New York Comic Con was a blast for us here at Odd Truth. While most of us had gone to at least one convention as guests, none of us had attended the convention as exhibitors. We did our best to prepare but needless to say we were daunted at times by the sheer amount of people who were there (current estimates put it at 112,000 people). Unfortunately, I cannot really speak much about the amazing panels that were out there this year at NYCC as we were on the show floor almost all of the time. However, we did pick up a lot of lessons and stories that we’d like to share with you.
Lesson #1: People will reject you, and it’s ok: Be ready to face A LOT of rejection. If George Lucas was out there in the 70s selling Star Wars (the comic book version) (and yes, episode 4) face-to-face, he’d face rejection (Historical note: He DID actually face a lot of rejection by the studios in getting the movie made). And that’s ok. Just because someone rejects you doesn’t mean they don’t like you or your product. They’re just not pioneers: they don’t like to try out new things. Or they’re busy getting from point A to B. Or (fill in excuse here). What matters is that you take that rejection and channel it into something positive, like going out there and getting the next person to buy your book.
Lesson #2: Be more prepared, no matter how well prepared you think you are: Before we started, we had enough free cards and flyers to hand out, or so I thought. We were sorely mistaken and we ended up handing out paper with our information to people on the floor!
Lesson #3: Only focus on getting your comic out there if you’re new: If you’re like us, no one knows who you are out there on the showroom floor. Your best product that you can sell will be the only product people might invest in: your comic. Anything else: posters, T-shirts and other merchandise that’s not free, will not attract anyone until you are better known.
Lesson #4: You have 10 – 15 seconds to pique someone’s interest: As some of you know, we had a very solid, very quick pitch by the end of NYCC. That wasn’t always the case. In the first few days, we struggled describing the series in detail and it took us 5 minutes. We lost a lot of people of people by the end of the spiel, and our numbers reflected it. Between Thursday and Friday, we barely sold 100 issues. After our artist, Dennis Calero ,wisely suggested a shorter pitch (“It’s corporate espionage meets science fiction”), our sales grew tremendously (over 100 sold on both days, yay!).
Lesson #5: There’s strength in numbers: We brought in a lot of our staff, friends who volunteered to help out, even Dennis was out there handing out flyers to bring in people into our booth! We also partnered with Alexis Cruz and Colin Rankine in order to help them sell their amazing graphic novel The Unprofessionals. In turn, they helped us out in selling Torchbearer as well.
All in all, it was a blast seeing our book out there. We were so exhausted by the end of the day that we really didn’t go out to many of the parties afterwards.
In any case, here are the best two pictures we took of our staff at NYCC:
That’s Colin on the leftmost, myself next to him, Sean Hernandez, a close friend and volunteer on the right, our production manager Victoria Rodriguez and next to her is Alexis Cruz.
If you see this upside-down, apologies. In any case, that’s me being blinded by Dennis Calero’s smile.
But the picture I’m proudest of is the one from our youngest fans
We’re so proud! :’-)
Anyway, that’s all for now.