Table Worked: Tacoma Home & Garden Show 2018

January 25-28, 2018

One of the things said throughout the weekend was that “The Home Shows are their own unique animal” in terms of explaining it to people compared to most conventions. And it’s true.

The first thing of importance in explaining what that means is that the Home Shows are a general audience show. We do mostly science-fiction and fantasy conventions, with the occasional comic-con or the like thrown in. I do really enjoy doing the Home and Garden Shows, both in general, and for the challenge, but they’re definitely different from most conventions.

The second thing of note is that for the H&G shows, we’re working with NIWA instead of under the Clockwork Dragon banner. That means that we have at least twice as many books on the table (though that was kind of interesting, learning we had 13 authors represented, but Lee and I, along with our co-writers, were half of the books on the table at this event), and that we’re working with authors we otherwise don’t see most of the time. Over the course of the weekend we had 8 authors taking shifts behind the table. We also had two extra booth staff (thank you to Matt and Sheri!), which made set-up, tear-down, and portions of the weekend much easier.

The other thing with these shows are their unpredictability. The only thing we’re sure of going in is that mysteries will sell. We’ve never been wrong on that yet and weren’t this time. Mysteries do well, whether in Tacoma or Portland. Everything else is best guess. The childrens’ section also usually does okay, and YA does okay, but what okay is varies. I’ve seen childrens’ books fly off the shelves in Portland, and seen just a few go over the weekend. Romance has also had some really good shows, but it didn’t get much attention this time around. I’m not sure if having a bit more robust section of that would have helped or not.

Related to the last bit, there’s always a surprise. Some genre or other that typically hasn’t done great in the past will be the thing at a show, and then won’t be the next time around. This particular show it was the charity anthologies. Science fiction in general, after being absolutely dead at the Portland Fall show, did fairly well. But the Writerpunk charity anthologies, especially the Edgar Allan Poe Goes Punk, had a really great weekend. We’re going to be significantly closer to our goal for the donation to PAWS Animal Rescue after payment goes out for this show.

We’ll also get a really good idea if there’s going to be any trend from this show to the next, as the very next show in line is the Portland Spring Home & Garden Show. That’s always a real experience, as we should have more than 20 authors represented, and over 120 books.

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Table Worked: Orcacon 2018

January 12-14, 2018

This is a great way to get the con year started. We’ve been a part of Orcacon since their Year 1 and keep going back. There’s reasons for that.

Orcacon isn’t really a literary convention the way some are. Most people are there to play games, be introduced to new games, and to be social around the gaming table. The vendor room is small, with about a dozen vendors, two of which are local game stores. We’re the only authors/book vendors in the room.

Nevertheless, we usually do okay there as a whole. The atmosphere is mostly relaxed and welcoming. Most of the vendors are repeat vendors, so everyone knows each other. (Granted, at this point, we know a lot of the local vendors, but in general, this is a very familiar room/crowd.)

So, what stands out about it? First, Orcacon has made a serious commitment to diversity. They don’t have a lot of panels, but of what they do have, about a third are in some way diversity related. The crowd is about half female. The LGBT crowd are definitely out in force at this one. Most of the special guests are tied in with the diversity panels. And they have one of the most hardcore, and most visible, anti-harassment policies in the local con scene.

Aside from being awesome in its own right, this is also pretty cool from a pure vending perspective. The female-fronted YA, lots of representation across multiple books, and ability to tell customers that, yes, we have books that feature LGBT, minority, disabled, non-neurotypical, etc. characters certainly helps us. It’s also really, really rewarding as an author to have those sales where you know you’re reaching your audience and that the representation we put into the books is meaningful to the readers as well. We had a couple of those at this show.

The fact that this is one we do a lot and is a small-to-mid-size convention also means we get a number of repeat customers. That’s also a nice boost, knowing that people like what you’ve written and want more. It’s also been a chance to use fans of one of our authors to hook readers on others. We had one of my fans, and two of Nikki’s who had read most of our books show up asking for what we had that was “sort of similar.” Thankfully, we had answers for that.

We’re always on the lookout for over-arching themes, good tag-lines, etc. This one had some familiar themes. People were very interested in signed books. The “Which one(s) is/are yours?” question came up a lot, especially on Friday. Otherwise, in a familiar theme, the YA did really well. Writerpunk also had a good show to open the year. Beyond that, this was a really easy, close-to-home, well-run show.

Which made for a great way to kick off the year.

Next up: the Tacoma Home & Garden Show.

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New Year, New Dragonings

Happy New Year!

The authors of Clockwork Dragon have banded together to offer a new way to get our books in 2018. We know a lot of you like a little of everything we collectively produce. That’s why we’ve launched a new group Patreon.

This idea has been in the works for several months. We considered looking for alternative options when the guys over at Patreon muffed things up. Then they apologized and reversed the decision. With that, we decided we could take the plunge.

Backers at the $5+ levels will get eARCs of every book we publish as long before publication as possible. With everyone’s current plans, you can expect to get a minimum of 6 ebooks per year. In 2018, you’ll get at least 7, maybe as many as 10, depending upon how everything shakes out for us.

If you’re not interested in our Patreon, but you still want to know when we release books, we’re working on setting up our newsletter so it goes out more often than…almost never. Sign up for that

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The Holiday Sprint #amwriting

As the year winds to a close, Clockwork Dragon is busy. We have several shows still to go. NaNoWriMo begins next week. The holiday season portends madness. New books need writing. And editing. And revising. And covers, and and and.

Here’s our show schedule through the end of the year:

Steamposium, Seattle
Jet City Comic Show, Tacoma
EuCon, Eugene OR
Orycon, Portland OR
Oddmall, Everett
Geek the Halls, Portland OR

If you attend any of these events–and we think you should, because they’re awesome–stop by and say hi.

We’re also excited about the new Writerpunk title, coming in early April. In Hideous Progeny: Horror Goes Punk, classics of horror get the Writerpunk treatment. Both Jeff and Lee contributed to this volume, and we can’t wait to see it in the paper flesh.

We expect to release at least half a dozen new titles in 2018, and have an awesome upcoming project we hope to debut in January. Thanks for all your support and we hope to see you soon!

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New Release: Unchosen

What happens when the Chosen One dies in Chapter 1?

Jeffrey Cook and Katherine Perkins have released a new YA Fantasy, Unchosen, available on Amazon in both e-book and paperback formats.  

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Cover Reveal: Unchosen

22343736_10108141791132335_2019285144_oUnchosen, by Jeffrey Cook and Katherine Perkins, will be officially released on Amazon on October 13, 2017.

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New Release: What We’ve Unlearned #book #ebooks

Clockwork Dragon is pleased and proud to support Writerpunk Press as they release their fourth anthology of ‘punked classic works today (May 23, 2017). You’ve seen Sound & Fury, Once More Unto the Breach, and Merely This and Nothing More. The newest addition is What We’ve Unlearned: English Class Goes Punk.

As with the previous three anthologies, all profits go to the PAWS animal rescue in Lynnwood, WA. The book includes stories from Jeffrey and Lee. We’ll have it with us at Miscon this weekend!

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