Self-publishing might be a global phenomenon, but it’s also very much a local phenomenon. I got a reminder of that today when I took the bus to a hotel near the airport, ten miles away, for a local creator convention, the INDYpendent Creator Show. I had learned about it from a local geek blogger who I’d hoped to meet while there, but he’d turned out to be unable to attend.
The convention consisted of a small exhibition room with a couple of dozen tables, and two other rooms where panels and workshops were held. In attendance were a number of local independent comic book artists, self-publishers, and podcasters. There were even a couple of game designers, demonstrating card games they were kickstarting.
These included Topher Kearby, author of The Organics: Cinder, and Kathryn Silver, an artist with an interesting-looking comic book called Paper Triangle. There was also the artist of a coloring and activity book by the unlikely title of Cthulhu’s Coloring Book and Necronomicon of Sunny Day Doings.
There was also an interesting-looking storytelling party game called “Buy the Rights,” currently under Kickstarter. The idea is that you get dealt out cards from four stacks of storytelling cues and you have to pick from them and build a pitch for a movie, then describe it to the player taking on the role of the “producer” who chooses who gets the money. The best/most amusing pitches get funding, and the player with the most funding at the end of the game wins. It kind of reminds me of a different version of the same idea as the Storymatic deck. The Kickstarter is currently just under halfway to its $15,000 goal with 25 days to go. I’m tempted to kick in for it myself.
I took in a few of the panels, too. They were interesting in that they were aimed primarily at creators, rather than consumers. The panels on “convention tips” was mostly about running your own table at a convention, rather than going to the convention as a fan. I did learn a few things, though I don’t know just how much good they’ll do me. I’m not terribly likely to be running any convention tables any time soon.
Effectively, this convention was a reminder that even as self-publishing is generally a solitary activity, there are always occasions where local self-publishers can get together with others and share tips and useful advice about their craft. Perhaps you might want to check around in your own area and see if there might be any similar such get-togethers. They can be a great chance to learn more about what others are doing, and to network with other self-publishers in your area.