On Saturday, June 2, 2018, I tabled at my first ‘away’ con. I took the train up to Portland, ME, to participate in the Maine Comics Arts Festival, otherwise known as MeCAF.
I had a lot of fun at the show, moved the most product to date, and got to meet lots of independent cartoonists from around the Northeast.
Taking lessons learned from my earlier shows, I recovered Kitchen Witches, Anxiety Diaries 2 and 3, and Immature Language. Anxiety Diaries 1 was my first project, and I printed pages on the cover’s back.
Additionally, I also worked on my presentation. I ordered a stand from ClearDisplays, and a display for pricing. I spread out my business cards, and made a little name display at the last minute.
The result? A more elegant, solid display.
Additionally, I made a custom item tracker, which enables me to track all purchases, both cash and card, and trades! At the end of the day, I can see exactly how much of what went to new homes, down to which books were most popular with my fellow cartoonists.
I was surprised that Anxiety Diaries moved the most copies, and Kitchen Witches the least. I ended up selling four sets of Anxiety Diaries 1-3, not including single purchases of each. Kitchen Witches only sold two copies, early on in the day. This disproves what I thought I’d learned at the Somerville Public Library Comix Con last month.
At this con, I was much more gregarious and outgoing. I made a lot of connections, got to meet a number of people I interact with on Twitter and Instagram.
- Get there early to set up. That way you have time to do a loop before attendees arrive, and you can talk with fellow vendors.
- Bigger pricing signs! Larger statements of taking card/cash/trades!
- Each show attracts different people, so having a variety of work is good.
- Big smiles and great shirts will bring people over to chat.
- Sometimes you don’t make a sale, but you learn about a new opportunity.
- One dollar bills are the gods’ gift to vendors.
- Have some way to identify you, like a banner or vertical sign.
- PUT YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA HANDLES ON YOUR BUSINESS CARDS – I need to reprint my business cards because this current round doesn’t have my Twitter or Instagram tag on them.
- Share pictures of your table on social media – it can get picked up by people, and/or let your followers know where you are/what you look like.
My next show is in mid-September, at the Small Press Expo. I have three months to make new material, a banner of some sort, and improve my tabling lay out. I can’t wait. I will have additional copies of these five zines, plus a few copies of Being True (which you should back on Kickstarter). I’m also planning on debuting new projects: ‘I hate my ovaries (and they hate me too),’ ‘Hello Spaceboy,’ and hopefully one from my week up at the Center for Cartoon Studies this August.