Convention Tips and Tricks

WHOLanta 2017 Banner, Dr. Who, Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant, Camille Coduri, Jamie Mathieson, Atlanta, Convention, Timegate

I had such a blast at WHOlanta! I’ve done a panel at Jordancon before, but this was my first time going to a convention with guest status. I had a table to sell my books (which I shared with the lovely James Palmer), I was on a lot of panels, and I got to meet Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant, and Camille Coduri from Dr. Who. I was a little nervous about speaking on so many panels, but fortunately authors Lee Martindale and Jana Oliver took me under their wing and talked me through all the tips and tricks of going to cons. I’m sure I still made missteps, but far fewer than I would have without their guidance. I’ve even picked up a few tricks of my own to pass along.


  1. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, shut up. There were several panels I was on where I only represented a portion of the equation. Almost every panel I was on spent some time in unfamiliar territory (self-publishing, animation theory in Disney movies, sexism in Classic-Who, bits of Buffy the Vampire Slayer I didn’t remember). It’s really tempting to feel like you have to address every point or worse, force the panel back to your pet topic. Don’t. The moderator will eventually steer you back into familiar waters that may not be familiar for the rest of the panel, and you’ll get a turn to talk.
  2. On that topic, don’t attempt to force the panel back to your pet topic.
  3. Be brief. There are three to four other panelists. Speak in sentences, not paragraphs.
  4. I worried I’d freeze, but thus far all the panels I’ve been on or witnessed are super conversational. It’s not like you’re giving a lecture on a topic. It’s a back and forth with the audience, so, for me anyway, stage fright doesn’t really get much of a grip.
  5. Don’t call on audience members. That is the moderator’s job (sorry Darin).
  6. Heather Lewis gave me this tip, bring a pen and at least three copies of your book in case anyone wants to come up and buy your book after the panel. She said she’d been in more than one panel where the author wasn’t prepared to make a sale right there. There weren’t really opportunities like that at WHOlanta (we generally had to skedaddle for the next group of panelists, so there wasn’t much lingering in the room), but I’ve seen other conventions where the panelists hang out in the room for a few minutes chatting with people who come up to them.
  7. Lee Martindale suggested that when you’re in doubt, look at the moderator. They’ll subtlety let you know if you’ve been talking too long, or if time is almost out, and if you get deer in headlight’s on them, they’ll help you recover/draw attention to another panelists if you need them to.
  8.  I felt a lot better with a pen in hand and a piece of paper to write on. I’m not sure why. There wasn’t exactly time to take notes (though I learned a lot of fascinating things, and got tons of book/movie recommendations), but just the act of holding a pen was helpful to me for some reason.
  9. Most of the rooms have water cups and ice, but bringing a drink with caffeine was very helpful for the long streaks of back to back panels.
  10. Self-promote with caution. There were some panels I was on where it was absolutely appropriate to have my book on a pretty little stand and my cards on hand. Mostly the writing panels, because the act of writing my books came up. There were others (20 years of Buffy, for instance) where it really wasn’t. I still held up a copy of Persephone when I introduced myself, but then I laid it flat on the table and didn’t reference it again.

Selling Books:

  1. This may vary with different cons, but I sold no books on Friday, a decent number Saturday, and a ton Sunday. I figure Friday everyone is still setting up, so people are hesitant to spend until they see what else is around. Also, if they’re like me, they’re budgeting food and trying to get an idea of what everything costs before they commit.
  2. A surprising number of people bought my books in sets of three or five. I still sold more copies of Persephone and Aphrodite, as trilogy starters, but only by two each. Fortunately, I had exactly enough copies of the middle books, and I mean exactly. I sold my last copies on my way out the door Sunday, so I’m in that super fortunate place of knowing I couldn’t have possibly sold more, and I didn’t sell fewer than I could have because I ran out.
  3. Bring a friend to watch to table. I have no idea how many sales I missed (if any) when I was in panels. But I also know I gained sales by being on panels. Most of the people who bought my books heard me talk about them on the writing track.
  4. If you can’t leave a person, leave a detailed sign. I had a sign that said I was on panels and would return, but I wasn’t being detailed enough until a fan asked if I’d mind including what time I’d be back so she’d know when to circle back around. If I had a do-over, I’d print some nice signs with the times I planned to be at my table each given day of the Con and what panels I’d be on during the gaps.
  5. Leave yourself a bit of time to go see the things and people you want to see. Friday’s the best day to check everything out in terms of stuff to buy, Saturday had the most people to see. There also tend to be booths for upcoming conventions, so get to know those people.
  6. Bring food. The con had a suite with food and snacks, but that’s more time away from the table, and the con suite hours may not match up with your off-time.
  7. Strike up conversations. It’s not all about selling books. I had so many people passing by in amazing costumes, or dropping by the talk shop writing, mythology, or Dr. Who. If attempt to pressure these happy, excited people into making a purchase, you’re a bad person, and you should feel bad.
  8. Bring lots of pens and change. Specifically what you’d need to break a $20, because that’s the most common bill you’re going to see.
  9. Bookmarks do better than business cards because there’s room to sign them.
  10. Local conventions tend to see a lot of the same people as attendees and volunteers. (Example: the person in charge of the writing track also runs Dragon Con’s). So be nice, friendly, and professional and make a good impression, even if you’re in a panel with three people in the room. (Hint: You should be doing this anyway).  I can’t tell you how many cons I’ve been invited to speak at this weekend. And not always from the volunteers or track runners.

How about you? Any tips or tricks I might have missed?





WHOLanta 2017 Banner, Dr. Who, Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant, Camille Coduri, Jamie Mathieson, Atlanta, Convention, Timegate

I’m so excited to be attending WHOLanta this year! Below is my schedule for panels (subject to change), and I will be signing books between panels. Come find me if you’re attending.


6:00 Dunwoody 1: Traditional Publishing VS Indie Publishing


10:00 AM: Dunwoody 2: Disney/Pixar

12:00 PM: Dunwoody 1: American YA Lit

5:00 PM: Dunwoody 2: Characters you love to hate and hate to love

6:00 PM: Dunwoody 1: Genre Blending

7:00 PM: Dunwoody 2: 20 Years of Buffy


10:00 AM: Dunwoody 2:  Live Action Disney

3:00 PM: Peachtree: Why I Stayed, Sexism in Dr. Who



#JordanCon #JordanCon9


This weekend I will be attending JordanCon! I will be one of the professional critiquers for the Fantasy Writing Workshop at 8:30 PM tonight. This is their event schedule, and here are my plans for today.

2:30- Novellas and Short Stories

4:00– Plotting with Story Structure

5:30 – Write What You Don’t Know

8:30 – Writers Workshop


Will you be there?



#YASH Winners!

Team Pink, #YASH Young adult Scavenger Hunt

Congratulations to the winners of the Spring 2017 YA Scavenger Hunt! We hope you had a great time discovering new authors and exploring exclusive content. Thank you for joining us whether it was your first hunt or you’ve been with us from the beginning. This hunt truly is for you!

The Winner for the PINK team was April Rope, and the winner for my personal giveaway was Hannah Mac.

To see all the winners from every team and author giveaway, click here.


YA Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

Team Pink.jpg

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are eight contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the PINK TEAM–but there is also a red team, an orange team, a gold team, a green team, a teal team, a blue team, a purple team, and a blue team for a chance to win a whole different set of books!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve hidden my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the blue team, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).
Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by Sunday, April 9th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
Abigail Johnson, YA Author, If I Fix You
Today, I am hosting Abigail Johnson on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt! Abigail Johnson was born in Pennsylvania. When she was twelve, her family traded in snowstorms for year-round summers and moved to Arizona. Abigail chronicled the entire cross-country road trip in a purple spiral-bound notebook that she still has, and has been writing ever since. She became a tetraplegic after breaking her neck in a car accident when she was seventeen, but hasn’t let that stop her from bodysurfing in Mexico, writing and directing a high-school production of Cinderella, and becoming a published author. Visit Abigail online at and follow her on Twitter, @AbigailsWriting.
Find out more about the Abigail’s book here!
If I Fix You first edition book cover, YA Book, Abigail Johnson

When sixteen-year-old Jill Whitaker’s mom walks out-with a sticky note as a goodbye-only Jill knows the real reason she’s gone. But how can she tell her father? Jill can hardly believe the truth herself.

Suddenly, the girl who likes to fix things-cars, relationships, romances, people-is all broken up. It used to be, her best friend, tall, blond and hot flirt Sean Addison, could make her smile in seconds. But not anymore. They don’t even talk.

With nothing making sense, Jill tries to pick up the pieces of her life. But when a new guy moves in next door, intense, seriously cute, but with scars-on the inside and out-that he thinks don’t show, Jill finds herself trying to make things better for Daniel. But over one long, hot Arizona summer, she realizes she can’t fix anyone’s life until she fixes her own. And she knows just where to start…

 IFFY Fan Cast.png
I binge watched so many awesome 90’s shows while writing If I Fix YouVeronica Mars and Gilmore Girls were both in heavy rotation, but I also discovered Felicity (I’m not the only one who fell in love with Scott Speedman in his portrayal of Ben Covington, am I?) and Everwood and so many more. Someday I’m going to write a character who looks like Jason Behr from Roswell, but in the meantime, here’s my dream cast for If I Fix You:
Jill (Emily VanCamp circa Everwood TV show)
Jill’s dad, Jim (Scott Patterson circa Gilmore Girls TV show)
Jill’s mom, Katheryn (Madeline Stowe circa Twelve Monkeys movie)
Daniel (Scott Speedman but with dark hair circa Felicity TV show)
Claire (Elle Fanning circa We Bought A Zoo movie)
Sean (Neil Haskell from the TV show So You Think You Can Dance)
Cammie (Selena Gomez)

Don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, Abigail Johnson, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 2. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the pink team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!
To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author!  But before you go, be sure to sign up for my newsletter to get a free audio copy of Persephone and comment your favorite find on the #YASH  Scavenger hunt for a chance to win a free e-copy of Aphrodite, the first book in the Aphrodite trilogy. Update: the winner of Aphrodite has been chosen at random from the comments section. Congratulations Hannah Mac.

Announcing Spring 2017 YASH Teams!

For all of you who love finding new reads, I have just the thing for you. The YA Scavenger Hunt is coming. If you’ve never heard of it, the hunt runs twice a year in the spring and in the fall. During the hunt we showcase new and upcoming YA releases, give out tons of prizes, and release special bonus material. Sound interesting?

This spring we will have one hundred authors split into five teams of twenty. Each team is assigned a color. The blog hop begins April 4th and runs through Sunday, April 9th. It’s easy to play. All you have to do is either start on my blog or head directly over to the YASH website. There you’ll find a list of all the authors participating as well as an answer sheet you can print off to gather the info you’re hunting for and to keep track of any bonus contests you may have entered.

Are you ready to see all the books featured this season? Here they are! You can also see them on this handy goodreads list.


Which teams are you most excited about? Are you #TeamBlue? #TeamPurple? Let us know in the comments.

Get Aphrodite for .99 Cents!


Aphrodite is on sale from now through December 31st! 

“Aphrodite is such a complex character, and in Kaitlin’s capable hands, I feel like every major character was well developed; the pacing was fast and tight, there were no cliche’s, and the intricate plot threads kept me turning the pages well into the nights. Well done, well done!”
Tonnye Conner

It’s not easy being perfect…

But Aphrodite is determined to prove that she’s more than just a pretty face. When she’s asked to investigate strange events occurring on cruise ships, she’s all over it. Little does she guess just how much this mission is going to cost her.

The problem—demigods are mysteriously disappearing. Prepared to investigate, Aphrodite manages to charm herself into the best room on the ship. Unfortunately, the room is already taken. It belongs to the one demigod immune to her charm: Adonis.

Aphrodite doesn’t know what to make of Adonis. He obviously disapproves of her…yet he saved her life. And he’s hot! Then again, Aphrodite is still reeling from a disastrous—yet incredible—fling with Ares. Gods, these men are going to be the death of her.

But then Aphrodite realizes that Adonis could be the next target, and her investigation becomes personal. Only the more she uncovers, the clearer it becomes that she’s in over her head. Confronted with a strange and powerful new opponent, Aphrodite realizes she might not be as immortal as she thought.

And Adonis may not be the one who needs saving….

Read the first chapters free!

View On: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Audible Goodreads

Signing at Barnes and Noble Athens and a Sale!


Come join me tonight at a book signing at the Athens Barnes and Noble! 

Kaitlin Bevis returns with the fifth book in her ‘Daughters of Zeus’ teen fantasy series. In the second part of the Aphrodite series, familiar gods and goddesses (Pandora, Ares, Medea) match wits and battle away for power and love. The ideal next step for readers who’ve outgrown Rick Riordan but can’t get enough of those crazy Olympians.

For those of you who can’t make it to my Love and War signing, enjoy a sale on Aphrodite! Aphrodite is .99 cents starting today! 




That moment when…

Have you ever wanted to hear what Melissa was up to while Persephone was hiding out in the Underworld? Now is your chance! Check out That Moment When… a young adult anthology featuring forty stories from a ton of fantastic authors, myself included.

That Moment When is an anthology of young adult writing featuring some of today’s hottest new talent in young adult fiction. Find your next favorite author as you read through 40 thrilling short stories.


Get it on Kindle / Get it on iBooks / Get it on Kobo

Love YA paranormal, urban fantasy, science fiction and dystopian books?

We’ve gathered a handful of thrilling stories from all of your favorite genres and put them together into an epic anthology of young adult fiction. Some of them are just the beginning of a unique adventure, while others are complete stories that will spark your imagination.

With over 200,000 words (about three full-length novels) That Moment When will provide weeks of reading pleasure.

6x9-boxset-covervaultOUR THEME
Have you ever reached a moment in your life when everything changed? A crossroads of sorts. A point of no return. An event or realization so enormous you knew it would impact you forever in ways you couldnít begin to understand? Discoveries so momentous they changed everything you thought you knew about the world, and yourself?

That Moment When is filled with exactly these kinds of moments.

If you read the stories in this anthology, I guarantee you’ll find at least a few that thrill and excite you. Make sure to follow the authors if you want to read more – most of us have at least one free book on our sites.

All your favorite YA genres!








Get it on Kindle / Get it on iBooks / Get it on Kobo

The Alliance of YA Authors is a community of over 1000 young adult writers. Many of us are award-winning, bestselling authors; others are brilliant debut authors just starting out. We team up to make it easier for you to find your new favorite reads, with book giveaways, contests and joint book promotions.

That Moment When is an anthology of young adult writing featuring some of today’s hottest new talent in young adult fiction. Find your next favorite author as you read through 40 thrilling short stories.