Today the Dragon Wins

"Today the Dragon Wins" offers information from Fantasy Author and Professional Editor Sandy Lender. You'll also find dragons, wizards, sorcerers, and other fantasy elements necessary for a fabulous story, if you know where to look...

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Sandy Lender is the editor of an international trade publication and the author of the fantasy novels Choices Meant for Gods and Choices Meant for Kings, available from ArcheBooks Publishing, and the series-supporting chapbook, What Choices We Made.

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Be it Ever so Humble…
Or…The Dragon gives some insight to aspiring authors

Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like the early stages of a budding career. You know those days. You’re not famous yet. You don’t have the oodles of cash and a limo waiting curbside when you land in a foreign city for the book tour date that your publicist set up for you.

Please please please don’t read this post as a complaint, because I’m not really complaining. Part of me is laughing at myself. Part of me is terminally grateful for the opportunity I’m in the middle of. Part of me is shaking my head at the opportunity swirling down the drain as Fate cackles somewhere in the background…

I’ll start with the humbling experience of rolling quarters, dimes, etc. so I’d be sure to have enough money in the bank to cover the expenses this weekend. There’s a note for aspiring authors to write down. When budgeting for marketing expenses, remember that bizarre stuff will creep up in the weeks before a planned convention, conference, book signing, speaking engagement, etc. (If the event you’re to attend is out of town, the bizarre stuff will be more expensive.) I advise having an “emergency” marketing fund stashed somewhere. I used my emergency marketing fund to purchase a few copies of the brand new fantasy novel, Choices Meant for Kings, to have here at Context 22. Oops. One of the “bizarre stuffs” was the printer’s inability to get it here in time for the convention. Rar.

Another note for aspiring authors is that you’ve got to be assertive and take the bull by the horns. You’ve heard this elsewhere. This is not new. But apply it to travel as well as your writing, pitching, and marketing. I sat in one of my two connecting cities (did I mention that I’m doing this on a budget?) yesterday listening to an American Airlines gatekeeper inform us that the plane had a mechanical issue. Maintenance was checkin’ on that. They’d give us an update. When we still had no joy on the rockets at one hour past takeoff, I went up to the podium and asked them to put me on a new flight. They did. I made it to my destination in time for all three of my scheduled events at Context. I found out (when seeking my luggage around midnight last night) that the original flight didn’t leave Miami until 5:30ish. Not good. (My copies of Choices Meant for Gods are in my luggage. So I have one copy of each of my works with me. Can’t sell those! But I can give away the postcards and bookmarks I brought in my carryon.)

So while I was washing out my clothes with the hotel’s shampoo, I thought of this blog entry. It’ll make a great story to tell on Oprah one day. “I didn’t have enough money to be extravagant, so I ate a bag of nuts and the cookie that the Doubletree Worthington hotel gave me upon check-in that day. I washed my clothes in the sink and hung them to dry over the heater. Thank God they had a complimentary breakfast included in the Context 22 room package.”

He he he. The really cool thing is everybody here is exceptionally nice. We’re all book geeks and sci-fi nerds. I love it! I’m among my kin. I’ll post another blog later in the weekend to give a rundown of the coo-el stuff we’re doing (first—to knock this moaning thing out of the top spot on the blog and second—to let you guys know how fab this con is). If my luggage arrives, it’ll have the cord for my camera…and I can post pictures…

“Some days, I just want the dragon to win.”
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