I had been concerned about keeping up physically during the West Hollywood Book Fair. I had visions of being unable to do anything more than sit while poor Marie was left to scurry about keeping the booth supplied with water and ice or luring potential customers. Though my medical tests are all looking good, my new normal includes a lot of physical challenges. My making any kind of appointment or commitment is still very much a leap of faith on my part. I never know until some time after I've been up and about whether I can actually go anywhere or do anything beyond my sofa. Fortunately, I was doing well – and on very little sleep.
Sybpress in the Park was a successful return to Book
Fairs. We sold all but one copy of our newest title, Alternate Lanes: An Anthology of Travel Using Alternate Transportation in the City of Angels. We had 30 copies! My books were selling in sets of two or entire collections. I chatted up Indie publishers like the brilliant and eclectic Full Metal Orgasm anthologies and indie events like Bent-con with anyone who paused for more than a second. I have a vast collection of cards from folks with their own causes or authors who think Sybpress looked like a good option for publication. We had not done any sort of Book Fair for years, so I think it was great to find that we still knew how to work a booth and a crowd. However, the day was not without it's challenges. There was Carmaggeddon 2: The Sequel closing major parts of the 405 freeway. And then, to add to the traffic problems, there was a triathlon that closed a lot of city streets during parts of the day making travel on the Westside a real nightmare. We all had a far too entertaining a time getting to the park to set up. And these inexplicably coinciding events likely thinned out the crowd. But what really impacted the turnout and our own experience was the punishing heat. The Book Fair provided large gazebos that had panels on all three sides, but the sunlight filled ours in the morning, thoroughly heating it to the point where bread could bake. Thus, when we were out of the sun, the booth remained sweltering. We went through our water quickly. The cans of cold sodas were ingeniously used to cool down certain body parts (see above). Days like this are why I hate bras. They collect heat and moisture. Jon dislikes them for his own reasons which I won't go into. At any rate, we had to go foraging for an electric fan during one of the ice and water runs. That fan was a godsend. It made the booth bearable for the rest of the day. Despite the heat and traffic madness, it was a good day. It was great to meet all the poets and writers who contributed to Alternate Lanes. It was great to connect with old friends like Phil McNamara who was a rock star in drawing passersby to the booth. And, as always, it was delightful to have Sunshine Lliteras about. She was also very kind to get Jon and I home with all of our paraphernalia, including the electric fan. After this, I believe we are in excellent shape to run a booth at the upcoming Bent-con. We are even considering taking a big step and going for a booth at the LA Times Festival of Books next spring!
Meanwhile, the Book Fair Sales continue through Bent-con in December. For discounts on our titles of up to 30%, including tax and shipping, click here: http://sybpress.com/bookfairsale.htm .
Even before we packed up for the Book Fair, I had made quite a dent in that danged inbox of doom. By this evening, I'll have submitted the last of the unscheduled manga scripts I took on. The Letterer on my team was working on these books with a different editor. That editor had to leave the project, so I stepped in right on top of the deadline. That was fun. With that out of my hair, there is only the manga already in the pipeline. My plan is to be rid of that by the weekend, so I can focus on the three power point presentations I have to finish for Yaoi-con. I only planned on doing two panels, but strange things happen during web conferences, it seems. Meanwhile, Jon is finally working on editing the Demonspawn web series teaser trailer. In a perfect world, I would like that to go live before we leave for Yaoi-con, but we are most likely losing all day Saturday to some work being done on our apartment complex. Past experience tells us that it is best to get out of the building until the dust settles. So, that is what we'll be doing. After Yaoi-con, I can focus on my fiction once again -- until Bent-con. Just kidding. I'm going to do my panel presentations for that while I'm working on the ones for Yaoi-con. My readers have been patient (HA!), and I need to get back on track. I'm far happier when I can do even a few pages of writing a day.
I'll detail exactly what I'm doing on this year's Yaoi-con panels as well as update the status on the novels next week.