Thursday, June 17, 2010

Putting the Pro in Procrastination

If writers are, in the words of the inestimable Chuck Wendig, procrastinating shitheads, then I am their high-priest. Origins is six days away. Guess who has two thumbs and has only one of his four games ready for Origins. This guy. Right. Six days to port three games into new systems, build characters in those systems, and get familiar enough with those systems so that I don't look like an idiot. But that's not really what I came here to talk about today. Not really anyway. There's something else I've been putting off. Something in regards to Origins, and something that I need some advice on.

Now, amongst my tens of avid readers, I wager there are a few who actually make a living in the trad-games industry in one fashion or another. So, like I said, I need some advice. One of the main reasons I'm going to Origins is to grow my brand as it were. I'm hoping to wander around the dealer hall, meet some people, make some contacts, and hand out cards, resumes, and writing samples. What I want to know is this, what's the best way to go about it? What can I do to set myself apart from the thronging masses of neckbeards who want to parley their 9,000 page masterwork werewolf Star Wars slash-fic into a lucrative career in the games industry? Should I go clever? Should I play it straight? When is the appropriate time to start this conversation, right there at the booth or maybe an after hours meeting? Obviously I probably need a resume. Do I need to have a writing sample? My bibliography? What can I do to make an impression, and make sure my inquiries don't get shuffled into the trash? What else should I do/know?

Since I'm at a loss, I turn to you Gentle Readers. Help me internets, you're my only hope.


ZillaFan said...

Maybe build up some pre-show buzz and plan an after hours beer camp style social networking meetup with your peers via Twitter/Facebook.

A.L. said...

I'm not a pro, but from everything I've heard and read. Have samples, but don't have them right on you. Talk to them, be nice cordial, make the connection, give them your card, buy them a beer. If they ask, you have the sample there, if not, you can then get in touch with them a couple of weeks after the con and be like "Hey, I met you at the con and was just wondering if..."

You want to separate yourself out by being cordial, nice, and professional. Enthusiastic but not, well, a geek about it. Published work is also supposedly a big plus, which you have.

As I said, not a pro, not my own experience, just what I've been reading around the net of late.

Levi said...

Bring it up in conversation or lead the conversation to the topic anyway you can. But like said above, say cordial, professional, and enthusiastic. Also, don't forget confidence. Nothing says I'm the guy to get this done like real non-cocky confidence.

Make it really easy for them to look at your info later. There is a good chance that anything you give them at the con will "get lost" or even genuinely misplaced in the post-con pack up. Get cards with e-mail addresses if you can. After the con, send these peeps an e-mail with a link to you homepage, bio, resume, and writing sample.

You've got experience, writing samples, and you are at a least a couple steps away from neckbeard status so I think you will do just fine.

Sam S. said...

I think going pro is the way to go. Cards with contact info make you look good and make it more likely they'll get back to you. Dressing well (not suit and tie, but not "Big Mothertrucker" T-shirts) seems like a good idea as well.

Course, you've been in this industry longer than I have! ;-)

Jason Marker said...

S-Sam? Is that you? Is it really, really you? Heh, I hung out with you guys for, what, three straight days? Can you see me going anywhere in a t-shirt like that? I got some good advice from Ross, too. It's gonna be cards, handshakes, and follow-up emails.