Tuesday 9 July 2024

Live Book Sales for July

Over the past few months the question has been where will I sell more books: at primary schools or at book festivals? This month we start off by asking where will I sell fewer books: at secondary schools or at quiet comic conventions?

The schools at the start of this month have been secondary schools running their end of term activity weeks, so it's not the sort of place where I can do that arrangement where kids buy books in advance. And they're not excitable young Year 5 & 6s for whom Richard The Third is designed. So, at Maidwell Hall in Northants, two days at The Blue School in Wells, and at Churchill School in Somerset I chalked up a grand total of no book sales. The outliers were Romsey School in Hants, where a teacher bought all 3 Shakespeares and a Richard The Third, having remembered me from the last time I was there and being a fan of my work, and Windsor Academy in Halesowen, where the kids had got the message and brought cash.

Romsey School July 5th - £21.99 (1 x FM, PODS, MNDT, Richard)
Windsor Academy July 10th - £66 (11 x Richard The Thirds)

The first comic convention of the month was LFCC (London Film & Comic Con) at Olympia, which Tony Lee has been generous enough to invite me to for the last three years. They lay on the best hotel of any event, and are really supportive. It was at last July's LFCC that I developed the technique of caricaturing passers-by that I now use at every event to hook the punters in. Though, after I had done this at November's LFCC I received a complaint which the organisers passed on to me, saying a punter hadn't liked being stopped and drawn. So this year, to be on the safe side, I didn't move from behind my table*.

I have to say, though, that attendance was notably lower than the three LFCCs I've attended before, and my takings reflected that.

LFFC London Sat July 6th - £208.30, Sunday July 7th - £50.96

37 x Caricature only
12 x Richard The Third
7 x Midsummer Night's Dream Team
3 x Colouring Books
2 x Space Elain
2 x Findlay Macbeth
1 x Tales From The Bible

That Sunday figure is my second-lowest one-day take from any comics event I have attended since I began bringing my books to them in 2021 (the lowest being the Friday of LFCC in 2022. This year I, luckily, couldn't make the Friday which was, I was told, also very quiet). And that fifty quid was hard won, with me grabbing every punter that passed. There were not many.

(In contrast, LFCC July 2022 netted £20/£158/£116; July 2023 (where I did okay on the Friday, by selling artwork to one lucky customer at far-too-low prices, then on Sunday tripled my takings by starting the caricaturing of punters) £305/£119/£326; and Nov 2023 £179/£219. So Sundays have been ok-to-good in the past, but this year saw a blip).

Frome Lit Fest Sat July 13th - £141.85

7 x Richard The Third
3 x All 3 Shakespeare
5 x Prince Of Denmark Street
3 x Space Elain

Those sales were managed in two five minute bursts after my Comic Art Masterclasses, for which I of course also get paid. A slightly better return per minute than a day stood behind a table.

Market Harborough & Melton Mowbray libraries, Weds July 17th - £110.85

11 x Richard The Third
4 x Midsummer Nights Dream Team
2 x Findlay Macbeth

Baldock Arts Centre, Sat July 20th - £84.87 
(Not bad considering the morning class had only three pupils in it, and they bought three books at the end. The afternoon session was a sellout)

7 x Richard The Third
3 x Space Elain
2 x Prince Of Denmark Street
1 x Book Of Esther (I'd just take delivery of two of these to see if they'd sell at all)

Northern Ireland, Tues 23 - Sat 27 July 

Totals (up to Baldock)

Richard The Third - 49
Midsummer Night's Dream Team - 13
Prince Of Denmark Street - 9
Space Elain - 8
Findlay Macbeth - 6
All other books - 5

My Books and where to get them:

Richard The Third Amazon - Etsy - Barnes & Noble - Waterstones
Findlay Macbeth - Amazon  - Etsy 
Prince Of Denmark Street - Amazon - Etsy - Kindle
Midsummer Nights Dream Team  - Amazon Etsy 
Shakespeare Omnibus Collection (all 3 books) - Amazon

Who Notes - Doctor Who Reviews - Amazon - Lulu - ebook
Space Elain - Lulu - iBooks - Barnes & Noble 
Tales From The Bible - Amazon -  Etsy - Webtoons
The Book Of Esther - Lulu  - Amazon Webtoons
Joseph, Ruth & Other Stories - Amazon
Captain Clevedon - Amazon
Tales Of Nambygate - Amazon  

*NB: In March I was warned by Showmasters not to "stalk" the walkways drawing people, so I didn't. I was given the clear impression they didn't want me back. But I came anyway. This time I got a complaint because I'd left early. So they didn't want me to come, then they didn't want me to leave. I imagine I won't be invited again.

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