In which that’s enough of that

So here’s the thing about the con I just did: I like all the people who run it. For the most part, I liked all the other vendors I talked to. I really enjoyed the panels I did; they weren’t heavily attended, but it turns out if you put a bunch of authors in a room and tell them to yap about something we’re perfectly happy just to talk amongst ourselves for a while even if there aren’t a whole lot of people there to listen.

Actually, true story: one of my panels was scheduled against the charity auction, which was heavily attended, and as a result there was literally no one there when our panel was supposed to start. The four of us just got to talking about microfiction anyway. Eventually one person showed up and joined the conversation. We did some readings, just for the hell of it. We had one person attend and it was the best panel I did, and I didn’t record it because I didn’t think it was going to last an hour– and somehow it did.

So, yeah, I’m not going back.

And, like, it’s weird– I like these people, and I had fun, and I’m not even going to use the name of the con in this post specifically because I don’t want anyone connected with the con finding it by accident, because this isn’t their fault. It’s not a poorly run show, but this is a small show, and the majority of my sales over the weekend were to other vendors, which is practically unheard of– and there were long stretches of time, especially today, where I didn’t see anyone in the vendor room who wasn’t a vendor. That’s not sustainable. It’s just not.

And the people who do show up for this con tend to do all of the cons in the Indianapolis area, which means I’ll catch them at some point at some other show. I recognized easily 50% of the folks who walked past my booth on Friday. There was a guy who was a booth barnacle from Hell for both of the people on either side of me who was at ConGlomeration in Louisville, and I’m pretty sure he was at the last one of these cons, and when I’m recognizing even the people I don’t want to see again? Sigh.

It’s just not worth it to me as someone who at least hypothetically wants the chance to make some money at one of these damn shows. And, of course, the flip side of that was the couple of people who did buy something from me at the last show, remembered me, and bought more books– I love that. It’s a wonderful feeling. But I spent $90 on my hotel room last night and sold two books today, for an amount of money that did not cover my breakfast and lunch today.

And … yeah. I’ve still got two or three more shows coming this year– and I had to cancel two because of the family stuff I’ve been going through in the last couple of months– but I have to start being a lot more selective about which shows I go to, and this one just can’t make the cut again. I’m not happy about it, but I don’t think I have a choice.

In which numbers are stupid and words are stupid and money is stupid and spreadsheets are stupid and everything is stupid

1c96f3844I was already not in the greatest of moods when I got home this afternoon; I spent the afternoon struggling to fix my parents’ laptop, a task I should have tackled weeks ago and I am starting to suspect is actually a world-class trolling attempt on Microsoft and Sony’s part, because no one could ever possibly think that Windows 8 is a real operating system.

(“Upgrade to Windows 10, it’s free,” you say?  “Die in a fire!” I say, because I’m fucking trying to, and I didn’t realize the magnitude of the fuckery until I tried to remove the cancer software from the computer.  Everyone involved in making Windows 8 should spend the rest of their lives in jail.)

Anyway.  I got home and put together a spreadsheet to help me try and suss out how many books to order for some of these cons I plan on being a vendor at, and what I have concluded is that it is going to be virtually impossible for me to make a profit at any of these things, especially if I eat while I’m on the road.  Now, I can literally make profit if I sell every book I bring with me, under some circumstances, but we’re looking at maybe a $3 an hour salary I’d be making over the three days of the con.  Is that worth it?  I don’t know.

And if I don’t sell everything?

Better mood tomorrow, I promise.