Following up on an initial convention presence at ConGlomeration in April, I attended the 2017 Imaginarium the weekend of October 6-8. I registered and arrived with high hopes and not much information about the event. That'll teach me.
In short, I was disappointed. The event was held at the same location as ConGlomeration and competed with a well-publicized art festival in Louisville. Beautiful weather Friday and Saturday no doubt convinced potential attendees to spend their time outdoors, although Sunday's deluge didn't have the corresponding effect of luring people to the book fair. The vendor room was filled with vendors, but not with attendees.
A roomful of vendors trying to sell to one another doesn't go over very well.
On the bright side, the prize drawing for a basket filled with goodies and a copy of a book garnered about a dozen entries, so those will be added to the mailing list. Congratulations to Diana Wieczorek for winning the prize drawing! I hope you enjoy your copy of The Diamond Gate.
My friend Cindra kindly accompanied me on this adventure to Louisville. We explored downtown Louisville, enjoyed the Jim Beam urban distillery and a local arts and crafts store and the Frazier Museum before settling in the vendor room on Friday afternoon. We enjoyed our suppers at BoomBozz and El Torazo.
Event staff were friendly and informative, although registration was disorganized. I ended up with two name badges and Cindra had none, although they at least had record of her registration. We had a delightful conversation with Holly Phillipe of Seventh Star Press, who made us laugh with her anecdotes about filming a TV pilot Rayken Valkyrie: Saga of a Lionheart with actor Brock O'Hurn (most famous for his viral "man bun" video on Youtube) in the lead male role. I'll know to avoid Virginia creeper vines from here on out. Go HERE for the trailer.
I attended a couple of seminars, one of which only lightly touched upon the scheduled topic and presented very basic information. The other of which was interesting, but didn't cover what I thought it would. That'll teach me to assume. However, it did intrigue me with the idea of using a psychic in a future book. That's going to require some extensive research to make it realistic. A suggestion for organizers: indicate on the program whether the seminar is for beginning, intermediate, or advanced authors.
One prediction did manifest. I was warned that writers conventions primarily targeted people who want to write books, people who fuss over the same manuscript for years and never finish them. These people attend such events in the hope that something will magically inspire them to become published authors. We had one such extensive conversation with one such attendee. My repeated advice to her: finish the book, then send the manuscript to an editor.
Assuming the entire experience wasn't too awful, I hope Cindra will consent to accompany me to future events. She was wonderful company and didn't let my sardonic, cynical humor dampen her spirits.
This was the fourth year for Imaginarium. I have no information as to whether the poor attendance this year matched attendance in past years. The same organizer invited all vendors to return for the 8th Annual Kentuckiana Authors Fair in April 2018. I'm debating on that one. In the meantime, I'll spend some time trying to find other events that might welcome a fantasy and romance author with books to sell (and autograph).
In the meantime, I haven't given up entirely on the idea of exhibiting at book fairs. I just need to find the right venues. I won't return to ConGlomeration in 2018, because it's scheduled over Easter weekend. Therefore, if anyone in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky knows of a book fair that might serve as a good venue, please pass on the word. I'd be most grateful.