Saturday, February 20, 2010

Interesting Contrasts

We are attending ConVocation, a New Age/Paganist convention just a hop and a skip from the location where we attended ConFusion, the science fiction convention.  We is Dwarf Planet Press. We did not manage to get a vendor spot ahead of time. Had we done so, our tidy, elegant, industrial style booth, used by Editorial Code and Data for a decade at reference publishing conventions (at which we thought we looked  daring) would have looked at ConVocation like a Puritan at a cocktail party. Jewelry, textiles, and magical implements dominated the vendor space, although we glimpsed a book or two for sale at nearly every booth. The contrast between the sci-fi and the pagan event was startling. The differences?
  • Attendance: ConVocation was/is crowded, masses of people.
  • Content: More than a hundred lectures, presentations, and classes—all of them full.
  • Quality: We attended four sessions yesterday, and three of the four were superb.
  • Audience Participation: Much more active and lively. In fairness to ConFusion, the few participants there were as well-informed as at ConVocation.
Our first and challenging session yesterday was a presentation by Llewellyn Worldwide, the leading New Age Publisher. I confesss that I'd never heard of them before. Llewellyn publishes 135 books a year. One of their acquisitions editor and a promotional executive gave a fascinating presentation aimed at new writers, but what we heard and understood from comments on the margins, from anecdotes illustrating good advice, and from the context is how one really goes about promoting books in the modern day. Awesome, brother, awesome. But more later, not least some comments on what the contrast tells me. Must run to attend ConVocation's second day—and this conference is good enough so that we must be there at 9 am sharp!

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