When I attended GenCon Indy for TeleRead last year, I interviewed a number of self-publishing authors, game industry execs, and other people with interesting stories to tell. I’ve posted a few of these, but life has been so busy over the last few months that I have had a hard time getting around to doing most of them. I’m going to try to change that in the weeks to come. I’ve got another interview transcribed and posting later tonight.

That being said, it’s worth noting that if you’re wanting to come to GenCon in Indianapolis this year, August 14th through 17th, it’s a good time to start planning ahead. (Actually, the best time to start planning ahead is shortly after the last one ends. I gather it can be tricky to find a hotel room near the convention center by this point.) And as I’ve said before, you might not think it at first glance but GenCon is an excellent convention for writers—be they traditionally-published, small-press, self-published, or aspiring to one of those—to attend, to network, to promote, and to learn.

There’s a whole area of the great big main room set aside for writers to interact with fans and convention-goers, and each other. And 50,000 people come to the con every year; if you only meet a small fraction of them, that’s still hundreds or thousands of potential customers.

It’s a good event for learning more about your craft, too. The GenCon Writers Symposium has a lot of interesting and useful panels to offer on all aspects of the writing and publishing process, and many expert writers who’ve been there before. Jim Butcher is the writer guest of honor this year, but there are plenty of others there too. And it turns out that Indianapolis has been voted the number one city for conventions by a USA Today poll. I can believe it!

And here’s another interesting bit of news: a downtown bicycle rental program is launching this month, allowing visitors to pay $8 for 24 hours of unlimited 30-minute bike checkouts. It’ll be great for getting around the downtown area, assuming the bikes don’t all get snatched up right away by conventiongoers.

And what’s more, I live here now, just a couple of miles away from the convention center. If any TeleRead readers plan to be in town, let me know and perhaps we could meet for lunch. By the time August rolls around, I should be quite familiar with all the best spots.