My Planned Events of 2020 (So Far)
As 2019 drew to a close, I made sure to snag vending tables and guest/speaker slots at events around Metro Atlanta for 2020. This way I could get in at a lower price and make sure the slots didn't fill up, which unfortunately happened with the January Atlanta Comic Convention.
Here are the events I've already signed up for...
Atlanta Comic Con: This is the big kahuna of comic events in Atlanta--I made $400 profit on $600 gross in 2017 when I split the table with C.S. Johnson. This time around I'm splitting the table with Venessa Giunta, another member of Atlanta Horror Writers Association. I had tried to get a vending table in 2018, but I ended up getting wait-listed, so getting a spot here early was of particular importance. If I made that much profit with two books, one of which was a short story collection (those typically don't sell well), I anticipate making a lot more money with at least two additional books. Owing to its relatively short length (118 pages), Little People, Big Guns might be appealing to comic readers as well.
Days of the Dead Atlanta: I split a table last year with T.S. Dann and made a good amount of money with just The Thing in the Woods and The Best of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly Vol. 2. Now I'll be back with Little People, Big Guns and Battle for the Wastelands (more on that later) as well as my earlier books. This time around I'm splitting the table with Nathan McCullough, another member of Atlanta HWA.
AnachroCon: I'm going to be a guest and panelist on this one, although what panels haven't exactly been ironed out yet. Definitely writing panels, perhaps some history ones too. This is where I planned to officially premiere Battle for the Wastelands, which would be appropriate because AnachroCon is focused on steampunk and alternate-history and Battle is at least steampunk-adjacent. However, Days of the Dead is a week prior. However, since I'm going to be a panelist, I'll be talking a lot about it rather than just calling at people from behind a table.
Atlanta Sci-Fi and Fantasy Expo: This will be the third time I've been here. The last time I hit diminishing marginal returns--people recognized me from last year and asked if I had new books. This time around I'll have Little People, Big Guns and Battle for the Wastelands as well.
Next Chapter Con-Although Ringgold is a hike from Atlanta, I made a good bit of money last year and even got a copy of The Thing in the Woods in one of the local libraries. I definitely want to be back with more to sell, especially since this event taps into the Chattanooga market more so than the Atlanta one. I imagine the 2020 event will be larger than the 2019 one, since if I remember right the 2019 event was the very first one.
I will probably be signing up for more events as the opportunity arises. The Atlanta Comic Convention is a quarterly event and I definitely want to participate in the Q2 one even if the Q1 is sold out. If I've got more stuff ready by the time of Q3 and Q4, even better. I've made good money the times I've been there, even with a relatively small inventory. Not only will I try to sell at the next MultiverseCon in October, but I want to be a guest/panelist as well. I've already applied to be a guest--now to see when they get back to me.
Finally, there're the Atlanta gun shows. My first time selling at a gun show I made $10 profit on 16 hours of work because I didn't anticipate so many people would prefer to pay in cash rather than use their credit cards for privacy reasons. I under-priced Thing at $10 in order to more easily make change when it should have been $12 and I also wasn't that good at bringing people to my table. The second time I split a table with T.S. Dann, anticipated the cash problem, and ended up making equivalent profit to my second time at the Atlanta Sci-Fi and Fantasy Expo. The Gem Capitol gun shows (like the one I'm selling at 12/28-29) have a relatively low table cost, so even if I don't gross as much as I would at a science fiction and fantasy convention, my costs are also lower and I could potentially make larger profits.
That said, if I don't have new material, I'll eventually start hitting diminishing returns again. I'll need to make sure I actually write and complete projects this year, so hopefully I won't spend too much time selling at events and too little time writing.