New York Comic Con 2014: Quirk, Signings, And Cory Doctorow
So New York Comic Con is this week, and I'm really excited.
I head to NYCC every year with Quirk, and I've been going there anyway for... well, years. I went a few times with Tim for the ol' Geekadelphia, and I've gone plenty of times just for kicks. But this New York Comic Con is extra special.
Because it's my first New York Comic Con signing books and hosting a Q&A. Saturday is going to be incredible.
SIGNING: On Saturday at New York Comic Con, from 11:00am to noon, I'll be signing copies of The Geek's Guide to Dating at the Quirk Books booth. I'll be joined by my friend (and upcoming Quirk author) Sam Maggs, who will be signing The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy posters.
I'm really excited about this, particularly because Sam's book is going to be incredible. We wrote together on Geekosystem for a while, before it was absorbed into The Mary Sue. She's a talented gal, and I'm thrilled Quirk is publishing her. And we get to do a signing together!
The Quirk booth is at #2236.
CORY DOCTOROW Q&A: In October of 2012, I was thrilled to help bring Cory Doctorow to Indy Hall for a talk about his YA novel Pirate Cinema. It was an awesome event that I still talk about. And now, two years later, I'm hosting his Q&A at New York Comic Con.
From 1:00pm to 1:45pm, you can attend the Spotlight on Cory Doctorow in Room 1A10. I'll be moderating the Q&A, and I'm just absolutely thrilled and honored. We'll likely talk a lot about his latest graphic novel, In Real Life, which you might have seen me ramble about over on BookRiot in the Best of August 2014 post. You should seriously check it out.
And that's my Saturday morning. I'll likely be found sleeping in the Quirk booth right after the Q&A.
I'll also be there the whole convention, Thursday through Sunday, doing my thing and talking to people at the Quirk booth. Come by to meet plenty of other awesome Quirk authors, including Ransom Riggs, on Friday.
Accidental Marketing: Learning To Love Instagram As An Author
I've never really used my Instagram for anything other than making my photos look pretty.
I'm super active on there, sure. I take a lot of pictures. As of this post, I've got about 1,700 pictures on that thing. And I follow a few good friends on there, but I seldom comment on stuff. I never use hashtags on my photos, and when I see my photographer friends going crazy with them, I'll usually troll them by leaving comments like #hashtag" on their pictures. Sorry, Conrad.
I am an adult.
However, towards the end of the spring, I started to notice a shocking bump in my followers and people were starting to tag me in pictures. Suddenly I had 1,300 followers. Why? Were people really that into pictures of my overweight chinchilla or lazy rabbit? Pictures of squirrels eating Doritos? What was happening?
Well, all of this started around the time the Portuguese version of The Geek's Guide to Dating came out in Brazil. And when one reader tagged me in a photo with a series of hashtags, I did a little clicking.
And was pretty surprised.
Readers and bloggers in Brazil were using my name (#ericsmith), the title of the book (#geeklove), and the original title (#thegeeksguidetodating and #geeksguidetodating) while sharing the review copies they received. I spent a lot of time flicking through numerous photos and then, started commenting on them. Saying thanks, telling them how I couldn't wait to see blog posts, etc.
This blogger took a screen cap of me saying hi on her blog, and she also wrote one amazing entry featuring a playlist from inside the book, which I might have never caught otherwise.
A lot of these bloggers subsequently found me on Twitter, mentioned me while tweeting their reviews, emailed me for bookplates and/or posters, started following me on Goodreads, liked my Facebook page, etc. I responded to everything, loving every minute of it.
Was this... was I accidentally marketing on Instagram? Was this photo sharing toy suddenly something more?
The interesting thing here, is that thanks to Instagram, a social networking tool that's almost entirely visual, I was able to connect with readers (and still am connecting with them, I check the hashtags once a week) in a way that isn't effected by the language barrier. Not a lot of authors get to connect with their international readers, but with a tool like Instagram... I was suddenly able to.
So, here's to taking it a bit more seriously. And author friends, I really encourage you to hop on there, search for your books (in all editions, foreign or not) and your name. I think you'll end up being pleasantly surprised.
Just take a look. Here are a few authors I'm friends with / work with at Quirk, that are great examples, just off the top of my head:
Awesome, right? Get to searching.
Found in Translation: The Geek's Guide to Dating [Update: German!]
OMG you guys. I'm super excited to announce that The Geek's Guide to Dating is getting translated! I'm keeping a running list here, and will update as more come in.
As of now, the book will be appearing in five languages. German, Croatian, French, Portuguese, and Simplified Chinese. Details about each translation and the publisher are below!
UPDATE: More good news! DuMont will be publishing the book in GERMAN. You can learn more about the publisher on their official website. More details on that soon. Five translations! What a dream!
Profil Knjiga (Profile Books) will be publishing the book in CROATIAN. You can check out their blog here, and follow them on Twitter here. Publication date is TBA.
Bragelonne, a publisher in France, published the book in FRENCH in June 2014! Which means I'll definitely be posting the cover soon. I seriously can't wait to see what they do with it. You can check them out on Twitter here, and scope out their official website.
Gente Editora, a publisher from Brazil, published the book in PORTUGUESE in June 2014. The publication date for the Brazilian edition is TBA, but for now, you can follow the publisher on Twitter, Facebook, and check out their official website.
Shanghai Dook Publishing will be publishing the book in SIMPLIFIED CHINESE, the character set they use in Mainland China. Pretty amazing to be working with this publisher. They published this guy in China.
Needless to say, I'm incredibly excited. I can't wait to post pictures of the books when they come in. A huge thank you to Quirk's legendary Subsidiary Rights & Licensing Manager, Katherine McGuire. You are amazing at what you do!
Signing Books in Chicago @ C2E2!
Textual Healing Going Out of Print
Back in November of 2010, I self published my first novel.
A silly little rom-com that I'd been working on during my undergrad and through graduate school, Textual Healing was a book I had a great time writing. It was a love letter to a lot of people in my life, with characters I named after people and places I adored throughout the story. When I couldn't find a literary agent or a publishing house to take it (though it was close!), I decided to put it out myself. Tim designed the cover, I had some friends look over the copy, and off it went.
The results were fun! I had an awesome release party with some of my close friends, the book got some nice press locally and from book bloggers. I gave a reading at Penn, a talk at Arcadia. It introduced me to my pal Peter, who wrote a song inspired by the book. My pal Jay did too. And so did my friend John Landers.
Man, I need to post their music up here soon.
Also, it helped me introduce my writing to colleagues, and taught me a lot about the world of publishing. Especially what's required of an author. I wrote a post about what I learned, which still gets a lot of hits, here.
However, the book was full of typos, grammatical mistakes, and lots of other issues. And now that people are coming across my writing with The Geek's Guide and my YA novel, they're coming across this book with all its errors. And the reviews are... not good. Which is totally understandable. And it isn't really an accurate representation of my writing anymore.
So, I'm taking it out of print with AuthorHouse this month.
Not quite sure what'll happen with the book after. Maybe I'll get it re-edited and re-packaged, and release it as a free Kindle book. Or maybe my agent and I will pitch it around again. Who knows! What I am going to do, is order a box of them just to have and to send to people. So if you'd like to request a copy before it goes away, let me know. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll figure something out.
And to my friends and family who supported this little novel, thank you. It had a good run, and you helped make it. <3