Last weekend, YI SOON SHIN hit multiple milestones by selling out for the 5th consecutive year at Phoenix Comic-Con And breaking 65,000 books sold!
THE PHOENIX COMIC-CON 2017 CHALLENGE
I have said on many occasions that no convention is ever easy and this one in particular was quite difficult because of something that could have been catastrophic for the entire convention scene (and perhaps the world) if it wasn’t for law enforcement.
In case you don’t know, click HERE for the story.
Despite the fact that yet another mass shooting was prevented, everyone who was a part of this show had a really tough time. Whether you were an exhibitor, an attendee, a security guard, or even a janitor–Phoenix Comic-Con 2017 was an incredible experience but it was also a very challenging one.
Today I will share the secret to my success at this show! It doesn’t matter if you are in comics or not. What I’m about to say applies to any challenge in your life! I will show you how I overcame my own self-doubt and fear and came out on the other side victorious! Today, I will make you believe that you can achieve similar feats!
THE FACE OF FEAR
On Thursday morning I was bound for Phoenix and the stars were aligned. I was never more prepared for a show than I was now. I felt strong and ready to take on the show and claim this important victory for YI SOON SHIN.
The plane landed on time. I got to my hotel with literally no hassle. I checked into my room, got ready, and headed off to the convention.
It took me about an hour to setup and I was ready for combat!
I sold 204 books in five hours on the first day. It was exactly where I wanted to be and surprisingly I managed to surpass my own expectations. Thursday was a GREAT night for business.
As the show ended, rumors started floating around about an armed man who was apprehended by the police. At first I was relived no one was hurt but then I got very angry because some crazy asshole just made everyone’s life difficult.
People come to comic con to enjoy themselves. To spread fear in a place like this is no different than bullying the skinny, scrawny kid at school! If comic con were personified it would look like that dude who licked peanut butter of his dog’s nuts from ROAD TRIP!
“It’s gotta be YOUR dog.”
This incident could have put mine and all of my independent companions business models at risk if even one single person was injured or killed! Many independent creators such as myself depend on conventions in order to make sales. Without them, we literally have no way to mass distribute our books. Many of us independent guys make a lot of our sales by interacting directly with our fanbase at comic con. The last thing we want or need is some catastrophe that could make those people afraid to come to cons.
In today’s world, you almost expect these things to happen at large gatherings like comic con. It makes you realize just how scary the world really is. But I felt safe because the Phoenix Police and convention security were on their game. Bravo!
Though my business was saved, this turn of events made things difficult. All prop weapons were banned from the show for obvious reasons and now there were whispers that people were not coming to the show because of this. This definitely had me worried because I still had one thousand books left to sling.
BEYOND MY CONTROL
I got to the convention center about an hour before the show room opened to give myself some extra lead time in case I needed it. And it turns out I did. On the second day of the show, security got super tight.
It took most exhibitors about an hour to get in because bags were being checked and everyone was getting waved by security wands. Turns out, there was an entrance on the side where cops were letting exhibitors in without all the extra security precautions.
But I’m glad I stood in line with everyone else. It gave me a chance to understand what my readers had to go through just to get to me. Phoenix is one of the hottest cities on earth. Imagine spending 2 1/2 hours in line JUST to get in when it’s 100 degrees plus outside!
Apparently someone had a heat stroke while waiting in line and so the convention staff and authorities were forced to figure out a way to streamline everything by Saturday, which of course they managed to do!
I understood that the attendees were going to be frustrated, tired, possibly dehydrated, and not very eager to buy comics.
This was all beyond my control. So I just told myself, that no matter what happens, I’m going to put on my poker face and smile throughout the whole show. If I get rejected and I have a bad day, then at least I know that I went down with a fight. I would not surrender.
I put all my worries and doubts aside. There was no fear. Only the determination to get the job done and to do it well. Like always.
I related to my audience. When they rejected me, I took it very lightly.
People laughed in my face. People shouted “No!” at me and walked right on by just to really drive home their unwillingness to give YI SOON SHIN the reading that it deserves. People said they would come back. Some did. Most didn’t.
But I wasn’t angry.
Instead, I laughed about it. I laughed in the face of my own anger and it went away. And whenever I made a sale, I was filled with energy that kept me fueled and determined to keep being a force of positive influence on the attendees.
I fought and fought and fought and at about 4 PM, the show announced that they would be extending business hours for another ninety minutes. At this point, my back was in so much pain but the desire to sell more books allowed me to ignore it and keep pressing onward.
By the end of the day, YI SOON SHIN sold 407 books.
On Saturday morning, I got up a little bit earlier in order to get to the show on time. As I was setting up, a young lady dropped a form off on my table, which I took the time to read. You can read more about the situation and what the letter said HERE.
As soon as I read this, I knew that there was another side to this story but rather than pick sides I couldn’t help but sympathize with both parties. The convention staff had to follow security protocol and the folks of Ultra Lightsabers were unfortunate victims of someone else’s actions. If this attempted shooting never happened, this show would have gone over for them just as well as any other and their business would not have been in any risk whatsoever. How they managed things may be in question but I consider myself very fortunate that I didn’t have to pay the price for someone else’s attempted crime.
I thought about that whenever I felt tired and wanted to give up. I was exhausted by this point because I was having a really hard time working past the rejections. Contrary to what most people think, I may be thick skinned, but I’m not Superman. When people don’t buy my book, I also get angry. I feel all the same emotions that everyone who gets shut down feels.
There are many shitty things happening all around us at all times. At that moment, I reminded myself that people rejecting my work are not my audience. Yet. And so there was no reason to take their rejection to heart. I also reminded myself of what they were going through and that I had to remain calm and focused.
I go to comic con to share my work with the world. I’m also there to make money. Money that I’m using to keep my family and my business afloat. And then I also remind myself of my journey just to get to this point.
When people come to my booth, they enter my world. For 30 seconds, I share the story of YI SOON SHIN with them and do everything in my power to get them hooked.
If the person I’m pitching is sympathetic to my cause, they will buy my book. If they are not, they will respectfully move on–and that’s okay.
But as long as I remain in control of my space and myself, I can never lose. For I am the master of my realm.
By the end of the day I sold 442 books. I now had just under 200 books to sell and all of Sunday to get the job done. Victory was mine!
THE REAL SECRET TO MY VICTORY IS CONFIDENCE
I won’t lie. I knew the moment I woke up on Sunday morning that YI SOON SHIN was going to sell out. It was only a matter how much of my day would get eaten up by it. In fact, the more time I spent at the convention center, the better.
Why? Well, because on two separate incidences I found bed bugs in my hotel room. Here’s a picture of one I took for your viewing pleasure.
I didn’t make a fuss to the hotel but I made them aware of what happened and so they moved me from one room to another. They even refunded my stay, which means more money gets to go towards the next issue of YI SOON SHIN.
Regardless I couldn’t sleep on Saturday night because I had no idea if I was completely safe from those bed bug bastards.
So on Sunday I was exhausted. My head was killing me around noon. I was getting rejected constantly. I sat down at my table and messaged DAK that I wanted to give up and go home. And what difference would it have made? By that point I had less than 50 books to sell. I could have easily just packed them up and went home.
And sacrifice much needed sales and profit!
I gave myself a good twenty minutes of rest and then I got back on my feet to finish the job.
There is a reason why I stacked those empty boxes next to me when taking this victory photo. I did this to show you that the amount of books I sold were nearly as tall as me. The only thing that is ever truly standing in your path is you. Do not succumb to fear. Fight past it and win! Never doubt what you are capable of!
Adopt this very attitude and you will be unconquerable!
Phoenix Comic-Con is now behind me. I’m relieved to be home with my family now, knowing that I survived the show and that I am stronger for doing so. This was truly a sensational victory!
None of this would have been possible if not for the awesome staff of Phoenix Comic-Con who always invite me to return to their splendid show! I will be back forever onward!
I was blessed to have the same neighbors this year that I had last year. We managed things wonderfully. A big shoutout to Matt Spangler and Rob Ozborne It is an honor to fight alongside you guys on the front lines! If you are reading this blog, PLEASE check out their incredible work by clicking on their names. These guys are real pros!
THE MATT SPANGLER
ROB OZBORNE PWNING PHOENIX COMIC-CON LIKE A DAMN BOSS!
YI SOON SHIN has once again proven that nothing is impossible and will do so again in a few weeks at Awesome Con! Until then–
ONWARD TO VICTORY!
Written by Onrie Kompan
Edited by David Anthony Kraft