The Magic Ticket: What is a “Circle Ticket”?
Do you know what the most important thing for a doujin operating a booth to remember to bring to a doujinshi selling fair is?
Never Forget this One Thing
Do you have your newest publications? Your old ones? Your money change box? What about writing implements?
Those are all important things to bring with you if you’re selling doujinshi at a doujinshi fair. Of course, in most cases, if you’ve published your doujinshi through a printing company, they’ll usually deliver it to the venue for you. You can also send it ahead to the venue if you had it delivered to your home, which will lessen your baggage and keep you from forgetting to bring it with you on the day.
Having bundles of change on hand is also a necessity. But if you forget it, you can always get it in a pinch by buying something at the venue, or in the worst case scenario, you can always tell customers that they can only pay in small change. Doujinshi fair regulars know to bring lots of coins with them anyway. (But there are customers on rare occasions who want to pay with a 10,000 yen bill, so it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.)
Writing implements? You will definitely need these, but if you forget to bring some there are always booths selling them, though they tend to be a little more expensive than usual. Alternatively, if you’re lucky, a nearby convenience store will have some in stock. You could even send some ahead with your publications if you want to be really cautious.
These things are all important, but there is one thing that you absolutely, definitely must not forget to bring with you to the venue. If you forget this one important thing, you will be in big trouble.
I’m talking about your Circle Ticket.
What Are “Circle Tickets”?
If you’ve never participated in a doujinshi selling fair as a seller, then you probably will never have heard of “Circle Tickets”. Known for short as “sa-chike” in Japanese, they’re a club member’s pass to get into the venue, proof that they are allowed to be onsite selling doujinshi.
When your doujin club is approved to have a booth at a doujinshi fair, the organizers will send you a packet containing instructions, important notes, and forms to fill out and return.
Those forms ask for information about your club, like how many Circle Tickets you will need. You should make sure to request enough tickets for all the members of every club of yours that will be attending, and for all the people who will be helping distribute your works. You’ll also need to make sure that the people who will be setting up your booth will have tickets, too.
There’s a special entrance for club members, which opens up one or two hours before the start of the event. To pass through this entrance, you must show your Circle Ticket; without it, you won’t be able to get in and start preparing your booth. Some events will allow you in if you show them an ID, but it’s never a certainty, and it’s usually a hassle for everyone involved, so you shouldn’t rely on it.
Besides, if it was your plan to distribute everyone’s tickets on the day of the event, you better not forget to bring them, or else you’ve got a disaster on your hands!
Think of it like going to a concert or going on an international vacation. If you forget to bring your ticket, they won’t let you into the concert, and if you leave your passport at home, you won’t be able to leave the country. That’s a given, and the Circle Tickets are the same.
So make sure you keep your Circle Tickets in a safe place and treat them as valuables, so you won’t forget them or lose them.
And of course, those of us attending the fairs as buyers should also do the same with our entry tickets!
How to Remember to Bring Your Circle Ticket
I can’t stress enough that not forgetting things is the key to having a great time at a doujinshi selling fair.
To decrease the chance of leaving something behind, I recommend being proactive and shipping all of the important things to the venue ahead of time.
But make sure you don’t send your Circle Tickets with them!
If possible, put your tickets away in your wallet or bag as soon as you get them. If you’re someone who tends to change bags for events, don’t forget which bag you put your tickets in, and switch them out if you have to.
Circle Tickets may not have anything to do with you right now, but one day they might. If one day you start selling your doujinshi at a fair, then we sincerely hope you won’t tragically forget your tickets and ruin your first selling experience.