Carol Tyler, me, my son
I've thought about this before setting up at shows: I don't make a lot of money, but I have a good time, so is it worth it? At SPACE, I probably spent nearly $300 between the hotel, food and gas to stay up there for two days. I made maybe $20. I had a really good time, met a lot of people, sold a few comics, traded a lot of comics and bought a few comics, so in my mind, it was $300 for a weekend getaway. I don't expect to sell a ton of comics, and it would be nice to sell more, but just because sales are low doesn't mean it wasn't worth it.
The day before the CAC event, my pals Sam Spina and Noah Van Sciver did a signing at Time Warp Comics in Boulder, CO. The didn't have much success either. Check out Sam's take here and Noah's take here. I've turned down some in-store signings/events for this same reason. I just don't have the time to sit somewhere all day and get very little (and potentially nothing) out of it. I'm not trying to be elitist or anything, but I have a family, a house and other things to take care of. To me, setting up at 3 or 4 shows a year is a lot. I wish I could do more, but my situation isn't condusive to that. I'd really like to set up at the Up! Fair this weekend in Lexington, but I don't have the time and it's bad timing with Thanksgiving next week, when I'm going out of town (hopefully I can be there next year).
For another take on shows/sales/etc, check out part one and part two of Bill Roundy's Long-Winded Analysis of Convention Sales.