Of course in the grand plan of getting our writing to the point that we can sustain our lives through the revenue of book sales, making money is one of our primary goals. From the customers that come to us at shows and conventions to discuss and purchase our work to the royalty checks we get from our publishers we are in business and along with getting our work out into the world it is ultimately about making money.
Because of this primary objective it is understandable that when it comes to events we may participate in there is always a pro and consist we make. It could also be called a profit and loss statement for those more attuned to accounting practices. We take a look at the potential sales we stand to make and compare it to the costs of being a part of the event. Most of the shows I do are a simple how much is the booth fee vs how much do I stand to make. Though occasionally there are more things to consider.
The most recent show I took part in was Authorpalooza in Mesquite, NV. Located about an hour and a half north of my home in Las Vegas I had a decision to make. I could wake up early and hit the road to get up to the show in time for set up and save the money for a hotel but would have to risk traffic and possibly rushing in the morning (I am not a morning person in any way). Staying in my own bed would allow me to sleep better and save some money but as I stated there were potential concerns. On the other hand could load my show stuff the night before to make sure it was all there and ready to go then I could leave from my day job and drive up the night before and stay in a hotel nearby. This would allow me far more time to get ready in the morning and I wouldn't have to worry about running into anything unexpected on the way there. Of course it would add to the cost.
I did end up staying in the hotel and the show was quite slow so I only made back my investment but nothing more. Now I am preparing for a show this coming weekend that I can guarantee will be a financial loss for me but I am excited to go anyway. I will get the opportunity to network and meet in person so many other authors I have worked with online and research things that work or don't to help improve my own appearances at shows. The cost of flying this time all the way up to Seattle, WA and renting a car, eating and participating will cost hundreds as well as my sleep for just over forty-eight hours but it will be worth it. Learning and networking can be far more valuable than a few sales here and there.
Eventually I hope to reach the financial level of being able to write full time but I am more than happy to put in my time, effort and yes at this point my own money as well, to learn as much as I can to one day achieve that level. For now, here I come Capital Indie Book Con!