Picking a genre?

 Science fiction conventions are geared for the readers. The weekend is all about fun, and creativity. Readers/attendees are encouraged to dress up in fantasy or science fiction or paranormal costumes. There are also a lot of renfaire outfits, too. Just watching the parades of people is fun. They hold masquerade contests, dances, and sometimes karaoke competitions. The night life is serious party time and the booze flows free. Really free.

The best part is that the conventions are cheap. They stay in a moderately priced hotel, and it’s totally common for people to bunk in together, to save money. The attendees don’t dress up fancy (except for the costuming crowd.) So, you can come as you are, comfy in jeans and t-shirt and you’re among the masses without judgment.

There are usually writing workshops for writers, too, but it is an excellent opportunity for writers to meet their readers. In fact, I think it is the best set-up fan base for a writer. Every weekend there is a science fiction convention somewhere, and usually not too far (within 8 hours driving?) from wherever you live. I’m not kidding.

So, if you’re a writer trying to figure out what will be the best genre to write because the promotion opportunities are easier and more affordable because they are alreaedy set-up–and open and loving to writers–then the sf genre is the one for you. I think  you’ll be seeing a whole lot more in that genre out of me.

At first, I thought 55% of the reading market goes to romance. That is true, give or take a few percentage points. But so does that percentage of writers. So, the competition to get published is a lot tougher there.

But there aren’t a lot of reader conventions. The Romantic Times Convention was originally set up for readers to meet writers, but there tends to be about 400 writers and only 4-500 readers. It IS fun for all. But it’s expensive. (All told, this year’s RT cost me around a couple thousand. The con is $450, then you have travel, meals, and hotel, and they always hold it in places like Hiltons and Hyatts. I stayed up the street in a cheaper place and still had that kind of money out of pocket.) Although, I do have to say that I’ve been twice and thoroughly enjoyed it both times.

Anyhow, if you’re sitting in front of a blank WORD screen trying to think of what to write next, consider going sf. There are quite a few sf/fantasy/horror magazines that publish short stories. And a lot of publishers have asked me for futuristic lately. So, I know there’s a demand.

All I’m saying is think about it. The advertising is cheaper to get your name out if there are cons everywhere. All you have to do is mail your freebie promotions stuff to the con chair and it will go on the table. If you want to speak on a panel, all you have to do is mail the program staff at the con and say you’d like to participate. You get to do readings and signings, too.

There’s a lot of opportunity for budding writers to make their own name popular if they go the sf route.


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