Thursday, November 14, 2013

Life at the Central Canada Comic Con

Given that last year’s attendance at the Central Canada Comic Con was 34,000 souls, four of us local Burst authors decided we would go together and rent a table in the artist’s section for the three days of the Con. With that number of people, all carrying large handfuls of cash, how could we lose? We ended up with what I thought should be a good location: a wide aisle in front of us in the area adjacent to where all the celebrities sat signing autographs, and writers, more famous than any of the four of us, with tables on either side.

Although I haven’t seen the final numbers, organizers believe attendance surpassed last year. So, how did we do? I sold three print copies. My associates fared no better. Would we do the same next year? Hard to say, but doubtful? Where did it not meet our expectations?

The location. We would probably have been better off with a more interior location, with artists and booths directly across from us. Those aisles were noticeably more crowded than our wide open spaces, and when people slowed there because of the crowds, the artists had an opportunity to engage in conversation. The product. Most of the interest seemed to be in comic books and graphic novels, not in the printed word. I had more sales earlier this year at a far smaller but more literary event.

Any upside? That is difficult to gauge. I had a large supply of postcards with the book covers on one side and a description on the other, and where to buy. Some were picked up at our table, but a far larger number disappeared off of the free table. Hopefully some of these will translate into sales; the cards have both the Burst Books website and my personal website on them. Only time will tell if they generate anything or if the attendees just went for the pretty pictures. One small consolation: my guess is that the authors on either side of us faired only marginally better.

If there is a moral to this exercise, it is that you will be far better off attending an event that is geared more toward writing, authors, and books, than one with high attendance but a focus on other interests. The only way to tell may be to take a chance and see what happens. Explore your options. As an author you must be prepared to promote both yourself, and your writing. The four of us are already looking at another event next March, this one with a more literary twist. The more events you appear at, the better you will be at picking those you should concentrate on, and which you should skip.

I did have the opportunity to speak with some other authors as well as attendees who dropped by our table and also had a pleasant chat with a celebrity author, Walter Koenig, aka Ensign Chekov from the original Star Trek.

Take the time to enjoy whatever it is you are up to and press on regardless!


The Dark Lady - February 2012
Housetrap - December 2012
Knight’s Bridge - March 2013
The Queen’s Pawn - April 2013
Dial M for Mudder - July 2013  
House on Hollow Hill - Sept 2013
Hounds of Basalt Ville - Nov 2013


Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Not too surprising to me, the jaded one.

Also, I find the electronic books sell much better than the print copies, signatures are ot an issue unless you are famous.

Anonymous said...

Not so sure. Did one show this fall and I sold twice what eight other authors combined (2), That's right, they sold 1 total. Same pattern has occurred at three other fall shows. Bad, really bad.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)