Looking for more science fiction and fantasy authors?
CyCon (AKA Cyber Convention) is a fantastic tradition that was started by Angela Chrysler of Brain to Books. The idea is a weekend-long book convention online (because, as we all know, sometimes it is just too people-y at other conventions!) Angela envisioned a space where authors were taught how to market their books, were given platforms to share and taught how to share. We got to network together to help build one another up.
Blog tours, cover tournaments, character tournaments, story time (readings from the authors works), live discussions, recorded discussions, author booths, and more…
If you love science fiction, then you have come to the best place to meet delightful authors in all realms of sci-fi from space operas to Military sci-fi from Steampunk to sci-fan. Discover your new favorite author in the booths below where they share a bit of themselves and their works, some goodies, and some giveaways.And of course, connect with readers along the way.
Amazing Stories asked Director Tim Bateson to tell us more.
What is a CyCon?
Simply put – CyCon is one of the biggest online events for book lovers across the globe.
CyCon is short for the Cyber Convention and Book Expo, which has rapidly become one of the biggest annual online book events. Its an online convention, in the same vein as a State Fair, comic convention, or technology expo event, but themed around books and writing.
Authors setup virtual “booths” that you can visit to learn more about them and their work. However, it’s far more than just that. We host events all over social media, with live (and recorded) discussion panels hosted by authors, where readers can ask questions and writers can learn more about the art of writing and marketing.
How did this con start and what is the vision for it? Where do you see it going?
In 2015, Angela B. Chrysler decided to put together an online book expo for fellow indie authors, with the intention of shining a spotlight on authors that might not be seen in mainstream bookstores providing an event for authors to network with each other, editors, and other author service providers
Even though a number of authors gathered in Goodreads and set up their booths, somehow we forgot to invite the readers. But we learned some valuable lessons and the Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo (B2BCyCon) was born.
By 2018 we had an estimated attendance of almost 2000, including the volunteers, participating authors, and readers. We had events happening on YouTube, Facebook, book blogs, writers blogs, Twitter, and folks joined us from all over the world. We were recording discussion panels, and even running some live. There was 72 hours of event coverage on the GoIndieNow podcast, among others.
Then in 2019, Angela had to step aside from overseeing the event, and I stepped into the role. With her permission, I teamed up with the wonderful folks at Our Write Side to continue the event, and many of the volunteers from the B2BCyCon events immediately signed up to help out, and the ball was rolling on OWSCyCon 2019.
At the time of writing we have over 230 writers, bloggers, book-tubers, author services teams, and more signed up for the 2019 event. We’ve been getting a lot of authors signing up for the first time, based on having heard about the event last year, or having attended as a reader. There is also have a higher number of potential volunteers and sponsors from among the participating writers than ever before.
We plan to continue being the go-to online event for book lovers everywhere.
So, where do I see this going? To the stars and beyond.
What are the dates?
This year OWSCyCon 2019 will be running from May 17th to May 19th, since we wanted to be sure we’d avoid clashing with any major holidays.
Who is it for? and how does it benefit us?
For readers, there are games, contests, book and character related tournaments, author booths, giveaways, and far more. We actively encourage you to dive in and explore because you’re going to discover some amazing authors, characters and stories that might not be on the shelves at your local bookstore. Many of the authors will be running discounts and giveaways, so this is definitely the best time to pick up those books that grab your attention.
For authors it’s a chance to network with fellow indie authors, take part in discussions and panels about the art of writing, editing, marketing, and build connections. It’s also an opportunity to promote your work to potential readers, get some exposure for their work, and hopefully make a few sales.
Each book genre hosts their own events, so you can be sure that whatever you take part in will be relevant to your reading interests.
Is this the first time you’ve done this? If not do you have any follow-up from years past?
I’ve been part of the CyCon circuit since that very first event over on Goodreads, and it’s become a huge part of my calendar and marketing plans. I’ve stepped up from the ranks of participating author to Fantasy Genre Manager, and now Executive Director, because I believe that this event is beneficial to readers and authors alike.
Every year we’ve learned something new about how to run this event, and added events and features that weren’t previously available. It’s been essential that we take each years lessons and adapt because online book stores, and social media sites are always changing things up. That means we have to adjust to an ever changing online landscape.
Our key take away? Continue learning what works in the current market so that we can continue to connect readers with some of the best authors and books in the indie market.
Timothy Bateson is a writer who broke into the market in 2014, with three short stories being featured in Halloween and science-fiction anthologies. In 2016, Bateson self-published a re-release of “Under A Hunter’s Moon”, the first of a several stories set in the “Shadows Over Seattle” world, which he co-writes with his wife, Sandi. Bateson is also a blogger who often spotlights books and fellow indie authors, alongside his other interests, such as the Brain to Books & OWS Cyber Convention events, falconry, journaling, quotes, and reading.
More about Bateson’s writing can be found here.