Monday, October 01, 2018

Gail Borden Comic Con

I blogged a few months ago about being one of the vendors at my local library's comic con. It finally took place on Saturday. Here's what my table looked like. My son helped me set up and run the table. The most popular items were my amigurumi, particularly the porgs. I only brought five with me, but sold all of them. In fact, the first one I sold was a "Dark Side" porg in black, gray, and red to a girl dressed as Kylo Ren. I also sold the BB-8, a couple of lanyards, a book, and several raffle tickets. Tyrone the T-Rex found a new home. While I probably could have done more to promote my books instead of the amigurumi, it was one of my most successful appearances. I was able to give my son some money for helping out and put the rest of my earnings into our Star Wars Celebration fund. Here are a few things I learned that may help other authors/crafters at similar events:

1. I made sure to adjust my prices ahead of time to account for local taxes. However, I didn't think to include fees for paying with credit cards. That'll have to come out of my profits.
2. The library staff was kind enough to supply us with water and snacks, but it doesn't hurt to have your own food with you, especially if you have special dietary needs or preferences.
3. While it's good to have something to do as you wait for people to stop by, you're not going to get as much done as you think you will. It's also not the best time to try to teach someone how to crochet.
4. Most of your sales will be impulse purchases. It may be hard to strike a balance between setting a price low enough to be attractive while still making a profit.

I wouldn't mind doing this again at other comic cons or craft fairs. The key will be learning about them ahead of time to get a table and finding events that don't charge vendors.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's cool you sold so well with your porgs and other things. Hey, it got people to your table and hopefully walking away with a bookmark for a future purchase.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That's the best way to succeed at an event outside of a bookstore signing - offer a variety. Offer more than books.

At our first con, we'd decided to take pictures of cosplayers holding our books for Instagram (and another vendor told us his friend's business blew up when he started doing that) and it really was a big hit. And lead to many sales. That might be something to try next time.

If you can find a free "event," let me know! We have one set in November and it will be the first free one I have done in YEARS.

Maria Zannini said...

Your table looks nice! I've been to cons and shows where there's a 5% discount if you pay by cash. Always an incentive for me.

They mark things up for the credit card crowd, but it's a nice bonus if you pay cash.

Site Meter