Showcase Your Treasures – Become a #RustCity17 Vendor!


shopping-2017Rust City would like to offer artists of all talents and purveyors of bookish/geekish delights a space to showcase their treasures. Whether you’re a seller, an artist, a fan organization, or part of the book community, we would love to have you participate during #RustCity17.

Vendors will be in charge of their own hours so they can participate throughout the event if they wish. However, I am asking all vendors to be available at their tables during the book signing on August 5th. This will be open to the public, so not only will they be exposed to all registered attendees, but to those readers who will only be there for a short time.

Vendors will be in the hallway, outside of the meeting rooms, and will have exposure/visibility not only during the public book signing, but also to all guests staying at the host hotel.

Costs and Provisions:

  • Space is limited, so not all applicants may be granted space.
  • Table prices are $100 for the first table (this includes one badge).
  • Additional tables are $50. Limit of 4 tables.
  • Only 1 badge is included with the purchase of the first table.
  • Additional badges may be purchased at the current registration price.
  • No refunds/transfers or exchanges after acceptance and purchase.

I like to be transparent in what I expect and what I am offering, so if anyone has any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at rustcitybookcon If you are interested in becoming a vendor please fill out the Vendor Application.

A list of all vendors can be found at the Vendor page and will be updated as vendors are confirmed.

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 #RustCityLFL 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 #RustCityLFL (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 #RustCityLFL 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 #RustCityLFL 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.

Here is the #RustCity16 Schedule:

Thursday, August 11, 2016

5pm – 8pm: Check-in / Welcome Bag Pickup (resumes 9:00am Fri and Sat)
8pm – 12am: BarCon – Social Hour in the Bar

Friday, August 12, 2016

Moderator: Michael Lucas
Discussion on the complexities involved with self publishing and ways to attract readers.

9:30 am – 10:30 am

    Jon David, Elizabeth Harmon, Jordin Mack, Heather Novak
    Steampunk is often set in Victorian London; Urban Fantasy is often set in the middle of a large city; Romance is often set in a picturesque town. What is it about these locales that have made them so common? Why haven’t we seen seen settings in different cultures or areas? Where would we love to see a story take place? Where should genre fiction explore next?
    Leigh Bailey, Linda Bradley, Elizabeth Heiter, Aliza Mann, Suzanne Sabol
    Every story has their own unique characters, from the hero to the insignificant, and their voices are just as integral to the plot as their actions.  A character’s point of view can be critical to the story.
    Sylvia Hubbard, Tara Eldana, Kristina Knight, Teri Anne Stanley, Alexandria Sure
    Authors discuss fun/interesting anecdotes about what led to pen names, character names, story and series title choices.

10:45 am – 11:45 am

    Elizabeth Harmon, Nancy Holzner, Robin Nadler, Mervyn R. Seivwright, Cali Usher
    What are the benefits and consequences of having a story told in a real location, someplace a reader knows, vs creating a new world that needs to be explored?
    Colleen Gleason, Stacy McKitrick, AJ Norris, Cindy Spencer Pape, Teri Anne Stanley
    Take turns with name generators, house sorting, would you rather, and other social media memes. Silliness guaranteed!
    Lorelie Brown, Lita Lawson, Jordin Mack, MK Schiller, Gina Sterling
    Why should the love story take center stage? Can a hero & heroine simply be friends and leave the romance out of it?

11:45 am – 1:30 pm: Lunch (Grand Ballroom Salons ABC)

1:45 pm – 2:45 pm

    Lorelie Brown, Elizabeth Heiter, Donald Levin, Michael Lucas, Duane Wurst
    Suspense stories tend to take the lead on the emotional roller coaster, but we love it. What is it about thrillers that draws us in? What genres has it been crossing into well? Is it important to keep the suspense at a certain level?
    Rue Allyn, Gina Conkle, Donna MacMeans, Cindy Spencer Pape
    Costuming, proper English, etc
    Laura Bickle, Linda Bradley, Tara Eldana, Colleen Gleason, Sage Spelling
    What is considered a necessity when building a world – whether in a fantasy or contemporary setting?

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

    Dennis Collins, Gina Conkle, Nancy Holzner, Sylvia Hubbard, Shiloh Walker
    Vampires, werewolves, and fairies, oh my! Why does so much urban fantasy constantly recycle western real world myths rather than dig deeper, or god forbid, invent its own?
    C.K. Brooke, Roselynn Cannes, Seleste DeLaney, Aliza Mann, Sage Spelling
    Bad guys we love to hate…what makes them so interesting? Does every villain need to be redeemable in order to love him?
    Elizabeth Harmon, Vanessa M. Knight, Donna MacMeans, Stacy McKitrick, MK Schiller
    There are all types of heros – alpha, beta, redeemable, unexpected – what are the characteristics of each and why do they appeal so much?

4:00 pm – 5:30 pm: Dinner (on your own)

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

    Rue Allyn, J. Leigh Bailey, Seleste DeLaney, Roni Hall, Donald Levin
    Whether it’s science fiction, romance, or contemporary, all fiction contain elements that are considered sacred to their genre. Which elements do we consider a MUST in a particular genre? Which elements have been abandoned?
    Sara Dobie Bauer, Laura Bickle, Jon David, Michael Lucas, Cali Usher
    Fantasy and Science Fiction is full of vampires, magic, aliens, superheroes, and other creatures, and while we love them, it is their interactions with humans that fascinate us. How important is the human factor in supernatural stories and would there be a draw without them?
    C.K. Brooke, Kristina Knight, Robin Nadler, MK Schiller, Gina Sterling
    What are ways of keeping a series fresh and interesting when there is no real end in sight? Should a series have its’ HEA? Can a series be revived long after they’ve been gone?

7:30 pm: Meet & Greet Prep

8:00 pm – 9:00 pm

  • GET A CLUE… (D2)
    Mixer with Mystery/Horror/Suspense authors Dennis Collins, Donald Levin, Elizabeth Heiter, Robin Nadler, Roni Hall, Suzanne Sabol, and Teri Anne Stanley
    Mixer with Romance authors Rue Allyn, Linda Bradley, Gina Conkle, Donna MacMeans, Cindy Spencer Pape, Marie Piper, Mervyn R. Seivwright
    Mixer with Paranormal Romance authors Sara Dobie Bauer, Seleste DeLaney, Tara Eldana, Colleen Gleason,Stacy McKitrick, AJ Norris, and Cali Usher

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Moderator: Sara Dobie Bauer
Manuscript Prep & the 2nd Draft

9:30 am – 10:30 am

    Laura Bickle, Roselynn Cannes, Vanessa M. Knight, Robin Nadler
    Where are the lines between genres? What is it about stories that blend elements from various genres into one story that has us wanting more? Who has been doing it well and what do we want more of? How have trends & tropes influenced genres they crossed over into?
    Dawn Brower, Gina Conkle, Marie Piper, Duane Wurst
    Period research can often unearth surprises and lend themselves to quirky or new plots. Discussion on surprising historical happenings and how they can influence the story.
    Seleste DeLaney, Tara Eldana, Colleen Gleason, Marianne Wieland
    Whether you want sweet or erotic, there is a wide range of romance available. Many will lump all romance together, but there is a difference. Discussion on the different subgenres of romance.

10:45 am – 11:45 am

    Nancy Holzner, Lita Lawson, Heather Novak, Marianne Wieland, Duane Wurst
    Fast paced and quick witted, authors create stories in real time, “round robin” style, using prompts from the audience.
    Leigh Bailey, Roselynn Cannes, Cali Usher, Shiloh Walker
    Legends and fairy tales have been getting twisted into modern day versions. Villains become heroes, heroes become villains, and oz becomes corporate america. Which stories have been cleverly adapted? Which stories need to be twisted?
    Sara Dobie Bauer, C.K. Brooke, Vanessa M. Knight, Donna MacMeans
    Where is the comedic relief? Too often stories tend to go down the darker path of a high body count instead of the lighter side of things. Why is it hard to find stories that focus on the comedic side vs angst? What genres seem to embrace comedy? Where would we like to see it more?

11:45 am – 1:30 pm: Lunch (Grand Ballroom Salon E)
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Book Signing Prep (Grand Ballroom)
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Charity Book Signing – Open to the Public (Grand Ballroom)
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm: Dinner (on your own)

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm:

    Dawn Brower, Dennis Collins, Nancy Holzner, Donald Levin
    Balancing the body count. Authors discuss making the choice between digging a grave, or not. How do these choices affect the characters and the story?
    Cindy Spencer Pape, Marie Piper, Mervyn R. Seivwright, Sage Spelling
    Short stories can give glimpses into established worlds or give screen time to side characters. What are the pros & cons of short stories and who is doing it right.
  • MAD LIBS (D4)
    Rue Allyn, Stacy McKitrick, AJ Norris, Marianne Wieland
    Enjoy genre fiction and pop culture Mad-libs created by our panelists. Offer up some interesting nouns, adj, verbs and adverbs and be prepared to laugh your head off!

7:30 pm: Meet & Greet Prep

8:00 pm – 9:00 pm

    Mixer with Fantasy and Urban Fantasy authors Laura Bickle, C.K. Brooke, Roselynn Cannes, Nancy Holzner, Michael Lucas, Aliza Mann, and Shiloh Walker
    Mixer with Romance authors Lorelie Brown, Elizabeth Harmon, Sylvia Hubbard, Kristina Knight, Sage Spelling, Gina Sterling, and Marianne Wieland
    J. Leigh Bailey, Vanessa M. Knight, Jordin Mack, Heather Novak, MK Schiller, Alexandria Sure, and Duane Wurst

Sunday, Aug 13, 2016

Exploring the Social Web
Moderator: Alexandria Sure

9:30 am – 10:30 am

    Leigh Bailey, Laura Bickle, Dennis Collins, Roni Hall, Shiloh Walker
    No two writers imagine the same creature. How would yours be different? Flight, magic, personality – how would you create yours?
    Lorelie Brown, Jordin Mack, AJ Norris, Mervyn R. Seivwright
    Sylvia Hubbard, Donna MacMeans, Marie Piper, Suzanne Sabol, Teri Anne Stanley
    We all have a memorable character we love. It doesn’t matter if they are the hero/heroine, supporting cast, or an insignificant one-off chance encounter, there’s just something about them that stays with us long after we leave a story behind. What makes a character memorable? Who are our own favorite characters?

10:45 am – 11:45 am

    Sara Dobie Bauer, Jon David, Aliza Mann, Suzanne Sabol
    Roselynn Cannes, Roni Hall, Lita Lawson, Michael Lucas, Alexandria Sure
    Negative reviews are often seen as a bad thing, but they can attract readers just as easily as repel them. What makes a negative review bad? How can negative reviews attract new readers? Have you ever read something because a review or fellow reader told you to run away but you ended up loving it?
    Linda Bradley, Elizabeth Heiter, Kristina Knight, Heather Novak, Gina Sterling
    How important is the romance to a story? Balancing the chemistry with the plot – slow burn vs explosion.

12:00 pm: Informal chat about what worked, what didn’t, and what we can improve on for Rust City 2017.

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.