Last weekend I attended to the Brass Screw Confederacy steampunk festival in Port Townsend to give fun presentations and sell my Keltin Moore series of fantasy adventures along with the rest of my books. While this was the third year for me at the Screw, there was one very big difference with this year’s event for me.
This was the first time I paid for a vendor table all for myself at an event. Previously, I had only ever participated in vendor halls at Cons and festivals by partnering up with other authors to share the table fees and reduce the risk of losing money at an event. Unfortunately, there are downsides that come with sharing selling space with other people, so I decided to take a risk and see how I would fare on my own.
There were a couple of reasons why I felt like this year’s Brass Screw was the right time and place to test my ability to manage a table on my own. For one, the Brass Screw has traditionally been a good event for me. Last year I sold out of The Beast Hunter at a shared table in the vendor hall, and during the year previous I had respectable sales despite only selling my books after a reading. Another reason why I thought this was a good time to try having my own table was that with the publication of Into the North, I now have four books of my own, not to mention artwork from one of my cover artists that I can sell.
So how did it go? Well, a lot of vendors I’ve spoken with will say that an event is not a failure as long as they make their table fee back, and in the three days of the event, I more than tripled that amount. Of course, I also need to consider all of the other costs that came with the trip, like gas, food, and the cost of printing the books, but I think that this trip has proved that under the right set of circumstances, I should be able to fly solo at certain events now.
That being said, I’m going to take a little break from genre-themed events for a while. My teaching schedule is going to be pretty heavy for the summer and fall, and I need to continue to be careful about how I choose to spend my time and money as I develop my writing career. But this last weekend was definitely a good sign as I continue to find a balance between being an artist and a businessman.