Next week I start my 2015 season of attending ComicCons and Fan Expos to promote my books so I thought it would be a good idea to write something about my experiences with those as the topic for this guest post.
First of all, ComicCons and Fan Expos are an amazing place to make some personal contact with a lot of different people who don't yet realise that they are fans of your books. Particularly at the bigger events with high attendance the number of potential fans out there who have no idea who you are is quite large. And having the chance to chat with them and tell them all about your books is a great and rewarding opportunity. I always look forward to meeting people and seeing their reactions to the different book series that I have written. This "instant feedback" is also incredibly valuable for me in terms of the books I write in the future as well.
Generally speaking these events will offer two types of booths or tables: the larger (and more expensive) corporate booths and smaller spaces in the so-called "Artist Alley" areas. Both of these are good options and going for the smaller/cheaper option generally won't affect the numbers of people you will have the opportunity to meet. The Artist Alley areas are just as well trafficked as the main booth areas.
That said, however, don't expect to make much money, if any at all. I've read of independent authors with only a single book out claiming to sell "a hundred books a day or more" at these events, but if you ask me the math just doesn't add up. The days are generally never longer than nine hours. One hundred books in nine hours means you have to sell one book every five and a half minutes. And take it from me... if someone does buy your book, you've already chatted with them for at least few minutes already, plus the time it takes to exchange money and sign their book (most people want their book signed, of course, so make sure to think ahead of time of some interesting things to write). Even with someone helping you a hundred books a day seems unlikely. Fifty per day is probably a more realistic goal, and even that would require an event with very high attendance.
But for an author attending these types of events you probably shouldn't view it as a chance to make money, but rather as a chance to meet potential fans and maybe sell a few books too. And in this respect these events are incredibly rewarding.