One of my absolute favorite things about any convention is the Vendor Floor. I spend hours, literal hours, on the vendor floor when I have been at in person ClexaCon and FlameCon I honestly only do the vendor floor. You can meet so many people and see so many creative things. I’m also a huge fan of using this portion of the convention to get books to review in the future. I literally have to save space in my suitcases and carry-on and my bags weigh so much more after a convention. The downside of virtual is I can’t just browse, but thankfully ClexaCon has a virtual marketplace still available on their website.
I wanted to start by highlighting some booths that I have literally always gone to at every ClexaCon that I’ve been too. As a bibliophile who tries to stock up on queer books these should not surprise you. Bella Books, Sapphire Books, and Golden Crown Literary Society would have been top of my vendor list. Yes, I would make vendor lists for must hit up first booths and then I would go from there. Bella Books I have reviewed books from before and they have physical and digital copies, though when you buy at the convention it is the perfect time to pick up new physical copies. Sapphire Books is also a great source for new and interesting queer reads. I have so many of their books on my shelves. The other booth I would have loved to check out in person and I know I have either heard about them or actively gone by a booth of theirs in the past. Golden Crown Literary Society promotes literary works about women who love women and they hope to promote these stories and bring authors and readers together.
Outside of larger publishers there are often independent authors who come to ClexaCon and this is also the case with the virtual vendor hall. Cheryl Head is a mystery author and has a series focused on Detroit PI Charlene Mack. Charlie Mack is an African-American, lesbian investigator and her stories are full of strong characters and through provoking topics. I am definitely going to have to dig into this series. I am also a huge comics fan and every year buy at least one comic book at ClexaCon, at least when I have gone, and at FlameCon I have stocked up. Literally so many I had to make Krista put some in her suitcase one year. Another independent author whose books I would definitely have looked into is Lynn Ames. If you go to the associated website you will find a ton of books available in physical copy, digital, and even audiobook. There is a diverse variety of genre and something for just about everyone. There is one more author who I have actually covered before on The Nerdy Girl Express, Tina Kakadelis who wrote The Carly Allen Triology. I loved the first book, Burn Before Reading, and if you haven’t heard of this series it is a great YA story about a senior trying to figure out what to do with the rest of her life.
Kelsey Neveu has a fantasy comic that sounds so good called Heaven Help Us with Abbi and Sykes as two of the key characters contending with bodies that have plummeted to Earth and the fall out of the dark illness that hey seem to carry. Her art style is also really cool and I was on her site just browsing through for a little while during my writing process. Ren Strapp also has some great comics and art available. If you recognize the name you might have seen Reine on Autostraddle, which is a monthly comic series. I also saw some great comics on the All of the North website, which also has some really cool art of some of my favorite ships. I also saw some great comics, not a full book that I could see, on Krysta Parisi’s website. There is a ton of SuperGirl art, which is not a show that I am super caught up on, but I loved the comics I saw here.
Now these are just a small selection of the vendors listed on the Vendor Marketplace. I decided to stick with books and comics since that is what I typically gravitate toward when I perusing at an in person convention. If you would like to be highlighted on The Nerdy Girl Express please reach out to us by email, firstname.lastname@example.org.