After an exhausting weekend, we are back from Anthro New England! We've been to this convention as a dealer nearly every year since its inception (skipping one year due to financial trouble), and we were originally waitlisted for this convention! That's how it was until the Monday before the convention, when we got an email at almost 10pm asking if we could put together a single table for the convention. Luckily Jake already had two of the three days off, and was able to manage the third, so we agreed. That just meant that all of our convention prep for Fur the More, ended up being ANE prep!
This section is going to be a bit different this time, since we commuted the hour and a half each way from home, each day. The drive wasn't bad each day, but with how last-minute everything was, it was certainly an added stress. At least we got a little bit of sleep each night. Just a little bit.
Friday – Setup
As with the last convention, we set up the morning of the first day.
Because we happened to have all of our Fur the More release titles in, we decided to bring them all with us, and we're glad we did! Friday saw a lot of sales for our newest Fanged Fiction release, Give Yourself a Hand, and if ANE likes one things, it a book of erotic fiction and good wordplay, it seems. We also sold through a good amount of the Pocket Shot stock we brought. Luckily, because we were commuting, we were able to grab more stock from home each night.
We were blown away with how busy the room ended up first thing! We were a little worried that the room was over fire-code capacity at first; it was just wall-to-wall.
The sales day was interesting. We'd done a bit under half of our ANE 2019 total year sales within the first two hours of the den opening, and then it just…sort of died for us. We did 13 transactions in the first day, and 10 were in those first two hours. All in all, it was our best Friday at a convention ever, keeping up with our trend of constantly beating previous conventions.
Saturday started out very similar to Friday, in that we did quite a bit in our first couple hours. Only this time, the lull didn't last, and we remained fairly busy throughout the entire day. We also had PJ Wolf, who had stories in our Claw the Way to Victory and Give Yourself a Hand anthologies, at our table to give us his musical stylings, titled "Buy Some Books", as well as sign some books. With his help, we ended the day having sold 10 copies of Give Yourself a Hand" at that point in the convention, which beats the previous record for "Most number of one title sold at a convention" of 7 (held by Symphony of Shifting Tides).
We also picked up our sales of our "Books with Character", our slightly-defected titles.
This is also now the third convention in a row where we've had a customer buy a book on Friday, then come back to us on Saturday saying, "I read the entire thing, and now I need more books." It's something that I don't think we'll ever get used to, and it certainly gives us a great feeling.
As usual, our Sunday started off pretty slow. We had a couple early transactions, and then a rush around 1pm, but it stayed a slow sort of steady. Our sales of Symphony of Shifting Tides and Disbanded picked up quite a bit, letting us sell nearly the rest of our "Books with Character", and giving Disbanded a now-two-way tie for second, selling 7 copies at the convention. By the end, we'd also sold 12 copies of Give Yourself a Hand in total, which is going to be tough to beat!
Because we were offered a free table and we commuted we, for the first time ever, actually managed to make a slight profit at a convention! If we'd had to even pay for the one table we took, we would have had a slight loss still, but it's a step up! Our gross sales were about a 31% increase on our previous best convention, and a 75% increase on ANE 2019, so we really can't complain.
Once again, we're so happy we decided to do the Quick Fact cards, as well as the samples. Both were pivotal to the success we had. We also were given an idea we plan to implement at our next convention, which is to take our quick pitch for each book and actually put that on the card, right under the title. It'll allow customers to peek quicker, and for those that don't socialize well, it’ll allow for them to get a better sense of the book than just from the blurb.
As we mentioned on Twitter, horny New England does it again, and erotic content seems to be extremely favorable at this convention. We certainly didn't slack on the YA-friendly sales, but it was probably a 60/40 split in the end.
We did have a few customers specifically ask us for books starring dragons, and we realized that other than a couple short stories involving them, we didn't have anything! Write some books starring dragons, people!
Not too many, actually! Despite having such a short time to prepare, we did pretty good with our preparation. With the information we've gathered from this convention, we're going to be featuring yet another new table layout for Fur the More, so get ready for that in…10 days.