In Arizona we have Coppercon, Phoenix Comicon, Tucson Festival of Books, and a number of opportunities to be a small fish in a large pond paying upwards of $150 for 3 feet of booth space in the hopes of grabbing readers’ attention. I go, I love it, but I don’t always break even. By the time I pay for lodging, my books, the con space, and my meals, my profits seem to disappear. Is it still worth it? Usually, but not always.
Last year, however, I was invited to a rather unconventional con, the Tempe Library Comicon. It was small, just covering the back lawn behind the library, but it was well attended for a community event. People came in costume, just like any other convention, and unlike most outdoor events in Arizona, since this was in early February, it wasn’t even hot. Well, not too hot. I didn’t sell many books, but I did make a profit. As an invited guest, I didn’t have to pay for my space, I brought my own table, and I even managed a sack lunch. Since it was only one day long, there was no lodging to worry about and I was home for dinner. Was it worth my time? I don’t know, but it was nice to be able to relax and just interact with other people who love to read without worrying about whether or not I’d sell enough to pay for my booth.
So, when you consider your conventions this year, you might want to spread your net just a little wider. Enjoy the comicons and regional cons, but keep an eye out for the occasional unconventional con. You might be surprised at how much fun you can have in a less-stress, small-attendance environment.
Have a great day, a great year, and con on my fellow readers, writers, and fans!
Colette Black lives in the far outskirts of Phoenix, Arizona with her family, 2 dogs, a mischievous cat and the occasional unwanted scorpion. She loves learning new things, vacations, and the color purple. She writes New Adult and Young Adult sci-fi and fantasy novels with kick-butt characters, lots of action, and always a touch of romance. Find her at www.coletteblack.net