London Film & Comic Con 2010
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I spent this past weekend at Earls Court at the London Film & Comic Con, camped out at the Mystery Women stand.
Since we did a similar event in November, we at least knew what to expect. The 10,000+ people that turn up at these events are not usually readers of crime fiction – they are autograph collectors and sci fi geeks. However, a chance at being able to interact with so many potential punters is not to be turned down.
As well as myself, we had Cassandra Clark, Mary Andrea Clarke, Leigh Russell and Linda Regan. Linda is usually recognised at these events because of her acting work, and she brings along her hubby, Brian Murphy, who is kept just as busy signing pictures for people who recognise him from “Last of the Summer Wine” and “George and Mildred”.
When I went to Collectormania in November, my e-book wasn’t out. Now that it is, I made up some of the CDs with the e-book to sell, and a stack of my SUFFER THE CHILDREN promotional postcards.
We had about four tables, near the back of the hall. On the next stand over was Robert Rankin, who of course has sold a lot more books than any of us. However, our stand was right next to the Star Wars section which made me happy – it’s the 30th anniversary of the release of “The Empire Strikes Back” and there was a lot of Star Wars-related stuff going on. A group of Star Wars fans were kitted out in fab costumes, collecting money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. Right next to our table we had the Mandalorian Mercenaries stand, and the ‘astromech technicians’ stand, where two full-size remote control R2-D2s began their walkabout. We also had a variety of storm troopers wandering around, and an imposing Darth Vader, striding about with his long black cloak billowing. In fact, it was billowing so much that every time he strode past he knocked some of my cards off the corner of the table. But I wasn’t about to confront Darth Vader.
In between us and the toilets, were all the stars of the Star Wars films who were giving out autographs. I had to walk right past David Prowse and Kenny Baker every time I needed to use the ladies. Well, I was happy – I am a sad Star Wars geek.
Like last time, we had fun admiring all the wonderful costumes, and trying to work out who everyone was dressed up as. I can identify most sci fi characters, but I don’t read comic books, so I’m not so good with the super heroes (apart from the obvious ones like Spider Man and Bat Man). And there was a contingent of black-clad teenagers who I suspect were dressed as characters from Twilight, but I’m not a fan so couldn’t say. They might just have been moody teenagers in their ordinary attire for all I know.
On Saturday, I sold one copy of my e-book on CD, and that was to a friend of mine who had turned up at the Con and wanted to show support. I gave out a lot of cards, though, so felt the publicity was worth while.
Sunday was a much more interesting day. I was expecting the Con to be quieter. It wasn’t. In fact, people seemed more inclined to spend money. Most of the attendees seemed to be there both days, so either they spent Saturday browsing and then came on Sunday having decided what to spend their money on, or by Sunday they were firmly entrenched in ‘spend’ mode and parted with their cash far more easily.
Whatever the reason, it was good news for me. I sold five CDs on Sunday, and most were to real punters (as opposed to friends). Which means my sales over the weekend alone amounted to the total sales of the last two months put together.
No matter that I had to get up early and trek across London on Saturday and Sunday, and then go back to work on Monday feeling like I really haven’t had a weekend. This is the sacrifice that must be made, and the sales clearly demonstrated that it was worth my while.