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Cons on the Calendar

I have a convention schedule this year!  Sure, it’s short and mostly local, but it exists.  It is a thing, and it pleases me today.

4th Street Fantasy, Minneapolis, MN  June 26-28

This is a different kind of con—one with a single track of programming and a membership cap of 175 attendees—intending to create a shared con experience and fluid conversation.  Folks have been telling me to go for years.  Once programming conversations get rolling, I’ll bring up making myself available for self-publishing discussions at the writing seminar.  Is that presumptuous of me? Perhaps. But any discussion of the writing business today ought to include a writer who chooses self-publishing as the primary career path rather than the consolation trail.  Besides, if there’s another indie writer they’d prefer to include, great!  The goal is inclusion of the experience and information, not the person.  (And I’d be more than happy to write up all the reasons this is true.)

InConJunction, Indianapolis, IN  July 3-5

This con is local to me, but I haven’t been in years because its scheduling conflicted with my son’s annual county dog show.  Since he isn’t showing this year, and is perfectly capable of getting himself to the site to volunteer (and we aren’t driving to JFK airport to get him on a flight to Italy, as we did last year), I get to go to the con!  My name appeared on the “Also Appearing” list, so I guess it’s official.  I have no idea what programming will look like, but I will be making my recommendations.

GenCon, Indianapolis, IN  July 30 – Aug 2

I’ve put my name in the hopper to help with any SFWA business while there.  When not doing that, I’ll likely be hanging around the Writer’s Symposium, hoping their self-publishing track is less dismissive, and spending time with my cosplaying son.  I’m even toying with the idea of pulling a cosplay myself.  I have a soft spot for Fiona.  For me, this con isn’t much a professional-writer activity, but is a fun few days instead.

MileHiCon, Denver, CO  October 23-25

Since I’ve decided I’m moving that direction, it only makes sense I’d jump into a convention, right?  More details on this one as time gets closer.

I already know some folks who will be at these events, but would love to meet up with others.  Let me know if you’ll be around!

#SFWApro

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
queenoftheskies
Feb. 22nd, 2015 05:28 pm (UTC)
Very impressive.
blairmacg
Feb. 22nd, 2015 08:43 pm (UTC)
And we get to 4th Street together!!
queenoftheskies
Feb. 23rd, 2015 01:12 am (UTC)
Hooray! That'll be fun!
mrissa
Feb. 22nd, 2015 07:21 pm (UTC)
As for the writing seminar, I'm one of the seminar leaders there, so since I know this is something you feel open to doing, I will point people at you as a resource on this topic. Are you going to the seminar yourself? If you are, and if stuff comes up during panels, I'll be sure to catch your eye and see if you have thoughts, but if you're not coming to the seminar, I'll just say, "When you see Blair MacGregor, she's one of the people here who knows a lot about self-pub stuff, so if that's an interest of yours, talk her ear off, she likes it."
blairmacg
Feb. 22nd, 2015 08:56 pm (UTC)
I wasn't planning on attending the seminar, but will indeed be around the weekend. Do feel free to point folks my way when questions come up. :)
mrissa
Feb. 22nd, 2015 09:37 pm (UTC)
It's a plan!
blairmacg
Feb. 22nd, 2015 10:07 pm (UTC)
Good!

I'm far more aware of the lack of information available in some discussions after last year's GenCon. At one of the last self-publishing "focused" panels of the weekend, in the last couple of minutes, folks were asking which self-publishing service--and the example the folks offered was Author Solutions--they should use to take care of the process for them.

See, many new writers hear their idols and mentors say, "Self-publishing is really, really hard and really, really expensive and really, really time-consuming," and it's rarely followed up with, "So check out Resource X for answers."

That sets up those new writers as easy marks for scams, because the scammers tell them, "Self-publishing is really, really hard and really, really expensive and really, really time-consuming... and thus it's perfectly reasonable to pay thousands and thousands of dollars to produce an ebook."

Now, I suspect 4th Street's seminar attendees are coming into the game with a bit more savvy in that regard. But since SFWA's professional qualifications include self-publishing, excluding it from industry discussions seems... odd, I suppose.

(And I think you know me well enough by now to understand I offer this in the spirit of discussion rather than battle, but I'll reiterate just be certain because sometimes my passionate engagement comes off as angry or snippy. :)
mrissa
Feb. 22nd, 2015 10:20 pm (UTC)
Another resource in attendance on this matter will be Lois McMaster Bujold, who is entirely thrilled with how self-publishing her ebooks has gone. And timprov is pretty pro-self-publishing, too. So really: 4th St. should be a pretty friendly place for getting information about self-publishing out there to those who want it.
blairmacg
Feb. 22nd, 2015 10:33 pm (UTC)
HOORAY!!!

I was just looking at what info was available about the seminar itself, and though not a person listed there is *against* self-publishing (as far as I know!), I didn't see anyone who actively pursues self-publishing as a career choice.

Between a couple incidents at Wiscon (despite the fact it's open and welcome to alternative forms of publishing), and my experience at GenCon, I've decided not to take inclusion for granted. :)
(Deleted comment)
blairmacg
Feb. 22nd, 2015 08:57 pm (UTC)
FANTASTIC!!

(I'm hoping to be living out there by then, but so many things must fall into just the right places...)
sartorias
Feb. 22nd, 2015 11:02 pm (UTC)
Yes yes!Q Fourth Street is an excellent choice!
blairmacg
Feb. 23rd, 2015 01:15 am (UTC)
I've been wanting to go since Year One. :)
spaceintheway
Feb. 23rd, 2015 03:53 pm (UTC)
I'll be at 4th Street! I'm going to be one of the newcomer ambassadors this year, so if self-publishing comes up with any newcomers I talk to, I'll point 'em your way. :-)

I plan to go to MileHiCon as well, if I can get the Halloween costumes sewed up early.
blairmacg
Feb. 23rd, 2015 06:05 pm (UTC)
Marvelous on both counts!
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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