by Kyle Perkins
A little back story about the convention, as well as Virginia Johnson and I. In January of 2016, I became an author, and shortly after, Virginia became my PA. So, we had to navigate the indie world together, like two baby deer learning to walk. At first, like all people getting into this business, we were super optimistic. Who wouldn’t be? I published a book. Not many people can say that they have the patience for that. Writing a book is a big deal, it’s sharing a piece of your soul with the world, and asking the world to judge it. We have always received great feedback on our work, and grew to love the community…
Then, we started learning of the inherent flaws in a predominantly online business. Setting aside catfishing models, shady PAs, and plagiarism, we noticed a huge problem within our community. It was that a lot of these so called “signings,” and “events,” around the country were nothing more than get rich schemes for a few sketchy individuals in the writing community. We noticed that hundreds of people were losing hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on signings that were never going to happen. Then, the community just seems to forget about it for the most part, and they repeat the cycle.
Finally, we became fed up and decided to host our own event. Not because we wanted to “get rich quick,” but because we want to give authors a unique experience and a bit of redemption. Virginia has a background in event and wedding planning, and I have a background in “getting shit done.” It was a match made in heaven. We knew this would be no easy task, but it went from being a fun idea, to more of a responsibility as we started to see more people being ripped off by event planners.
To put something like this together, it has not been an easy task. Virginia lives in Minnesota, and takes frequent flights down so that we can organize everything in person. Sure, we also indulge a bit while she’s down(Read: Booze it up and sight see), but we have been working tirelessly to make this whole thing happen, and it’s because we care. We want this to be memorable for everyone attending, and we want everyone to have an awesome time.
We just finished up a three day guerrilla marketing blitz on Tampa, and the next thing will be to hit the local papers, radio stations, and anything else that can help us get the word out. To the attending authors, we need you, too. We need your help in promoting this, so that your fans have ample time to make arrangements to come and meet you. Trust me, they do want to meet you. Readers and guests, we also need your help. This will be the first event in Tampa of its kind, and we need your help to put the word out.
We are excited to finally meet all of you, and as stressful as this has all been, we both know that it is going to be worth it once everyone goes back home happy. We hope to make this a yearly thing, something that people can look forward to, so it’s super important that this first year goes off without a hitch. Virginia and I are working tirelessly to counter any eventuality that may come up, well before they come up. As of right now, we are ahead of the game, and everything is going the way we have been planning. Almost all of the authors have paid, and we are still accepting more at this time.
So, if you’re on the fence about joining us, don’t wait any longer. This thing is happening, and we are running out of room for authors. Soon, we will have to stop accepting them, as there will be no more tables left.
Again, we are very excited to see all of you, and we thank you all for your relentless support. You are all as much a part of making this happen as the two of us behind the curtain.
We also want to give a special thank you to the indie book stores that are helping us get the word out!
Some awesome pictures from our adventures in marketing for this event!
Again, can’t wait to see you guys! Spread the word!