No, Writers Don’t Make Much Money at Conventions

Written on Sun, May 11, 2014 by Kyle posted by kyle

For anyone who’s ever come by the Unshaven Comics table it’s no secret that everyone stays pretty busy. We have multiple series to put out, friends and contacts coming by to catch up or make plans for later, and of course all of the new people who haven’t been lucky enough to meet before now. The work is divided up pretty evenly between us. Marc will do the networking end and keep us in contact with everyone we need to make sure Unshaven Comics builds as a recognizable name. Matt works on art work for the next book and commissions for fans of his work from the books. I am the pitchman. My job is to stand up and spend every single minute pitching books to make sure enough are sold to pay for the table and maybe even a little extra. As a writer at a convention there’s little else you can do.

As the only member of the company without any artistic talent there are fewer things to be done when at our table. Matt has multiple portfolios of work for sale, which he is constantly adding to. Marc keeps mainly to digital art work but has recently found a popular niche by changing anything a persons requests into a ‘Domo’. Art work prints and commissions are a big part of conventions, no doubt. Writers just don’t have much to offer.

You’ll find the occasional artist doing drawings for sale, but I wouldn’t call these sketches per say. I would also be shocked to see them going for the same thing even a modest real sketch goes for. As a writer the only real thing we can put forward are new stories. Next issues, new series, one shots, complete series. The real draw back is these can’t be done right there at the table for someone to pick up in an hour.

The counter balance to all this is what my time is spent doing. Unshaven Comics recently began keeping track of just how many people we tell about our book at conventions along with how many purchase them. We have a pretty good ratio for how many people purchase the book but the more inspiring story is how many people we know we’ve told about our stories. We walked out of C2E2 2014 knowing that a few hundred people knew about our books. A little over half of them walked away content with just the pitch, but the other half liked what they heard so much they had to give us there money to read more. It’s not cash in your pocket but for a writer to see those numbers, it’s pretty amazing.

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