The first comic convention of the season was Drumheller’s Dino & Comic Expo, and already I can say it was the most fun yet. I wasn’t an invited guest this year, which meant I didn’t get to have my booth close to my con buds or participate in panels. However, the small venue still allowed plenty of visiting time and there really were no panels to participate in so…. let’s get down to the brass tacks.
Much of my experience was a repeat of last year, which I am in no way complaining about. We came into town Friday night and went to see Septembryo and King Dylan again at Neighbours Pub. It was every bit the great time as last year, except this time, another singer was added to the lineup: Lisette Xavier. Such a beautiful voice and great stage presence, everyone should check her out on the interwebs immediately.
Due to the late night, we were a bit late coming in and had to set up super quick, which normally isn’t a problem as I’ve done this numerous times by now. But, I've never had to fill two whole tables before. Turns out, it was easy because of the super cool golem diorama that we brought. It really drew people in and provided an excellent segue into my books. That’s why I’m expecting a diorama for each subsequent title. Hop to it, Tyson. But seriously thanks.
Also, my ever-talented sister and publisher provided prints to spice up the table. Lots of people stopped to look at and complement them. None of them sold yet, but that is expected when you’re competing with endless other artists with actual recognizable characters. For the next expos, I should have bigger ones, which tend to look better on people’s walls. (See the prints by Tess Barron in the art gallery for EOV and IS.)
Temporary tattoos were another thing I tried this year, but I couldn’t even give them away. Temporary tattoos must not appeal to many people interested in books and with the unknown brand, no one seemed to be interested. I’ll go for stickers next time and see if those fare better.
Speaking of sales, with the emphasis I placed on my IPPY award, the number of books sold tied with every Edmonton and Calgary show so far. In two days of a sparsely attended show, I ended up selling just as much as three days at the much larger Edmonton show. I’m beginning to think that the smaller shows agree with me.
My hardcovers, on the other hand, didn’t move nearly as well as I expected. I may consider lowering the price a bit in Saskatoon and see if that works. The unit cost of hardcovers is so much higher relative to softcovers, that I have to sell them for $15 more. That's the price of each softcover when purchased in twos. Why buy one book in hardcover format when you can get two softcover books for a discount? On the bright side, this should leave plenty left over for my upcoming book signing end of September. I’ll keep you posted.
Other than the good sales, Tyson and I had tons of fun catching up with old con buds (that’s right, I’ve got old con buds now) and meeting some new ones. I learned that my pen name sounds like my actual name if Russel Brand were to say it, and I can make a grown man literally fall on his ass in laughter with an RRSP joke. I’m not kidding, that actually happened. Also, Crafty Geeks and Co. surprised us with Jurassic Park cosplay! Oh Dr. Malcom, you are my favorite.
Overall, Drumheller Dino Expo was a blast and although there are certainly things that need to improve, the show has a ton of potential, and I’m certainly coming back for more.