Monday, August 13, 2012

Questioning Conferences

My post today is more question than commentary: Do you think conferences are becoming less helpful as a way to promote your work?

On one hand, I love attending cons to see writers, those I know as well as those I admire as a reader. In terms of a social event and a re-energizer, a con is a great time.

On the other hand, it seems that cons these days have fewer fans/readers and more authors trying to sell each other our books. As a way to garner readers, recent cons felt like I was tossing a very expensive pebble into a gigantic pond.

As I look at 2013 and think about cons, I recall that on the way home from the last one, I said to my husband, "This just doesn't pay." I'm not looking for an agent. I have not one but two publishers waiting for me to write more books. I've heard all the advice about promotion, craft, and legal issues from the panelists who have their experiences while I have mine. Still the lure remains, and I look forward to being among writers again at Bouchercon in October. But again, I'll be one of hundreds of authors there, and I know that I seldom even remember more than two or three names of authors I meet for the first time at a con, much less go out and buy their books.

So what do you think, Authors and Readers: Is a conference good for anything except catching up?

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