Here are the numbers on the SLF Small Press Co-op at WisCon:
Participating Presses: 14 (roughly)Summary:
Total small press income: $991.00
Total SLF memberships sold: 25 (at discounted price of $20 each)
Total SLF income after table cost and discounts on books (we gave 20% to SLF members on books we were selling at the table, which comes out of our profits, naturally, rather than the presses'): $473.00 -- I see a travel grant in our near future :-)
Generally, sales ranged from none (for some large trade paperbacks from one press, some of Kat's postcards and greeting cards, and a few zines) to very strong (for my books, the Rabid Transit chapbooks, Kat's bookmarks, and David Lunde's poetry chapbooks). We sold out of my cookbooks and my new Silence collection by the third day; we sold out of our five copies of the Strange Horizons book by the second day.
It was very clear that your items were much more likely to sell when you were working the table yourself. We took shifts, and for example, most of David's chapbooks sold while he was actually there. And the bulk of the SLF memberships were sold when I was actually there, probably because I was the only one actively asking every person who walked up to the table whether they were interested in learning more about the SLF. We'd also get a run of requests for a title after the author had been on a panel or done a reading, unsurprisingly -- but I was surprised to see just how clear a correlation there was. And finally, cover design clearly played a large part in the random sales that occurred -- certain books got picked up and looked at much more often than others, and when I asked why, the response was generally that the cover art or design layout looked attractive or intriguing.
I feel a bit bad about the one press who shipped in books that didn't sell at all; we were planning on shipping them back COD, but I'm going to ask if she'd rather we held on to them and tried to sell them at our table at World Fantasy (assuming we get one). Overall, though, I'd call this a rip-roaring success, and I'm really glad we did it. Next year, two tables! And more help staffing. :-) Though the staffers we had were absolutely terrific -- they were reliable, prompt, and made set-up and break-down a breeze. Good job, all!