Sell Books in San Francisco?

Molecular Medicine show (pay $3k for booth)   0 votes - 0 %
GDC, but only if booth $1k or less   2 votes - 33 %
O'Reilly, but only if booth is free   1 vote - 16 %
O'Reilly but only if booth is $3k or less   0 votes - 0 %
What are you, fuckin' out of your fuckin mind?   0 votes - 0 %
I just orderd one or more of your books from wetmachine.com. Good luck!   0 votes - 0 %
If johnny comes to San Francisco, I will get drunk with him & maybe buy him a beer, but that's it.   1 vote - 16 %
Fuck San Francisco. Come to London, where the real Husites are.   1 vote - 16 %
See if you can get Barack or Michelle Obama to mention your book at their next press conference.   4 votes - 66 %
Or Oprah, I get them confused.   2 votes - 33 %
Now that Updike is gone, who better than johnny to become USA's preeminent man of letters?   2 votes - 33 %
My name is George Soros, and I just sent you one million dollars by paypal.   0 votes - 0 %
 
6 Total Votes
Being tangentially involved with the travel by ad hoc (4.00 / 2) #1 Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 04:18:33 PM EST
and conference industry (as you know), I can only tell you what you probably already suspect. The economy sucks, and conferences industry is going down right along with it. Comps are very, very, very hard to come by and will take every bit of your charm and then some to get any.

(I'm speaking specifically of conferences, not fan conflabs.)

Conferences are expensive to attend, so it usually the company that pays. Except companies aren't as willing to do that nowadays, and the number of employees eligible to go to them is dwindling.

As an example, at the recent conference of $client in cam's home town, something happened that has never happened ever before. (At least in the 20+ years my friend and I have been doing this stuff.) The rooms blocked at the main hotel, which normally fill pretty much right away, pretty much filled right away. But then, because of the massive number of cancellations due to the economy, the block opened up again! That has never happened. Once the main room block is  booked, it stays booked. Not any more.

The people putting on the conference ($client, in this case) guarantees a certain number of rooms to the hotel in exchange for a discounted rate for that block. If they don't fill, $client is responsible for any and all shortfall. They've got decades of experience blocking rooms like this, so they pretty much know how many to get and have almost never come up short, and certainly not for the main gig (which this was).

If you want to see a comptrollers face go ashen, tell him his main room block opened up again three weeks before the conference. They'd be on the hook for thousands of dollars. Luckily, they filled up again right away, but it was at the expense of the secondary hotels who lost rooms from people wanting to move to the main venue; it wasn't that more people suddenly came.

I can't speak to any non-monetary consideration you have, and I don't want to snuff your candle, but unless you've got a fix in, chances of getting a discount or comp is really pretty small.
--

Risk and return by stevew (4.00 / 2) #2 Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 07:51:30 PM EST
The Molecular Medicine option sounds high risk and low return on investment for $3000.

I would be scrounging the money for one or both of the other two


good advice by johnny (2.00 / 0) #7 Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:32:58 AM EST
I'll probably take it. Depending on a few other things up in the air, like the ILM talk, etc.
Buy my books, dammit!
[ Parent ]
How much USD by Phage (2.00 / 0) #3 Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 01:57:42 AM EST
For three signed books posted to UK address ?

I sent answer by johnny (2.00 / 0) #8 Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:34:07 AM EST
by private message.
Buy my books, dammit!
[ Parent ]
Got it - and returned [nt] by Phage (2.00 / 0) #10 Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:38:00 AM EST


[ Parent ]
I love you, johnny by Kellnerin (4.00 / 1) #4 Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 02:24:08 AM EST
but don't do the Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference. I'd consider the others if the stars align, but in the meantime, what about something closer to home with less up-front cost? Book reading/signing? Library event? Ask local coffee shops if they'll carry a few copies? Etc?

--
"Late to the party" is the new "ahead of the curve" -- CRwM
You're probably right by johnny (4.00 / 2) #9 Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 04:35:31 AM EST
but it's so much more fun to swing for a home run than to bunt to advance the runner.
Buy my books, dammit!
[ Parent ]
You've written books?!!? by Dr H0ffm4n (4.00 / 1) #5 Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 02:36:05 AM EST
Who knew? I think you should mention it more often. Maybe put it in your sig or something? ;)

Which reminds me, I must actually buy a copy of The Pains for Major Midget.

Oh hey by johnny (2.00 / 0) #6 Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:17:39 AM EST
You all know me as a pimp around here, but I'm a lovable pimp, am I not?
Buy my books, dammit!
[ Parent ]
A pimp called John? by Dr H0ffm4n (2.00 / 0) #14 Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 05:55:08 AM EST
there's something meta going on there.

I am also now a John. But not yet a pimp.

[ Parent ]
Hot Rats by johnny (2.00 / 0) #16 Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 07:34:15 AM EST
I'm a little pimp with my hair gassed back
Pair a khaki pants with my shoe shined black

Got a little lady ... walk the street
Tellin' all the boy that she cain't be beat

Twenny dollah bill ( i can set you straight )
Meet me onna corner boy'n don't be late

Man in a suit with a bow-tie neck
Wanna buy a grunt with a third party check

Standin' onna porch of the lido hotel
Floozies in the lobby love the way i sell:

Hot meat
Hot rats
Hot cats
Hot ritz
Hot roots
Hot soots
Hot zitz
Hot meat
Hot rats
Hot cats
Hot zitz
Hot roots
Hot soots
Buy my books, dammit!

[ Parent ]
speaking of conferences by Kellnerin (2.00 / 0) #11 Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 07:39:59 AM EST
Some round-ups of the O'Reilly ToC Con:
Soundbite version
Blog with more detailed series of posts

Unrelated but cool, subway map of (e-)publishing trends -- good Google-fodder there.

--
"Late to the party" is the new "ahead of the curve" -- CRwM

by the way by johnny (2.00 / 0) #12 Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 06:05:27 PM EST
Following sage and forceful advice from Husi, I abandoned the admittedly stupid idea of paying large dollars to go to the molecular medicine conference.

Concentrating now on O'Reilly Etech and web 2.0 conferences and the Game Developers Conference.  Trying to work some "hey, every conference needs a token crackpot" magic. . . it may be working, not sure yet. . .

Thanks for the links,

jrs

Buy my books, dammit!

[ Parent ]
looking at the programs ... by Kellnerin (2.00 / 0) #13 Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 05:14:35 AM EST
ETech seems a much better fit for you. Web 2.0 is more focused in a way and I wouldn't be surprised if it has more attendees, but the focus does not match up with your audience as well. Also I bet there are sessions at ETech that could spawn future techoparanoid books (or conversations about your old ones) if you can sneak into them. (And, since they are extending "early registration" on ETech -- it's only 3 weeks away -- maybe they'll be more willing to give you a break on the booth cost too-also?)

I didn't check out GDC, but suspect it's a similar not-so-great fit as Web 2.0.

How about trying to score yourself a panel/reading/signing at a local-ish SF Con? Looks like Arisia and Vericon are done for the year, but there must be others I don't know about.

--
"Late to the party" is the new "ahead of the curve" -- CRwM

[ Parent ]
SF cons are by johnny (4.00 / 1) #15 Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 07:29:35 AM EST
good for meeting people and learning stuff, very entertaining-- I met Harold Feld at Arisia -- but very lousy for selling books.

I'm working on a long wetmachine post about all this stuff,  will have it up pretty soon, I hope.
Buy my books, dammit!

[ Parent ]