In the migration over to WordPress some of my posts did not make it over.
Original Post -2010-05-03
This weekend I went to my first showing of “Haven” our graphic novel releasing this August. I was a little nervous going in not knowing what to expect so after meeting the owner I quietly set up my spot which one in a line of about 5 other creators there. Kudos to the creator who walked in from the street while in town on vacation and was offered a seat. It takes guts to walk in not knowing anyone there and ask if he could sell his book. I wish him well. Nice guy too. There was a guy from Marvel there as well. At first I thought to myself, “Why would Marvel need to send someone to Nashville when us little guys haven’t even sold one copy yet??” but then I thought of the store owner who is doing what he needs to do to sell comics which I applaud him for.
It was storming out and there was a beauty school graduation going on next door (reminds me of the Grease song, “Beauty School Dropout” so traffic was not all that great to begin with. Two guys stopped by the Marvel table and stayed for close to an hour I think. To answer your question, yes I did roll my eyes.
But then people started coming. When I spoke to them about our book they seemed genuinely interested. Heck, got four commitments to buy so that was great. But as people came by to say hi my angst quickly abated and my nervousness faded into nothing the more I got to know people and I was able to figure out that it wasn’t about selling books at all it was about relationships. People came by and stayed not because I persuaded them to but because they wanted to stay and talk and that means more than selling a million copies. They assumed I won’t remember their names. Tim, Greg, Emily, Chris and Elise you’re wrong. I’ll remember you. Thank you for coming by.
I learned a lot at my first event. Some of what I learned scares me, in fact. Creators not showing up for their signings after the retailer has spent hundreds on promoting them, retailers who only order from a distributor who only has eyes for the big guns, and overall people who have been slided at one point or another by someone in the industry make for one big dysfunctional family. What is a new creator to make of the dysfunctions of the comic book industry.
The word to focus here on is family. I have to remember that…or die trying. All of us have to get past what someone has done to us and not be complacent with the status quo. Newbies will never make it without the support of the retailer. Retailers will never make it without the support of the publisher. Distributors will never open their doors until consumers pry it open. Otherwise another 20 years will go by and we’ll be forced to endure reboots of reboots of comic characters and there will be nothing fresh on the table to partake from.
The only reboot that is worth making is within ourselves.
Leonardo Ramirez is an author of Science Fiction and Fantasy books for all ages. For more info, please visit http://leonardoverse.com and sign up for the blog.