Tabling Adult Work

edited March 2013 in On The Road
I was involved in the Smut Peddler anthology recently and got set a box of books as part of my payment. I'd kind of like to move these at shows. Do you have any advice for tabling (and pitching) adults-only books alongside your more family-friendly stuff, at events with a lot of kids and families?


  • My advice? Don't -- at comics shows, anyway.

    You can't exhibit them on the table, and keeping them under the table but mentioning them to people makes you look like a pervert.

    At ACen you may have more leeway. Also, I recall suggesting you set up at some of the adult autograph expo shows in the area.

  • Who's the publisher? Ask them how they table it.
  • edited March 2013
    First make sure that the con organizers are OK with smut being peddled.

    I'd keep all but one copy behind the table, and put the display copy as far from the front as possible, and where you can reach out and stop anyone who looks under 25 from picking it up.  And I'd seriously card anyone without wrinkles or gray hair.  Preventing any under-18 from looking at it is your first, second, and third priority.  Not for their sake, but for yours.  (And it helps sell the book to its intended audience.)

    With Smut Peddler's cover (borderline nudity) I'd suggest making a card you can place on top of it to cover the "offending" part.  It can do double duty as an "ADULTS ONLY" advisory.  Since the book has a rather "ecumenical" subject matter, you should work out a quick disclaimer/pitch to prepare browsers (especially guys) for the possibility that they'll open it up to (for example) a page of guys having sex.  "It's diverse, women-friendly, sex-positive erotica," or something like that.
  • @SteveHorton I agree with Russ about not tabling it, especially if you have Amala on the table.

    The only other option I could think of (and would not recommend) would be to put it in a display and cover it with a big ADULTS ONLY sign. Probably not going to attract a desirable crowd, however, and you would have to keep an eye on it - and make sure people don't just browse through it. Or worse.
  • Who's the publisher? Ask them how they table it.
    Spike / Iron Circus Comics. I'll ask her.
  • I should add: I have sold mature-readers books at comic cons, of course: Kagemono. But that's psychological horror as opposed to balls-out (pun intended) porn. Porn is fine, but it's eschewed at any traditional con. However, if they can sell yaoi at anime cons, you should be able to sell it at ACen with the security steps Jason and Trevor suggested. You could also bag it to prevent people from skimming.
  • edited March 2013
    I would recommend bagging it at ACEN. Otherwise, you're going to get perverts skimming through (while potentially creeping out your other customers) or people who are not quite old enough trying to look at it (in which case you have to either ID them, or interrupt your other conversations to let them know that book is not for them).
  • It depends on the show, but definitely table it.

    Just find out what the rules are at the show.  Some cons make it part of the application process.  At WonderCon and San Diego it's part of the application and they have rules on what can be displayed and how.   Even if they don't make it clear and somehow you get a complaint then all you have to do is comply.  You won't get kicked out for having *one* adult title.  If you showed up with nothing but porn then they'd have grounds to kick you out on the spot, otherwise you'll just have to cover it up, add post-its, or bag it.  But don't wait to be told.  Haha!

    I was at a one-day show at the beginning of March where the security asked me to cover up the title "Gang Bang" (the words not the art) -- which I thought was odd because the art is far more suggestive than the name of the book.  In my 6 years of Bomb Queen that was the *only* time I've ever been asked to do anything about it.  Seriously.  The only time.  I'm sure, from just the covers of Bomb Queen that some people think there's porn going on inside (even some folks in the industry).  But I was cool about it and simply complied and that was it.  I thought it was funny.

    As always it's about watching your product and sizing up the potential customers who walk up or show interest.  The more stuff you have on your table the wider the net you can cast.  Granted, you might only sell one or two of this or that, but every bit helps -- especially if the goal is to make your readers happy with a range of books.

    Also, you'd be amazed how many people buy *both* types of material.  I can't tell you how many times I've heard the line, "This is for me, but I buy the other stuff for my kids."
  • Do you get a lot of people who say they're buying Bomb Queen for their kids? :)
  • Hahah!  Nope.
    It's been pretty tame.  No weird requests or weird folks.  I'd say the only real interesting thing is when women buy it for their boyfriends or husbands.  "He loves this series. I want an autographed copy for him."
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