I spent the weekend in All Con Dallas. Honestly, even now, I’m not sure what the Con was about. It had neither “gaming” nor “comic” nor “Sci Fi” nor “writing” anywhere in the title. Instead, it had the word “All” in the title, which I’m assuming meant everything was allowed. It certainly seemed that way.
The camps seemed clearly delineated. Anime characters with blue and yellow spiked hair dodged stormtroopers checking people for illicit droids. Superheroes snapped pictures with steampunks, and steampunks fought light sabers with stylish canes. Trekkies (not Trekkers) walked with both Aliens and Predators, Dr. Who #8 chatted up Dr. Who #4, and blood soaked zombies were out in force.
While this might not be your crowd, it was my crowd. I sell steampunk gaming books, a zombie novel, and of course the every famous and popular All Things Dark and Dastardly. OK sure I also sell steampunk gear, “Drink Me” bottles and vampire hunting kits, but that doesn’t relate to this blog.
What DOES relate to this blog is this. I chatted up the books to everyone who passed by, recited my spiel so many times the guy in the booth next to me memorized it and did it for me when I was gone, and I passed out cards, lots and lots of cards. From this I am certain of two things.
Truth #1: You must have a spiel, a blurb, an elevator length pitch to give to people as they walk by. The cover of the books caught many a con-goer’s eye, but every time, they lit up with the pitch, and the pitch is what sold it. It was quick, catchy, and easy enough to memorize that the people around me learned it by osmosis. Test your pitch and watch their faces when you say it. Keep what makes them smile, ditch what makes them look bored. Refine it and practice it with everyone who walks by. This is good practice not only for selling your book to customers, but also to selling your book to agents.
Truth #2: Sales aren’t necessarily over when you go home. I had a spike on Amazon the night after the con of additional sales. Not a huge spike, but twice what I did last month. I couldn’t tell you if the cards, the pitches, or the postcards I handed out did the trick, but something did.
And by the way, I wasn’t kidding about steampunks fighting light sabers with canes. You know me better than that...