Jun 7, 2017

My Experience at Scranton Zine Fest

Happy Wednesday!  It took me a few days to gather up all my thoughts but I'm back today with a blog post about Scranton Zine Fest, which I attended last weekend.

I had been planning on just viewing all the zines because I had never even BEEN to a zine fest before, but I saw on facebook that they had an opening for a table so I signed myself up last week.  I figured, why not?  Tabling at a zine fest is something I've been wanting to do for a long, long time and a smaller festival would be perfect for my first time!


Friday:

  • Drove to Scranton right after work!  It took about 2 hours and 15 minutes.  I arrived at my hotel at 7:30 and checked in.
I stayed on the 7th Floor!

  • After that, I walked around First Friday and listened to some cool bands.  Then I walked to the AFA Gallery to look at their First Friday displays.  They had some really cool art on the first floor and the zinesters were up on the second floor.
  • I bought a couple of zines and a cool polaroid photograph.
  • Met Katie and Joe from La La Theory and Displaced Snail Publications.  Super nice people!!  I was super awkward when I went up to them and was like, "I follow you on Instagram!" Haha.  Oh well.
  • Went back to my hotel and had a late dinner at the bar.  Wound up turning in early (10:30) because it's been a stressful week and I was exhausted.

View of the festival space before things got going!

Saturday:

  • Woke up early to eat some breakfast and work on my table design & set up.
  • Around 10:30 the gallery doors opened so I went over to set up!  I wasn't sure what to expect since I signed up at the last minute but I would up getting a full table near the back of the room. Awesome!
  • I wound up talking a bit with the Artist set up next to me.  Her name is Ashley and she introduced me to her friend Mia.  Super nice ladies!  I'm glad I got to talk with them a bit about zines and printing and life in general.
  • I can't believe I sold so many zines!  There's something very special about watching someone look at your work and smile and pick it up and read it.  You have to wonder what they're thinking about!

Cool DJ fellow!

Thoughts/Review:

  • Overall I sold $26 zines, totaling $38.  I am totally amazed and pleasantly surprised.
  • Write It Down - 1
  • Feel Ok - 1
  • Be Mine Valentine - 2
  • Daily Affirmations - 6
  • This Summer I - 1
  • Marian's Guide to Halloween - 2
  • Pen Pal Pack - 2
  • Limited Service - 6
  • Plus there's a few others that I forgot to track... Oops!

I am surprised by which zines sold and which zines did not sell!  It just goes to show that the market on Etsy can be completely different from the market that attends zines festivals, which makes me even MORE happy that I took the plunge and decided to table for the first time.


This was my setup before I graduated to a full table! lol

2 fun anecdotes

First, a guy came up to my table and looked at Daily Affirmations.  "I could use this."  He said.  "Why?"  I asked.  "My life sucks."  He replied sheepishly.  "Oh no.  Why's that?"  I asked.  "Because everybody in my band quit.  I just got a text."  I didn't know what to say.  "Oh no."  "Yeah, we were supposed to record next week."  And then he bought a copy.  I hope it makes him feel better, or at least smile.

Second, a guy was looking through the pen pal pack and he asked if I was selling them as a pack.  I said yes, but that I would sell them separately for him if he wanted.  Then he was like, "No, my boyfriend has a pen pal so I have to get this for him."  And then he bought a pen pal pack!  I hope his boyfriend really likes it and finds it helpful.

Zine Queen!  Jess (the organizer) gave everyone a bracelet.

Things I Would Do Differently:

  • Next time, I'm not going to wait.  I'm going to sign up to have a table right away.  It was definitely worth it and I want to do it again.
  • Consider the size of the festival when I make my photocopies.  I am taking A LOT of zines home with me.  Which is totally fine because I know I'll sell them on Etsy.  But I was stressing myself out with copying and collating and stapling earlier this week.  Haha.

That's all for today.  I feel so lucky that I got to participate in such a cool thing.  I hope there are more zine fests in my future.

Take care,
Marian
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