Last weekend, I attended St. Louis' longest running science fiction/fantasy convention, Archon. In its 39th year, attendance looked pretty strong, and the vendors hall was busy. In 2014, I shared a table with another publisher, and we sold close to a 100 books together.
It was my most awesomest event EVER.
So this year, I got my own table next to my publisher buddy, and I brought plenty of stock. On Friday, I nearly tripled my sales compared to last year's Friday. Saturday is the big day, and I was incredibly excited to, at the very least, match last year's Saturday sales.
Sunday was dead last year, and I was fortunate to have some people who said they'd be back to buy my books actually come back. In the end, my sales were down more than 20%. Not horrible, but my costs this year doubled.
I don't do this to make tons of money. I do it because I love it. At the same time, self publishing the very best, most professional book costs a lot. I rely on sales to help fund and offset the tremendous costs involved with putting out a quality product.
Once again, I find myself all full of doubts and wondering if this is the best use of my resources (mostly my time). I hope you're all not sick of my rollercoaster ride of emotions and insecurities. It seems after each event or con, I'm either flying high or feel low. This year, I don't think I hit any real highs at any events.
I have mixed emotions right now, and I'm planning for next year. I'm trying to figure out if the cost of going further away to new venues - and then having to pay for hotel stays - is even worth it. Going to these cons and shows are so much fun, and I love meeting new people. But I'm not meeting my financial goals to pay for my very expensive hobby.