There hasn’t been a lot of new stuff going on lately, mainly due to conventions and an increased workload from my part-time job. Over the course of the last few weeks, however, I’ve been able to think about where things are and in what direction they’re going. Have a seat, we’re going to talk some numbers.
In 2015 I hosted game shows at 30 conventions, an all-time high. I was able to attend conventions I hadn’t seen in a while, including Naka-Kon in Kansas City and Anime Weekend Atlanta. All of this while moving from southern New Jersey to Charlotte. It was a busy year, but quite a successful one.
In 2016 the number of conventions dipped a little bit, from 30 to 27. Some date conflicts made me unavailable for conventions I’d done where I’d had some success, but I picked up some new shows in places I’d either never been or that I hadn’t been in some time.
In 2017, I’ve only been booked at 21 shows. Several of the 2016 conventions I attended folded, and some conventions I was unable to attend in 2016 decided to go in a different direction this year, leaving me with no bookings those weekends.
I’ve had to take a part-time job again to ensure I have enough income to make things work, and I’ve taken on a manager to try to get more bookings. Thanks to Chris I was able to do my first Wizard World; if I did well enough there to be considered for further of their shows, that will be a big plus. I’ve also signed a multi-convention deal that will take me back to the Midwest for several shows (including three in or near Chicago). But the writing is definitely on the wall based on my projected income for 2017.
In 2018, if I’m unable to achieve a certain amount of total income from my four main sources (convention bookings, table sales, Patreon and miscellaneous contributions from software licensing, Youtube and otherwise), it will be my final year hosting game shows for conventions, and I will go back to working a regular 9-to-5.
I plan on giving you a monthly report beginning today to let you know how things are going. I won’t divulge the actual numbers, but I’ll let you know the percentages. Obviously, until 2018 begins I can only give you projections, but here are the projections based on invitations that are either solid or conventions I know I’ll see an invitation (Tsubasacon, for example).
CONVENTION INCOME: 40% of required income reached from 2018 bookings
PATREON: 111% of required income reached provided current patronage stays the same
TABLE PREDICTIONS: 82% of required income projected based on a full year’s worth of table sales
MISCELLANEOUS: 20% of required income based on projected Youtube earnings for 2018
As of right now I’ve committed to ten 2018 conventions, and the income from those cons should make up 40% of what I will need in order to continue. Therefore, the target number of conventions for 2018 is 25. If I can get that many confirmed by the start of the year, everything should be fine. It will require invitations from a few conventions I did not hear from this year, and I’ll definitely need to replace some of the income I’ll lose due to multiple conventions being on the same weekend next year (Zenkaikon and Anime St. Louis, for example).
This post should not be a deterrent for any convention that is interested in having me as a guest for 2018. I am fully committed to work any con that wants to bring me in. If you are a convention runner that is considering bringing me out, the sooner we can get that locked in, the sooner I’ll be able to determine whether or not 2018 will be my final year. If you are interested in helping me out through other means, there are several ways to do so.
I hope this post doesn’t come off as desperation or doom and gloom. If I can turn around the bookings so that I have a much busier schedule, everything should be fine and you can look forward to much more from me. Realistically speaking, though, I have to make sure I’m solvent, so things get much more serious now and going forward.
Thanks for reading! I’ll be at Otakon next weekend as an attendee. If you see me, make sure to say hello!