I’m writing this up belatedly, but wanted a quick summary of how my first book expo experience was. In a word: cool. In more words:
I went along with a number of other Mythspring author’s to Canada Book Expo as part of Red Deer Press’s promotion for the anthology. They scheduled us to do a signing, but we didn’t have to do a reading. This left us free to browse around the trade show, which was impressively large; over 300 vendors according to the web site.
Actually things started the night before for me. I was invited to a nice party for the Children’s Bookseller Association at an upscale restaurant. I met up with Jana Paniccia and Julie E. Czerneda at Bakka Phoenix books beforehand and we went from there to the restaurant. There was free food, and I think I remember free drinks. I’m not entirely sure how I managed to get an invitation, but I enjoyed mingling and got a kick out of the old animated shorts they were showing on the TV, many of which brought back memories of seeing them in childhood.
So back to the book expo itself. I arrived a few hours in advance of our scheduled signing. I didn’t see anyone I knew initially, so I set out to explore the trade show. A number of the vendors gave away free books. Free books! For avid readers it’s like giving free booze to a bar fly. I think I came home that day with about seven free books. After my initial exploration I returned to Red Deer Press’s booth and found Karina Sumner-Smith and Jana Paniccia were already there. Julie Czerneda buzzed through on her way to somewhere else. I’m always surprised by her energy at things like this and cons. Karina and I wandered the trade show and picked up a few more free things. One vendor started talking her up on manga aimed at teen girls. I guess he thought she looked even younger than her age. I also ran into fellow author Mike Riemar while wandering. He was there as part of a promotion for the Writers of the Future Contest.
The signing itself went very well. Authors in attendance for it included myself, Karina, Claude Lalumiere, Lorne Kates, Roben Goodfellow, Allison Baird and editor Julie E. Czerneda. We signed for half an hour and the time flew by. This was my third signing and I’m still having a lot of fun with it. Red Deer gave away a load of free copies. I remember the figure being somewhere around 100. There weren’t any left at the end of the signing.
I hope that I’ll be able to go back again next year, although at this point I don’t have anything new to promote. Well, there’s still time.