This was my second year at the con and to be totally honest, it was worse than the first in terms of sales. I was trapped in a corner behind a guy with shelves 8ft high and games stacked up to make it 9ft. There was no space between the games. I was invisible...
I had many people say, "Oh, didn't even notice you back there!" So, here are my...
Pro Tips for being a Con Vendor
Location, location, location
When looking at the map and picking your "3 favorite spots", make sure none of them are at the end of the row where there is a corner to turn. Reasons:
- In a busy con, people will stop there and jam up traffic to gab about this and or that. People who may have been interested in your stuff will likely search for an alternate route.
- In a slow con, people will peal off from the row before the end of it, or start looking in the direction around the corner.
Plan to have your booth maybe second from the entrance if you can (at a small con). This will give people a moment to step in and take a glance, but you will be one of the first things on which their gaze falls. =)
Make sure your spot is also not located next to someone selling something wildly different from you. I know it sounds weird, but it's the truth and here's the next round of reasons:
- People who come to look at corsets are maybe interested in books, but maybe not...
- People who come to look at books, are interested in books. They might not be interested in your books, but this is at least a start.
It seems counter intuitive, but place yourself next to the "competition", it will be much better for you. If someone is going down a line of books and doesn't see anything in their genre, then suddenly there you are and it was a match made in $20 worth of book sales. Wonderful.
Put yourself out there
Despite my complete inadequacies and failings as both a human being and a writer, they thought I was pro enough to speak on panels about writing. Things that were great about that:
- I got to get away from the booth for a while and chat with fellow writers.
- Some of these writers had really interesting knowledge that I didn't have... now I do.
- I got to meet some cool con goers, which resulted in a few of them passing by my booth, and two of them buying three books!
I did an author reading, for which I was shitting my pants because who reads their work out loud ever? I know I will be doing much more of that... Some things just sound strange when you say it not with your brain voice. In any case, that experience was a hand basket full of problems of its own, like the room directly behind us, which was divided by those mobile lunch room walls made of cardboard, was doing karaoke. It was 11PM. They were all drunk, and loud, and it was really hard to read, but I powered through, and that netted me a sale! It also gave me some valuable experience reading my personal work out loud to strangers, so I'll be better equipped to do it again. Yay!
Get out there
Go to other panels. I went to one by my friend James A. Hunter (pro human being, prolific writer) called... shit I can't remember... but it was about how to make Amazon do all the heavy marketing lifting for you. I won't give away any of his secrets because he might want to charge for them one day, but let me tell you, it was super crazy unbelievably valuable. All of my publishing actions from here into the future have changed, my release strategy just got a huge upgrade, and I'm now listed in about 12 categories for all my books instead of the 4 I was previously. Tits.
I think that's just about all I have time for kiddies. I gotta get to my next project, and my in progress project. I want to reveal some info about it SO BAD, you have no idea, but you must wait. Patience, my precious'. However, the newest new hotness I just started is a short story for Young Explorer's Adventure Guide 2019 (I love that antho series) and I will be sending out the BETA reads! Expect those in September.
If you don't know how to become a BETA reader, join my mailing list and reply to the "welcome to my very small fan club" email saying you want on the BETA reader list. Then you get free words whenever I'm done writing and editing them. Hooray!
Aight, peace out kids!