update

Putting My Best Foot Forward

As an aside, I accidentally wrote “best food forward” the first time around. Apparently I’m hungry. Please keep that in mind with any other typos that might pop tart up.

As you may have seen already on pretty much all my other social media pages/accounts, I actually did manage to snag a table at ComicCon.

I’m excited about this. The fact that I haven’t yet included a single exclamation mark in this post is merely an exaggerated effort to keep this blog professional. For a full use of exclamation marks, feel free to check out my website.

But I thought I might touch on one of the important (and, in my opinion, the most fun) parts of direct sales: presentation.

It’s probably a given that you should make yourself and your display eye-catching when you want to draw people to you, but I’ll say it anyway, because I often see it at vendor events: the folks with their heads always bent over their phones, sitting at their table not paying attention, expecting their merchandise to do the work for them.

In my experience… these folks don’t tend to do as well.

I’ve had a good amount of opportunity to try different styles and strategies. Like most people trying to achieve a certain goal, I have certain superstitions and must-haves before starting. These are things that develop naturally — fascinatingly, it’s a built-in element of the human psyche; we’re such pattern-seekers that we’ll attach significance to the tiniest details if we think it’ll help us move forward — and even though I know they won’t make a difference, I hang on to them.

For example, my table cloth. I love the green, and I believe it contrasts really well with my books. I’ve worked with a red table cloth, believing the brightness would be even more eye catching, but it didn’t make a difference, so I returned to my green.

Other than those little things, I like to adapt.

A burlesque dancer friend of mine has a great rule. Every time she re-uses an act, she levels it up. An upgrade to the costume, smoothing out part of the dance, tweaking the stage set-up. Just something to polish the act and really make it shine.

I took this rule and have applied it to my display, which means it will never be perfect and (hopefully) will keep getting better.

To give you a better idea of what i mean, I offer the evolution of my display, starting from my very first novel to the recent Geek Market I did in March (and that’s still nothing compared to what I have planned for OCC.)

Evensong Release Party- 2014
Photo Credit: Blossom Moments Photography
Note: Cake is always a win
Awesome Adventure Academy 2015
Tablemate: Megan Connell, who will be keeping me company again this year at OCC!
I actually really like this set-up with the postcards as reading material. Not bad for a small number of books
My first Byward Author’s Market 2017
Simple, with the important elements right out front (newsletter, price list, etc).
Not bad… but a bit bland.
I had the sign for the AAA as well, which was a great level-up. The font is big and legible, and pretty much says what it is. Easy advertising!
Byward Author’s Market 2018
I levelled up in sheer number of books, that’s for sure. I took out my newsletter (sign-ups at table were slim, so it was taking up space I couldn’t really afford to space).
Downside: it’s very cluttered. Easy access for me to grab sellable copies, which is huge and something I plan to keep, but there’s no white space.
I LOVED this display.
The tiered effect got rid of the cluttered look, using vertical space to showcase everything while still leaving parts of the table visible.
This was a shared table, which meant even less space to play with, but I still added little relateable props (the ravens, the box with my business cards, and the book (where I kept my extra boomarks)

I can’t wait to show you what I have to store for OCC! I will say that my husband has been very busy making everything look really amazing.

Want to see ComicCon updates, photos & video in play? RSVP to my Facebook event page! Even if you’re not able to make it in person, you can follow along for larks.