Con Notes Part 1 – Identifying Self-Pubs Made Easy

Yes, I write about psychopathic killers. That’s why I’m dressed in everyday clothing.

I’ve discovered an easy, works-every-time method for determining if someone is self-pubbed or not; Do they dress up like one of their characters or like something from their genre? Do they dress like an ax murderer if they write crime thrillers? Do they dress up like vampires if they write vampire stories? Do they dress up like Level 3 equestrians if they write about horses? Do they dress in camo if they write military thrillers?

How come nobody dresses up like a drunk vagrant if they’re writing about drunk vagrants? How come nobody dresses up like a degenerate child-molester if that’s their subject matter?

In equation form this is “author + in costumer at their signing table = self-pubbed”

Long ago I showed up at a Hallowe’en party in street clothes.
“Where’s your costume?”
“I’m wearing it.”
“What are you suppose to be?”
“Human.”

 
Never mind. My point is, lots of self-pubbed authors come from fandom. Ever been to a fan convention? Some fans write well. Fans who dress up to look like the characters on their bookcovers are self-published (or close to. They got together with some friends and created a publishing house). Some fans write well enough and are productive enough and are marketable enough that big publishers are publishing their work (I’m told Peter David came from fandom). Such fans-turned-authors don’t ego-identify with their creations. At least not to the point of dressing up like them in public.

Dress like a person who’d read your books. I appreciate the need to market, but remember – you’re not the commodity, your book is. Unless your book is pure, unadulterated autobiography. I tell people I write autobiography because I write from personal experience, not because I’m augmented, a wereman, or live on Mars. I’ve met deep sea divers turned authors who write deep sea adventure novels but they don’t stand by their table wearing deep sea diving gear. Do you want Michael Phelps to sign his books wearing nothing but speedos or The Rock to sign his books wearing nothing but his wrestling trunks?

Okay, maybe you do.

But that makes you a fan, not an author.