Related post: Plans for APE
Wow, what can I say about APE?
Well, this was definitely an experience!
Firstly, I believe that APE (Alternative Press Expo) was a productive endeavor. I learned much more about the nature of each publisher I’ve been tracking online. I hope that Shannon and I managed to get the names of our projects (The Poet and the Flea and The First Reich) out there just a little. And I learned a lot about what techniques make a successful table.
As far as the bigger publishers go (Fantagraphics, Drawn & Quarterly, Last Gasp, Top Shelf, etc.), I was glad to see them at the Expo — to see all their products laid out in front of me, rather than squinting at images on a computer screen. Some of them only had marketing representatives who didn’t know much about the submissions process, which was too bad. Others had more knowledgable people to talk to, who offered some useful advice. I guess it really just boils down to submitting material and seeing what happens!
I very much enjoyed talking to some of the smaller publishers. They were very enthusiastic, helpful, and informative. And just because they’re smaller doesn’t mean they have inferior products. They are extremely professional (but in a laid back sort of way) and their books are gorgeous!
I loved talking with the kind folks at Yam Books. Tim Hensley (creator of Ticket Stub) was shocked that someone in their twenties (me) was a Barbara Stanwyck fan!! Both Saturday and Sunday, we had conversations about the film noir starlet, exchanging movie titles and laughing away. He even drew me this awesome illustration of Barbara (see below) in Double Indemnity — bangs and sunglasses and all!
I’ve only recently become interested in learning more about the world of zines. And Tugboat Press seemed like a good place to start. I really admire what they’re doing. I’m glad I talked with them because I learned that, rather than taking submissions, they commission artists. I also received recommendations about which volumes of their anthology Papercutter to buy and realized that they are interested in a vast array of genres. I’m excited to really sit down and read my purchases.
Sunday, I finally figured out where Uncivilized Books got to (I just could not figure out that map!). Their chief Tom was excellent at patiently answering my questions and encouraging me to submit my work. I’m excited to start working on sending out some follow-up e-mails to everyone I talked with!
Also, I picked up a lot of interesting flyers, cards, stickers, etc. from around the expo and from the free table. Below are some of my favorites!!
Here are my notes of what makes a successful table in case I end up getting one for APE next year!
(This is just a rough list for my personal use. In no particular order!)
- Need a billboard/banner advertising name of artist/graphic novel.
- Need a tablecloth.
- Need a sign (or maybe t-shirts) to hang off the front of the table.
- Wear one of your own t-shirts to further advertise your graphic novel.
- Perhaps a sign or two saying: “Please talk to us — we’re friendly!”
- Perhaps a big bowl of free candy.
- Attract customers with a selection of cheaper items ($1 pins or stickers?).
- Need a clipboard and form for customers to sign up for your mailing list.
- Provide plenty of business cards and/or postcards.
Among the flyers and such was a postcard for the East Bay Alternative Book and Zine Fest, free and taking place December 8th in Berkeley. I’m very interested in checking it out!
Copyright 2012 by G. E. Gallas