Showing posts with label Conventions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Conventions. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Still Kicking




If you look at the date of my previous blog post, you can see that I am not a blogger to emulate in your own blogging practice. I have things brewing, though, so I have hope that I may have a few things published now and again.

So! I am glad to announce that I am doing social media work and editing (among other things) for Bramptonist, a fantastic local news site. I have regular, continuing work with Hex Publishers and Not So Super Comics. I have many other individual clients as well, such as Maria Alexander (who just won a second Stoker award!) and Hank Early, with a debut Southern crime novel coming out in November.

Also, I will be at Ad Astra in Toronto this coming weekend, and Confluence in Pittsburgh in August, and then Bouchercon here in Toronto in October. I may get to another convention at some point during the year, but that's the current plan taking everything into consideration like budget and time.

Anyway, this is just a little taste, there's always lots going on here. Thanks for staying in touch, as always.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Ad Astra Schedule and Other Updates

Since it's been a while, here are a few updates!

I spoke last week at the Waterloo-Wellington branch of the Canadian Authors Association (CAA). We talked about handling your own blog tour from planning to execution, and we talked briefly about social media skills. It was my first official non-convention speaking engagement, so it was pretty exciting.

There were about ten people, so it was small, but everyone had excellent questions and it was a pleasure to know that I was helping some people get promotion activities off on the right foot.

The week before, I was on Daytime with Susan Cook-Scheerer on the local Rogers station in Kitchener to promote the event along with author, client, and president of the CAA branch Vanessa Ricci-Thode. Unfortunately I don't have any video of the appearance; however, I have a lovely snapshot thanks to Daytime's social media. No, Vanessa and I were not aware we would blend in with the furniture. ;)

In other news, I have been working with a gorgeous and well-written publication called Dirge Magazine. It's all about dark culture, dark entertainment, and powerful real-life stuff, too. Indeed, I had an essay published with them yesterday about a deeply troubling experience finding out a friend of mine was actually a predator: "The Unsettling Case of Andrew Barber".

I still work with authors and publishers of course, but I am expanding my services into working with small local businesses, too, and one of them is culinary nutritionist Andria Barrett. She does classes, one-on-one work, and personal training, and she's a friendly dynamo of a woman. If you want help with diabetes education or fibroids, she's the one to call. OK. I am a little biased.

Finally, I will be at Ad Astra, as I have been every year since 2009. I have a very busy schedule this year! If you want to chat I will likely be around at parties in the evenings, but you may also find me in the bar meeting with clients. Feel free to say hello any time and we'll see if we can make some time to visit. Below please find my panel schedule, but I'll also make stops at the Can*Con sweets party, the Bundoran launch, the EDGE SF&F launch, the late-night slash readings, and lots more.

No programming Friday

Sat 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM : Remembering Leonard Nimoy
Sat 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM : High Quality Self-Publishing
Sat 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM : Hannibal: Horror and Monsterous Beauty

Sun 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM : Publicity Campaign Workshop
Sun 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM : Protecting your Intellectual Property in the Age of the Repost

That's all the news fit to print for now. I hope to see you this weekend at Ad Astra if you're local. Keep an eye out for more updates in the near future!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

My Can-Con Schedule: Ottawa Awaits!

A rare day of two blog posts. Here's the first one for your reading pleasure. -- Beverly

This weekend I am attending Can-Con, a science fiction and fantasy convention (with a little horror and comics thrown in for good measure,) in Ottawa. As an immigrant to Canada I am especially excited that the hotel is only a few blocks from Parliament Hill. I plan to walk down and hope to get a few people to join me. It's likely to be a slow, easy walk since my lungs are still in the throes of a lingering chest cold. Breathing. It's hard sometimes. :\

But I digress. My schedule for this convention is quite simple.

Friday

Whatever I feel like doing.

Saturday

Whatever I feel like doing.

Sunday

Noon, in Room 2: What does a publicist do and what can a publicist do for you? This one is me and one of my clients, the delightful Marie Bilodeau, author of the Destiny series and much more.

1 pm to 3 pm, in Room 5: Private consultations with yours truly. It is for online image and social media critique and advice. This means you get free coaching and see what kinds of services I can offer aside from traditional publicity. These are very limited, so sign up at registration early!


Important Convention Links

Panelists. I like this one because I am on top. Yay alphabetical order!

Special Events. I like the look of some of these, especially the horror film screenings!

Pocket Program. Always a useful item.


Hope to see you there this weekend. Please don't hesitate to say hello if you know me from online! Have any questions in the meantime? Email me here. Also, one more plug for my mailing list! You pretty much only get notices when I post a blog post, so it's a quiet list. You can sign up for that right here. And you totally should!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

DetCon1 - The Aftermath

It was a great convention, with good quality panels and panelists, and lots of fun at parties at night (and in some cases, great beer!). The volunteers and ConCom were fantastic as well. I was well fed by the con suite, all told. Plus the hotel was futuristic-looking and pleasant... the spaces felt good. There were food and drinks for all budgets available; however, it being mainly an office building things weren't open as widely on the weekend. Still, that is a minor complaint.

I also gave away every last business card that I had, so it's time to order more. Hopefully I'll hear from some of these people, whether they want to hire me or not. I still love making new friends and networking.

NetRoots Nation 2014 was also in the building, and I was delighted to share a space with such a cool group. We weren't there on Thursday, but Joe Biden spoke on Thursday, and Elizabeth Warren spoke on Friday. Wooo. :)

I also got a couple of blog post topic requests, so there will be more Book Marketing without B.S. columns coming--finally! Indeed, if you have any suggestions, please ask in the comments or email me, and I'll add it to my list.

So for now, I am working on publicity and social media for clients, and enjoying getting a bit more sleep. It was a good convention. I look forward to the next one, which is likely Can*Con in Ottawa.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My DetCon Schedule

Hi, all! I will be at NASFic DetCon 1 this weekend from Friday, July 18th through Sunday, July 20th. I have a couple of panels I am moderating as well as a kaffeeklatsch (kaffeeklatsch=consulting time for free if you play your cards right! ;))


North American Science Fiction Convention (DetCon) Schedule

Econ 101 of Self-Publishing, Nicolet A, Saturday 11 a.m.

I am the moderator, and I will be there with JF GarrardBlake HausladenPatty TempletonChristie Meierz, and Becca Price.

The media is filled with news about self-publishing, but to do it properly, there is a price to pay! This panel will touch on a series of topics and give an estimate of how much things can cost: 1) The difference between traditional and self-publishing, 2) Why an editor is important, 3) How to commission artwork, 4) What copyright is, 5) Marketing Ideas, and 6) The difference in creating e-books versus print books

Kaffeeklatsch, KaffeeKlatsch2, Saturday 1 p.m.

This one's all me! Be sure to sign up for this one when you get to the con registration desk, as space is limited. You'll be able to talk about your project's marketing and publicity with me directly, and you'll be able to hear about some of my own experiences, too. It will be fun!

Creators and Brand Identity, Mackinac West, Sunday 12:00 noon

I am also moderating this one, and I will be joined by John ScalziSean MeadMartin L. Shoemaker

Neil Gaiman. John Scalzi. Would they be mid-list authors in a world without the Internet? Can you be famous in 2014 only by writing or making art? How does a creator build a brand?


I hope to see you there. Please don't hesitate to stop me if you see me and say hello. I will be happy to chat. I'll also have information about AutoCrit, which is a company for which I do social media, so ask me about editing help, too!


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Amazing Stories Response to the Travelling to Cons on the Cheap Guest Post

A while back, Effie Seiberg was kind enough to author a guest post for me, The Cheapskate's Guide to SF/F cons: A Guest Post. It's been among the more popular posts on my blog with its useful info that balances being a fan and attending cons for fun, and the all-important business-savvy advice.

Today Steve Davidson, the head honcho over at Amazing Stories, wrote about his experiences at conventions on the cheap from when he was younger and contrasted that with the modern experience. He was kind enough to mention my thought that it could be different for women to do things like crash in rooms or (gasp!) hitchhike. I really appreciated this response and the contrast with how things were before I'd ever even heard of cons. So thanks, Steve!

Anyhow: I encourage you to go take a look at his post. Thanks, as always, for reading.

Friday, April 4, 2014

My Ad Astra 2014 Schedule

I only have a few panels this year at Ad Astra (which is in a new hotel this year--the former Polaris hotel), though I have many that I'd like to attend, and several launches and readings that are of interest. Clients Bundoran Press and the EDGE gang (Suzanne Church and Michael Martineck) are both having launch parties at the same time, so that allows for some sitcom-like fun of back-and-forth to parties! (Well. Maybe a bit.) I'll also be going to the Guest of Honour Brunch, and hopefully will sit with Patricia Briggs.

It's funny--I'd told someone recently that my Canadian business wasn't that robust, but given the number of clients I'll see this weekend, I've realized it's healthier than I thought. That pleases me. :)

Anyhow, I am bringing coupons for my April 13th Self-Planning for Self-Promotion Web Workshop, so if you're around ask me for a flyer. If I am out of flyers, I'll still give you the code, because I am a very nice person. ^_^

With no further delay, here's my official schedule. If I don't see you here, I'll see you around, I am sure. Looking forward to it!

Friday, April 4th, 2014

7 p.m.
Self-Promotion on the Social Media Soapbox. Along with me are Ellie Di Julio, K. V. Johansen, and Linda Poitevin. It's in Markham A.

9 p.m.
Marketing Tips and Tricks for Self-Publishing. Along with me are Candice Lepage, Sarah WaterRaven, and Thomas Gofton. It's in Newmarket.

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

3 p.m
Eyes on the (Literary) Prize. Along with me is Mike Rimar. Not sure if someone else will be added. It's in Oakridges.

Bonus Fun: The Cheapskate's Guide to SF/F Conventions

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Self Publishing Comics Panel Report: A Guest Post by Ricky Lima

This past January there was a comics self-publishing event at PAMA (a local art gallery and historical archive). On the panel were Sanya Anwar (Site | Twitter), Ricky Lima (Facebook | Twitter), Jason Loo (Site | Twitter), and David Bishop (Facebook | Twitter).  I was unfortunately unable to make the event, so I asked Ricky to tell me about it in the form of the guest blog post you are about to read. I hope you enjoy it, and let me know if there are similar events in your city you might like to report on. 

Bishop, Loo, Anwar, Lima (L-R)
Photo credit: Stadium Comics


Peel Art Gallery, Museum, and Archive is hosting an exhibit dedicated to graphic story telling. The gallery has an awesome collection of original pages from True Patriot which is a comic anthology focused around Canadian stories and superheroes. To go along with the exhibit PAMA  organized a couple of panels and workshops about the comic industry. I was asked to run a panel on independent comic self publishing. I gathered a jolly crew of fellow self-publishers and we spoke to a crowd intent on independently creating comics. David Bishop, Jason Loo, Sanya Anwar, and I split the panel into four categories: inception, creation, production, and marketing.


Inception

In this first segment we discussed how a creator gets their ideas. It was interesting to note that creators can't create in a bubble: everything we talked about was inspired by something else. Sanya's book 1001 is inspired by the old story of Prince Ali Baba, and Jason's webcomic is an expansion on the Star Wars universe. All the panelists made it clear that it is important for a creator to consume everything they possibly can so they can learn as much as possible. As strictly a writer I've always been told that I should be reading 24/7. While I think that is true, I feel that it's a little misguided in that the scope is too narrow. As a creator you should be consuming 24/7. Not just reading, not just looking at art, but consume everything you enjoy, and sometimes things you don't in various. This way you'll be a well-rounded creator with a fresh perspective for any medium.

Creation

The next portion focused on techniques people use to get the work done. It all boiled down to, “Just do it!” The panel agreed that creators often get caught up in their own head and don't actually get anything done. World building is great and thinking up every single detail can be beneficial, but there reaches a point where thinking about it simply won't do. David explained to us how he had a very specific time for creating. He wakes up super early before work and makes comics for an hour or two. Everyone's process is different but the most important thing to remember is that if you're not doing it, it's not getting done.

Production


The most technical portion of the panel was when we talked about production. When getting things printed it's very important to understand what technical terms like “bleed” and “CMYK” are before you begin (FYI: Bleed is the area around a page that will be cut off, and CMYK is a method of blending colours. Computer screens use RGB and printers use CMYK, this creates a slight difference in colour from screen to paper). Different printing houses were discussed as well, major recommendations were given to Toronto's Guerrilla Printing and Houston's LithoNinja. Printing comics can get pretty expensive so it's important to find a printer that has prices that fit your budget.

Marketing

Finally we discussed how to market our books. In comics we're lucky because we have such a great support group of comic conventions that allow us to meet people interested in comics and picking up our books. Cons are the lifeblood of an indie creator and should be used to their full potential. At a con you can create a lifelong fan and repeat customers. From there, thanks in part to social media, you can connect with them and build the relationship. In the comic industry we're also lucky that a sizable portion of our audience are digital natives (i.e. people born during the internet age, so they are completely comfortable with digital reading). The internet is an extremely useful tool in connecting with fans all across the world and should be used effectively and consistently. Personally marketing is my personal favourite part of the comic game because it allows me to meet the people who are reading my book and ask them what they think. I love hearing what people think and seeing how they react to the book and if they have an feedback that's even better. Our book grows through feedback. 

The self publishing panel held at the lovely PAMA building was informative for all. The panelists and myself stayed after for a couple of hours to answer people's questions. I met a ton of cool people in Brampton who are longing to do amazing things. To me that's the most important part of any city: people with ideas. I like to think that the self publishing panel inspired some of those people to go out and get things done. I know seeing people so excited inspired me to continue doing cool things and getting my work done.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

SFContario 2013 Wrap-Up and Upcoming Webinar

My Sunday presentation at SFContario, Self-Planning for Self-Promotion, went well. The audience gave great feedback and seemed to get a lot out of the material. They also had several good questions and comments around topics such as users of the Create Space platform being able to get into book stores to do readings, the uses of video, and timing for back list versus upcoming releases. I'll be expanding the slide deck and adding more detail, and in the new year I plan to do a webinar for which I'll charge a small fee. I may even do an in-person class locally, but that will depend on several factors.

In any case, thanks again to everyone who came out, and thanks also to the people who expressed interest in my doing the course in the future. Your support is deeply appreciated.

I enjoyed my other panels, too, even the ones in which I may not have been a good fit. People had a lot of good things to say, and I had great company up at those front tables! I had fun being in the audience, too, such as when author GoH Seanan McGuire (a.k.a. Mira Grant) spoke passionately about epidemiology on the same zombie panel that also featured my husband, James Bambury, and one of my favourite local authors, David Nickle. I even got treated to a fantastic politics and science panel with the highly knowledgeable Hayden Trenholm, Derek K√ľnsken, Lorne Kates, and David Stephenson.

I had a good time at the convention, though there were some organization issues and it appeared to be a little more sparse on attendance than last time. Hopefully things will bounce back for next year.

Later this week are "Review Copies, Ebooks, and Pirating: Book Marketing without B.S. #5" and "Calls for Submission #2". Don't forget to sign up for email delivery of blog posts by filling out this easy form: http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=BeverlyBamburyPublicity. See you soon!









Thursday, November 28, 2013

My SFContario 4 Schedule, Including Free, Open to the Public Workshop

Book Marketing without B.S. is taking a week off for U.S. Thanksgiving. Check back next week for #5. In the meantime, I will be at SFContario 4 this weekend (as will my husband. As you can see below, I am not the only Bambury out there!). Saturday is a busy day of panels for me, and Sunday I am running a free, open to the public workshop that will help you create a marketing and publicity plan for your creative work.

Take a look, and if you see me, please say hello! I promise I don't bite. Talk a lot, maybe, but no biting.

Finally, don't forget to check out my recent guest post by Effie Seiberg, all about doing conventions on the cheap.

A Hard Hobbit to Break, Ballroom BC, Sat. 9:00 AM
James Bambury (M), Colleen Hillerup, Beverly Bambury
Three movies? Does Peter Jackson's approach work? Many fans were disappointed in the first film. Will they continue to watch? What was successful, and what failed, in Peter Jackson’s treatment? What are you looking forward to (and what do you fear) in part two, coming out next month? Come out for a lively discussion of all things Hobbit.

SFContario Idol, Courtyard, Sat. 5:00 PM
Debra Yeung, Sandra Kasturi, Hayden Trenholm, Beverly Bambury
Attendees bring in the first page of their manuscript. A presenter from SFContario will read out the manuscript (anonymously) until a majority of our panel of judges ‘buzz’ the story to a stop. Discussion ensues on why they stopped it, what didn’t work, and what did work. A great exercise in story openings that will provide immediate valuable feedback to the writers.

New Philosophies for Science Fiction, Solarium, Sat. 8:00 PM
Karl Schroeder (M), Tamara Vardomskaya, Beverly Bambury
Looking at the values of the past, it is unrealistic to think that people in the future would think the same way we do and hold our values, yet looking at old SF it's exactly what you do see. How do we get beyond that and come up with new ways for people to think about their new worlds?

Don't Blink, Solarium, Sat. 9:00 PM
James Bambury (M), Debra Yeung, Colleen Hillerup, Beverly Bambury
Do Daleks keep you up at night, checking under the bed? Do the Weeping Angels haunt your dreams? Or are you more likely to cower from The Silence or Cybermen? Are you my mummy? Our panelists discuss which of the Doctor’s monsters or arch-enemies scare them the most.

WORKSHOP- Self-Planning for Self-Promotion, Solarium, Sun. 1:00 PM (90 minutes)
Beverly Bambury
Are you a published author being left adrift by your publisher? Are you a self-published author with only yourself to rely on? A plan will help you decide timelines and create an automatic list of things to do and when to do them. In this interactive lecture you will learn how to create a plan for promoting your book, and learn some research tips and tricks to help you along the way. By the end of the program participants will have initial concepts for their marketing plans as well as an outline of what to do next.This workshop is open to the public!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Cheapskate’s Guide to SF/F cons: A Guest Post

Today's guest post by Effie Seiberg goes through some handy tips on travelling to conventions on a tight budget. It would be easy to extrapolate some of these tips into general travel on a budget, too. Part of why I put out a call for this topic is that beginning in January I'll be full-time freelance, and paradoxically, this means I'll need to go to more conventions in a professional capacity. But. You know. With less income. So thanks again to Effie for all of her tips, and I'll be seeing you around at as many conventions as I can manage in 2014.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer, so in January I did the exact thing people tell you not to do: I quit the “real world” for a year to write. Writing full time is fantastic, but with no income coming in (and a professional need to go to cons) I had to be very strategic about which I went to, and how. The fear of starving and dying is a great one to promote some frugality, but I still managed to go to FogCon, BayCon, Westercon, WorldCon, and ConVolution. So, here are some tips on keeping the costs way down but still getting your con on. 1) Prioritize.
There are a million awesome cons, and you’ll need to balance how awesome they are with their costs. The most expensive parts are usually the plane tickets and the hotels, so if there are any close to you where one or both of those don’t apply, start there! I’m lucky enough to live nearish to where several local cons were held. I also added WorldCon as my one expensive con, just because it’s so big, has amazing people there, and has the Hugo awards.

2) Keep down the travel costs.
I live in San Francisco, where I’m lucky enough to have several local cons around me. FogCon was in Walnut Creek (an hour away), BayCon in San Jose (an hour away with no traffic, three years away with traffic), WesterCon in Sacramento (90 minutes away with no traffic, until the end of time with traffic), and ConVolution in Burlingame (20 minutes away).
Driving: If you can drive or take public transit to your con, it’s probably going to be cheaper than flying. Cons frequently have parking validation for whichever hotel they’re in. At ConVolution, a daily $33 parking pass turned into a daily $10 parking pass. Carpooling with other local buddies is good to split gas and parking costs.
Flying: Airfare: If you must fly, set up a fare alert for your route in advance on a site like airfarewatchdog.com, and wait a bit. It’ll tell you how the price of those tickets might be changing day by day, so you have an idea of what the cheapest flights really are. You can also use a site like hipmunk.com to find cheap seats, but bear in mind that they don’t include some of the smaller, discount airlines like JetBlue or Southwest, so you’ll need to look those up separately.
Flying: Everything else: Airports are great ways to squeeze you of your hard-earned dimes. Bring a solid snack to help avoid the temptation of the tiny $7 bag of M&Ms, and pack everything into a carry-on to avoid baggage fees. You can do a whole week’s worth of stuff in a single carry-on, and I say this as a gal who likes her hair products. It takes a bit of tetris-ing, but it can be done.   
3) Keep down the lodging costs.
This is the second large cost of any con, and is often the biggest. If you’re relatively close by, drive back and forth and avoid it altogether. Yes, it’s a pain to drive 90 minutes home when you’ve already gone to several parties, but you’ve just saved $170 by doing so. If you must use a hotel room, you have several options.
Find it cheap: the con will have a discounted rate at the preferred hotel. That’s great, but there may be even better deals nearby. For WorldCon, the con hotel was about 30% more expensive than the hotel I found, and my hotel was closer to the conference center where everything was held. Look on sites like hipmunk.com and expedia.com to see what’s around. You can also try airbnb.com for cheap rooms, but they’ll usually be a bit farther away from where the action is.
Split the costs: roomies are great! If you have a friend from a writing group, a fan board, a costuming club, or whatever, share a room to split the cost. As a bonus, you’ll have someone to talk to late at night.
Crashing in a room: your mileage may vary on this one. As a female I’m disinclined to do this unless I know the people very very well. But that said, if you do know people who have a room and don’t mind you crashing there, you can usually get a cot from the main desk (at Westercon it was $15/night) which you can roll into the room. If there isn’t room for one, you can DIY it by asking for a lot of extra pillows and blankets, and build up your own little nest in a corner. You’ll get weird looks at about the 5th extra pillow, but it’s worth it. Lay a line of pillows down to make a makeshift mattress, then a blanket on them to roughly keep them together, and then you plus a blanket and another pillow go on top of that.
3) Frugal food.
At a con, you’re running from place to place with barely any time to get anywhere, so scouting out a cheap place to eat isn’t always an option. Hotels know this, and charge exorbitant amounts for what is often really bad food (thanks, $6 coffee swill that’s been sitting in the bottom of the coffeemaker all night).
Bring your own: Yeah, I’m the person with granola bars and fruit in my bag. They don’t take up a lot of room, and you can quell your munchies quickly. If you’ve driven, you have a whole trunkful of space to put food to bring with. Nuts and granola bars have protein to keep you sated, fruits and veggies have fiber to fill you up, and most of them don’t need refrigeration. (Protip: do not leave your fruits in a very hot car all day. Apples might survive, but softer fruits like cherries will ferment and stink. I tell you this from experience.) Bring some cookies and such to share, too!
The con suite: The Secret Masters of Fandom at one point decided that cons should give out food, and hooray for them. Con suites usually have light snacks like fruits and veggies and cheeses and chips, plus coffee. They ask that you don’t just use the suite for your three squares a day, but you can wander in and grab what you need. Especially free coffee. Did I mention the coffee?
But everyone’s going to a restaurant: Yeah, sometimes this is what’s going to need to happen. If your favorite author invites you to join and you get starry-eyed at the mere mention of their name, you’re going. You can either go nuts and suck up the cost, or you can fill up on other food prior (your own, the con suite) and just order something light. You’ll still get to go, and a single appetizer won’t set you nearly as far back.
Drinks: This may be the hardest one on the list. You can of course bring your own, but then you’re that sad person drinking alone in their room. Most parties will just give you alcohol, so start with those and get your drink on. If you’re going to barcon (you know, where people have their own little con at the bar), you can always order a ginger ale instead, which is far cheaper. Especially since you still have your buzz from the parties.
4) The Dealer’s Room, the Art Show
Oh dear god, the dealer’s room. Where merchants specifically attuned to your needs and interests bring out their wares and spread them in front of you appealingly. And then the art show, where you find everything your walls have been missing. A few good ways to keep to your budget:
The "Little Luggage" Technique: Only buy what you can fit in your existing, tiny luggage. And you’re already squashing a fair amount of stuff into just a carry-on.
The "Cash Only" Technique: Set a budget in advance, and put it in cash in your wallet. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. No plastic.
The "Gifts Only" Technique: If you can justify it as a gift for someone, great. Nothing for you though. Those are too easy to justify. The enormous broadsword is awesome, but would your brother really appreciate it enough for you to spend the cash? Nah, he’s not that cultured.
5) Happy Tech
I don’t know about you, but I need my devices happy and healthy for a good con experience. I take my laptop for taking notes, my phone for following what’s going on on Twitter, and a veritable rat’s nest of cables.

Connectivity: The rule is that the nicer the hotel, the more they’ll charge for wifi. Different hotels will give you differing amounts of connectivity, but most will have free wifi in the lobby. Hang out there when you can, when you need your internet time. If you have an unlocked phone, or a plan with tethering, you can make internet happen through your phone instead (this is what I tend to use). Do be aware that if you’re going through your phone, you may need to pay attention to how much data you’re using. You don’t want to hit your limit and get throttled. And finally, you can avoid all of this if you go phone-only for everything and not even bother with a laptop or tablet. Unless you’re in a black hole or the bowels of the San Antonio Conference Center, a few bars will do the trick.
Power: Not exactly a frugal trick, but keeping your devices charged keeps them usable, which sometimes tells you when someone has an extra case of beer/cupcakes/whatever that they need help getting rid of. Bring a power strip, and you’ll be everyone’s new best friend.

So there you go. You can get pretty cheap with cons and still get to go to a bunch while avoiding the whole “starving and dying” thing. Have fun!

Effie Seiberg lives in San Francisco near a sculpture of a pirate bunny with a skull in its mouth. She's a graduate of the 2013 Taos Toolbox writing workshop and is shopping around her first novel, a comic fantasy which is a snarky romp through chaos theory, with an ostrich. In a previous life, she worked in Silicon Valley tech. In a previous previous life, she was a lab rat with machinations to take over the world. Things change.
You can follow Effie on twitter at twitter.com/effies or on G+ at google.com/+EffieSeiberg, or just check out effieseiberg.com if you don’t feel like committing to continued interaction.