RT Convention: For the SFF people, let’s talk Money

This will probably be my last post on the RT convention, and I will leave my gentle reader to draw their own conclusions.


(This photo came off Twitter, and I was unclear on the credits for it.)

I’m going to talk money.

Recall the fortune cookie from the previous entry with its obscure message about spending money to make money? (I think that’s what it meant, at least…) The whole RT convention is an exercise in this.

I’ll put up a rough list here. Because I drove, I have parking expenses instead of paying for airline flights. I also split the hotel room, but had dog boarding* to pay as well (which is not, I understand, tax deductible.)

These numbers are rounded a bit for simplicity, and I’ll assume arriving Tuesday, leaving Sunday

Admission to RT:                                                         489

Payment to do the Book Signing :                               10

Hotel Expense:                                                             480

Parking: 27 per day                                                      135

Food: Let’s call it 50 per day                                        300

Tips: Big hotel, lots of tips                                              50

Total:                               1474

That’s pretty pricey for a con. More than SFF people are accustomed to paying.  In addition to that, I paid 162 to be one of the hostesses of a party (Other members of FF&P-RWA were kind enough to invite me to join.)  My publisher supplied 25 books to give away at that party. That would have cost me a lot if I was providing them myself.

Was it worth it financially?

This is the question we ask after every con, with no way to know the answer.

I frankly don’t know if it will pay off as opposed to, say, World Fantasy Con. I did get to meet some great Urban Fantasy authors that I haven’t before. I got to meet Mary Balogh, of whom I’m a fan.  But did I meet enough readers to make a positive impression? That I can’t say.

I will say that I think I would have done better if I’d gotten on some panels. I was too late to do that, honestly.  In addition, there were some meet and greet venues that I also found out about too late, although several authors told me that they didn’t do those.

As I noted back on Tuesday, WOM is the best promotion of all, so I hope that a few read my books and like them.  That would be the best result.


The most interesting thing about this is that there are readers–hundreds of them–who do this year after year. That’s a fascinating phenomenon to me.  They go wherever the convention goes.  It’s their Superbowl.

That was an eyeopener to me.  And it’s kinda cool ;o)


ETA: *Dog Boarding was 440, which pretty much thrust this con over 2,000 for me. 😦

4 thoughts on “RT Convention: For the SFF people, let’s talk Money

  1. This was my third RT, my first as a published author (I was “pre-published the other two times- I refuse to use the term “aspiring author”;)). I am a hardcore fantasy/SF person who enjoys reading paranormal, historical, fantasy romances from time to time, but drifted into the RWA/RT world because, let’s face it, F/SF as a genre does crap for new authors.
    I agree this sucker is expensive, but I also think it does help to get exposure. Plus, for me as an Indie author, I’m not sure how well I’d be received by the F/SF writing world. I would love to do an F/SF con- but would also be terrified.

    But I do think that RT got my name and books out in front of folks who would never have seen it, even if I spent WAY too much on swag ;). I hope you do go next year, it would be awesome to have you there!

    1. Hi Marie! It is difficult in the SFF world sometimes, yet another reason to try to reach out to Romance readers! They’re very accepting.

      And I hope I can come next year, but I need some serious sales to crop up to fund it!

      (Either that, or I can sell cookies like the Girl Scouts and Veterans…)

      1. I like the cookie sales idea! “Support an author- buy some cookies!” I figure every new business looses money for the first five years, I am just very very good at it ;).

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