February 17th, 2009


I lack focus

Perhaps a list will help?

Things I need to do:

1. Choose printer based on quote
2. Send stories to layout (0/13)
3. Finalise artwork
4. Finalise layout
5. Sort contracts
6. Sort introduction
7. Sort glossary
8. Back cover blurb
9. CIP information
10. Sort author bios
11. Website upgrade
12. Check with Tehani what else I am supposed to do :)
13. Start working on launch, promotion

1. Send stories to layout (2/21)
2. Write back cover blurb
3. Coordinate cover art, introduction and blurbs
4. Coordinate author bio and story blurbs
5. CIP information
6. Index with publication information
7. Look at printing quotes
8. Sort payments and contracts

1. Send Issue 5 stories and NF to layout (0/5)
2. Write editorial
3. Website stuff
4. Catch up on slush (0/8)
5. Sort contracts and payment
6. Sort ISSN stuff

1. Send more info to interested cover artist
2. First round edit

Bunch of other stuff

Win at email inbox

Market research

1. Do you visit the Dealers' Room at a con?

2. How many times throughout a con would you say you visit it?

3. Are the number of your purchases directly related to the number of times you visit the Dealer's Room? If there was only one day available to purchase, would you buy more or less stuff, do you think?

4. How important is it to you that there is space set aside for such things as one might find in all good Dealers' Rooms? (including people and conversations)

5. What would you think of a con that did not have a Dealers' Room at all?

6. Are you more or less likely to buy a book at the book launch or at the press table in the Dealers' Room?

For me, the Dealers' Room is my space at a con. It's where I can find all the people like me - book addicts, small press lovers and geeks, writers, other publishers and editors. And it's where everyone knows where to find me. I make a lot of deals in the Dealers' Rooms at cons for the coming publishing year and it's where writers can come and pitch me an idea quietly in 5mins. It's an opportunity to exchange ideas, have a debate or discussion about all things indie press and generally hang out.

Once upon a time, the sales at the Dealers' Room at a con (especially Swancon) was what kept small press afloat. Last year it totally sucked being in the Dealers' Room at Swancon. It wasn't really a room and more of a passageway. We had to move stations for each day of the con - which didn't suck after the first day because we were under the aircon vent and continually being asked to be quiet because our wall was shared with one of the panel room walls.

But I must tell you that it sucked so bad that the Dealers' Room was not in a room that could be locked up at the end of the day. By Day 3, getting up at 7am to set up our table every single day sucked so bad it made me want to cry. And to be honest? Those big tales of how Swancon book sales rocked? Didn't live up to the telling of it.

I have theories on why. I know we did really well at Conflux and it was a really lovely space to hang out in and for people to come and hang out with us and not have to move on because they were in the way of people moving in and out of panel rooms or being told to be quiet because a panel was on.

But see? Maybe it's just me who loves hanging out in the Dealers' Room? Maybe Dealers' Rooms are passe?

What about you? Love em or hate em? What would you think of a con that just didn't have one?

ETA Thanks to everyone so far who has replied. It's helped me to realise something that I may not have expressed well yet. For me, the Dealers Room is where I experience the con. To take away the room, for me, is to take away why I go to a con. It's not just "space" to me. It's "the space". And it's where a lot of other people experience the con too. Cons aren't just about panels and gaming rooms and art shows. They are about these things but they are *also* about spaces where people can interact, talk, discuss, be creative and sell stuff. These things cannot be scheduled to happen - they need synergy and space and time to evolve.


Asking questions

Thanks so much to everyone who answered my survey, here and/or over at the Swancon community.

I understand the limitations of the hotel and the difficulty of balancing wants and needs for an event of this scale. That wasn't really the purpose of the post - it was more to get a handle on decisions I should weigh up as an indie press considering trading at Swancon.

And thanks so much for all the interesting perspectives. By far actually the most interesting has been that most people who answered would rather buy a book at the Dealers' table than at a book launch. That's big food for thought!

So please answer if you haven't and spread the word - very interesting market research being gathered!!!