Cons, cons, cons, flyers, flyers, flyers, cons!

I changed my mind again and decided not to go to Westercon tomorrow--I'd like to start with the friggin' writing already, and I think this is going to be one of the less-well-attended cons for them. Not their fault: The weather here is really dreary and gray and extremely dark until July 4th rolls around, at which point it immediately becomes sunny and fabulous (seriously, it's like someone threw a switch). If you are running any kind of indoor activity, you're screwed, because everyone is far too desperate for light exposure to go inside.

In other words, I wasn't seeing much of anyone there today who wasn't there Thursday and Friday. I understand, however, that the outdoor Seattle International Beerfest (yes, that's a real thing) was jampacked!

Not shockingly, quite a number of flyers were taken Thursday...and that's pretty much when the flyer-taking came to an end. I left what should be enough for tomorrow and stopped by the Seattle Central Library on the way home--the nice librarian couldn't figure out if they'll actually put them out on their flyer table, but it never hurts to ask. In case they don't, I kept some, which I will try to get into some of the geekier coffeehouses before the coupon expires.

So, yeah, 250 flyers were too many for what I'm guessing was a 400-500 person con. Hopefully the people who took them were the taste-making type--like I said earlier, I certainly met a lot of very knowledgable and entertaining people.

(In fact, today I went to the panel with Greg Bear, who obviously has been thinking about e-books for a very long time. He said that a lot of the NYC publishing people he knows are now working for Amazon..... And now I'm looking at the program for tomorrow, and there's going to be some really interesting-sounding panels with David Brin...oy, now I'm torn.)

I think you have to find that aspect of it worthwhile, because even if you're local, cons are surprisingly pricey--this one's by the airport, which means I have to drive, and down there it's $10 just to park your car!

Anyway, the flyer business made me that much more determined to switch to black & white. Not only is it significantly cheaper, but if it turns out that I don't have enough, I can just run down to Kinko's and make more. If I have too many, I can use them as notepaper or print on the backside, because they're not coated paper. Also, I ordered the flyers through VistaPrint, and the colors on my computer screen weren't quite the same as the colors of the finished product (this has also been an issue with covers)--they don't pop as much, which was disappointing.

OMG!!! OK, something just happened...

...earlier today I went poking around for places to leave the excess flyers, and I came upon the Web page of GeekGirlCon, which I'd heard about, but seriously, there are SO many cons around here that there is just no way to keep track of them all.

Anyway, they say on their Web site that they're looking for swag in the swag bags. So I e-mailed them and said, A coupon for a free e-book would be swag, yah? And they just e-mailed me back right now and said, We think so!

So, awesome, it looks like I'll be generating flyers for...deep breath...4,500 swag bags. (!!!) OK. Black and white, definitely, and half-page flyers--I was checking this out on the Staples Web site earlier, and I can get this done for not much more than it cost me to do 250 four-color full-page ones. I'll also have to simplify the design and text so it works with the smaller page size, and noodle with the description to make Shanti more prominent. (What is she if not the ultimate Sporty Geek Girl?) This will work....

...back to the normal ruminations--the other thing I'm curious about is whether doing a table is worth it, or if it's really no better than putting flyers out on the flyer rack. I guess Foolscap will help me with that math. And maybe I'm looking for silver linings here, but the fact that not a lot of locals came to Westercon means that that population is largely untapped for me--I was a little worried that pretty much the same people come to all the cons.