Actually I didn't have a table at NYCC, I was at New York Anime Festival technically. ReedPop used to have the two events separate, but since last year, the two have become one event. I thought I was being clever by getting in on the Anime side of the show. The comic artist alley was much larger and booth costs were higher, but every area has their pros and cons. The biggest issue was that the NYAF area was on another floor separate from the whole rest of the show. It still had good traffic, but it was still separate. Talking to folks on the main floor and in the comic artist alley, it seemed that booth space had the best success for sales and exposure. And that's why at this point I'm viewing shows like NYCC (or NYAF if you will) as more for promotion than for sales. The reason I say this is the costs in transportation and lodging. Book costs are low, table cost was low, but the flight and hotel in New York costs would make it difficult to break even. Don't get me wrong sales were great, just our typical sales at a show currently aren't enough to help pay fully for a show like NYCC. I say that but I remember Baltimore was better on profit, but then we had a place to stay and drove to that event. Obviously more number crunching and study is needed.
We did get paid very well in a different way, networking. First off, Buddy Scalera organized a great networking event which paired up writers, artists, colorists, and various other creative folks. I'm currently in talks with a lot of folks to potentially have them work for Dusk Comics or publish their own work.
But the networking didn't stop there. I managed to go around and talk to various other publishers and even had a good conversation with Diamond. I also work with the convention A-Kon as the executive assistant of Gaming, and I had a lot of great conversations with the video game companies out there.
And that segue ways nicely into another observation. The obvious biggest draw at the show was the video games. They had giant booths with lines all around them filled with people waiting for demos and giveaways.
A quick aside, I'm all for free swag, but I'm not one to wait in line for an hour for a free koozie from Intel. The book publishers were the best were they had free signings and they gave you the book too.
So to my observations, comics were getting pushed aside like they are at San Diego. You had Ford and Chevy there pushing cars. Marvel's booth was really just a big display for the new Avengers movie and people waited hours in line for their chance to pose with two models/actors dressed as SHIELD agents.
The biggest panels were the ones were people could see the latest movie trailers first. This was humorous because those same trailers were online officially as they were shown in the room. I was in the Nikita panel, because I'm a big Maggie Q fan, and I saw a man with his laptop viewing the same trailer for Nikita that was being shown in the room. It was on IGN, which were the same people that sponsored the panel room. Another funny thing about the panel room is in the line staff made it clear that you should go into the room for panel they wanted to see. They were trying to discourage squatting. In the room the staff made it clear they did not clear the room between panels and there was much cheering from fans. I heard people in the line bitching about their bladder holding out for the Avenger panel which was about 5 hours after the Nikita panel I was in line for. People were crazy about the hype. When I was in the hotel, and some congoers saw I was an exhibitor, the first thing out of their mouth was "What free stuff do you have?"
But overall it was a good show. Staff was good. Congoers were interested in our books. Fellow publishers were interested in working together for the greater good of our books. And going back to my home town of New York is always good. Okay I'm actually from Long Island, but I take what I can get.
I do need to teach the booth babe that when she's photographed away from the table she still needs to hype up the book. Actually our "booth babe" is our copyeditor and I just like to give her a hard time, hence why I mention the whole thing here.