Tag: Events

It’s Phoenix Comicon Time Again

The Phoenix Comicon 2016annual high time for nerds in the valley has arrived, and in a couple of days I will be with my better half at the Phoenix Convention Center for all the nerdy goodness on display. I always have mixed feelings about this. One the one hand I want to have fun and the freedom to go to all the panels and sessions I can squeeze in. On the other hand I feel like I’m passing up the best opportunity of the year to make contacts, fans, and sell some books. Conventions of any size can be a great opportunity, but they can also be an expensive one. For one the size of Phoenix Comicon you’re looking at a table costing around $500. That’s why many of my author friends chip in and combine their books to cut that cost down and take turns staffing the table.

Having a place to sell your books is only one part of the experience. Conventions are a great time to network with other authors. I’ve done this a bit at Phoenix, but overall it is not a very good venue for self-published authors. For one it’s hard to fight for visibility among all that bombards attendees. Another is the company that runs the convention does not offer any panels on self-publishing, nor are self-published authors asked to contribute as at other smaller conventions. On the other hand the excitement of the place always rekindles a spark of creativity that keeps me writing through the dog days of an Arizona summer. So if you’re in town maybe I’ll see you there.

Independent Authors Day

village-books-publishing-bellingham_0This Saturday, October 8th, is Independent Authors Day. You can find out more at http://indieauthorday.com/. Amazon also has devoted a page to their Independent Authors Powered by Indie I will even be hosting a panel of 6 Independent Authors for a Q & A at the Northwest Regional Library in Surprise on Saturday at 11:00 a.m.

One question that comes up is, just what makes an author an independent? Essentially, it’s an author who is self publishing their work through something like Amazon Kindle Publishing, Barnes and Noble Nookpress, Createspace, Lulu, Smashwords, or others that I can’t recall off the top of my head. The reasons for this are varied, new authors in particular are attracted to these presses simply by virtue of there being no other alternative. Published authors are also attracted to this avenue by the promise of better royalties and more creative control. The one thing Independent publishing is not, is a farm team of sorts for authors. These authors work just as hard and in some cases harder because they do have more riding on these books. As an independent you do not have a marketing department or slick social media campaign to drive word of mouth. It is all you. Days like October 8th are important because they let people know that if you have a book inside you there is a place where you can go to see it in print. Spend some time this Saturday and learn about what Independent Publishing is all about.  #PoweredByIndie

Enter To Win

Currently on Goodreads.com I am giving away 10 copies of my latest book, The Hole In Your Mind.  You have until March 8th to enter. As part of the rules winners will be expected to leave a review of the book, but you were already going to do that anyway. Right? Good luck, and like voting enter early and often.

Click here to enter: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29202183-the-hole-in-your-mind

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Hole in Your Mind by Vincent a Alascia

The Hole in Your Mind

by Vincent a Alascia

Giveaway ends March 08, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

It’s Getting Expensive To Be A Writer

broken piggy bank

One of my favorite magazines from my days as a young Heavy Metal fan was Circus Magazine. A series of articles I always looked forward to was by Twisted Sister guitarist Jay J. French that chronicled the trials and tribulations of taking a band from the garage to the arena. Thinking back on that helped me with this post.

So, you’ve finished writing your book and have joined an elite group of writers who can say they have written a book. Time to break out the checkbook. I cannot stress the importance of paying to have your work edited. You do not have to mortgage your home but be prepared to spend around 200 to 300 dollars depending on what you feel comfortable having done. A good cover is worth more than a hundred good reviews so you will want to hire a graphic artist to do your cover. 100 to 500 dollars will cover that and give you a cover to take to the bank. Once it is edited,  you will need to format your book for printing. This too, unless you are a word processing guru, would be better left to the professionals. Prices can vary and services can cover much. Don’t forget about the eBook version as well.

By this point you have a finished product. You also have a slightly or majorly smaller checkbook balance. Now comes the part where you have to try and recoup some and hopefully all of these expenses. It’s now time to put on your snappy suit and barker’s hat and sell your work. You are going to need business cards,  bookmarks and other materials. This is also time to stake out a place in cyberspace. That entails purchasing a domain and leasing space to host your site. Hiring someone to create your site used to be a luxury that has since come down to earth enough to make it an alternative if you are not technologically inclined. Of course if you are selling your books, the government is going to want their cut. Make sure to apply for a transaction privilege license, (sales tax), in your state,  county, and municipality. You will pay a fee to start and then a renewal on the anniversary date. Some states consolidate the license across all three so check first with your state’s department of revenue first.

Now that you have your book, your materials and are square with the government you need a place to sell your tomes. Of course your book is up on Amazon, or Barnes and Noble, or Lulu, or any other online marketplace. You may even be lucky to be in good with a local book seller and have a place on their shelves. Personal appearances have been the most lucrative for me, even outstripping my online sales. The hardest part, aside from scheduling, is the cost involved. Different events will charge different fees for a table. Generally, and predictably, the more attended the event the higher the cost for a table. An event like Comicon here in Phoenix can cost upwards of $500. Smaller events will be in the range of $100 to $200. To get a better sense of what these costs mean let’s look at the math. For Undead Heart, if I sell a copy at $10 I make $5.79 a book. In addition I have chosen not to  charge customers for the sales tax so that comes off my bottom line taking my $5.79 down to $5 a book. To even break even at an event where I’ve paid $100 for the space I’d have to sell 20 books. Most of these event last a day, so assuming a standard work day of 8 hours I would have to sell 2 1/2 books an hour. Doing that I still have not made anything for myself, and are still in the hole for the business cards and bookmarks. I essentially spent the day working for free. There is some value in these events, I get to sit at a table with my business cards and receive the ego stroking of seeing my name listed as author on the place card. to be fair these events serve a larger purpose, so they can be rewarding even if no sales are made. Your name is out there, your books are out there, plus you can network with other authors opening up other opportunities.

Can you ever make money doing this. Sure just be ready for a long haul. I don’t mean to discourage you, but at some point reality will come around and you need to look at what you’re doing as a business. You will only last so long reaching into your own pocket for these costs. I’m not hear to burst your bubble or rain on your parade, just think of this as that little dose of reality peeking around the corner as you reach for your dream.

Mark the Date

SciFi/Fantasy Authors Panel & Writers’ Workshop

Saturday October 11th, 2014
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Red Mountain Library – Think Spot
635 N. Power Road Mesa, Az.
(480) 644-3100
Directions

I will be part of a panel of local Science Fiction authors for a discussion on current trends and the process of writing Science Fiction. Joining me on this panel will be. Seating is limited so be sure to register at events.mesalibrary.org. Joining me will be:

So come on by and join the discussion. Afterwards all the authors will b eon hand to sign copies of their books.

Great Time Had By All

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The first Summer Author Event was a success. I met new readers and had some interesting discussions. It was quite an experience being in a room with so many people who have such a passion for reading. It did my heart good when asking people, “so, what do you read?” The most common response I recieved was, “a little of everything.” The good news for those people is this is the best time to be a reader as the choices are so numerous. The event featured authors from multiple genres so there truly was a little of everything there. The next event is in the planning stages and I plan to be there. Possibly with a new book.

My Panels at Leprecon 2014

12x18_print_templateI just confirmed I will be sitting in on two panels Sunday afternoon at Leprecon. I will have my table down in the vending room all beginning Friday May 9th in the evening and into Sunday, May 11th. I’ll be signing books and chatting, but no singing, (sorry). Stop by, it will be a great time.

Alt.History

How would our world be different is Rome never fell, or the South negotiated a draw, or if they built a full sized replica of the USS Enterprise in Las Vegas instead of the Fremont Street Experience?  Can you change one small detail and change the world? Or are the currents of history so deep as to be ultimately inevitable?

Time / Room:

Sunday 12:00 p.m. Ballroom B (please check on day)

Participants:

Rick Cook; Jamie Wyman; Vincent A. Alascia

What’s My Genre?

Bring your story concept, and our experts will tell you what genre it actually belongs in and why.

Time / Room:

Sunday 2:00 p.m. Ballroom E (please check on day)

Participants:

Emily Devenport; Sharon Skinner; JoAnna Senger; Vincent A. Alascia

My Time at Zapcon

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Have you ever wanted to step back in time and relive something for your past? I had the chance to do that last weekend when I attended Zapcon, the yearly classic pinball and video game party. A party it was.

I spent most of Saturday playing all the machines that kindled my love of video games and pinball. I am sadden to say there remains very few arcades and the ones that do bear little resemblance to the pinball halls I blew my quarters in every chance I could. This brought it all back to everyone who attended.

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Rows of pinball and video games filled the room lit only by the glow from the LEDs and CRT screens. Just like in the old arcades. Granted this little foray into nostalgia has little to do with writing, but I think it’s good to point out that even as writers we need hobbies, distractions, whatever, outside of our beloved craft. This keeps our creative juices flowing and helps avoid writer’s block or worse burnout. Let’s have some sharing time in the comments section let everyone know what you do to step away from the keyboard.