Book Signing, Book Tour, Markets & Festivals

Supanova 2019

Last weekend I attended the Supanova Comic and Gaming Con in Sydney, Australia for the first time as a vendor. I’d had been before twice just to check it out, but this year with my ramp up as a fantasy author, I got myself a table shared with fellow author Natasja Rose to help cut the cost and offered my books. I had planned to make this the event to launch the 3rd Gorp the Goblin book and finish out the trilogy, but unfortunately, I decided it still needed a bit more editing and had to go through the whole publication cycle which can take a few months. (Hint: Watch for another blog soon in the next few days for a big announcement.)

Fantasy Author Jon Ray with Australian Author Natasja Rose at Supanova 2019.

For this event, I had Gorp: Goblin Janitor and Gorp: Dungeon Overlord on hand to sell to the public. I also signed each and every copy I sold. Checking on, I found out for paperbacks, I’m selling them at least $5 AUD cheaper, so if you ever see me at an event doing a book signing, I’ve got the cheapest prices anywhere, might as well pick up the trilogy then and not wait to get it online.

As for my first experience as a vendor at a convention, it was a bit more extreme and different in a few ways, than the normal Medieval Faires and Events I’d done with my tent. Aside from costing a lot more for just a 6-foot table, there was an endless list of rules in multiple PDF files I had to download on the backend. So many regulations too that it quickly became very confusing as to when my Bump-In time was (Booth Setup) and where I should park. The worst thing about being a Vendor at Supanova was being a first timer and not knowing Parking was not included nor provided for. There was a short window, which I missed, to sign up for pre-parking, which would have made things a lot better, but because I didn’t know to check or sign, I ended up having to pay $25 a day. For some of the vendors there, that’s nothing to worry about, but for a book author who sales a paperback at $17 AUD, it’s huge when done 3 times for Friday – Sunday.

Aside from that downside, I loved the experience of Supanova as a vendor. It was like getting to sell and tell people about my books while having a front row seat to all the people walking by the booth. From cosplayers (which I estimate around 50% of the people who showed up were dressed as something) to those wearing interesting t-shirts, to just out there and strange real-life characters any author would love to have in one of their stories. I was so busy manning my booth, that I didn’t really get a chance to take photos of anyone, which I now regret, but there were some epic looking costumes from various animes, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Medieval, and a wide array of comic characters.

As for my own costume, it was my usual Go-To Knight Hospitaller. But I did add my Dungeon Master pin as a conversation starter. I was hoping to find someone else that recognized him from the Dungeons & Dragons Cartoon of the 1980s, which was then and still is my all-time favorite cartoon. No one saw him and if they did no one mention him the whole time. (sad face)

At this venue, I also had new signage, which I think helped a lot for others to see and recognize me. A few people came up and knew me from Social Media, so it was nice to have the signs identifying my booth. Before at events, people would have to see me or come up to look at what was on the table to see what I was selling. I’m glad I made the small investment and they looked great. I only wish I had more books to sell to fill out my side of the table, but in time, that will come.

Behind where I sat was my new pull-up banner for LJR Publishing and next to that are what I call Book Posters of all 3 Gorp novels.
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