Life Of An Indie Author

6 a.m. Eat a banana and drink a dandelion tea with raw honey - take my vitamins - read the daily entry of Living Faith and pray for those who have asked for prayers as well as for all our family and friends.

6:30 am Goal setting - review what didn't get done yesterday and plan for:
1# My Day Job - Valpak sales
#2 My Family projects (a notebook with Estate Planning stuff)
#3 Writing / Author related projects

I printed off Brendon Burchard's High Performance Academy worksheet (see below) http://www.highperformanceacademy.com/vid3top

after my daughter Blair sent me a link to his video (I review videos in the evening about 9:30pm when I get my other things done)

7:30 am Eat a slice of toast, a boiled egg and 4 cubes of cut fruit and a bottle of water
Start working on the emails for work and presentation materials for clients

9 am - Stretch, make a latte, eat a few almonds, make phone calls to clients and prospects

10 am - 5 p.m. head out the door for meetings and cold calling, lunch and such

5:30 pm Make a light meal, at least once a week I make my husband and myself a crab-cake, with a scoop of mash potatoes and a salad OR a bleu cheese burger with all the fixings and a vegetable.

6 pm Label and package gift books for a local Pinellas County Teacher's Tribute.

ON Tuesdays - we go to the beach for Sunset til almost 8 pm - a wonderful routine - I get very little done on Tuesday nights. I read and walk while on the beach.

6:30 pm - writing on the next novel - drink water

8:30 pm - break to watch a show we taped - no eating after 8 pm - drink water

9 pm - Pay bills, as needed.

9:30 pm get ready for bed, write a little more - drink water

11pm read - I am currently enjoying Winter's Bone - take night vitamins - drink water

11:30 Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Happy Mother's Day

This lovely lady is my mother.
She loves to play scrabble and read.
We play scrabble a lot.

These were the letters she drew at the beginning of a game with my sister.

I love this photo, because mom looks so pretty with her hair down and she only wears it down when my sister fixes her hair. We all have a job to do when it comes to our parents. Right?

My sister cuts and sometimes colors her hair, gives mom a mani pedi and makes her look pretty. My job is to help mom feel secure.

Since this is Mother's Day weekend, may you enjoy time with your mother, or enjoy your memories of your mother. I am pretty sure we'll be playing scrabble and going lunch. Our routine.

Have a blessed weekend everyone!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Four book goal

Sorry I have been absent for so long.

I met many of you at Wondercon in LA in March, as well as at YP Comiccon, Ocala in April. 

From there I stopped in at the Romantic Times Convention in Vegas and also took a much needed break to recharge my writing battery.

While in Vegas my husband, Tom and I visited Red Rock Canyon, The Valley of Fire and Hoover Dam. The cost to see all three was $17 for the both of us. $0 for Hoover Dam, $7 a car for RRC and $10 a car for TVOF. Well worth the expense of a rental car at $55 a day.

This past weekend I learned more about screenwriting and the film business at Sunscreen Film Festival in St. Petersburg, Florida.

And if you didn't know, I work a full time job as a sales rep for and I do everything else as time permits. Mostly weekends.

So on the slate this year: The 3rd book in the St. Blair series, The Diary of St. Blair; the 3rd book in the Marquel series, Marquel's Redemption; a stand-alone thriller and a new middle grade series about some ghostly beings.

So stay tuned!!

Check out my website: www.emilyskinnerbooks.com or www.ewskinner.com

Sign up at the website for emails and send me pictures of you at your favorite bookstore or library and tell me where it is. I love visiting new places.

Happy Summer reading!