The one thing that has really surprised me as I merrily make my way along the self-publishing path is the fine print. Now when I mean fine print I’m not speaking of the tiny text found on the bottom of contracts. What I’m referring to are the little unexpected things that come up as you travel to conventions to help promote your work. When I started this journey two years ago I was completely focused on writing and drawing Chronokari Alpha: Time is Relative, making sure it was properly edited and trying to wrap my head around the ins and outs of digital and print publishing.
As a second year of doing the comic book convention circuit in support of my book winds down, things have come to light that I didn’t expect. My travels to Philadelphia and Columbus for my first American conventions were quite rewarding and taught me a few things. Wizard World Philadelphia and Columbus educated me on the challenges of going through customs, running my booth on my own (make sure your neighbors are cool as they will watch your booth if you have to go to the washroom) and knowing which items in your inventory strike a chord with fans. Another thing that I learned was to constantly monitor how your table is set up. Don’t keep your display static and take notice of what catches peoples’ attention. Feel free to walk around your table and view it from the front. Remember that people tend to read from right to left so put your most engaging merchandise in a spot that will optimize its visibility.
I really enjoyed the two Wizard World shows and even made a few friends over the separate weekends. The same can be said of my return to Barbados for this year’s AnimeKon VII: Quantum Age. I had exhibited at the show last year and was so impressed with it that I just had to come back. Again there were some unexpected things that I encountered during AnimeKon that really caught me off guard. First there was the fact that people remembered me from last time. You never know what kind of lasting impression you’ve made, particularly as an inexperienced self-published author. The comment that really meant a lot to me however was when a teacher told me that he was using Time is Relative as a novel study for kids at his school. As a fellow educator, that was the highlight of the trip.
There were a few other things that I didn’t foresee myself getting educated on this summer. One of them was trademark registration. I’ll get into that for my next blog when I delve into my adventures trying to get a Cafepress store off the ground.