Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thoughts on Tabling

About a week and a half ago, I set up at a small show at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati. It was the first time they've held something like this, and the turnout was pretty small and it only ran from 2 to 4 p.m. My table was next to Carol Tyler's, and it was nice to see her new book. And Joe Kuth was there, and I always enjoy seeing his comics. It was free to set up, and I sold $8 worth of comics. Parking was $5 so I came out with $3.

 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.

1 comment:

Sam Spina said...

yeah man i look at it the same way when i go to shows. it's just a good time! it's like going on vacation or something. hopefully we'll table at the same show someday!