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(I could have sworn I've read a topic on this or something with helpful tips, but I can't find it anywhere.  If anyone points me in the direction of it, I'll delete this.)

I don't know if anyone even from Canada will have heard of this zine fest, because it's going to be pretty tiny.  It's in the small town of Sackville, New Brunswick, and I was going to be down there July 30-August 2nd for the music festival, Sappyfest.  And then I found out, with glee, that there's a zine fest Saturday afternoon!  Tables are only $10, so I have officially been signed up for my first zine fest.

Now, I've been to a few zine fests here, so I've got the basic idea.  Mainly I'm just terrified and would like some advice for first timers.  Any helpful hints, things you wish you'd known for your first, how many zines I should bring (keep in mind that this will probably be pretty small), what kind of questions I should expect... help!  I'm really excited, despite my terror.  I'd love any advice anyone could offer.

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I tabled for the first time a few months ago. I think it's probably good to keep in mind that things probably won't go perfectly but then you'll have a better idea what you're doing next time.

Bring money to make change!

Realize that people are going to get interested in your zines and decide to buy them based a lot on the title and cover! People in stores often take a minute to read a page or two, but people at zine fests, where its louder and they feel a little weird because the person who made the zine is staring at them while they look at it, probably aren't going to spend as much time evaluating whether they want something or not.

Have something people who are interested in your work but not in buying it that day can take, like a free sticker or business card.

Also check out this thread, maybe: http://wemakezines.ning.com/forum/topics/how-do-you-make-your-zine-...
Thanks for all your tips! That's one of the threads I'd been looking for, it's got some great ideas. And I hadn't even thought of change... haha. That's a good point about the title and cover, maybe I'll print some coloured covers to make them look more appealing. All great suggestions!

Dan C said:
I tabled for the first time a few months ago. I think it's probably good to keep in mind that things probably won't go perfectly but then you'll have a better idea what you're doing next time.

Bring money to make change!

Realize that people are going to get interested in your zines and decide to buy them based a lot on the title and cover! People in stores often take a minute to read a page or two, but people at zine fests, where its louder and they feel a little weird because the person who made the zine is staring at them while they look at it, probably aren't going to spend as much time evaluating whether they want something or not.

Have something people who are interested in your work but not in buying it that day can take, like a free sticker or business card.

Also check out this thread, maybe: http://wemakezines.ning.com/forum/topics/how-do-you-make-your-zine-...
I made a short zine with an essay called Everything You Wanted to Know About Zine Fests. If you want a copy, send me your address, and i'll put it in the mail right away.
Oh my gosh, thank you so much! That'd be wicked. I'll send you my address right away. Ah, you guys are so great.

NicoleIntrovert said:
I made a short zine with an essay called Everything You Wanted to Know About Zine Fests. If you want a copy, send me your address, and i'll put it in the mail right away.
Star,

How many zines to bring? I say bring as many as you feel you can sell and trade which for me is anywhere from 50-100 zines. I assume most of my zine will be traded. Remember that you can always run and make more if you have too.

Here are my tips for tabling:

-Bring a nice table clothe for the table

-Give aways: I like to have a bowl of candy at my table which brings people in

-Freebie with your zine: I like to make small give aways with the purchase of a zine like a one page comic, or bookmarks

-Sign the zines you sell and even draw a picture to personalize it

-Sit back: It might be different in canada, but I found zine fest goers to like their space to view your zines, and most of the time they don't engage with me in conversation. Maybe it is the medium of reading material, but this threw me off at my first zine fest because I am used to being chatty when selling.

-Read Me Signs: It is hard to even get people to pick up your zine, so I put little hand drawn Read Me signs on top of my zine pile. I find it works, and people tend to grab for my zine and check it out more often. Before I made the signs, I found people would come up to my booth awkwardly, look around and walk away. These signs say to people, "Check out my zine, read it dude. I want you too."

-Make the rounds with other ziners to trade for your zine. I like to do this in the beginning of the fest, so that I have some zines to read at my table. I also do a last minute closing time run through to trade for any zines I have left.

-It is mostly about other ziners: This might not be your experience, but for me, I tend to connect more with the ziners at tables then the fest goers.

-If the fest offers a raffle, get some tickets: I almost always win something, but even I don't the pause of waiting for the numbers is fun. I also donate my zine to the raffle for a give away.

-Leave your table: I used to sit at the table the whole time and miss the fest. Now I put a sign up, be right back, and I walk around. Like I mentioned, people like their space to read your zine, and something not even being at your table gives them that space. I usually can see my table to check in to see if people are crowding around.

Etsy: If possible, set up an etsy.com site to sell your zine for follow up sales. I tend to sell only the first issue or the latest issue of my series at the fest. So if people get into my zine they can get follow up issues on etsy.

Other things: I see people offer baked goods, original sign art, and craft items

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