Most of these questions have been answered but we still have a few to go. We’re working as fast as we can.
Please use the form at the bottom of the page to submit any questions you may have.
How do I sign up to participate in the Sci Fi Roundtable Convention Co-Op?
First you fill out the form here so we have contact info for you and an idea of which Cons you are interested in having your titles (or your body) attending.
Once we receive this from you, we’ll confirm that we have space available at the events in which you are looking to participate, and we’ll let you know by email immediately. If there is space available we’ll put a temporary hold on your shares while we work through the rest of the process.
Next, we’ll will send you a request for a PDF sample of your book so we can look it over to get a feel for its sales potential/production quality (more on that in another question below).
Once we’ve completed the review we’ll send you a copy of our consignment sales agreement (Featured Authors fill out a slightly different agreement and do not fill out the consignment sales agreement unless they will need us to process credit cards at the Con they plan to attend). You will need to complete it and sign it. This step will also include setting your price point for your titles.
After you’ve completed the steps above, we’ll invoice you for your fees and walk you through getting your books and sales aids together and shipped.
Our intent is to make this as easy on you as the Author/publisher as possible and we will work with you every step of the way.
Why do you review my books before you accept them?
Let me explain this as gently as possible:
We’re all independent writers or small publishers, and as such, whether or not we like it, we do represent each other. Any of you who have been involved in the Sci Fi Roundtable for a while will understand that we’re dedicated to the idea that “a rising tide raises all boats,” but this means that we are all responsible for helping to raise the tide.
Unfortunately this is a tough thing for most authors to accept, but readers in general don’t care if your book is a personal achievement of monumental proportion; they want a good story, presented professionally.
So before we accept your books for the Co-Op booth, we’ll need to look over your workmanship so that we can make sure that it looks good and reads well. We can look at your sample on Amazon (if you have it there in paperback), or we’ll need to get a copy of a few chapters in PDF, along with your cover art. so we can get a feel for how your finished product looks.
We’re more interested in your market potential than your story, so we’re not going to “pass judgment on your content,” but we will expect you to get your books over the “professional bar.” Once you’ve submitted a sample and we’ve had a chance to look it over, we’ll let you know that you are in (or if we think there might be things that need improvement to be Con-ready).
Why do you charge fees to participate in the Co-Op?
How many titles do you plan for the Table Share?
20 Table Shares maximum, plus 2 Featured Authors. Authors with multiple titles will determine how many total shares we can get into the space available.
By capping the total number of Authors (and titles) we can make sure that if a potential reader is interested, we can spend time answering questions and helping to encourage them to buy.
How many authors do you plan for Feature Authors?
Initially, because of the booth design and size limitations we’re planning to limit the Featured Authors to no more than TWO. If we reach the point where we will be picking up double booths, or premium booth positions at events, we may add additional positions for Featured Authors.
We are also considering the possibility of splitting up Cons so that one author may show up for one day and another author for another day at the same event, but this is still up for discussion and will depend on the various Con rules.
What price point should I set for my book?
Why can’t I get more for my book?
You can. More per book and less unit sales. It is a trade off.
We recommend the $10 to $12 price point because above that is where the returns start to drop off substantially. The bottom line is that at a certain point it just isn’t worth trying to sell and we’d have to consider passing up taking the book to Cons.
We are willing to try selling you books at a higher price, but beating a dead horse is in no one’s best interest.
How much money can I realistically expect to make from selling books through the Co-Op?
Bluntly, you are not going to get rich. But you will probably sell paperbacks a LOT better than you will through Amazon (or anywhere else online).
We would expect that a good title, with a good cover will sell 10 to 20 copies at any convention (unless you are a featured author and then you might expect to sell 50 to 100 copies). After paying your table expenses and the fees we have to collect to pay our operating expenses you will net somewhere around $5.00 a book (remember that is better than Amazon). This does of course depend on your wholesale costs.
The question on whether this is enough to make you happy, is whether or not it is better than your current sales levels in paperback … of course you won’t have to take your book off Amazon either, so what it boils down to is an EXTRA $50 to $100 per con you are doing with us.
Why do you recommend using Createspace for PoD over Amazon PoD?
Createspace happens to be an easy resource to use. It is not that we are endorsing Creatspace per se, it is just that we are actively NOT recommending Amazon PoD, because it simply does not have a wholesale price for authors to buy their own books.
Let me put it this way. My first novel is 424 pages (weighing in at over 180,000 words). It retails on Amazon for$15.95. Through Creatspace I buy this book for $6.02. It costs me another $.50 cents to ship it. At a Con I sell a crap-ton of books at $10 a copy, which nets me about $3.50 a copy (which incidentally is more than I make selling it on Amazon at full retail).
I tried selling my book at several events at $12 a copy and although I made more per unit, I sold a LOT less. At $15.95 a copy I sold almost none.
Now what would I have made if I couldn’t get my book for $6.52 a copy and had to pay full retail?
I think that explains why we recommend anyone but Amazon PoD.
I am not set up through Createspace, can you help?
Yes we can. Because of the wide variety of potential starting points in this discussion though we would need to talk to you in depth about what is involved given your particular status. Contact us here to ask about working on this.
I don’t have any print books. Can I just send business cards and bookmarks?
Yes. As space permits, we can put these kinds of things out on the table. If we start getting over crowded, we may have to consider charging a nominal fee for this, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it (figure it won’t be over $5 per event and probably will be less).
I’m set up on Ingram spark. Is it all right to send books from there instead of Createspace?
Absolutely. It doesn’t matter to us where you get your books as long as you can get them into our hands.
We only advise against using Amazon PoD because there is no wholesale price available to authors and so in order to make a profit on books at the con, you have to mark them up to a point where they won’t sell.
What if I want my books back after a Con?
Not a problem. We can deliver them to a shipper of your choice, and either you will need to pay return shipping on unsold stock, or we can deduct it from your sales revenues (if you have enough available).
Will you accept more than 10 books per title?
Yes. Within limits. We will carry as many books to each con as we can. 10 is the minimum for an event and we figure we’ll keep between 6 to 8 on the table and visible at any time. The rest will be stocked below the table and used to replenish stock that sells. We really don’t want to be carrying more than a “standard box” of books per title since more than that and we run out of space to store them.
We can however warehouse larger stocks of books here if pre-arranged and you want to attend consecutive conventions.
I have a nine book series. What if I want to include all nine?
You’d need to get two Table Shares (or be a Featured Author).
We cap the total number of titles an author can have on the table at 5 so that we don’t end up with one author dominating the sales potential of the booth. Variety of genre and subject matter keeps people at the booth longer (or brings in a wider range of readers) … and the longer someone is shopping at our table, the better we all do.
What kind of sales items do you recommend I supply?
The resource page has some suggestions on this, but you can always come up with additional ideas and let us know what you’re thinking. We’re open and flexible this way as long as it doesn’t detract from other titles on the table.
From the perspective of the Co-Op, what is the difference between a Comic Con and Literary Con?
How do you handle anthologies?
Just like single author books.
We will need a single contact person and we will pay sales revenues to them. After that they are responsible for distribution to the other parties (if the anthology is a group share project).
Can I participate in the Co-Op booth and have my own table too at a con?
Yes you can. We’ve even got a few ways to help your other booth work more effectively too. Contact us Here and ask about how we can help you with your table too.
Do you offer discounts if I book multiple Cons?
Right now we are working at a point where the total number of buy in shares (if we get two featured Authors per event) covers about 75% to 80% of the table cost at any given event. Above that we have all our travel and lodging expenses, as well as all the incidentals that no one can anticipate.
As a result,we don’t really have much wiggle room in the budget at this point.
In the future when we are actually running multiple booths simultaneously, we plan to offer multiple buy-in discounts.
Please use this form to submit your questions.
Feel free to be specific and thorough in your questions, but please ask one question per submission.