This past weekend I attended Indie Book Fest 2015! It was an amazing experience!
It was hosted by Tawdra Kandle and Mandie Stevens at the Caribe Royal hotel located near Disney and International Drive.
Sadly, I bought my tickets too late and was only able to get general admission and not the blogger ticket.
Day One: Friday
Friday was the first day of the convention. Panels started at 9am, but I was working until 12pm (I ended up getting off later since someone forgot to get their shift covered and we scrambled to find someone) and had to pick up my new phone at 3pm. My phone pick up should have taken less than 30 minutes but the phone guy I was supposed to talk to was held up by a distraught customer who could not get a phone. My phrase for the day ended up being “shit happens.”
If I had gotten my phone on time, I would have made it to fan-fare. Sadly, my friend and I got there 30 minutes before they were cleaning up and only got to talk to two authors. That’s okay right? Shit happens and you go along with it.
We got to register ourselves in thanks to the lovely Tawdra Kandle (one of the hosts of the event). We had asked a few people earlier if we could register but no one knew if we could. Thankfully I spotted Tawdra when she was pulling for the raffle tickets prize. She quickly gave us our packets and hooked us up with a wonderful swag bag.
With the gap to go grab dinner before the Gothic Romance Party, my friend and I drove to the closest Golden Corral to get our grub on (classy, right?). Once we were done we headed back to the convention center and got dressed/did our makeup in one of the bathrooms. To our surprised no one came in so I sprawled out all of my makeup on the counter.
The Gothic Romance Party was great. There were some “nibbles,” aka a good amount of yummy trail mix for the party goers and a cash bar for those who can drink. Author Melissa Lumis was dressed up in a gypsies costume and did tarot readings. I’ve never had one done before so that was a nice experience.
The music was kept family friendly with a lot of older songs. I’m not a great dancer, but I did dance the Cupid shuffle. It was fun watching everyone else dance. I’m pretty sure if I got up there and let loose peopl’s eyeballs would burn from the sight of terrible dance moves and rhythm.
Every table also had goodie bags for the party goers to take.
The “swag” I picked up on day one.
Day Two: Saturday
We were pretty tired from the day before so we ended up leaving out of our area late and got there at about 11:45. We ended up going to the 12pm panel for getting your story out there. As we waited for the next panel to start, we got awesome badges where you get to pick what type of fairytale character you want to be. I chose to be a werewolf queen. H.D. Smith was really awesome and gave me a short story called Onyx that is about werewolves because of this!
The panel was very insightful and it made me wish I had made it to the panels the day before. Dan Woods from DRAFT2DIGITAL was the speaker and made some great points about what to do with your stories and how to get more people in your audience. One point that he made that I appreciate so much is the point to put your stories through different sales channels. Recently, I’ve been looking at books by some indie authors and their only sales outlet is Amazon for e-books. I don’t have a kindle or e-reader. I use my I pad and get books off from there. People may have the same situation as me, so having the story in more places makes t available for more people.
After the panel, we had a gap to get our lunch. We found ourselves at Pollo Tropical. This is when I realized that I left my debit card (aka my only way to buy books) and my license at home. Great. I was so bent on purchasing Dark Awakened by H.D. Smith.
On the plus side, I did have $6 with me to use for food. At least I wasn’t hungry! I decided that we would drive back to my house to grab my debit and license after the book signing portion and get ready at my house for the “Fairytales and Happily Ever Afters”/Beach party then drive back to the event. It sucked not to be able to buy books, but I had no way of driving home and then driving back in time for the signing.
The book signing was so much fun! We were given a scavenger hunt to do where we had to go visit all the authors and get their square signed in order to be put in a drawing for an iPad mini. I think we mostly went to every author for all the “swag” rather than for the raffle, though.
I had an amazing time talking to all of the authors. We even spoke to the ones who weren’t on the sheet too. I was bummed out that I couldn’t get any signed paperbacks, but that totally changed when Ceci Giltenan gave me a free signed copy of her novella Highland Revenge. She said I could have it as long as I would read it and of course I took it!
When I hit up H.D. Smith’s table I told her what happened with my debit because earlier I told her I would purchase her book at the signing when I got my badge. She offered to give it to me for free but I said no. She still tried to give it to me, so I took it and I told her I would pay her back later. Bless her heart. She said she trusted me. (I did pay her back at the party if you were wondering.)
Again, because I didn’t have my debit I couldn’t buy anything but I did grab all the post cards, fliers, bookmarks, and business cards on every authors table so that I can remember to check out their books; whether it be e-book or paper back. They all worked really hard to write their books, so I think it would be right to get at least one from each (if my wallet allows it)
When we were finished doing our rounds through the tables of authors, we totes our full bags over to the front table to slip in our sheets for the raffle. We took a well needed seat outside to rest our near freezing toes. The AC was up high and probably nearing a polar freeze. A little girl came up to us at one point and said that they hid some books around the place and that we should go look for them…so we did. We walked maybe ten steps and found the copies.
We had our fill of fun talks with the authors and freebies so we headed over to my house to get ready. Next year, I’m definitely going to try to get a hotel room so that I don’t have to be driving back and forth!
The party that night was great too. I love how the authors, readers, and bloggers were hanging around together and having fun. This time there was food (deserts and pretzels), so we gorged our self on cookies and other desserts. I went as a last minute attempt at a mermaid and my friend went with more of a beachy style. They had some rad fortune cookies where some of them had hidden prizes. To my surprise, I won a signed paperback where I can choose between a book from H.D. Smith or Ceci Giltenan. I chose one of Ceci Giltenan’s books since I already had H.D. Smith’s books.
This is the stuff I picked up that day:
Day Three: Saturday
Sadly, I could not make it to any events on this day since I had work and copious assignments to do. Next year, I will definitely plan accordingly!
Here are the books I picked up during the weekend:
I hope I can get to these books soon!
I can’t wait for next years festivities. Maybe I’ll see some of yall there?
Until next time yall!