Wednesday, June 18, 2008


This past weekend, I attended my first convention. ConTXT is a slash con and all I can say is I wish I’d known about such things when I had been writing boyband slash. There were so many fandoms there (including bandom, though I wrote pop slash and hardcore band fans will argue that’s a whole ‘nother kettle of fish). I really fell in love with my first slash pair (Obi-Wan/Qui-Gon) all over again, and left wishing I still wrote fan fic.

I didn’t attend any panels (except one, “Going Pro,” of which I was a part), but there were a lot of great subjects covered. If/when I attend another con, I’ll definitely check out more of the panels. I just didn’t know what to expect this time, but I’m definitely going to be more prepared in the future.

Here's some things I left thinking of when it was all said and done ...

One thing that really impressed me were the fanzines they had for sale at the con, in every fandom imaginable. My only experience with zines had been small chapbook-style publications, not these bound books with hundreds of pages inside.

More than once I wondered if anyone would be interested in a zine of my fan fic, specifically the longer stories (AIEW and TWIA, of course, but others as well). Nothing I’d make money from, but bound copies of my ‘N Sync stories to read and reread and who knows what else. Thoughts?

At ConTXT, the dealer’s room was part of the con “suite.” It made the experience very interactive ~ everyone came to the suite to unload after their panels, to snack or talk, to check their email, to peruse the art show … and the dealers ringed the perimeter of the room, which allowed us to be a part of the action. I sold a number of books (and gave away more freebies) simply because the con goers saw me constantly and eventually wandered over to check out my wares.

Promo … pros & cons
I sold more books than I anticipated ~ ten in all, which I thought was really good. The Bonds of Love and Forever After were my best sellers, with Trin a close second. This tells me the crowd was very much into speculative fiction.

As for promo goodies … my mini-books went like hotcakes but the other promo did not (shot glasses, pins, pens, bookmarks, goody bags). More than one person commented on not being able (or wanting) to carry back so much swag. In future cons, I may concentrate more on the excerpts and free stories than the other promo items.

One thing I wish I had done ~ and which I’ll do from now on ~ is have sampler CDs. I bought a bunch to burn and didn’t get around to it, only to find that one of the con goers was blind. I felt horrid that I didn’t have any electronic copies of my free stories with me. I know CDs are a bit expensive and that’s why I’ve steered away from them until now, but at future events I plan to have a handful of CDs to give away to those who can’t read printed material.

I had a very enjoyable experience, I must say. The con comm were wonderful, as were my fellow dealers, and the whole atmosphere was awesome. I’m definitely interested in attending the next ConTXT in 2010.


Anonymous said...

I wish I had gone, slash fiction is what got me into this messed up world. ;)

Of course, all of my stuff is anime slash, but it's still fun.

Do you have any pictures of the shot glasses? Those sound like they were awesome! I would have taken them.

Anne Cain said...

Those are really good tips to keep in mind, JM! Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

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