Introduce Yourself : 2016 San Deigo Comic Con by Ashanti Altovese

Ashanti Altovese

2016 San Deigo Comic Con

Hello! I'm Ashanti Altovese, The Vampire Vixen currently finishing my first book. My plan is to attend Comic Con in San Diego this year but it seems all the tickets are sold out. Is there any way to attend the convention to do promotion of my website and book while there? Thanks for the help!

Brad Rushing

You are probably SOL for Comic Con 2016. But the good news is you might qualify for a FREE professional pass for future years. Have a look: www.comic-con.org/cci/professionals

Matthew Jason Walsh

Welcome! And nice to see you on here, Brad!

Brad Rushing

Thanks, Mathew. "Hi" backatcha!

Kody Chamberlain

I've gone just about every year since 1995 (skipping this year, though). Tickets, pro passes, hotels, etc. - it all clears out VERY fast, sometimes within a few hours of going live. What I do is set up Google Alerts to make sure I get notification of when tickets are going live, hotels opening, etc. Their official name is "Comic Con International" and, pair that with keywords like hotel, pro passes, etc. You'll get the news when it gets released, then put the dates/times in you calendar. You have to schedule computer time to be sure you're ready to pounce.

Ashanti Altovese

Thank you Kody for your advice. I appreciate your feedback!

Kody Chamberlain

No problem, best of luck for next year's con! One other tip if you really wanted to make it out this year, MUCH of the activity surrounding Comic Con happens OUTSIDE the convention center, and you don't need tickets for that. The entire area downtown area, the Gaslamp District, all the bars and restaurants, and just about every hotel lobby all have Comic Con activity going on. You can still get a great experience and do a ton of networking and promo without ever stepping foot on the convention floor.

G.S. Ford

you have to plan almost a year in advance for sdcc san diego comic con, and getting accepted is extremely tough, and gets tougher every year. note, if you apply for next year, 2017, you will first need a "member id," which is free, but is only available at certain times via their website: comic-con.org. you will be applying for the "professional" type of "badge," (don't say "ticket" or "pass," it really makes them angry). when you can apply for professional badges varies every year, but roughly begins in september and ends the first week in december. your only hope this year, 2016, is to find someone who already has a booth at sdcc comic con and ask, ok, plead, to share the booth. professionals are given extra badges and, although unlikely now, as sdcc is one week away, they may have an extra badge. another option is you could ask for a professional to place a stack of cards or flyers on their table, at their booth; it would be some exposure. also, any professional can add cards and flyers to "the free table," even submit during the convention. the free table is located in the sails pavilion (upstairs). comic con has staff on hand to check the website to make sure it is safe for all ages. approval takes a few minutes, after which cards/flyers are placed on the free table and resupplied by volunteers; (only volunteers can handle/place the cards/flyers on the free table). your most likely scenario at this point is to meet comic con attendees outside the convention center. a great way to attract con-goers is to dress in cosplay of a character from your book. authors often hire cosplayers or models to advertise their product. be sure sure to add your website to the cosplay and hand out business cards or 4x6 cards with website/book info to everyone who takes a photo, AND say “tag me,” as you hand them the card. this will encourage them to advertise your book on their social network, which can be more powerful than talking to them about your book. be sure your social media accounts are part of your book branding & easy to remember, like “ vampirevixen,” and the same across instagram, twitter, etc. there are hundreds of professionals who print cards and samples, and even sell books to attendees outside of comic con. many people who attend comic con do not have badges, they just go for the outside pavilions. the main crowds are in front of the convention center and gas lamp district. also, san diego comic con is not the only comic con; it was the first and is the largest, but there are comic cons, anime cons, horror cons and many other conventions and expos that would love to have to you attend; there are over 40 cons in southern california with 8 new cons premiering in 2016.

Ashanti Altovese

Thank you for your advice!

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