This past weekend I was at the Lexington Comic Con to promote my first book, The Completely Inappropriate Tales of Gandersnitch the Goblin (available right now on amazon.com)
I will confess that I became increasingly stressed out in the days leading up to the event, as the products I have been selling at conventions and faires for the past 10ish years is rather different that what I had on hand this time around. This was an experiment to see if my book, and with it Gandersnitch, could fly solo in a convention style environment.
It is not easy for any artist/author I know to put their creative work out there in the public eye and risk rejection. It is scary and I did get a bit of rejection, which I am used to as a long time salesman. But looking back, after a few days of reflection, I can only say:
Holy Crap! That was the most fun I have had at a convention in a long time!
First off, the residents of Lexington, Kentucky were the absolute nicest folks I have met anywhere else in the country, and I grew up in a town called Niceville. Seriously, everyone from the hotel desk clerk at the not-quite-murder-hotel we stayed at, to the security guards directing load-in traffic in the pouring rain, to the lady at the drive thru window of the McDonald’s on the way out of town were unbelievably friendly. I really do believe that they wanted me to have a great day, and that they themselves were happy to be alive. I don’t know what they are putting in the water there, but other cities need to take note and start following suit.
Second, I got to meet Gigi Edgley, of Farscape fame. I could not pay for an autograph, and I always hate to bug anyone (especially celebrities), but I did get to say hello and shake her hand, and she was amazingly friendly as well. There were plenty of other celebrities on hand, that I saw from afar (and some that I evidently sold books to as well, but did not realize that they were famous when I did so), but she was the one I really wanted to meet. I loved that TV show, and our birthdays are only 6 days apart.
Thirdly, I was introduced to Indian food for the first time. My roommates are much more versed in international food than I am, and they wanted to go for Indian, so I let them pick the place and we went. We ended up at Taj Indian, and the entire experience there was incredible. The staff was just as friendly as everywhere else, and seemed genuinely interested in what we were doing at the show. The food was amazing and the portions were huge! We all had plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day. If you are ever in Lexington and want Indian food, this is the place to go.
Fourth, my assistant for the weekend, Michael Piecynski was a huge help despite his sprained ankle. He had his own awesome art on display, and he is probably the only guy I know who has sold someone else’s book simply by playing his guitar.
Finally, I think the experiment can be counted as a rousing success. 72 books sold to total strangers. Which I have been told is a friggen lot of books. This did cause some appreciative comments from my art neighbors, who were impressed with how well I talked to people no matter if they were interested in the book or not, and perhaps some evil looks from another author nearby, but I did not even know he was there since I never heard him speak to anyone the whole weekend long. But even beyond just selling the book (and being invited to three other conventions to perform and promote), the best part was meeting people and entertaining them in my offbeat manner.
I was worried that Gandersnitch would become lost in a sea of costumed fans, but he most certainly did not. Instead, I did what I do best, and people loved it. I have even started getting fan mail from the event, and should be appearing soon on Youtube with an interview. Comic Conventions are now back on my list of shows I need to do.
Thank you Lexington! And thank you everyone who was at the convention for adding to one of the best weekends ever! I love my job.