Con-demnation

Sings Stain’d “It’s been a while…” Not even sure where to begin other than with the words “what a shit show.”

Yesterday we found out that all the horror cons we were booked at have collapsed. Completely, utterly crashed and burned and in the process, taken out the traders with it. We rely on these cons for sales, for meeting new readers and for meeting friends. We’ve built up a lot of friends at these events, people we would never have met otherwise. And it’s not just us. It’s the customers too. People like us, who don’t fit in with normal society, who have found friends and acceptance at horror cons. Horror people are the most accepting, non-judgemental people. They’ve now lost out and are as gutted as we are.

We’ve already paid out for four tables at four events: London, Liverpool, Bristol and Birmingham. London got postponed three weeks before the event and we had to cancel our AirBnb, losing £16. We were lucky it was that little. We’ve opened claims with Paypal but we don’t know if we’ll get the money back. One was done through bank transfer and there is no protection that way. So that’s at least £90 lost for the table and parking at the London event. If we can’t get the other table money back, that’s a total loss of £276. Unfortunately, our Liverpool Travelodge is non-refundable so rather than lose that money, we’ll be having a random staycation in Liverpool.

But it’s not just the tables. It’s the sales. Horror Cons are where we sell most of our books. So loss of sales is what’s going to hit us hardest. And loss of readers. Loss of new readers. Our online sales are appalling: we average between 1 and 5 sales per month online and that’s for both print and ebooks, whereas at cons, we’d average between 9 and 20 sales. We’re now quite established faces in horror cons. People we don’t know personally now come to horror cons to buy our latest book or one they haven’t got yet. Or they come to meet us because they’ve talked to us online. We now know a lot of traders and returning customers. Horror cons are where we meet up and hang out and get to be surrounded by the one thing we all love – horror. We do interviews, we’ve done readings and a dead author panel. We adopted traders and took them on a tour round Edinburgh. We adopted the first Jason Vorhees and took him on a tour around Liverpool Horror Con. We have so many great stories from these events.

Unfortunately, it leaves only one horror con – HorrorCon UK in Rotherham. And we got ourselves blacklisted from that for daring to complain about their ridiculous £45 charge for the second trader. We can’t afford that and their response was “if you don’t like it, there are plenty of other people who want your table.” We said we didn’t like it, they sold our table to someone else. We don’t want to back down and go crawling back to them when that is their attitude so we now have to decide whether to give up sales or our principles.

They say bad luck comes in threes. First there was this. Then on the same day, Lynx’s phone got run over. And today Working Tax credits are demanding £1700 back. On Tuesday, we went to a casino for the first time and won £34 on roulette. It looks like we might have to give up writing and become professional gamblers.

So if you want to meet us, you know where to find us. We’ll be the stylishly dressed twins crying into the roulette wheel.

Here’s the updated list of where you can find us.

Here is our Etsy store if you would like signed books or merchandise.

12 Comments

  1. Don’t ever give up your dream.

  2. Reblogged this on Peter Germany's Blog and commented:
    I love going to these Cons, and agree with what Cat and Lynx say about finding somewhere where you feel like you belong.

  3. If I hear you mentioning even thinking about giving up on your dream I will drive to Cardiff, find you, drop to me knees and scream ‘Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo!’ You two are far to talented to not be writing. Keep writing, keep hustling and keep being the people you are.
    Building a writing career is one of the hardest things to do, and you’re working your arses off to do it. Please don’t give up. Seeing me cry is not a pretty sight!

    • LOL! Your support really helps us. It’s just getting harder to keep going. We’ve been doing this for ten years now. If, ten years ago, we’d seen what our writing future would look like, we would have given up. It’s got to the stage where we think are we just kidding ourselves that one day we’ll make it? Not everyone does make it and we may be deluding ourselves. Einstein said the definition of insanity is the do the same thing over and over, expecting a different result. That’s how it feels with submissions.

      • Einstein wasn’t a fiction writer though. From everything I’ve heard writers at various stages of their careers say its really damn hard to ‘make it’ but proving consistency is part of that. You two are fantastic writers. I’m not just saying that, i genuinely mean it. Silent Dawn is still one of the best books I’ve read and I get silly excited when you’ve got a new one out.
        Keep going, maybe write something a little different or really out there, but keep going. Your writing speaks for itself, it just needs to get into more hands.
        And I mean it, I will drive to Cardiff and cry my eyes out screaming ‘nooooooooooo’ lol

  4. I saw this mentioned by a few authors. It sucks to be in that situation, especially if you don’t manage to get the cash back.

    • We’ve sort of accepted that we might not get the money back, but it’s the loss of potential readers and sales that is the most upsetting thing. Plus, we really enjoyed the cons. We met lots of lovely people there and they were always fun to do.

      • I’m yet to do a con myself, at least as a seller, but I can imagine. Are there likely to be any others that you can replace thsoe slots with?

      • at the moment, no. We have other events booked in for next month though none are horror.

  5. You two are Ringmistresses of the Shit Show so you should be able to bounce right back. Felice and I have alerted a few of our friends in the gaming scene who attend way more events than we do. They may well have some ideas that we’ve not thought of.

    • thanks 🙂 Ringmistress of the shit show is a great title for us!


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