Notes from AwesomeCon DC 2014 by Cerece Rennie Murphy

The Set-Up 

–       An artist/small press table for AwesomeCon this year was $290.  The fee included one skirted table and 2 chairs. The Convention ran from Friday afternoon through Sunday with a reported attendance of 40k people.

–       Though the coordinators seemed somewhat disorganized prior to the event, once everything was underway, things ran pretty smoothly and I was impressed with the level of customer service that was offered to vendors.

–       The table vs booth distinction was an issue.  I thought I paid for a booth, but got a table when I arrived.  Fortunately, I had my new retractable banners so set-up was much easier.  I highly recommend these if anyone is considering what items to invest in for a show.  Unfortunately, I had no room for my RIB rack, so I just bought the books with me and was able to talk about quite a few RIB authors.  My list of POC speculative fiction writers came in handy as well.

–       The convention was small enough to have just 1 person (me) at my table for both Friday and Sunday, but Saturday, I got help from my mother.


–       94 books sold in 2 ½ days, which I think is pretty good considering that this was the smallest Con I’ve done to-date.

–       Had 2 impromptu interviews and made a few connections that I am looking forward to exploring

–       I paid $120 for electricity, mostly to power my TV where I play my book trailer as part of my display.   But unlike in bigger Cons where you are really fighting for attention, I don’t think I needed it for this event.  Next year, I will save the expense.

–       The “2 for $20” pitch continues to be a powerful tool.  Including some swag also helps to make people feel like they are really getting a great deal for their money.  I am still giving away the reusable bags and/or Order of the Seers posters with each book purchase.


–       This was definitely a successful event for me and I will be back next year (unless they schedule the event during Easter weekend again!)

–       Even if you don’t know someone you can stay with in the DC/MD/VA area, you can find cheap enough accommodations in DC that might allow you to a least breakeven, while increasing your book exposure.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Deatri King-Bey

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