Sunday, May 5, 2019

A Week in Writing #245: Powers Squared's First Signing

This blog of late has turned into A Week in Powers Squared. Everything for the last few weeks has been aimed toward an event that took place on Saturday morning. As part of the store's Free Comic Book Day, Galaxy of Comics, our local shop, offered to let us have a signing; an opportunity we jumped on.

I wish I could write that the rest of the week was just getting things ready for the event but there were, of course, bumps in the road. In order to have copies to sell at the event, I had ordered hard copies of all seven issues that have been published. We figured if any issue sold, it would be Issue #1, so I ordered 25 copies of that. For Issue #2, in case someone wanted the entire story arc, we ordered 15 copies. For the remaining issues, I order 5 copies each. At least that's what I thought I had done. Instead of receiving five copies of Issue #3, Ka-Blam, which we had been using for these copies, sent me 10 copies of Issue #5.

I found this out on Monday night when I got home from work. Not sure what to expect, we looked for a local backup printer. Our first thought was Kinko's, which we have used for several school projects over the years. (These were the same people we went to about a banner, which we found online for about 1/3 of the cost.) There were issues with the files, and I had to spend most of Monday night fooling around with tiffs and pdfs. I went back the next night and there were more issues. I would have to join pages before they could print them properly. It was a job they said they could do in 24 hours, but the cost was prohibitive; over $24 an issue. I decided to not use them.

I had messaged Ka-Blam on Monday night and they did respond on Tuesday. While I still think they got the order wrong, they did come through. They printed the five copies of Issue #3 and sent them to me with two-day delivery. I got them on Thursday night.

On Wednesday, Paul and I had gone up to the store to check on the details. The store would supply the table and two chairs. We had already rented two additional chairs, as my wife would also be up there for the duration.

We got up on Saturday morning at about 4 am to get ourselves ready. One of the press releases I had sent got a response and the Features Editor of the Pierce College paper, the Roundup was going to be there before the event to interview Paul and Trevor. We put the issues and the other paraphernalia for the signing in a red wagon, which Trevor drove; I carried the chairs and away we went at about 5:30.

When we got to the store, we were told there wouldn't be a table for us to use. I won't go into all the thoughts that went through our heads, but we were not going to be denied. We had a table at home and my wife and I went back to retrieve it. We were up and running before 6. The editor was there and we sold our first copy when a friend of the boys from middle school showed up and bought the first issue.

Celebrating our first issue sold.
Sold and signed.

We were situated outside the store but away from the main flow of customers. Again, one has to hope that wasn't deliberate. We hoped that we would hear them mention to customers who were there for free comic books and the sale that we were outside, but I don't believe it was ever mentioned. We were stuck with trying to wrangle people on the way in or on the way out and I would say we had pretty good luck. We did meet a lot of people and had a good time.

After about 9 1/2 hours, we decided to call it a day. We packed up and rolled our wagon home. On the way, one more friend of the boys from Yu-Gi-Oh! locals chased us down the street to buy an issue. He didn't, however, want to join the mailing list. Go figure.

Paul put together a video of the event, showing us before, during and after the signing. This became our weekly vlog, which can be watched here. There's also a slideshow of photos on the website:

The point of the exercise wasn't so much to sell issues but to try to grow our mailing list. We sold less than 20 copies but did more than double our current mail list. There were a couple of names and email addresses that we couldn't read and only gave up on them after three failed attempts to guess at the right one.

We sent a free copy of the .pdf for the first issue to everyone who signed up that day and sent our weekly email to 63 names, the largest distribution so far. I'm sure there will be some drop-offs as time goes on, but it seemed to be a win for us as we try to grow our list.

I spent most of Wednesday night listening to more from ListLaunch and it seems that we're at least not doing anything wrong yet with our mailing list. As always, if you want to join the mailing list, and I hope you do, you can join here:

We did receive pages from both Rachel and Nina, both on Monday night, which weren't able to look at until Wednesday. And on Wednesday, Rachel sent us two versions of thumbnails for the next 8 pages, which we got to look at on Thursday. She made some really good suggestions and Paul and I went with them. The point is always to make it better.

Paul also had a good suggestion for pages that Nina sent. It was nothing to do with her coloring, which is always good, but with the image itself. We're doing our first two-page spread in an upcoming issue and his idea would make it better. Rachel and Nina both agreed and Nina turned the pages around very quickly. This is the best creative team we've worked with so far.

Not everything this past week was Powers Squared-centric. I did work on a review of Cat People and Trophy Unlocked did launch Batman month on Saturday. For the month of May, in celebration of the 80th year of the Dark Knight, we're going to do reviews all month of various Batman films. We started the celebration with Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders.

Hopefully, now that things have calmed down, I'll be able to get back to other writing. The Runaway is still in limbo and there are those query letters that need to be sent and rejected for Broken People. Who knows, maybe the editor will get back to me on Familiar Stranger. Hey, stranger things have happened.

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