Starfest 2016!

Hi everyone,

I know it’s been two weeks since Starfest, but I’m finally able to sit down and take time to post on it!!  And what a blast I had!  :)  Thanks to my cohorts M. H. Lee and Wayne Adams (who shot the cover photo for this article, by the way,) it was a definite success :D

And as an added bonus, read to the end to learn some exciting news about Burning Skies!  :D

Starfest was a first-of-a-kind experience for me: for the first time ever, I was a vendor at a con, not a visitor!  That’s right, along with my friend M. H. Lee, I sat at a table in author’s row, actively engaging with customers, trying to convince them that my novel was worth buying.

20160311_155447This was definitely one of the most unique activities I’ve ever participated in.  First was deciding how to setup our table.  The only picture I took was our initial setup on day one, but it evolved often, and thanks to M. H. Lee’s awesome eye for putting up a store front, by the end we had a setup that really put our fiction novels at the forefront, and I think helped us sell.

20160312_105213We also had a GREAT spot, right next to the main passageway between the authors alley and the merchant section :D  So there was a ton of foot traffic that passed us by!

But most important was learning how to engage passersby.  This is something I struggled greatly with.  I tried to make eye contact with everyone who passed by, and even say hi or good morning…but this just wasn’t garnering attention or getting people to come buy our books.

So I observed my friend across from us, Marvin, as he effectively drew numerous folks in and helped sell several of his wife’s novels.  And I realized where I was falling short: I wasn’t trying to sell the novel.  I was being friendly and courteous, but I wasn’t drawing attention to The Sword of Dragons (a point M. H. Lee made to me as well.)

So on Sunday, I changed my approach.

“Oh, you like dragons?  Well then you’d love this book!”

“Do you like fantasy novels?  Then this book is for you!”

“Looking for a new fantasy novel?  Yes?  Let me tell you about The Sword of Dragons!”

And the result?  Well Friday I sold only one copy.  On Saturday I sold one.  But on Sunday, I sold half a dozen!  While I’m sure it wasn’t just because of my change in tactics, I’m sure it helped.

But I think that’s a lesson all writers can take away: sell your book.  Don’t be shy about it.  That’s why you’re there.  And I’m not just talking about conventions.  Spread the word, tell everyone about your book, tell everyone why it’s exciting and they should buy a copy.

After all, how can the word ever get out…if you don’t tell them?

Fantastic Cosplay!

Kaylee and the Doctor
Kaylee and the Doctor

I’m finding that the more I go to conventions, the more I am enjoying them :)  Hence why I’m going to Anomaly Con this weekend, even though I’ve not really gotten into the steampunk scene.  I met some amazing people at Starfest, made a new friend, and saw some incredible cosplay costumes!

I only cosplayed on Saturday, breaking out my 11th Doctor costume yet again, but I loved getting comments on it (even if it is incomplete) and I loved interacting with all of the cosplayers.

Here are some of my favorites from the con!

(This was my first attempt using the ‘gallery’ feature on wordpress, so bear with me if it turns out horribly…)

If you want to see more, check out my facebook page, I posted a ton there!  :)

Burning Skies – Final Proofread Complete!

Now for that news I promised: I finally finished the final proofread of Burning Skies!!  The results?…Well, I have a lot of work ahead of me…a lot…  But that’s going to have to be detailed in a future post ;)  But this is exciting news, this brings me one step closer to having Burning Skies ready for its end of May release!

So what are the next steps in prepping the book?  Taking all of my notes from proofreading and ‘fixing’ them in the manuscript, that’ll be a project in and of itself.  Also, I need to finish working on the cover so that I might finally do a proper “Cover Reveal” for you all :D

It also means I get to start posting more info about the story!  I am so excited, this was such an awesome story to write!  For all of the world-changing events that happen in The Sword of Dragons, they are nothing compared to Burning Skies ;)  So keep an eye out, this is just the beginning!

“A shattered world shall return to its people;
Darkness and fire will descend.”

Thanks for reading!
-Jon Wasik

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