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For folks who are having a hard time making money tabling at comic conventions, some advice:

- Get a book on your table, ASAP. My con revenue slammed from the occasional red or break-even into the black and STAYED there when I started selling $10-$30 books instead of $5 doodads.
- Stay local if you can, and crew up when you don't want to. Hone your pitch, table layout, and other details at LocalCon, and hit the road with four or five friends to keep costs down during travel. Share tables, share hotels, eat out of the 7-11 or pack a cooler from home.
-Budget and STICK TO IT. "$20 a day for food" MEANS "$20 a day for food," even if it means skipping bar-con, not going to the big cartoonist dinner at the Korean BBQ joint Sunday night, etc.

I guarantee, there is no One Big Event you can miss that'll destroy your nascent career.
- Keep track of what sells & what doesn't. It doesn't have to be a spreadsheet, just a list is fine. Bring more of what sells. (I know this sounds basic, but I know of more than a few folks that just pack the same stuff every show, regardless of prior experience.)
-Sunday Sales! After noon on the final day of the show, start offering discounts on what you have left. (25% off, 33% off, those are good; more than 50% might fuck with ppl's Perceived Value and actually keep them away.) Make a sign! Tape it to your banner or table front.
- And Re: banners: You don't need a branded tablecloth or big banner. Get a tabletop tripod banner at FedEx Office for about $20. Put your best, most representative art on it! Stick it on your table! And remaindered fabric at craft stores? Quick, cheap, eye-catching tablecloths.
- Get creative about your commissions. Some stuff I've seen:
- Drawing of your aura
- Insulting portrait of you
- Tell me about yourself and I will draw your Patronus!
- Roll these dice, and find the results on this table. I will draw a single absurd image combining them all!
(And keep those wacky table-side commissions cheap, like $5-$10. They'll be impulse buys, and need to be priced accordingly.)
- And basically? Hustle. Ya gotta.

Go to GotPrint, order 5 sets of 100 postcards with your 5 nicest pieces on em at $15 each for an upfront investment of $75. Bundle them with cute washi tape, one kind of each postcard. They're now a set of limited edition mini prints, $10 EACH.
That's just an example; what I mean by "hustle" is "look for an angle." Figure out a way to work with what you've got, keep costs down, and maximize your net take. Lean hard into what's working, and be willing to let go of what isn't, even if it hurts.
If you poured your heart into your risographed hand-bound mini on hemp paper about the last afternoon you spent in your childhood house, and your enamel pin of a stylized coily poop with a cigarette stub in it outsells it ten fold, you have a decision to make.

"Gosh, that's really cold and mercenary, Spike."

Yeah, I don't deny that, But this is about turning a profit at cons. And if you wanna do that, you'll sell what people are buying.
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