20 Convention Tips From One Comic Creator To Another

"The Con Job #1" cover by Amanda Conner
Credit: Amanda Conner
Credit: Image Comics

Writer Matt Hawkins has been going to conventions since he started in the industry in 1993, as a creator of such books as Think Tank and Lady Pendragon but also as a comic executive, as the long-time President/Chief Operating Officer of Top Cow. Earlier this week on Twitter, Hawkins shared 20 tips for comic creators setting up at conventions, and he has given Newsarama permission to run the entire list.

  1. f you aren’t good at talking to people, you’ll need to bring someone that is.
  2. Best opening is “hello” or “would you like a free ______”
  3. Best sales are always in the final hour of the day so don’t leave early.
  4. Ask people what they like to read, let them tell you which of your books they’d be more interested in.
  5. Have 10 second and 60 second pitches for each book. With the 60 second know which key pages of art to show.
  6. Have a cheap entry level thing they can buy to try (or give for free).
  7. Have expensive quality items for your hardcore fans.
  8. Have a variety of things. Some people like to choose.
  9. When you leave your table leave a sign saying when you’ll be back.
  10. Take credit cards. With the Square register there is no reason not to. You’re missing out on sales when you don’t.
  11. Hand a person talking to you a book to flip through.
  12. Smile.
  13. Make positive comments about their cosplay, kid, t-shirt and follow it up with a question. Where’d you get the shirt?
  14. Plan your calories. You need to eat to keep your energy level up
  15. Have a clear display with your name, best known property (ies), even a single banner behind you is enough.
  16. Have something visible with your social media. I have a “fan card” I give out that has my name and social media on it.
  17. Bring a small water bottle you can refill at the water fountain.
  18. If you’re getting angry, annoyed or are dead on your feet... take a break. Go walk around a bit. Bring something to cover your table.
  19. Try and make people laugh. Try different things. Practice and come up with one-liners that will make people smile.
  20. Don’t be pushy. You can actively sell them without being a used car salesman. You have to “sell” most comic books don’t sell themselves.
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