Is Comic Con Worth It?

It’s not an easy “yes” or “no” answer.

If you are an unknown author, and you go hoping to sell tons of books and make more than what you paid for the whole experience, than it’s probably not for you.

My Supernova book is perfect for a comic convention. It’s a twist on your typical superhero trope, with plenty of superpowers and a “gotta save the world before everyone dies” plot. However, nobody knows who I am and that makes it infinitely harder to get people to care.

Authors have a much harder time selling things at conventions than anyone else. Artists and other vendors can just put their stuff out, and their products speak for them. What you see is what you get. Authors need to engage people so they can tell them what their books are about. Then the customer has to decide whether that’s something they’re interested in or not. You have to make sure your pitch is short and enticing, or they’ll lose interest.

I was lucky enough to be set up next to a seasoned comic author who was willing to give us tips on how to engage people. It was wonderful! He did get himself in trouble for being too enthusiastic, though. His tactics made the t-shirt vendors across the aisle cranky, thinking he was somehow stealing their customers away from them. T-shirts and books are not even in the same category. Sheesh.

Anyway, I was slightly jealous of how even comic books are easier to sell than novels. He would get them to come talk, and was able to place the comic in their hands so they could look at the graphics. Being able to see the quality of pictures helped sell. If I handed someone a book, all they could do is flip through it and see words. I worked hard to make my pitch as exciting as possible, but the sales were very slim. I wasn’t able to make enough to cover the cost of the whole trip. The experience was well worth it though.

If you’re looking to invest in getting your name out there, and get some selling experience with a large crowd, then a convention might be right up your alley. It doesn’t have to be a comic convention, either. If your genre of book wouldn’t fit in a comic convention, find other events nearby that would fit your book type. Find local fairs, or celebrations that would allow you to do a book signing. I’ll be heading to an event in a nearby town at the end of the month, and I made a Facebook event about it, which has generated 297 people saying they’re interested. I’m pretty excited!

So, to summarize my answer:

If you’re going just to make loads of money, but you’re not a well-known author, then no, this isn’t an ideal event for you. You will more than likely lose money, than make any. (Although, if you’re an incredible salesperson, then maybe you have a chance at success and I say go for it!)

If you’re going so you can get selling experience and get your name out there, whether it’s by selling books, or handing out endless amounts of business cards, then yes, it is definitely worth a shot. The money invested in getting more people to know about you and your book is worthwhile. It’s like paying for an interactive advertisement.

I hope this helped. Good luck to all you authors!

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