Learnings from the 2018 Calgary Horror Con

Learnings from the 2018 Calgary Horror Con


I went into the Horror Con unsure what to expect. I’ve almost gone as a vendor twice only to have things fall through at the last minute. This year I was committed and I’m glad I was because I learned a couple things while there.

I did not make the same mistake here that I did at the Comic Expo; I didn’t bring six cases of books. Instead, I brought one and bit, reasoning I could always bring more if I ran out. As it turned out, I brought enough having a few copies of most books left to sell when I went home.

That wasn’t the important learning.

What was can be summed up in two words: “Scout Badges”.

As you no doubt know from my Expo posts, I had badges made in hopes they would attract attention and interest. At Expo I sold a few, but I didn’t think my display of them was sufficient.

This time I spread the badges across my table for all to see. It didn’t hurt that my display space was much larger than what I had at the Expo, but I had people coming up to look at them before the show even opened.

Very different from the Expo.

Let Me Pause for a Moment

Let me take this moment to pause and address a concern you might have. I know, I asked myself this question at least once. The question is this: “If I’m an author, why am I selling something other than books?”

From this question comes the big learning from the Comic Expo AND more especially, from the Horror Con.

The Big Learning(s)

Anything that gets people to stop to talk to you is a good thing. If that thing (in this case, badges) allows you to easily segue into talking about your books, even better. If you are able to use that segue to also sell your books, you have a winner.

I am convinced that several of my book sales came from having the badges on my table. They allowed me to talk about how the books came to be and that got people interested.

What makes it even better is, the badges almost paid for the table rental by themselves. That means I have more budget going forward to do more shows like this.

Now I just have to figure out what I can put on the table that will tie into my Mik Murdoch series.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.