The Poisoned Pen Webcon was the first virtual book convention I’ve ever attended. It is the first web based convention I’ve ever attended actually, and I want to stout from the roof about what a good time I had so they’ll do it again next year. It was only $25 dollars to register. All you needed to attend was a reliable internet connection and a computer with speakers. You got a PDF goody bag, 9 HOURS of live author conversation which you could participate in via chat or phone, I’m not even sure how many hours of pre-recorded programs and a $20 coupon to Poisoned Pen Bookstore.
I enjoyed may talks and now want to read Peter May‘s China Thrillers (order on with my coupon), Dana Stabenow‘s Kate series set in Alaska, and Kelli Stanley’s City of Dragons. As if my TBR list wasn’t long enough. I missed hearing the Nevada Barr session, but I hope that I will find it in the archives. My ears are a little tired, so I haven’t even started on the pre-recorded material.
There was only one session that had a techy glitch and that was solved in a matter of minutes. Considering is is the 1st ever Poisoned Pen Web Con, I thought that was outstanding. My head is a buzz with all the ideas I’ve heard. I love the idea of a period phone book as research material and souvenirs . I’ve heard of people using old Sears catalogs and such, but never the phone book.
There was a lot of talk about publishing in general and authors having to do publicity for their own books. The one thing that I consistently find annoying is the way that people assume that booksellers who work at chain bookstore can’t hand sell and/or recommend a book. I would like to tell everyone that I work with a very well read group of people at a chain bookstore and that we can all talk about books, hand sell, and even pull the occasional title out of random keywords supplied by people who appear to have never shopped for books before. Enough ranting.
Some of the segments were video and you could actually see who was talking. This was neat because at least two author spoke from home/office and you could peer at their walls and bookcases. One segment was from inside the Poisoned Pen bookstore itself. Others were done via BlogTalkRadio, once you registered with them free of charge you could use the chat features that accompanied each season. If I could offer a suggestion to next year it would be to have a couple minutes rest between segments as it takes time to transfer over to other sessions and make sure you are still logged in properly.
I wouldn’t mind attending another convention of this type and to see how this format is refined in the future (without getting more high-tech then the average home computer, that is).