August 17th is the first day of the 74th Annual World Science Fiction & Fantasy Convention in Kansas City, MO. (aka MidAmeriCon for this year) Huge authors like George R.R. Martin and Charlaine Harris are going to be in attendance as well as some of the most prominent people in the publishing industry. (Tom Doherty, the founder of Tor is going as well) One of the many pieces of advice I’ve heard in regards to securing a book deal is to network. A while back I bought my ticket, so now the wait is almost over. This brings about the question, “What exactly am I supposed to do while I am there?”
Since this is my first Con, I’m afraid I am going to make some terrible mistakes, miss out on some opportunities, and probably have a blast doing it. Even though I will be going for entertainment, my primary purpose is slanted toward the professional side. I want to network with as many people as I possibly can. I do not necessarily have to land a publisher, but I would love to meet as many industry professionals as I can. (As well as get my set of A Song of Ice & Fire signed)
In order to maximize my networking potential. I am going to assemble a Convention Kit that I will carry with me. So far what I have decided on is:
- Business Cards– They will contain all of the necessary info to contact me, a link to this blog, and a photo just in case someone remembers faces better than names.
- Card Box– Something to hold other people’s cards in.
- Notebook– used for general note taking, collecting contact info, and probably doodling in between panels
- Macbook– So I can make a post for you guys while I am there, and work on some projects while I am at the hotel.
- Ibuprofen– Just in case. I don’t want to have to be feeling terrible while I am networking.
- Books that I want signed
- A list of the people that I want to meet. I am not neccassairly going to hunt for everyone, but I will make sure to cross off everyone that I do meet.
- Pens, markers, deodorant (I certainly don’t want to be smelly while talking to a potential agent), misc.
If anyone else has gone to a Con before and has some insight please let me know. In addition, I have reserved a hotel room (they are all sold out now) but as of right now, I’m the only person in my party going, there are three open spots in my room, so if you need a place to stay. Find me at the Convention and if you can passably deceive me into thinking you’re not a serial killer, I’ll probably let you crash in my hotel room. (Hopefully, I don’t get murdered)