He's Alive and Trying to Get Back on the Road!

I am blessed to have many donors to my cancer survival campaign, keeping the lights on, food on the table, and gas in the car. Now that I am in remission, it is important for me to get back on the road to conferences and conventions that will help me market and sell my stories. Relevance and impact require being present at events to meet readers of my books, listeners to my audio drama and podcasts, and networking with people who may slide me some fiction work.

I've jokingly titled the "tour" as "F**K YOU, CANCER! I WIN!" because it is really a victory lap and a statement that I overcame a life-threatening condition and am willing to fight to build my career as an artist. The theme was a hit at my first appearance at Farpoint in February. And I have several opportunities in and out of state, including Orlando and Tucson, Washington DC, and other locations that expand my reach beyond Central Pennsylvania.

At this point all expenses for attending these events are out of pocket, digging into the house budget. I am looking for backers to help me with the following expenses, if you believe in my work and want to help me reach new audiences.

  • Airfare. Airfare to the more distant events like Tucson and Orlando is estimated at about $1,000-1500 for those two trips.
  • Travel. Gas. It ain't cheap. We usually cover this for the pleasure of getting on the road and spending time together, but every bit helps.
  • Accommodations. Hotel stays are usually necessary at events more than an hour away. These charges can range from $100-$250 a night.
  • Vendor Fees. Some conventions require or recommend having a point of sale throughout the convention as an alternative to a single hour of signing. Where my wife, Pam, and I will share a table (see www.damedahlia.com) we may have to double the space to hold her many wares. This can be $100-$400 per event.
  • Book Fees. If successful, I will need to restock titles from the publisher. Depending on volume, my cost is about $3.50 per unit on a $10 retail price.
  • Marketing Costs. Signage and promotional materials will support after-event engagement and sales. This includes social media engagements, giveaways, free fiction offers, etc. I estimate this to be $30 per event or about $300 for the entire tour.
  • Inclusion. This usually costs nothing but requires someone to approve my participation in an event, which is an exchange of admission to the event for providing value on panels, talks, and readings. Your recommendations or your willingness to include me in your activity helps the cause at no cost to you.

We are trying to cover all expenses ourselves but rebuilding awareness of my work after being "off the market" for a few years will require blitzing events of opportunity. As a writer of horror and technothriller stories, the opportunities in Orlando, Washington, Richmond, and Tucson are great. In the past, I sold more items to these markets because, frankly, conventions in Central PA and Maryland attract many of the same attendees so I have saturated the local market at this point.

Personally, it is also an opportunity to see new places and experience the fellowship of new creators. After my past year, I seek to share my story of survival with those who are at the start of their personal journey with cancer. This tour is intended to spread hope through outreach and joy through the sharing of my stories.

Thank you for looking. There are many worthy causes on this platform alone, so I appreciate any support you can provide.
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Fundraising team (2)

Jay Smith
Harrisburg, PA
Pamela Smith
Team member

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