I am absolutely give out. There, I said it. This week has been crazy! And in two day’s time, I have been in four different states. The beginning of the week, I attended the Southern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (SASFAA) New Aid Officer Workshop, which was located at Jacksonville State University in Alabama, which I had so much fun attending. Then, I drove back to North Carolina, driving through Georgia along the way, and rested for an afternoon before driving to Knoxville, Tennessee for the Fanboy Expo.
The hardest part about being an author is trying to find the right place to promote and seller your book. As you remember, my trip to the Science Fiction Summer Convention in Atlanta was a bust, but I didn’t let it discourage me, because I knew that Fanboy Expo was going to be a different experience.
It wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong, if I was a customer of the event, I would have had a blast. People dressing up like their favorite character, merchants trying to sell a specific type of merchandise, and celebrities making appearances for their fans. And for those people that try to sell an established product, character or idea, they do pretty well. But for rookie authors, like me, you have a harder time.
Like the prior con, I’m in the hole for this trip, but a lot more than last time. I took my sister with me (Thank you for all that you did, Miranda!) to help with the “large crowds.” There was a large crowd alright, thousands of people, but only three people bought my book.
I know what people are going to say. “You may have only just sold 3 books, but you got a lot more connections and networked with new people.” True, I did that. But for the first three hours, not one person looked at my table, which I paid $150 for. After lunch, and several Mountain Dews, I worked up the courage to signing my name on the back of hundreds of my business cards and handing out “Free autographed cards.” They probably aren’t worth much, but hey, it’s an autograph. That attempt worked, and I sold a book out of it, but I risked appearing conceited and being laughed at. I don’t know what people thought about me when they weren’t around me, but there were a few people that laughed at me.
After a $200 stay at the hotel across the street, my sister and I tried it again this morning. I didn’t want to attempt the autograph maneuver again, and tried bribing people to come to my table with candy. Didn’t work so well. We got tired of it quick and left several hours early before the event was supposed to start. That’s because the trip home was several hours, we were give out from the first day, and we have to get ready for work tomorrow. I don’t think I missed out on any sales.
I gave this whole con thing another shot, and I am once again disappointed. It’s fun to attend as a regular person, but as a vendor/author, it is a ton of work. For the same price, I could do ads online and maybe get a better result. And it’s also like my great-aunt, Eva McCall says, books are better sold in a book store. I don’t know if I’ll do another event, but if I do, I’m taking less books with me. I just wish I could write and let the books sell themselves…