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Post-Con Report: ALT*Con

What a weekend!

ALT*Con, for being a first-year convention in a town that hasn’t really had a multi-genre convention in maybe 20 years, far exceeded many of our expectations both in execution and attendance. Major kudos to the organizers and many thanks to everyone who came and supported geekdom for the day!

And, of course, hello and welcome to any new readers we have this week either from buying the book or picking up one of our bookmarks on Saturday!

Now, I generally try to avoid judging a con’s success solely on how many books we sold–there’s just as much to be said about getting our name out there, meeting people and making connections that will pay of in the future (in various ways). That said, I’m not about to downplay that we had a wonderful day sales-wise: 23 books sold! And already we’ve had some new sign-ups in the Kitchen Adventurers community from the con, most of them collecting their Bonus XP in the process–nicely done!

A cosplayer and myself--the furry one later came by to buy a book after the costume contest: hi Sam!
Just a couple of cosplayers–the furry one later came by to buy a book after the costume contest: hi Sam!

On Saturday I also had the pleasure of giving a talk on self publishing. Since I thought of doing a hand-out too late to accomplish it AND my fabulous Chef Coat Cosplay (which still needs a few adjustments before North Florida Comic Con on the 28th) before the con, I promised that I’d list the resources I mentioned in my talk for those who wanted them. (The bold names are clickable links, click them!)

Self Publisher! Magazine a monthly, free pdf magazine that I frequently contribute to. If you’d like to be considered for an interview, let me know–we’re always looking for creators to profile (be it prose, music, comics, games, etc.).

How to be a Finance Rock Star by Nicole Fende, The Numbers Whisperer is not only a book I’m happy to have my illustrations in, but a fantastic guide to business finance for those who aren’t necessarily good with numbers and the like.

Lulu and CreateSpace are two of the major players in print-on-demand production these days. While I always encourage supporting local businesses whenever possible, I also believe that specialization can really help, and helping self-publishers get their books into print is what these two places do quite handily.

Bowker Identifier Services is the US authorized seller of ISBN numbers (each country has only one). I didn’t go into this during the panel, but an ISBN is often the make-or-break point of getting your book into a local store, that and a proper bar code. There are free bar code creators out there but they can be dicey and just plain not work. I get mine through MyIndentifiers just to make sure everything works as it should.

There are two primary blogging platforms these days: WordPress and Blogger. WordPress offers two options: the free, somewhat stripped-down version over at their .com and the self-hosted version available via their .org–both have their pros and cons, mostly depending on your own web-savvy comfort level. I haven’t used blogger for 10 years, way before Google purchased them, but I know plenty of people do with great results (I believe they have a paid upgrade available as well, I just can’t swear to the details).

FreelanceSwitch and Elance are two places you can go to find artists, designers, proofreaders, etc. to help get your book ready for print. You can also post on places like Craigslist and such, if that’s more your style.

think that’s it–it’s all I can think of at the moment. But if you remember be mentioning another person, website, or service provider that I haven’t like to here or just have a question in general I’m more than happy to help if I can, so just leave a comment or email me (contact button in the menu above).

Remember, the first step is to do the work. Then make it awesome!

Until next time!

PS–You have 1 more week to get your photo-proof of your Baked Ziti in to earn double the XP! A new Recipe Challenge will be announced next Thursday!

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