Let’s talk about Boskone!
I’ll be attending Boskone 56, the Boston-based sci-fi/fantasy/horror convention, from February 15th– 17th, and I might not need to tell you this, but I’m pretty excited.
I’m not a convention kind of guy, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be. It only means I have not, historically, attended conventions.
Although… I did go to another Boskone once. It was, oh, seven or eight years ago. I think it was just for the day. I don’t recall being that invested in it, which is probably more my fault than the convention’s fault. At the time, the first edition of Immortal had just been published by a small startup indie, ebooks were a brand new thing, and self-publishing was still an option I wasn’t seriously considering.
To give you a sense of what that was like, I joined a round-table session with a science fiction author, who was asked by someone at the table if his books were available as ebooks. He didn’t know. I had to look him up on the Amazon app on my phone to confirm that yes, they were. Needless to say, he also didn’t know what his publishing contract stipulated for ebook royalties—we asked him that too.
I’ll be on a number of panels this year, so the good news is, if someone asks me those questions, I have the answers. In fact, when it comes to the ins and outs of the entire industry, I probably have entirely too much to say.
Here’s my schedule.
Friday, 2 PM
The Hopeful Future in Science Fiction
Science fiction can tend toward grim futuristic realism that is either technology-based or post-apocalyptic. Are these the futures we want to write for ourselves? Or read? In light of all the possibilities, where can we find the bright and shining moments? What current fiction gives us hope for the future? And how can we stay positive while still being realistic?
Comment: I think I’m probably on this panel because of the Sorrow Falls books. I’ll probably end up talking about how humor makes every story better.
The Life Cycle of a Book
Friday, 4 PM
Most of us just see the finished product on the shelf. However, there are lots of little (and big) steps associated with getting the book to the store. What’s the life cycle of a book, from submission to publication? It’s not as simple as “the author writes it, then the publisher prints it.” What are the direct, indirect, and associated steps involved in the production and publication process — from editing to marketing, selling, reviewing, reprinting, and more?
Comment: I’m sharing the panel with three traditionally published authors, and a literary agent. I’m pretty sure my career path will end up refuting everyone else’s advice. Should be interesting.
Reading by Gene Doucette
Friday, 9 PM
Comment: I’ll be reading from The Spaceship Next Door. This is a 25 minute slot, and of course I’m looking forward to it. My only gripe is that the “Opening Ceremony: Meet the Guests” event is happening at the same time.
Are Villains Necessary?
Saturday, 10 AM
We give lots of props to heroes and protagonists — but what about the othermain character, who’s often working so hard at being the hero of her own story? As thanks for all her efforts, she gets tagged as the antagonist or the villain. What does that really mean? Must every SF/F/H story feature a villain? And how does a villain differ from an anti-hero?
Comment: I have no idea what I’m going to say for this, but that’s certainly never stopped me before.
Marketing and Selling Your Book
Saturday, 12 PM
Nowadays, writing the book is only half the battle — especially as more and more publishers push marketing onto their writers’ plates. Both before and after publication, there’s a whole new set of perhaps-unfamiliar activities and skills you need to master. Covering topics from social media to book tours and interviews to readings, our select group of authors shares tips and tricks for getting your book seen and snapped up by readers.
Comment: Option one—I tell everyone that most of the stuff they’re told to do on social media, and blogging, and so on, hasn’t worked for years, so don’t bother. Option two—I lie a lot.
Autographing: Dana Cameron, Gene Doucette, Hillary Monahan, Tonia Thompson
Saturday, 1 PM
Comment: Come on by, and we can figure out together what I’m supposed to be autographing.
That’s the extent of my official appearances. However, since Boskone lasts through Sunday afternoon, I will be wandering around, attending other events, and being a nuisance where appropriate.
I’m also penciled in for an interview on Sunday, for a podcast, but a time hasn’t been worked out yet. I’ll let everyone know when I know more.
Join my mailing list for announcements of new blog posts like this one, and to receive my newsletter Writing from the border of Sorrow Falls. You can sign up from here.