I went to Authors After Dark and all I got was this tattoo

This has been a busy month for me. Each weekend, I’ve been out of town. On August 6 I was in DC for the first annual OutWrite Book Fair. This weekend, August 20th, I’m in Maryland for the Chesapeake Pride Festival.

And last weekend I was at the Authors After Dark convention in Philadelphia. Along with meeting a veritable “Who’s Who” in gay erotic romance, I also got this kick-ass tattoo from Geoff of Voodoo Monkey Tattoo, a vendor at the con.

For the uninitiated, it’s an image of El-ahrairah from the cartoon movie adaptation of my favorite book ever, Watership Down. It’s located on the inside of my left ankle.

Overall, I’ve had a lot of fun attending these events. I’ve sold some books, given out a ton of promo, met great people, networked, and got more than a few ideas along the way … for promo, for table displays, even for stories. Mr. Voodoo himself helped me sort out the logistics for two upcoming tattoo stories I plan to write. There are some things you just can’t ask your usual tattoo artist, not if you plan on going back to him for more ink!

Doing these sort of events (cons in particular) can be quite costly, but in my opinion, they’re worth it in the long run. Granted, I keep down my out-of-pocket costs by only attending events I can reach without much overhead (those in Virginia and the surrounding states, for example). All costs can be written off as business expenses, for one, which can help offset your tax hit at the end of the year. Also, you get your name out there ~ even if you only sell a handful of books, people still pick up your bookmarks, pens, and freebies. And, if you’re like me, you get a few wicked story ideas to boot!