Is… Is This Thing On?

Okay, I *know* I’ve been quiet for a while and I *do* have a good explanation. Producing weekly content about my experiences in writing and publishing is only feasible when I’m having experiences in writing and publishing which, over LockDown has been a bit of a problem. So, let’s have a quick look back at whats been happening over the past two years, shall we?

Rendered Flesh released with little to no fanfare (I’m doing my best) back in 2021 by LevelUp Publishing, but it was still a huge deal for me because it is my first, traditionally published novel and it has opened the door for me with Ockham Publishing. I’m now contracted for a three-book series, my Riding the E-Rail project, with Vulpine Press and I’m looking forward to a long and happy association with this publishing group, I assure you I have *many* more ideas that I am working on across quite a diverse collection of genres.

Events! Well, what to say. I appeared on a few virtual panel items at the online Eastercon 2021 (notably, and to my great frustration, alongside several talented 2000AD writes, including Dan Abnett! Virtually! ARGH!). I attended Fantasy Con (with limited tickets sales capping attendance), Reading Comic Con, Dragonmeet and Eastercon 2022 ‘Reclamation’ and had to can plans to attend Worldcon 2022 Chicago in-person.

I know it’s a little crass to talk in terms of sales but honesty in regards to the self publishing experience is an integral part of this blog and, while said conventions were all to the good when it came to networking and meeting people and such, the physical cons where lackluster in terms of actual sales. This was not new, I’d noticed a downturn in spending at events leading into LockDown but I had hoped, once events started running again, that the audience would be eager to spend a little money. While none of these events was a complete write-off the difference in trade between, for example Dragonmeet 2019 and Dragonmeet 2021, was around 60%, in that I only turned over a third of the trade I did in 2019 in 2021.

However! All is not lost. Just this past weekend I attended the second Portsmouth Comic Con, organised by GoGeek Events CIC and hosted by the Portsmouth Guildhall. The event was a resounding return to pre-Covid form and an incredible boost to both my confidence and my motivation. Satellite 7, Glasgow’s sci-fi and fantasy con, is in two-weeks and I’ve got my fingers crossed for good returns here too. The next event down the line is the Young Adult Literature Convention in London, running alongside LFCC Summer and, fingers crossed, that’s going to be a big return in the ticket.

So, whilst my previous posts about getting back to events might have been a *little* premature I do now have hard evidence that, post Covid, events are getting back to normal. Looking ahead I’m dabbling in a new promotional platform so I’ll hopefully have something to say about that in the weeks ahead and I’m following avenues on the ‘how to win awards (or even get nominated!)’ front as well. So, buckle up, knuckle down, and get those ideas out there, a lot has changed, but a lot more remains the same and the most important part of that, is readers gonna read!

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