• Member Since 11th Jul, 2011
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Aquaman


The campiest of happers.

More Blog Posts145

Aug
10th
2019

The BronyCon/Golden Oaks/Horse Fanfic Bookstore: Y'all Did Something Amazing · 10:03pm Aug 10th, 2019

About a year ago, I posted a blog saying we as a fanfic community should do something special for the final BronyCon in 2019. That something special being, of course, a half-baked plan to print a bunch of our fanfics in book form, apply for a booth in the con vendor hall, and sell said books to any interested parties who happened to sidle by. It was, as I admitted at the time, a crazy idea. It was a mess to organize and get rolling. To my knowledge, it had never been done before in this way by our fandom or any other, and by all accounts it wouldn't have been a shock if it ultimately blew up in all our faces.

It went better than I--and I think all of us--ever could've imagined.

Part 1: By the Books (Which Are Full of Numbers)

I could wax incessantly poetic about how the line on our first day in the vendor hall literally filled an entire vendor hall aisle and necessitated con security helping us segment it into groups of eight to ten shoppers at a time, how books flew off the proverbial shelves a great deal faster than we could restock them, the rave reviews and feedback I received from shoppers and writers alike... but in this case, I think numbers might actually be worth more than words. So here's our Bookstore in a few key stats:

  • Over the course of four days and 26 hours open for business, we made $30,230 in gross profits
  • Of those total profits, over half of it (~$15,500) came from the first day of sales
  • On that first day, we sold out completely of 17 of the 59 different books we had available in the store; by the end of Day 2, we had more titles sold out than titles remaining to be sold
  • All told, we sold over 1,400 individual books and preorders across 540 separate transactions
  • The largest single purchase made at one time (including Square fees) was $968.47

So yeah. All in all, we did okay.

Part 2: But Other Than That, Mrs. Lincoln, How Was the Play?

I guess this is obvious to everyone who was there with me, but I spent most of my final BronyCon experience in the vendor hall surrounded by ever-shrinking stacks of books and an ever-growing stack of cash, which on the bright side meant I ended up saving a bit of money comparatively since I didn't really get a chance to go see any of the rest of the merch hall for once. But honestly, aside from missing out on Quills & Sofas shenanigans, I really did have a great time. After getting an undergrad degree in marketing and working in the field for three years, this Bookstore was the most--perhaps only--fun time I've ever had doing work in that sphere, and doing that work surrounded by folks who couldn't hide how excited they were to see their book for sale on a shelf--as well as to see a bookstore like this existing at all--just made it even better.

As for my own personal experience running the Bookstore, well... those of you who I saw at the con, you remember how when you asked me how the Bookstore was going, I just laughed and said I'd already blacked out hours ago so I was sure it was going great? Yeah, that... wasn't really a joke. The whole weekend really was--and still is--kind of a blur, but a few highlights stuck out here and there.

Wednesday

As it turns out, renting a cargo van from Enterprise is rather straightforward and not that unpleasant of an experience. Driving a cargo van, however, is rather tricky and, as I quickly found out, not really that similar to the passenger van I drove in college a few times. It's also somewhat challenging to load about 20 boxes of books into said van when you didn't reserve the loading dock, cargo elevator, or hand truck at your apartment building, because a) you were previously told by a front desk person you wouldn't need to, b) you weren't told until later by other front desk people that the first person didn't know what they were talking about, and c) you for some reason assumed no one else would be using any of those things on the last day of the month in an apartment complex. At least I got a really good workout in, and all the doorpeople felt really bad for me in that kind, Southern-adjacent, "Bless your heart, you naive idiot" kind of way.

Fortunately, it was only about a 40-minute drive up I-95 to Baltimore, not counting a brief stop at a Staples in Laurel, Maryland (my Yelp review: "A rustically charming armpit of a town") to grab plastic retail shopping bags and a $30 card table, both of which turned out to be incredibly prescient purchases. After I got my badge and loading dock pass1, I proceeded to said loading dock and waited patiently for about 15 minutes for someone to come help me unload, at which point I realized I was supposed to have gone up to a relatively unmarked table and told the union guys I was actually there about 15 minutes ago. The point is, the stuff got unloaded. Eventually.

The pre-con vendor hall was--for once that day--pretty much what I expected: humid, chaotic, and in my booth's case filled with a couple dozen as-yet unpacked boxes, as well as a crowd of early-arriving authors ready to add their own stock. I got our shelving and display copies set up because I ran to get a Subway sandwich and realized 100% of my body's surface area was covered in dried sweat and I couldn't really do much with my arms anymore, so GaPJaxie2 graciously took the lead in unpacking and organizing the rest of our initial stock before load-in time ended at 10 PM. He also did most of the grunt work inputting our inventory into Square (based on an immensely helpful spreadsheet constructed by KorenCZ11), an act for which I arguably owe him at least a second-born child, minimum.


A simpler, more innocent time


What sweet summer children we still were...

And with that, we were pretty much ready to go. I miraculously found a place to park an eight-foot-high cargo van outside in downtown Baltimore, got a shower, and even got a bed to sleep in by the further grace of a higher power (by which I mean the con chair (thanks Shir, love you)). But before the booth could open...

Thursday

... I had to return the cargo van! A process which involved, in chronological order:

  1. Driving southbound on I-95 and the Beltway at 9 AM on a weekday morning
  2. Successfully parking the van behind Enterprise in only three attempts
  3. Burning through precious phone battery downloading an electric scooter app and taking twenty minutes to realize it wasn't going to accept my new debit card since my old one had expired approximately ten hours earlier
  4. Giving up and Ubering back to my apartment four blocks away to pick up a last couple things
  5. Finding out MARC trains only run from DC to Baltimore once every two hours, and if I took the Metro I'd almost certainly miss my only option for one to get me back before the vendor hall opened
  6. Getting another Uber to Union Station and dropping another $20 on an Amtrak ticket with a more manageable departure time
  7. Chugging a Diet Coke in the massive line to board and scarfing a Chipotle bowl while crammed onto a sold-out train
  8. Finally getting a scooter app to work and riding one of the damn things for the first time to go a mile and a half (downhill) to the convention center with a backpack full of eminently breakable things3
  9. Arriving at the vendor hall with an hour to spare before it opened to con sponsors and special folks

So sure, a bit of a stressful morning, but I was there! And everything was under control too: the booth was set up, the back-end was organized, I had my notebook ready to track sales manually as a backup, and a few early test sales to other authors were smooth as can be. This was gonna be great. When the hall opened to regular badgeholders at 2:30 PM, we were totally ready to rock this pla-

This is about a 20% exaggeration of what actually happened.

From this point on in the day, my memory gets legitimately fuzzy. I know Wanderer D was an absolute hero who stayed long past his initial one-hour volunteer shift to help manage the book-hungry horde on Day 1, while Captain Chryssalid (I think) helped manage and entertain the line. I know that throughout the weekend Wanderer, Jaxie, Sharp Spark, and Tangerine Blast were the MVPs among over a dozen other authors who volunteered to help distribute books to customers and in various other ways keep me and the booth afloat throughout that first day and the entire weekend following. And I know that at one point I had the con co-chair complaining to me that I was hogging all her community guests, as horizon, Monochromatic, and Skywriter were all still helping at the booth less than an hour before opening ceremonies (thanks Eliana, love you too).


Something... happened here. A battle--great yet terrible...

When the dust settled at the hall's 8 PM closing time, we'd done over $15,000 of business, and I was running on the last vestiges of battery that my phone, tablet, and physical meat form had to offer. With naught but my lone burrito bowl in me as far as food went, I stumbled to Pratt Street Ale House for a drink and then returned back to my hotel for a take-away Nando's wrap and a mad scramble to answer a suddenly all-consuming question: "Oh my god, we actually sold out of half our stuff the first day, how the hell am I gonna do preorders?

Friday

The answer to that question, thankfully, was "take down email addresses and update Square a bit," and so we entered Friday with much less stock to offer but plenty of continued attention from con attendees. We didn't do much business in the morning before I had to run off for my panel and talk about original characters for an hour, but RBDash47 was kind enough to assuage my paranoia and watch the booth while I was gone, so everyone got to see me bright-eyed and bushy-haired rambling about Kurt Vonnegut and resisting the urge to unplug Jaxie and horizon's mics when they started talking about Applejack being a background pony.4


Seriously, friends letting me up on stage with that situation going on upstairs is why I have trust issues.

We definitely had a downturn in sales compared to Thursday, but since we were sold out of all of Pen Stroke's books, our $100 Fallout: Equestria prints, and various other tomes, I'd have been shocked if we didn't. Still, we cleared about $7,500 in sales, and after hours I got to grab dinner with my D&D buddies/generally cool dudes Jake the Army Guy and Captain Unstoppable, and then hang out with a bunch of folks in horizon(?)'s hotel room and play a Cards-Against-Humanity-esque game where our answers to prompts had to be quotes from the pony books we had in our hands, as well as receive a pony tarot card reading courtesy of the con community guest himself. I'm not completely sure I was supposed to go off on lengthy tangents interpreting each of my own cards myself, but knowing how I usually operate, it'd have been pretty unrealistic for fate to have its way without me getting any input. Between that and a not-at-all-questionable decision to stay up for the Sketches from a Hat panel (always a great time at pony cons, even at 1 AM), I definitely got my money's worth out of the day.

Saturday

More stockouts meant more emails to collect, as well as more preorders to take and boost my ego with. I don't know if it was because of genuine interest or because people wanted to thank me for running the Bookstore, but honestly I'm cool with any reason anyone bought my anthology. Between existing prints and preorders, I sold 41 copies of The Voices Are Telling Me To Hug You, and if anyone's still interested in getting one, I'll have a Google form/Lulu link/some such thing ready for that soon.

In any event, we got a restock of our various FO:E books early in the day, so we got to pass out a few more of those and boost sales accordingly. Despite that, we only had 24 of our original roster remaining for sale at day's end, only 17 of which had more than five copies remaining.


Pictured: our focus-tested, highly professional stockout-marking system of "everything to the left of Twilight is sold out"

Final take for Saturday was around $4,700, but I didn't have time to dwell on it because the annual (and final) Fic Writer's Dinner at Tir Na Nog was starting at 6:30 PM sharp. I managed to get there in time to hear TheJediMasterEd's yearly toast and birthday gift to Bad Horse, and as always, Tir Na Nog proved a delicious and indelibly patient place to host a gathering of assorted pony freaks. I'm definitely going to miss that place, and I can't help but feel like they might miss us a bit too.

Then... honestly, after that, I was boring and just finished showing a friend Chernobyl in my hotel room. I was kinda beat to shit, not gonna lie. Terrific show, though, even on second viewing.

Sunday

The last day in the merch hall was predictably the slowest in terms of sales, but they were still plentiful enough that I could only bear stepping away for a few minutes to poke my head into the EqD panel. I was supposed to go up on stage for a bit, but book sales wait for no man, not even one visibly disgusted by having to sit next to ABagOVicodin.


jk Vic ilu (but also never touch me again)

By the end of the day, we cleared about $3,800 in last-minute sales, enough to kick us over the $30,000 mark for the weekend and blow the last remaining brain cell left in my mind. I also managed to snag some books for myself, mainly by snapping up the display copies the moment I officially put them up for sale.5 Sometimes it pays to be the boss, is all I'll say there. Anyway, I managed to palm the wire shelves off on the Traveling Pony Museum and get everything else packed and cleaned up in time to catch the end of Closing Ceremonies (first and only time ever I've stuck around for that, actually), and then it was off to dinner at Nick's Crab Shack with a bunch of vendor peeps before hitting up Trick Question's Dead Dog party, where I regaled various people in a hallway with rugby stories from college and how Harmony was ultimately going to end.6 Also, there were speeches and stuff, but my thought on those--as well as an expanded version of the one I gave--is best saved for the section below.

Part 3: You Didn't Think I Wasn't Going to Wax Poetic At Some Point, Though, Right?

I mean, for real. It's totally on you if you didn't see this coming.

I've seen a lot of folks blogging about BronyCon this year, and it's not hard to figure out why: it is the last one, for good and ill, and for the vast majority of you I can tell it was a truly special and unforgettable experience. I'd like to hope I helped contribute to that experience with the Bookstore, but just as important--in fact, almost certainly more so--are the friendships and the community we've built around pony fanfic through not only cons, but this website and others as well. FIMFiction--and of course the stories and people on it with me--was a defining component of my teenage and young adult life, and I've been open about the Bookstore being intended as my thank-you gift to you all for helping me grow immensely as a writer and as a person over the last eight years.

That being said, I've found my views towards the end of BronyCon and the upcoming end of the show have differed not a little bit from what I've seen most other folks share here. I love this fandom and the people I've met through it, and I remain in unmitigated awe of the talent that this site has put on display. I simply would not be anything close to the writer I've become if I didn't have Cold in Gardez, GaPJaxie, horizon, Skywriter, and countless others pushing me to be better through the sheer force of their brilliance, and I consider it a blessing and a privilege that I was able to help present their work to over 11,000 people in the vendor hall at the final BronyCon. But when the show's last episode concludes and the theme song fades out... I'm not going to be upset or depressed, or even all that sad. In fact, I think it'll be a happy moment for me, and it should be for all of you too.

In the past, I've been, shall we say... opinionated about how fanfic has fit into my long-term goals as a writer. On multiple occasions, I've made some big statement about how it was time for me to "move on" and go write real grown-up stuff instead of just sticking to fanfic for my whole life. Now, a few years out of college and boasting a vastly healthier mental state and self-image, it's a bit hysterical to think of how high-strung I was about what I was supposed to do and how much I tortured myself over enjoying things that didn't fit that mold. But all that being said, right now I'm 25 years old going on 26 in a month and a half, with ten years of writing experience under my belt. I'm not old by any means, but if there were ever a moment to change tracks and actually chase a dream rather than wondering forever what would've happened if I had, now seems like a pretty damn good candidate. And the fact that this moment coincides with the end of BronyCon, and with the end of the show that introduced me to so many outstanding writers and brought me so much joy and growth... it just feels right. This, right now, feels like the most perfect possible time to make this jump--because I want to do it, and because I deserve to.

And the best part about making that jump is that I don't have to stop writing fanfic to do it, and in fact I really don't have any plans to. There are far too many untold stories about ponies and their problems out there for me to not want to stay a part of this community for a good while after FiM ends. But what I want to impress upon the people who are reading this now--what I wanted the Bookstore to accomplish, and what I truly hope it did--is that if I can do it, you can too. If I can go to Hollywood and try to go pro with the lessons I've learned writing ponyfic, then there are a few hundred other folks on this site at minimum who could certainly do the same.

People bought your work, y'all. People formed a line that nearly broke the vendor hall to pay real money for the words you skipped meals, stayed up late, sweated and cried and agonized over to make absolutely perfect. This wasn't an anomaly; this didn't just happen because it was the last BronyCon and everybody wanted to just get rid of hundreds of dollars before the police found their fingerprints on that busted bank vault. I may have gotten the Bookstore started and tossed some money towards the con so they'd let us participate, but it was all of you--writers, readers, and especially believers--who actually made it happen. This is all on you guys, and your talent, and your faith in yourselves and each other. I'm just the schmuck who desperately wanted you all to see that in a way the demon in every creative's mind can't possibly refuse to acknowledge.

You don't have to come to Hollywood with me. Hell, I don't even know for sure that I'm cut out for Hollywood. It's entirely possible that I sell all my stuff, ship my ass 3,000 miles across the country, and then slink back home to Virginia two years from now with naught but a GIF of Hannibal Buress going "Hahaha, this sucks, man" to show for it. But if that does happen and it all turns out the way my old self was sure it would, all that means is I'll have made a great new story I never would've known otherwise. And if there's one thing I know all of y'all are good at, it's creating great stories.

Write fanfic or original stuff. Sell books. Chase your bliss. But all of you have a story I know deep down you want to write, and you're the only one with the pen that can make it real. So get writing, and don't stop until you run out of pages. One way or another, I'll see you at the end.

And that's all I have to say about that.

1 Excerpt from a Telegram conversation at the time with a vendor friend:
Them: "Make sure you have your loading dock pass too, but I'm sure you already knew that."
Me: "Uh-huh. I can just grab that at check-in, right?"
[a tense, terrifying minute passes]
Them: "Yeah."
Me: "Great, because cards on the table, I absolutely didn't already know that."
2 I don't know why I'm linking to his page, he's got literally double my follower count. Professional courtesy/payment in exposure for life-preserving services rendered, I guess.
3 The scooters are great, by the way, if you can find one across four different apps that actually works. I only almost died once.
4 She is not a background pony and she does want things in life and act proactively and oh my god I am gonna write such a passive-aggressive fic about this someday
5 A fond and forlorn THHBBBBBT to anyone who wanted to grab those last remaining copies of The Education of Clover the Clever and The Purloined Pony. I assure you they're much happier with me anyway.
6 Oh yeah, by the way, I totally spoiled Harmony while you were off doing not-partying things, Jaxie. Guess you'll have to come to Everfree and get me drunk again for Round 2.

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Comments ( 47 )

You're a hero, man
It's probably been said by other people, but I'll say it again

YAY! IT was wonderful having this done. I was happy to help volunteer when I could as well as help the line. Wonderful meeting you. wish we could have talked more

Either it's me giggling in general or your face after receiving that hug is just great.

I can say the worst part of the bookstore was the line. Especially since I was like three whole feet from the store itself and then you guys just split it and because of whatever I go back to the back of the line.

Otherwise it was great.

Thank you for starting up the idea of the Bookstore, to everyone that helped make it a reality and to all of the writers that had their works there. It was amazing to even hear about the line on the first day, and great to get around to buying some things on the second.

Also, thanks again for the signature on the Nightmare Nights anthology. I wish I had brought it last year to have gotten more, and was more than a little shocked you had your own copy for me to sign. :rainbowlaugh:

RBDash47
Site Blogger

It was an absolute blast. Thank you again (again, again, again) for cooking it up in the first place and pouring so much of yourself into it.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: It all went horribly right. Thanks for getting the ball rolling and being there for the avalanche.

5103497 It was an amazing time. I never thought I'd ever put any ponywords on paper, and you and Aquaman made me do it. And again. And again. I have *four* books on paper now. Scares the heck out of me.

So were my chain of blog posts about my experiences putting together a hardcopy book useful?

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

damn, dude :D

damn

I wasn’t expecting to find anyone to talk about SEO marketing with at the Writer’s Dinner... :duck:

Thanks for all your hard work. This was fantastic — and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here!

I was so happy to drop by and see how well things were going. Hats off for getting the ball rolling!

You make it sound so fun!

Seriously though, thanks man. You did an awesome thing for the fandom.

  • The largest single purchase made at one time (including Square fees) was $968.47

Horse jesus. I wonder who that crazy idiot was.

:raritywink:

Wow, that con chair must have been whiny, let the CGs do what they want!!

Aqua, there will only ever have been one BronyCon Bookstore. Thank you for making it happen. Thank 5103497 for poking me until I participated. Thank 5103507 for the practical advice about how to put together a dang Lulu book.

I was there. But I almost wasn’t. So thank you! :heart:

You're awesome, man!

Thank you again for putting this all together!

You did Harmony's work, Aqua. We all thank you for it.

I only made it down to the vendor hall once on Saturday, and passed by the booth, but even then it was crowded. Seeing the line just to get into the hall, I don't know how it could have been worse in that tight of space. I'd probably would have had a panic attack if it were me. So good on ya for staying calm and collected, even though from the sounds of it you were running on fumes.

I don't plan on leaving this fandom just yet, either. Got stuff to take care of first and the stories people post here are still too good to just ignore. It's going to be a while before any of this starts to slow down and I'm okay with that.

Dude, the Bookstore was so sick. Thank you so much for getting it all together. It was truly a sight to behold.

6 Oh yeah, by the way, I totally spoiled Harmony while you were off doing not-partying things, Jaxie. Guess you'll have to come to Everfree and get me drunk again for Round 2.

i.imgur.com/aWxF5Bh.png

Even though I couldn't make it to the con, just hearing about the insane phenomenon the bookstore became has made my day!

Thank you for all the effort you put into making it happen!

It was amazing hearing all the news about bookstore throughout the con. People talking about who had sold out and who had dug up an extra box of books. As a fan of fanfiction, it was immensely satisfying seeing stories from my favorite authors flying off the shelves, and I will be eternally grateful to you for making it happen

If I make it to EFNW and we meet each other, I'll totally buy you a drink.

5103517
Not as whiny as the vice con chair! She was the most adorable insufferable weeaboo, let me tell you. :appleliar:

Thank you for all of it. I regret being cowardly and sending far too few copies of The Education, but damn man :rainbowderp: Thank you for making this crazy awesome thing happen.

:heart:

Also, take a fucken cut next time. :rainbowwild:

Book store may well have been my favorite part of the con, and not even just because I got books out of it. Seeing all the authors come together online was inspiring, and seeing everyone at the con come out and buy the books was fantastic. Thank you so much for getting the ball rolling on a great moment in fanfiction history, Aqua.

A heroic performance. I'm super proud of you all (as someone who's done a lot of Dealer Den record-setting in my day). Ya came through like champions, first time out of the gate, in your one most-likely biggest shot at it, and it was wonderful to see :ajsmug:

Cheers, you bastard. Cloudy and I are going to be at Everfree, since it's local for us, so you'll be able to hang out while I vend and he suits.

Hap

You are a goddamned hero. You and all the authors who put themselves out there have shown the world that what we do matters.

I will forever regret that I wasn't a part of the first pony bookstore, but I plan to be part of the next one, whichever brave soul takes up that mantle.

Chase your dreams you magnificent bastard, because you've already made so many others' come true. I have absolutely no doubt that you will find success.

Frankly, the whole venture is quite impressive. You did a good thing.

5103515
Pretty sure that was the guy I helped on Friday. He bought one of everything that was still in stock. 33 unique books, iirc.

I mean, hindsight is 20/20, but I'm not surprised at all that the bookstore blew up like it did.

Consider how fanfic, far and away, has the biggest, most lingering impact on a person, and on a fandom in general, for those who partake (Seriously, Background Pony and Eternal had me in a melancholy daydream for days afterward). Way, wayyyyyyyyy more than art or music - not to downplay the contributions of artists and musicians, of course. The medium of writing and storytelling sticks with you for much longer.

So you have these stories that people have read and liked and remembered. Now also consider that writing is the rarest form of tangible good that you generally see in a vendor hall. "Hey, did you like Past Sins? Now you can have it on your bookshelf at home!" Art prints (hell, even body pillows to a certain extent) overpopulate merch stands. Printed fanfics are rare. Generally you only get a couple chances to snatch them up when there's an organized print run, and that's it.

So yeah, not at all surprised. Unbelievable what you managed to put together. I hope we can look forward to more degenerate ponyfic bookstores. :twilightsmile:

This was an absolutely awesome idea, and I'm elated to see it do so well! Congrats to you, and to everyone who had a book for sale, helped out, or both!

I do hope the Bookstore pops again at future conventions!

Sounds amazing, man. Also, your closing words should be plastered all over the site.

5103759
There weren't as many unique books once Friday rolled around. I remember the price, it was some crazy lady on Thursday who shall remain nameless.

Even that first day, there was the guy who literally ordered one of every book. I remember holding them in my arms, as the guy picked this one and that one, and WD and others piled them higher, until they passed by chin and then got to my eye level. So, yeah, I can imagine there were some big purchases. A few people in line were extra clever and came with boxes! That's prep!

That first day, working the new line (the one we broke off), keeping people entertained...
That was fun, but tiring.

I really should link to the young lady who helped out, volunteering her own time to hold the "line starts here" sign, plus helping out in other ways. If you read this, PM me or respond to this post! The Bookstore owes you extra thanks!

Wanderer D
Moderator

Dude, you brought us all together for this, it was my absolute pleasure to help out!

I saw how amazing the store was going while I was over there. Sadly I exhausted my funds so I couldn't buy any books. All for the better though since I almost had to pay a massive airline fee for having too much swag.

Anyway, I don't think I saw on this unless I'm crazy, but is there going to be more Bookstore appearances at other cons or is there a way to get some of the books as, as you mentioned, they were happily but sadly sold out

RBDash47
Site Blogger

5103507
Oh, uh, I personally didn't use them? But I certainly directed others that way; it was absolutely an invaluable resource for people getting going.

I wish I'd gone.
But there's a couple people that have ensured I'll never be publicly associated with my username. Ever. At least one in this comment thread actually.

I can say it was nice to be able to get physical copies of several books I was interested in and get a few signed. Thanks for making the bookstore a reality.

It was cool to meet you... and then see you two more times because I have no self control around horse words. :twilightsheepish:

Thank you so much for doing this, if it wasn't for the bookstore I doubt I would have gone to Bronycon at all. And when I talked about going, two of my friends who had no plans to attend also decided to go, so I met two of my best friends in person for the first time because of some fanfics printed on dead trees, which I think is pretty awesome.

Thanks so much!

I was at a science-fiction con the weekend before, and the dealers' room there had almost nothing but booksellers, and I think they collectively sold fewer books over the entire weekend than you did in one hour.

It turns out I'm not good at marketing. When people told me they wanted to buy my book, my most common reaction was to think they felt socially obligated to do so, and try to talk them out of it. "You don't have to. You know you can get most of this online for free, right?"

It hadn't even occurred to me that people might want me to sign books. I think I made up half-a-dozen different ways of signing "Bad Horse". So all the books I signed will one day be denounced as forgeries.

Thanks for putting this together, man. It pushed me to actually start writing again and complete a collection (however amateur it looks now). I'm definitely glad I was able to participate in something like this, and in a convention that had some hefty highs and lows for me personally, this was definitely one of the highs.

Dang, $15,500 on the first day? I knew it was hectic (how couldn't I, after working the booth for five straight hours?), but I didn't know we even had enough books to make that much!

It was a blast, Aqua. I'd do it again if I thought we'd ever have a chance.

Will it be possible to order these books on a site or was this it?

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