I've made my official return to the convention floor!
Dramatic enough? No? Okay, I'll work on that!
But it's true! I'm out of my bubble and back in the world meeting readers. And oh, it feels amazing!
I've done a few smaller events in the last year, but last month was my first large convention since 2019! And I'm so excited that I chose the Imaginarium Book Festival for my return.
Before I get into my personal experience, the awesomeness of meeting readers, I want to say how amazing this event was. It has to be at the top of my list of conventions. The organizers did a wonderful job!
I was able to easily ship my materials to the venue with confirmation of receipt when things arrived. When I arrived at the venue, there was no confusion. My table was ready for me to set up, and my things were safely tucked away in my chosen corner. As an author who has done a decent amount of these events over the years, I cannot tell you how stressful the days leading up to an event are! And worrying about your materials is something no one wants to do!
The Imaginarium team was attentive and present each day, making sure the authors were taken care of. I also noted how they made sure the readers were comfortable and had enough space and opportunity to meet their desired authors. All around a solid job and I look forward to seeing how far this event goes. I know it's going to be major!
Now... the READERS!!!
It's no secret that authors do events to meet readers. Yes, I loved meeting some of my author pals in person and seeing a few of them for the first time in YEARS, but it's the readers who get my introverted azz out of my dragon-filled office, onto a plane, and flying across the country!
But my imposter syndrome kicked in big time and I wondered if anyone would really be there to see me. I mean there were some BIG names at the event. I've been the newbie author, sitting and watching all the other authors get loved on by their readers and hoping one day it would be me.
Well, my wonderful readers (I love that I can say that) showed up and showed out! On day one, while doing a little mental hype-up moment, I looked up and saw people standing there, a line forming in front of my table... and I gawked. I wonder just how ridiculous my face appeared as I realize that the line was for ME!
My heart warmed, and my soul smiled, as the event set off on an amazing trail!
I get it. Most people look at me and they think, well, you have all these followers on social media. You've been at this for over a decade, duh!... But take a moment to understand that those numbers don't always translate to book sales and loyal readers. I've had discussions with other authors who have been at this just as long and have metrics similar to my own who haven't had that experience.
So yes, I was shocked and will always be shocked. And I will always be grateful to any reader who is excited to meet me in real life.
After speaking on a panel, and doing a strangely erotic Mad-libs that included a ferret... (which I had to read in a sultry voice... LOL), I met new readers who apparently are into that sort of thing!
I had one reader approach me saying she found me because of a negative book review and fell in love with my work!
All in all ... it was a perfect return to the convention floor and I'm excited to be back on the circuit. More events to come!