Why it's practically impossible to host a first year indie event anymore.

by Kyle Perkins.

Time for another rant.

So, this year Virginia Johnson and I are hosting the Tampa Indie Author Book Convention, and we have had our ups and downs. From trying to find a place that could house all the people we expect to attend, to finding the right authors for the event. Throw in catering, swag, music and I’m basically planning my first wedding.

However, it’s practically impossible to do since so many people have scammed authors out of their money in the past. When I first started the event, I didn’t even consider that aspect of it. I had forgotten that in the last year, several hosts have just up and bailed on everyone that paid in advance, and took the money with little consequence. So, naturally, I don’t blame authors for being hesitant.

Now this creates an automatic distrust in event coordinators, which is a problem. Authors are traditionally broke, unless their names are Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, etc. Which includes me and most of the people hosting these events. We don’t have the money to dish out to pay for the event up front. We have to rely on the authors that are interested in doing this event in the first place. That’s how we put down deposits, secure venues, etc. Obviously, those authors are broke, too.

So, because a few bad apples have poisoned the minds of readers and authors, it practically makes it impossible to set these events up. Some events, just the space alone cost 2k+ to book, and you have to do that way in advance. I don’t have that kind of money just sitting under my pillow or anything. So, it takes a combined effort and a little bit of trust, which due to recent events, is in short supply.

The problem is, Paypal will only refund payments for cancelled events within 180 days. Which means that people are terrified to drop money on an event before that time frame. However, obviously, you need venues booked way before then. So, if the venue can’t get booked in time, the hosts have nowhere to do the event, leading to a canceled convention, which sucks.

So, that leaves us here. In limbo, until people decide to pay. It sucks that it has come down to this, and I don’t blame the authors or readers, like I said above. I can assure everyone that if the event never happened, I’d refund people no matter how far back they paid, but that offers little comfort since so many have been scammed. If we pull together though, we can make this event awesome, and turn it into a yearly thing that is trusted. We just need to be given the chance.

It really is a shame what the indie world has come to, from authors selling books without delivering, abusing their fan bases with bogus gofundme campaigns, to scamming people when it comes to events. However, we are not that, and are fighting hard to change that image by shedding light on folks that have been corrupted.

We hope authors and readers will give us a chance, and come out. We have a lot of exciting things planned, and Tampa is gorgeous. I understand the hesitation, and flat out distrust, but we just want to create something amazing here, and we need your help to do it.

 

0 thoughts on “Why it's practically impossible to host a first year indie event anymore.

    1. The venue alone is a 1900 dollar deposit, and 1900 due at the signing. So, it’s just a matter of needing more exposure. If I have ten signing up, and one actually paying, we need to have a few hundred signing up. Right now, exposure is everything. We’re trying and will market heavily in this area once we get closer to the date, but it would be nice to not have to worry about funding in the mean time. lol

      1. Right. So it sounds like you need 10 friends with $200 each to cover this particular not. That’s where I was saying you might be able to think of some kind of additional spiff to get people to pay early or mention them as a featured author or gold star sponsor or something.

        Let me kick this around and see what I can come up with. I might have some ideas.

  1. Good luck with your event and building a reputable Indie Event! I hope people can see how you interact with the community and that you are authors and not scammers. I’ll off to share your event! 🙂

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