Friday, October 7, 2011

VCON 2011, Day 1, Part 2: VEND!

Let the haphazard capitalism commence! Well, I'm sure most of the vendors that show up have some semblance of professionalism, but let me tip you off, I'm not one of THOSE types.

That said, this was my fourth time at bat, and I'd seen some trends I could expect:

-Every friday is slow as hell.Wrong kind of friday-hell. As I was saying..

Most people don't get off work until two hours before the vendor room closes, and then they just want to do selfish things like drive home and/or eat. At the end of friday, you can spot the newbies, with a look of "OMG, what am I doing here, sales were crap, I'm wasting my time and money, I'm gonna to into the corner and cut myself."

I sagely say to such folks, "Take it easy, this was friday. Think of it as dress rehearsal. Most of the visitors will be floating around the con all weekend, and will be back. They're not in a rush to buy, they're on recon." Wisely wise, do I enwisen my wisdoms. Enwisen. It's a word. I just invented it, I'm allowed, I'm a writer.

-Every saturday is the BIG day. I'm not in it 'for the numbers', I'm in it to get my stories into people's hands primarily, but if the numbers are there, I'll keep an eye on them. And saturday is the bringer of numbers. I've heard other vendors say similar things.

-Every sunday is for the slow deciders, the 'orbiters' who orbit the con taking everything in, finally settling in to pick something up that they've had their eye on since friday. This is also when polite vendors wait to buy from other vendors, as to not deplete stock before visitors have a chance. Sunday always feels slow after saturday, but not nearly as bad as friday.

Penny Arcade has noticed many of these trends as well.
What?? Somehow, friday sales were pretty good! There was talk about the con being bigger this year! Obviously this increase will follow throughout my preconceived pattern, resulting in a bajillion sales on saturday! Right? Right? Oh, I'll have to look forward to that...!

At any rate, the first order of business for me is always to take my 2 given VCON bucks over to Kyle at his bc chains table. Aside from his custom made chain maille stuff, he also always brings candy. Eeeeeheeheee candy! A couple years he brought some that came in little round tins that make great rpg dice containers.

Not this year though... not that I don't have enough from previous years. For that matter, I also had my own little stock of candy. I was ripping off Kyle's tactic a little this year, putting a little box of candy out, for a buck a pop, or my own chomping. My offering was smaller, I didn't want to try to take over the VCON candy industry.. yet. But getting candy from Kyle has become my own custom, every since the year I had my table across from his. Candy.

I think it was friday that Plotbunny showed up. She had emailed me a week or two previously. She's read all 3 of my books, and her favourite was the first. She had bought 2 copies of the paperback for Lifehack over the years, (as well as nabbing a poster or two) and she wanted hardcover now. She wanted hardcover last year, but I hadn't brought hardcover to VCON for a long time. They're pricey, both for me, and the end reader. Aside from hardcover fans, they just don't move that well. Not well enough for me to sit on a stack for potentially years.

But.... Plotbunny's an awesome gal, and obviously a fan of Regan's, so who am I to say no? At that point, I wasn't sure of the time to get an order, and for that matter, getting a single book would make the shipping really.. lame. I order in batches so the shipping per book is negligible. I didn't need a big batch of hardcovers. So... I brought my own personal trio of hardcovers.

Plotbunny came and went, taking my very own hardcover copy of Lifehack with her. The Watching Yute and Echoes of Erebus hardcovers cried. For the rest of the con, I had a post-it nearby saying "Hardcover Lifehack sold out!" ...... cuz I had so many to begin with. It would be obvious to anyone else that there'd been such a HUGE RUSH for them. Or, as most people mistook, poking the softcover that the post it was on, "You don't look sold out!" Look closer, that's a soft cover. "...Oh. Oh, right."

So now, a week later, my trio of hardcovers on my shelf has a gap. A continuity limp. I guess I'll have to restock myself.

All in all, as I said before, business was decent. For a friday? Amazing. And of course I was having a blast, yapping with vendors and visitors alike, basking in the nerdiness. For such a big circle of people, the citizenship of VCON feels very close. Similar interests will do that, I suppose.

As the hour drew near; 7pm, closing of the room for the day, I readied myself for the 'book launch' event. I had a reading to do! First, check that the posters on the wall were secure.. the masking take looped on te backs were doing OKAY, but I was certain I'd find at least one on the floor next morning. I laid down the books that were on stands, and weighted down things that might get caught in the breeze. Oh, and I tucked in the robot.

Next post- The Launch Reading!


Jenni Merrifield (strawberryJAMM) said...

Hey Joseph! I was wondering if you were ever going to continue your VCON 36 reminiscing. At least tell us how the Book Launch went this year. :-)

Joseph Picard said...

Yeah, I know it's been a while.. last year I got a pile of entries done in a matter of a few days, (it felt like)

Unfortunately, life has been letting me have less and less free time. (see also- lack of a new book this year) But okay..! I'm slightly more re-motivated now. And as it happens, I know for sure that I won't have a moment tomorrow.. it's all so bleak!