I’m off to Dragon*Con on Thursday! Dragon*Con is an immense pop culture convention which focuses on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the United States. I’ll be a Dragon*Con virgin, but will be with friends who will hopefully help me survive.
I also hope to be bringing you daily updates of what’s happening, since I hear this is an amazing convention!
In preparation, I’ve been putting together a number of goodies which are beneficial to have for conferences or conventions.
Many of the promotional materials that are going out are directed at the science fiction and fantasy crowd at Dragon*Con because of SINS OF THE FLESH is really a hybrid of romance, science fiction and suspense. Some have called SINS OF THE FLESH a science thriller, others paranormal romantic suspense. But regardless of what you call SINS, it clearly falls within the science fiction/fantasy realm thanks to the genetic engineering aspect in the book which leads to the romantic suspense.
Because of that, the bookmarks and postcards for Dragon*Con stress all those elements of the novel. If you’re in need of either bookmarks or postcards, there are a couple of good places that I’ve used and have been happy with — overnightprints.com and nextdayflyers.com.
If money is tight, there is Vistaprint where you can layout some smaller sized bookmarks using their postcard template. Use the free postcard option and you can make 200 bookmarks for the cost of the shipping. Take the postcards to a local printer and they can cut them down for you if you don’t want to do it yourself, but for greater volumes, try the other two companies. The stock is of heavier quality and glossy on both sides.
**Note on Vistaprint – make sure you know what you are signing up for when you click on any third party specials or to get any rewards. Some of them do involve fees.
What else will I be taking? Some t-shirts of course. Those are always popular. For low volume color t-shirts, again try Vistaprint when they are running a 50% special. For THE CALLING t-shirts, I used Creative Solutions, a local NJ company that did a beautiful job with them, especially since I got several hundred at a shot.
Buttons, buttons, buttons. People love to collect buttons. Purebuttons.com did the trick for me!
Cover Flats are always a good thing to have. Fans love to have autographed cover flats in their collections. Your publisher should be able to provide you with a supply of these when it is closer to the release date of your novel.
For reader/writer based conferences — if you can get ARCs to distribute that’s a good thing. Be sure to ask those that get ARCs to offer reviews on the various online bookstores. If you can’t get ARCs, prepare excerpts for people to take home and read.
Finally – there will be professionals at these conferences, in particular, press people. Make sure to prepare a press kit to be placed in the press area and also have one or two with you at your booth/signing area to distribute. Also make sure to have a good supply of business cards. Vistaprint is a great source for inexpensive business cards.
I hope today’s Tuesday Tip will be of assistance when prepping goodies for your own conferences. Also, although I’ve used the above-mentioned companies and have had positive results, it’s possible that your experience might be different. So please do not hold that against me and be sure to check out any and all companies before entering into any legally binding contract or offer.