The Best Way To Get Me Out To Your Favorite Convention? Ask Me.

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 6.03% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

Over the last couple of days, I’ve had some folks asking me: “Will you be attending my favorite convention this year?”

My answer is, inevitably, “Nobody’s asked me.”

So why do you have to ask?

I’m happy to attend conventions in 2020, simply because I’ve got my cyberpunk romance comedy book Automatic Reload to promote, so showing up at your favorite convention to say “HELLO I AM HERE I AM AN AUTHOR HOW ARE YOU?” is something I’m willing to do.

But as an author and occasional presenter on polyamorous topics, I have three reasons for attending a convention:

1) Someone Is Putting Me On Cool Panels.
If you just like me as an author and have a literary convention, ask them to invite me as a guest. Literary conventions can pay my way by putting me on panels – panels where I get to discuss my book, meet new authors, sign books for fans.

(In truth, I never make enough at literary conventions to pay the bills, but depending on where they’re located, it’s fun meeting new people/authors/fans.)

So if you have a con where there’s authors who talk about their books, get your convention to extend me an invite as an author, preferably with a list of panels they’d like me to be on. The further in advance you can do this, the better; my May is filling up now.

2) Someone Is Paying Me To Be There To Teach A Class.
This usually means that some kind convention has offered to pay my travel expenses and hotel costs so that I can do presentations and/or workshops for them. (Also see my post I Teach Classes! Ask Me How!)

(Note: These classes are not getting me rich; I usually pay more in food and expenses than I make.)

But! For a convention to be willing to pay to fly a Ferrett out to, say, Nevada or Florida or Norway, someone at that convention has to say, “You know who’d be a fantastic guest? Ferrett.” (And, in fact, usually that has to be several people wanting me to present.)

If nobody on the convention board has heard of me, they won’t pay for my travel expenses. Which is fair; I’m still debating how much of a public presence I’m going to be going forward.

But on the other hand, if you’ve liked my poly essays and feel like I might be a good fit to teach your event, my class notes are readily available to give you an idea of what I might talk about.

3) This Convention Seems Like A Fun Time.
If I think a convention might be fun, I’ll spend my own cash to go there! I do it all the time – I always hit up ConFusion in January in Detroit, and I’ll be attending the NASFIC convention in Columbus this summer.

But these conventions are expensive in two ways! If it’s money, I have to pay for travel and hotels. And if it’s mental energy, I am a socially anxious introvert who panics at the thought of meeting people.

So telling me, “Come to a convention where you know nobody to meet a bunch of strangers”? Not a real draw.

If your convention is literary, tell me of the fantastic discussions you have! What new authors might I meet? What panels might I be on? And if it’s a kink convention, what’s happening there that might tempt me to spend $400 of my own cash to drop a weekend there?

And, of course, who are you? Obviously, you’re asking me there – telling me who’s there that might be fun to hang out with is a part of the experience.

But again, I pretty much need to be sold on the concept. The answer to “Are you attending this convention you’ve never heard of?” is a flat “No.” Thanks to my anxieties, I will never show up to a convention cold just for fun – that’s more like torture. I gotta plan my conventions like a mental heist, where I circumvent all my usual social anxieties to have fun, and that requires planning.

That Final Note: Ask.
I am, at best, a reluctant public figure these days – but I do have books I’d like to discuss in front of strangers, and I do like the good of discussing what I consider to be healthy polyamorous strategies with people. I’d like to meet you.

But it all starts with that ask. I’m available at – hit me up (or, preferably, have your convention hit me up) if you’re interested in having me somewhere.

And that is that.

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