Here we are at SPX 2017 (the annual Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland).
Back in 2017, we ordered two boxes of books from Ingram Spark, packed up Laurel's car, and drove to Bethesda, Maryland having decided to do what I'd heard referred to as a "soft launch." This was prior to our official Kickstarter’s launch, so it was a bit of a trial run. We didn't really have any frame of reference for how a book like ours would do at SPX. People usually go to the larger indie comics conventions to buy comics, which means most tend to turn their noses up at anything that doesn't have little characters in panels and word balloons.
Despite this, we managed to sell 14 copies that weekend—that's one whole case of books!
Tabling with Spiderella for the first time was not only a long-awaited dream come true for both of us. It was my first successful convention—the most books I’d ever sold at that point. My only regret is I spent so much time busy at our table that I barely made it around to see what everyone else had been working on.
When I finally did get a chance to step away for a moment, I returned only to discover I'd missed something...
Laurel told me a little girl named Alice had spotted the banner at our table and made directly for it. Laurel said that Alice definitely seemed excited about Spiderella, but her mother told her they should wait and maybe have a look around at the rest of the tables before they made any decisions.
Later, a little girl with glasses and long blondish hair—who would turn out to be Alice—returned, dragging her father by the hand. She insisted that they couldn't go home that day without taking a copy of our book with them.
Alice's father picked up our book, flipped it over, and looked at the ISBN. He seemed a little skeptical of the price tag asking for $25—until he opened it up. Laurel and I stood in silence behind our booth and let the book speak for itself. Both of us watched as his expression seemed to change.
This is it—we're winning him over, I thought, watching as he struck a bargain with his daughter: Alright, Alice, but you have to clean your room.
Alice agreed to this condition—it seemed a fair enough exchange.
Eyes aglow, Laurel and I signed our names and were so starstruck that we forgot to get a picture with Alice. While tabling since then, we've met families purchasing copies of our book with daughters, sons, nieces, nephews, cousins, or grandchildren in mind, but there is nothing quite like meeting that someone their purchased copy is intended for!
Alice, if you’re out there, Spiderella: The Girl Who Spoke with Spiders is on Goodreads now. If you have a few moments to spare, please write us a review! Tell us what you thought of our book!
Southern Pines, North Carolina