View Full Version : Share your success stories selling at events other than comic cons

06-29-2006, 03:41 PM
I'm always interested in hearing about other comic creators and their "thinking outside the box" ideas on marketing their books. So here's what I'd like to know: what events/conventions/festivals have you set up at and sold comics at, not including the typical comic cons? And how was your experience?

To share a bit of my personal experience, this past weekend I had a booth at Comfest (short for community festival), our local 3-day, outdoor music and arts festival. 7 stages, 220 bands, 50,000 people...and it's all free. What better venue could you ask for? The great thing about an event like this is that you're not competing with tons of other vendors selling similar products. In fact, out of 200 booths, we were the only ones selling small press and indy comics.

Also, the Comfest crowd is decidedly artsy, liberal, and indy friendly. People were actually interested and excited to discover there are comics other than Superman/Spider-man, and that local writers and artists are creating them. Our sales were easily 5 times better than Mid-Ohio-Con. And we had repeat customers: people who would pick up a book out of curiosity on Saturday, then come back for a few more on Sunday after having read and enjoyed it.

For more of my write up, plus pictures, click here. (http://www.ferretpress.com/weblog/2006/06/activism-music-beer-boobs.htm)

http://www.ferretpress.com/pictures/comfest06/images/PDR_1464.jpg http://www.ferretpress.com/pictures/comfest06/images/PDR_1448.jpg http://www.ferretpress.com/pictures/comfest06/images/PDR_1416.jpg

I look forward to reading about your experiences. Has anyone ever set up at a rock show? Gallery opening? Street fair?

j giar
06-29-2006, 04:13 PM
When I was going to art school in Columbus we used to attend the big party on the state house lawn evey year. Good times..at least that I can remember..I guess!!?? :blink: I miss Columbus, especially German Village. My favorite hang out. By the way anyone who hasn't checked out any of the Panel anthologies..SHOULD! I recommend it highly! Jim Giar

06-29-2006, 04:25 PM
Down here in the District me and some local folks through the First Annual Washington DC Counter Culture Festival. We worked it out with a large local bar to allow us to use an entire section for free so we didnít charge for tables or admission (and everyone drank a lot so the bar was happy). We had table presentation for about three and a half hours followed by two hours of movies screenings followed by three hours of live music. Comic creators, novelists, musicians, fashion designers, little crafts people Ė it was a great show Ė lotís of fun. And since no-one put money out of pocket we all made a couple of bucks. It was good times. I wish I had more pictures but an hour in I was already having too much alcohol induced fun and the camera got put away. I do have these, those (http://www.dcconspiracy.com/2005/11/culture-countered.html).

06-29-2006, 10:23 PM
The Word on the Street/ (http://www.thewordonthestreet.ca/) is an outdoor book festival in Toronto that runs only one day. More than half a million people will pass by. Although I didn't sell as many books as a three day show such as Wizard World Chicago, or the Canadian National Comic Book Expo in Toronto, I did sell the most in one day. The added bonus is most of my sales were to non comic book readers. I plan on attending again this year.

My other non comic book convention event happens on June 29. On that weekend, there is a outdoor street jazz festival in the Toronto Beaches that attracts 1 MILLION people! I have an instore signing at a comic book store smack dab in the middle of the festival to promote the debut of Crozonia Issue 2. There will be free posters, flyers, free sketches handed out to draw people into the store. Wish me luck!

If you want to know my sales record, check out my blog at crozoniacomic.blogspot.com (http://crozoniacomic.blogspot.com)

06-29-2006, 10:30 PM
Oh yeah, I almost forgost, I did set up at a concert many years ago! It was a Pearl Jam concert. The band or Universal, I'm not sure, wanted indy comic book publishers to set up shop during the daytime while they headlined during the night. So I got to sell my comic books at a free table (It was kinda slow, who really wants to buy a comic book at a rock concert?) and see Pearl Jam for free afterwards!!!!


06-30-2006, 09:27 AM
Very cool. Sounds like others have been experimenting with non-comic cons. The outdoor type street festivals seem to do best, since they are usually free and attract such a large crowd. We have a huge 4-day Arts Fest in downtown Columbus too, but I think they're very snobbish when it comes to accepting applications. They don't consider comic book art as "real" art. Plus, the booths are very expensive.

The counter culture and alt craft shows are also good venues.

The most fun, though, as has been mentioned by others, is introducing non-comics readers to a whole new world of entertainment. It's a very satisfying feeling.

06-30-2006, 06:41 PM
I did a flea market...the sales were meager but the response was big. I'd like to point out that there were a few other small publishers who signed up to come but couldn't make it at the last minute. That's why I've got so much space for little ol' me. I would have brought more signage if I thought I was going to have the space.

06-30-2006, 09:20 PM
You need a larger table!!!

07-01-2006, 07:18 PM
interesting ...