Even though I’m not home yet, I have some GenCon wrapup to share. I had a great time and will definitely be going back (assuming they’ll have me–there’s an application process every year for authors). I had my biggest event sales day ever on Friday and handed out at least a few hundred bookmarks and business cards to folks who I hope will take a gander at my books on Amazon & Kobo. The other authors were awesome, and I have a stack of business cards for people I need to check out.
GenCon is pretty much like every other con, except bigger. Much, much bigger. It takes up the entire Indy Convention Center and spills out into the surrounding hotels. The exhibit hall–at other cons they call it the Vendor(s) or Dealer(s) room–was bigger than a football field and packed full of games, dice, art, books, dice, minis, games, and costuming. All of GearCon would have fit inside the exhibit hall with plenty of room to spare. I put up a video of a partial walkthrough on my YouTube channel, in the hopes I could give an idea of the enormity of the con for those who cannot attend.
I took the opportunity to walk around the hall in the time before it opened every day, so I saw a goodly portion of the offerings. Somehow, I managed to resist buying ALL THE THINGS and wound up only with a couple of music CDs for my daughter. I sat next to a graphic novel artist also named Lee the whole time, and as it turns out, he’s a member of a local Indy band that does pop/rock music based on My Little Pony. I got his CDs on the suspicion that my daughter would probably like it. When I get home and unpack all the business cards and flyers, I’ll be sure to give Lee and his band a proper shout-out.
This con seemed more exhausting than others, probably because I talked to a hundred people a day, spouting my pitches and chatting about what they do and don’t like in their fiction. During the slow bits, I goofed off with my fellow authors, sometimes making faces, other times doing my Mortal Kombat Scorpion impression, and still other times just being a generally silly whatsit. I excel at this, as my kids well know.
Sadly, I didn’t get a glimpse of either Summer Glau or Marina Sirtis, though I did walk past Terry Brooks’s signing on my way to and from the bathroom. What I did get was a new fan or two. The moment Miss Lesa Hall walked away, I cursed myself for not grabbing a picture with her. This young woman bought a copy of Girls Can’t Be Knights on Friday (I think–it might have been Thursday) and came back on Sunday to tell me how awesome it was. It was a wonderful, delightful moment, and a first for me from someone I didn’t actually know. My friends gush over my books all the time, but I’ve never had a complete stranger do it in person.
That’s the gist of my first GenCon as a vendor and my first in about 20 years overall. See you next year, Indy!