What is CyCon?
The annual Brain to Books Cyber Convention and Book Expo—or CyCon for short—is a three day trade fair hosted online. It is an author/book exhibit held every April for undiscovered authors only. We are open to the public and are global. We are 100% online, and are up and operating every year from October through April. This is not a live event.
A trade fair (trade show, trade exhibition, or expo) is an exhibition organized so that companies in a specific industry can showcase and demonstrate their latest products and services, meet with industry partners and customers, study activities of rivals, and examine recent market trends and opportunities. In contrast to consumer fairs, only some trade fairs are open to the public, while others can only be attended by company representatives (members of the trade, e.g. professionals) and members of the press, therefore trade shows are classified as either “public” or “trade only”.
How does it work?
If you are familiar with cinema or theater, it is easy to understand CyCon if you think of it in the same light. CyCon is the play. B2BCyCon.com is the stage. Volunteers and authors are the performers, directors, and stage hands. Readers are the audience. Back stage, we work for two months to build a giant exhibit that showcases our written work. In April, readers come to view the exhibit and enjoy the show.
How do I join?
Getting in is very simple and has one requirement. You can not be famous. If you are J.K. Rowling, we will have to ask you to leave. Only undiscovered authors—indie and/or trad—are wanted here.
Phase #1 – Register and Wait
When: 1 October to 1 February
To get in, you must register. Sadly, CyCon takes more than $3,000 to operate. We’ve made this as affordable and fair to everyone as we can, but it means everyone must play by the rules. Each event is $5.00, and we have a lot of events to choose from. We want readers to show up and buy books, so we don’t charge the public anything for attending. The cost to run this is all on Angela B. Chrysler.
From 1 October to 1 April, authors can register. Once you register you will be asked to sit and wait. Angela B. Chrysler is available during this time to work on any orders placed.
Phase #2 – February, we collect data
When: 1 February to 1 March
February is data month. This means in February, you will receive an email (one email for every event) telling you what we need and how to get your information to us. We proudly use Google forms. We do not hunt down authors. There are too many authors and too few of us to hunt you down. If you don’t send us your information per our instructions, we can’t help you.
Phase #3 – March, volunteers build the exhibit
When: 1 March to CyCon
In March, Angela B. Chrysler and her team of volunteers build the exhibit. Authors continue to get as much as they can to volunteers while the CyCon team does almost everything for you. March is the same organized chaos you can see behind the scenes of any stage or movie set. We’re talking loud and crazy, but energetic and very, very fun.
Please note, due to the workload and chaos, on 1 March, registration changes from $5.00 per event to a flat rate of $20.00. Authors who register in March and April will receive only the Book Expo, Author Showcase, and Blog Hop. Authors are free to do as little or as much as they want within these three events.
April! It’s showtime!
When: 6, 7, & 8 April 2018
CyCon is always held on the first weekend of April (but never on 2 April or Easter US). We’ve designed CyCon so participating authors can sit in the audience and attend as a reader. This is when you sit back and enjoy the fruits of all our labor or hang out for the weekend in Joe’s Bar.
Joe’s Bar is much like the Red Room where a host hangs out with those who busted butt to build the sets and stage. All participating authors are welcome to join Joe in the Red Room…or, Joe’s Bar.
Attention First Years!
Many First Years report feelings of being overwhelmed, confused, and lost. Many also report understanding just what we are doing here half-way through their second day of CyCon. If this is your first year to CyCon, we have some tips for you.
1 – Limit yourself to only three events. We recommend, Book Expo, Author Showcase, and the blog hop. We even have a special package designed just for you. If you do more than this, expect to feel overwhelmed. Do not try to do everything in your first year. We will be back next year.
2 – Do not volunteer. We appreciate you want to help, but as of 2018, we are requiring that all volunteers have at least 1 year CyCon experience behind them. You must completely understand CyCon in order to help out.
3 – Read everything! We have an Author Portal on Goodreads and a Live Support on Facebook. We have one-on-one assistance from veteran participants. We offer articles, blogs, emails, support groups, resources, and videos.
4 – Pace yourself. Every year, we watch new authors race to each event as fast as they can. They try and take in all of CyCon as soon as possible so as to not miss a thing. Stop. Take a deep breath in and wait. This is exciting. The environment is energetic. There are hundreds of authors here who are just like you and they are eager to know you. Many of us are isolated introverts emerging from the writer’s cave for the first time in our lives. We’re not going anywhere. Walk through CyCon. Don’t run. We have no deadlines here. You won’t miss anything that you can’t have next year.
5 – Limit how much time you spend on CyCon. Limit yourself each day/week/month. CyCon has the ability to consume your life. I’m dead serious on this. There is so much, and many authors report being so excited about CyCon that it is all they want to do…all the time. If this is your first year, we want you to know that CyCon can consume your life. We recommend setting a schedule. Only check in once a week or every other, and only for two hours or less. Aside from a few emails now and then, you shouldn’t have to do very much. Many times it will feel like there is a lot for you to do. If you feel this is taking over your personal/family life you’re spending too much time on CyCon. You’re not going to miss anything if you check in once every two weeks.
6 – Trust us. I know. I’m a stranger. You don’t know me. I don’t know you. And I’m taking your money while saying, “Trust me.” Every red flag is going off right now. So why should you? Because your family is more important to me than CyCon. Your health—physical and mental—is more important to me than CyCon. I can not make this clearer. I would sooner shut down CyCon than take something away from your family or cause you mental or physical duress. You’re an artist. You are a writer contributing to today’s culture. I can not explain how very important you and your pen are to me. Do not neglect your family for CyCon. That being said, trust us. We want to take care of you. Learn more about Angela B. Chrysler or read the testimonials.
CyCon launched in April 2015, and we’ve been back every year since. In 2015 and 2016, we were able to offer CyCon to authors free of charge. We are committed to helping authors so much, that we did all this work for free in our first two years before we had operating expenses. We are approaching our fourth year of CyCon and have the timing down to a science. The dates we provide to you have proven themselves correct year after year.
Step 1: Order Your Events
Customize your CyCon experience. We have a variety of events to choose from. You can always make changes to your order. If this is your first year, we recommend the Basic Package designed for First Years (More information coming soon).
Step 2: Fill out the Author Name Form and wait.
Right away, we will need three things from you: your name, your email address, your genre(s). When you make a purchase with Brain to Books, we receive only the name and email address affiliated with your PayPal account. If your name or email address that differs from the information provided by PayPal, we won’t be able to find you. After you fill out this form, there is nothing for you to do until 1 February 2017. In the first week of February, you will receive an email for every event you purchased. It will contain directions on how to get us your information.
Step 3: Join the Author Portal
We provide registered authors with the Author Portal on Goodreads. This is where basic materials are posted for all your needs. Between October and February, details about your order are available upon request in the Author Portal.
Step 4: Send us your stuff.
This is Phase #2. From 1 February to 1 March, we collect data. Do not send us anything prior to February. We do not have the resources to store your data long term and too many changes can happen prior to February. You will receive an email around 1 February 2017 directing you to Google Forms. You will only have one form to fill out. You will need to fill out this form for every book you have.
Step 5: Tell your readers.
All registered authors are asked to post our CyCon graphics on their websites, blogs, and/or social media. We ask that you mention CyCon in your newsletters. Tell your readers. Let them know that we have one of the largest online book events happening in April. We provide graphics and banners free of charge.
And you’re done!
Angela B. Chrysler is available for questions year round on Facebook.