After the smashing success in Saskatoon, I came into Edmonton Comic Expo with even higher expectations. I know, I know, one shouldn’t go into anything with high expectations, but I couldn’t help it. Edmonton Expo has so far outperformed Saskatoon, so why would it be any different this year?
I’m glad to say it did surpass it… well… only in one particular way, which I’ll get to later.
Firstly, we were super late coming in. Not only did we leave Red Deer late, we had less time to get there than we originally thought. From reading the move-in package a while ago, I determined that set up time was until 2 pm. Closer to the show, we double checked the times and found the show didn’t open until 4 pm. Typically, these shows allow deluxe pass-holders to enter an hour earlier than general admission, so we assumed we had at least until 3 pm. Even though we wanted to be there well before 2 we thought we had a bit of a buffer.
Moral of the story, that’s why you have to read the move-in document completely and several times over. In fact you should just print it out and staple it to your head the day before a show. It did indicate that on Friday, the show was open a whole 2 hours for deluxe pass-holders! And not only that, they decided to open the doors 5 minutes early. That left us literally 5 minutes to set up upon arrival. Yeah, not cool. Totally our fault, but still. Guess we got a little too complacent with these shows.
The display was much smaller with fewer books than I had before, which was fine because of the the smaller table space. Friday was, of course, slow, but I had quite a few browsers and ‘promise to come backers.’ Again, our booth neighbours were the best. Two college students sold art and it was their first con ever. They were hilarious and made the slow times go by faster. There was another author right behind me named Yvonne Yourkowski who writes mysteries. I bought her Sci-Fi novel that Tyson and I both can enjoy.
Saturday was much more eventful. I sold more single books than I normally do, but some were hardcovers so it still worked out about the same money-wise. One of the greatest parts of Saturday was getting to meet a fan. Only he had never read my books before. Wha? He remembered me from last year, but didn’t buy my books. He followed my blogs and tracked me down this year. The crazy thing was, that day I was wondering if anyone other than friends and family cared about my expo experience blogs, and I discussed with Tyson on whether I should continue them. Then, out of the blue, a stranger appears to let me know he’s been enjoying my blogs and couldn’t wait to come buy my books in person. He even expressed that he was worried I wouldn’t come because my website was down and there was no information on whether I’d be going or not. It was quite touching to know that there may be silent fans interested in what I’m doing, and I should keep at it. Now, I just hope he enjoys the books he waited a year to read!
Later that night, I did a book swap with Steven Aethorphoxx, author of The Fatespinner Series. We, along with Vince Seim and his girlfriend went out for dinner and talked all about different publishing strategies, how to write war/combat scenes, and various other things related to our books. It’s always great cultivating new relationships in the field. Overall, a great Saturday.
Sunday on the other hand started out slower than I could possibly imagine. I didn’t make a single sale until well into the afternoon. Thanks to my writer’s group of one other person, C.R. MacFarlane who replaced Tyson that day, things started picking up. Since my Immortal Serpents were getting dangerously low, there was extra room on the table to display her debut Sci-Fi novel – Augment. If you’re into Firefly, this book is for you. I only read the prologue, and I already had to lock it in a safe so that I could stay away from it until my own book is done (okay, it’s not in a literal safe, but it takes a lot of willpower to not read it right now.)
By the end of Sunday, I reached my magic number of sales and am down to two Immortal Serpents, which I can’t complain about. What I will complain about is when I got home to do my cash deposit, I found I was $20 short. Twenty dollars! I’ve never once been out in all the time I’ve done this. My inventory balances, my square sales are reconciled, and my float has been accounted for. The only thing I can think of is someone, somehow, got a free book. I often get distracted with conversation and book signing that I could have forgotten to take someone’s money. Saturday in particular was pretty crazy. I don’t know, but being the accountant that I am, that $20 is going to haunt me for a while.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention one way Edmonton Expo did surpass Saskatoon’s. I found the greatest addition to my sudden Jeff Goldblum collection, a magnificent, airbrushed piece of art of the Grandmaster, signed by Jeff Goldblum himself. The artist is Sarah Ruggs who does excellent work.
Now, I’m not going to disclose exactly what I paid for this gem, but it was a steal of a deal, so I couldn’t resist.
Overall, I rate this expo middle of the road. It didn’t beat Saskatoon in terms of sales or fun, but it had many memorable moments, and I can’t wait to return next year. Hopefully, with BD Book 2.
Now onto the next event. Book signing at Coles in Red Deer on September 29th.