When I wrote last weekend’s post, I was thinking the decision of which convention I would attend would be a long way off. Libertycon had just ended, and there’s no way to apply to be an “attending professional” (or even to buy tickets to attend as a fan) for Dragoncon 2019 until Dragoncon 2018 happens in September.
But Libertycon was quick to start selling badges for their 2019 convention. And Libertycon has a limited attendance (of 750 people, which includes staff and guests).
Now, the EARLIEST Libertycon has ever sold out, in previous years, was March (for a show that has usually been in late June or early July).
At about noon, ET, on the day that badges for Libertycon 2019 were first offered (July 4th), I heard that there were under a hundred badges left available, and they were going fast. So, instead of waiting until September at the earliest (as I’d planned), I had to decide which conference I’d be going to right then. And, well, I just barely managed to pick Libertycon before all the tickets sold out. Libertycon’s Facebook page says that it took 5 hrs, 52 minutes and 50 seconds to go from just going on sale to selling the last badge.
I suspect there are a number of factors going into why Libertycon sold out so much faster than usual (Such as: There is a new hotel hosting it, announced during the closing ceremonies; the hotel they were at this year was a placeholder while that one was undergoing renovations and the hotel before it was widely hated. There was apparently a new method of ticket-purchasing that made the early “run” on tickets more visible, so where in the past the initial wave of sales would peter out at about 1/4-1/3 of the available tickets on the first day, and then all the rest of the tickets would be sold at a much slower pace over the course of the rest of the year, this time people SAW the initial rush and panic-bought (sort of like I did). There was a date change, for this year only, moving it back a month and into a time that might be more convenient for some people. And so on). Regardless, I managed to get a ticket before it sold out.
At this point, I haven’t gotten a hotel room (I usually never buy a badge for a convention until after I’ve secured a room, but the hotel the convention is hosted at is under renovation, and rooms cannot be reserved until September, at the earliest). I don’t know whether I’ll drive or fly (confession time: I’ve never flown in a plane, before; a balloon, yes, as a kid, but never a plane. I’m thinking of changing that for this trip; however, I can’t even book a flight, yet, because the dates are a touch too far out), though I know I won’t be taking the train (despite there being a famous train museum in Chattanooga, I could not find any train rides that go there from where I live). Meanwhile, according to Google Maps, it’s an eight to ten+ hour drive. The most I’m comfortable driving on my own in a stretch is five hours, and at present it looks like I’ll be going by myself, so that would probably make it a two day trip (though if another person were going along, we could take “shifts” in the driver’s seat and probably make it in a day). Or I could (as one person suggested) take the auto-train to Atlanta, and then drive the rest of the way… though that might take longer than either of the other two options.
As far as other considerations go, it’s far too early to worry about anything else. I suppose I could try and apply to convert my badge over to a guest badge at some point, but I think it’s a good idea to attend a convention as a fan at least once before applying to be a guest there. Maybe I could get a table in Author Alley? Although that would require bringing books with me (which, if I fly, might be problematic), and I still haven’t attempted an Author Alley-type of sale at one of my more local and familiar cons. We’ll see, I guess.
But, at least for right now, it looks as if I’ll be going to Libertycon next year.
I’d better finish my next book so I can afford to pay for it all, then. (And if you want to help, you can always buy one of my books).