Love Books? Be A #RustCity17 Featured Blogger!


girl-sitting-on-book-rust#RustCity16 wouldn’t have been the success it was without the help of my featured bloggers – Alpha Heroes Book Blog, Shelf Addiction, and Naughty Edition Reviews. Now that I’m starting to plan #RustCity17, I’m looking to find my fellow bloggers who love to celebrate authors and their books, and will be attending Rust City next August.

Are you a blogger who loves sharing their passion for books? Are you interested in participating at Rust City Book Convention (with panels and other events)? If so, Rust City wants you!

I’m looking to gather an eclectic group of bloggers – 10 featured bloggers – from all social media platforms and genres. You don’t have to have the largest, most popular site to be considered. You just have to be enthusiastic and dedicated to spreading the word about our event, our authors, and their books!

The basic requirements and benefits of being a Rust City FEATURED BLOGGER are as follows:

  • Post monthly features relating to the Rust City Book Convention. A loose schedule will be created, keeping things “on track”, but will be flexible enough be able to work within each blogger’s own features. Rust City will help promote your posts by retweeting/sharing via social media as each post goes live, as well as listing each post on the event website.
  • Include the Rust City button/banner in a prominent position on your site, linked to this site. In return, I will include your button and a link to your site on the Rust City website.
  • Help spread the world (without being spammy)
    • On your social media sites or groups.
    • By distributing flyers for Rust City in your area libraries/bookstores/book events/etc. WITH permission from locations (obviously).
  • Help with con prep before and during the event. Thursday August 3rd will be a full day of setup and prep; everyone will be expected to help for a few hours that day.
  • Moderate 3 panels during Rust City and assist with the evening events if needed. Assistance will be available for anyone unsure of what this entails.

If you’re a blogger (or reader) who plans to attend, but is unable to commit as a Featured Blogger and would still like to help in some way:

  • Do at least one post about Rust City. It can be an intro piece, an attending author guest spot, etc. Any posts using the hashtag #RustCity17, or I’m made aware of, will be shared/RTed from the Rust City social media accounts.
  • Display the Rust City button/banner somewhere on your site.
  • Help spread the world (without being spammy) on your social media sites and/or groups; just talk about Rust City.

So…that’s what it will mean to be a Featured Blogger for Rust City. If you’re interested in participating as a Featured Blogger for Rust City 2017, please fill out this form (also available below).

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at rustcitybookcon

Thank you for your interest in participating at the first Rust City Book Convention. I can’t wait to begin working with you!

The #RustCityFLL Is Now Open!

rustcityfll-mapIt’s taken a little more time than planned, but it has finally happened. The #FreeLittleLibrary has been installed and is fully stocked!

The #RustCityFLL (Free Little Library Charter #45517) can be found at the Red Oaks Soccer Complex & Park in Madison Heights, MI.

This location may seem a little off the beaten path (the entire park is fenced in), but it’s one of my favorite places to go. Between the ten different soccer fields, the fabulous playground, and the covered pavilion, the boys and I have spent quite a bit of time there and having the library there is just icing on the cake. Now whenever I go, I’ll be able to check up on the library and see which books have been left.

I’m excited that my city now has it’s own Free Little Library – and to make it even better, the #RustCityFLL is the first to be installed in Madison Heights. I can also tell you it won’t be the last. Of all the things that came out of Rust City, this project has been one of my favorites and I can’t wait to do it again at #RustCity17.

rust-city-free-little-library-02The boys have been just as excited about it too. So much in fact that my youngest insisted on reading one of the books before he would allow us to add it – and then he wanted to be the one to add it. *grin*

I want to say thank you to the City of Madison Heights and Oakland County for allowing us to place it at the Red Oaks Soccer Complex. For the guys at the DPS for installing it so I didn’t have to (which was really a good thing). My father for building it.

I also want to give a rambunctious shout out to everyone who attended the #RustCity16 Book Signing in August and donated books to help fill the library. You came out with so many books that not only did we fill this library, but we could have filled a second. Our #RustCityFLL was a massive success and I can’t wait to see what we can do at #RustCity17 next August.

The Indie Bookstore: Thoughts from #RustCity16 & Ideas for #RustCity17

bookstoreThank you to everyone who has been filling out the Event Feedback form. You’ve given me a lot to think about and a lot of great ideas have already started to swirl.

There is one thing I’m seeing that I would like to get more feedback on, especially from the authors – the Indie Bookstore.

Sadly, if BAM couldn’t order an authors’ books, they weren’t going to sell them; and there was not any special exceptions I could get. They do not do commission sales either, so an author couldn’t bring their books and have BAM sell them in their space. So I was left with either not having the vast majority of the #RustCity16 authors the opportunity of having their books out all weekend, or putting together something myself.

I really wanted to ensure that everyone had a chance to make a sale; and I know from my own experience, that being able to get a book when I want/discover it has a higher chance of being a sale versus having to wait until the book signing to get it. Doing the indie bookstore seemed like the best way to do it, but there were a lot of factors that left me indecisive about implementing it.

It was just weeks before Rust City took place that I finally decided todo it. The volunteers pretty much pants’d it with just an idea of what I wanted; and for the most part, the consensus is they did a fantastic job.  So I definitely want to bring it back again, and we are already working on improvements for next year.

However, the one comment I have received is that some did not like having 2 bookstores present – the Indie and BAM.

I get this. Readers want to be able to get all their books in one place. However this all goes back to the ordering issue – either all authors have books available or only a certain few. There was one big difference between the two though. Proceeds from the BAM sales did go towards the charity, but none of the Indie Bookstore sales did. I didn’t ask the authors for a commission on their sales or to donate any of their proceeds to the charity. So this was another way the con was able to raise money for Child’s Play.

The problem I’m now facing is what do I do? Do I simply say the dual options will always be there? Get rid of the indie bookstore and simply rely on a bookseller? Or go strictly indie and do the whole shebang myself?

I love the idea of the indie bookstore, and would like to continue it; but to take on the task of being the only bookseller at the con would add a whole level of planning, and would require a lot more of the authors.

For one, Rust City does not have the means to order all of the authors books and have them available. This means that each author, whether they are traditionally published or not, would have to bring their own books to the event. For the local authors, this should not be too much of an issue; for an author who has to fly in, bringing books on a plane sucks (ugh! weight limits), so it becomes an issue.

Additionally, with the bookseller no longer being present (and having a portion of their proceeds go towards our charity), do I now ask the authors to donate a certain percentage of their proceeds (a commission if you will)? Do I charge them a flat fee to include their books, individually or all inclusive?

The indie bookstore is going to happen next year – I love the idea too much not to bring it back – and the volunteers and I are already working on making it better. The real question is – do I bring back a bookseller?

A lot of this has been me talking through my thoughts, but Rome wasn’t built in a day nor was it done by a single person. I’m very much behind the idea of “it takes a village”, so I want to throw this out there – what do you guys think?

Authors: would you be opposed to having to bring your own books? Being charged either a flat fee or a commission as a donation to the charity? If there is a charge, whether it’s a fee or a percentage, what would be a good number? Would that deter you from attending Rust City in the future?

Readers: is the idea of having two bookstores really that bad? Did it turn you off from purchasing a book from a newly discovered author because it could not be found in one place?

Is there anything I haven’t considered? Am I missing a vital piece of information that would mute this entire issue?

The #RustCity16 Free Little Library

For those who were unable to attend #RustCity16, or had just come for the signing, here is the Free Little Library that was filled during the event.  I don’t know about everyone else, but I LOVE the back.

I’m still working on a location (city bureaucracy is holding that up), but as soon as I have one, I’ll let everyone know.

RustCity16.FLL.Front RustCity16.FLL.Back

The #RustCity16 Schedule…It Lives!!!

The schedule for the first Rust City Book Con is finally done…at least I’m praying like hell that it stays done. *grin*

The authors have their panels. The moderators have their assignments. No one will have to learn how to clone themselves and the rooms haven’t been double booked. Everything has been checked and double checked.

So unless lightening is going to strike to prove me wrong, the schedule, in all it’s glory, can be seen here. There is a PDF version available here for those who would like that.

The aim of Rust City is to be a casual convention while introducing readers to new authors as well as the chance to interact with current favorites. I know many readers tend to stick with their preferred genres, and there’s nothing wrong with that; but you never know what you’ll find, what you’ll like, until you take a chance. So I’m hoping everyone will take a stab at trying a few panels they might not normally go to, and ultimately find someone new to read. 

A few panels still need a better description, so a few changes will occur; but nothing major. This is it; and now it’s time for me to finalize an idea I have for a party that is not on the schedule yet.

In case you missed the link above, here is the…

The #RustCity16 Schedule…


I’ve been getting questions about Rust City’s programming and what the schedule will look like. I’ve been working on the panel topics, trying to get a great collection of both fun and interesting topics, and I’m getting ready to send them to the authors so they can choose which ones they want to be a part of.

Before I could do that though, I had to know how many panels Rust City would have, which meant figuring out when everything would take place. Now this isn’t the completed schedule; a more detailed version (with what the panels are and descriptions) will be posted in July. This is just to give everyone an idea of what is going to happen.

The quick breakdown is this: There will be about 30 panels and 6 Meet & Greet Mixers between Friday and Sunday, along with the book signing on Saturday.

Now, without further adieu, I give you the schedule in its basic form.

Thurs, Aug 11, 2016
5pm – 8pm: Check-in / Welcome Bag Pickup (resumes 9:00am Friday and Saturday)
8pm – 12am: BarCon – Social Hour in the Bar

Fri, Aug 12, 2016
9am – 5pm: Check-in / Welcome Bag Pickup / Vendors Available
9:30a – 10:30a: Panels x3
10:45a – 11:45a: Panels x3
11:45a – 1:30p: Lunch
1:45p – 2:45: Panels x3
3:00p – 4:00: Panels x3
4:00p – 6:00p: Dinner (on your own)
6:15p – 7:15p: Panels x3
7:30p: Meet & Greet Prep
8:00p – 9:00p (or whenever): Meet & Greet Mixers x3

Sat, Aug 13, 2016
9:00am – 6:00pm: Vendors Available
9:30a – 10:30a: Panels x3
10:45a – 11:45a: Panels x3
11:45a – 1:30p: Lunch
1:00p – 2:00p: Book Signing Prep
2:00p – 4:00: Book Signing
4:00p – 6:00p: Dinner (on your own)
6:15p – 7:15p: Panels x3
7:30p: Meet & Greet Prep
8:00p – 9:00p (or whenever): Meet & Greet Mixers x3

Sun, Aug 14, 2016
9:00a – 12:00p: Vendors Available (limited)
9:30a – 10:30a: Panels x2
10:45a – 11:45a: Panels x2
12:00p – 1:00p: Panels x2
1:00p: Farewell – Informal chat about what worked, what didn’t, and what we can improve on for Rust City 2017.

The Final Four – Nancy Holzner, Elizabeth Heiter, Gina Sterling, & Jordin Mack!

Every book convention must have authors, and since July, I’ve been showcasing each one who will be joining us in Troy, MI for Rust City 2016. Author registration closed on May 1st, which means, today I am showcasing the final four of the forty-seven authors who I am planning lots of bookish shenanigans with. I still have a couple who are hiding in their books, deadlines and such you know, so there may be a few more roaming the halls of the Troy Marriott; but if you want to know who they are, you’ll have to join us in August.

I know many readers tend to stick with their preferred genres, and there’s nothing wrong with that; but you never know what you’ll find, what you’ll like, until you take a leap of faith. So I encourage EVERYONE to check out not only these four fabulous authors, but all of our 2016 attending authors!

Nancy Holzner

HolznerN.200pxNancy Holzner grew up in western Massachusetts with her nose stuck in a book. This meant that she tended to walk into things, wore glasses before she was out of elementary school, and forced her parents to institute a “no reading at the dinner table” rule. It was probably inevitable that she majored in English in college and then, because there were still a lot of books she wanted to read, continued her studies long enough to earn a masters degree and a PhD.

She began her career as a medievalist, then jumped off the tenure track to try some other things. Besides teaching English and philosophy, she’s worked as a technical writer, freelance editor and instructional designer, college admissions counselor, and corporate trainer. Most of her nonfiction books are published under the name Nancy Conner.

Nancy lives in central New York, where she enjoys visiting local wineries and listening obsessively to opera. There are still a lot of books she wants to read.

Learn more about Nancy by following her at: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | GoodReads | Amazon | Pinterest

Elizabeth Heiter

HeiterE.200pxCritically acclaimed and award-winning author ELIZABETH HEITER likes her suspense to feature strong heroines, chilling villains, psychological twists, and a little bit (or a lot!) of romance. Her research has taken her into the minds of serial killers, through murder investigations, and onto the FBI Academy’s shooting range. Her novels have been published in a dozen countries and translated into seven languages.

Elizabeth graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in English Literature. She’s a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America and Romance Writers of America. The heroine of Elizabeth’s Profiler novels was called “one of the most amazing characters created in print” by Fresh Fiction, and her latest Lawmen novel won the RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Intrigue.

Learn more about Elizabeth by following her at: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | GoodReads | Amazon | Pinterest

Gina Sterling

SterlingG.200pxI live outside Detroit with my husband, three kids, and a dog named Mel. I quit my job in the medical field seven years ago to be a stay-at-home mom. Then, three years ago, I started writing for fun after I caught myself watching Dora the Explorer by myself. My life is often frantic, but nothing melts away the stress better than a book, whether I’m reading one or writing.

Learn more about Gina by following her at: Website | Facebook

Jordin Mack

I was born and raised in Detroit amidst the harsh conditions of inner-city urban life where I saw the worst of dark times and the best of bright times. I went on to attend college, earning a master’s degree in Business and embarking on a long career in Corporate America. Then one day, I was reflecting on how I used to enjoy the art of writing. So I decided to stop thinking about it and to just do it, start writing again. It is the trilogy of my experiences in street, academia and corporate life that provides the unique style in my literary expressions, which has been exemplified in my debut novel, The Kokuran.

Learn more about Jordin by following her at: Website | Facebook | GoodReads


Don’t miss your chance to meet some amazing authors at Rust City Book Con next August! Come join us in our celebration of all things genre fiction in the Motor City! Registration is now open for #RustCity16!

Be sure to keep up with all things Rust City 2016, by following it via your own personal social media drug of choice: Facebook |Twitter | Google+ | Tumblr | Instagram | RSVP at the Facebook Event.