Great topic for discussion! I’ve gone to many zinefests, as a tabler and as a dude just walking around.
What is awesome = Making a new friend, and trading zines with them.
What else is awesome = Trading for a zine that is really great
What sucks = When someone pressures you into trading for a zine you don’t want.
Every tabler is different. Some are broke and need the money. Some would rather just have a new zine. For me, it depends on what’s being traded. For example, some of my smaller zines I’ll trade all day long, but for my book, which cost a lot of money to print, I don’t accept trades.
here’s what I do, I say, “Hey, I really like this zine of yours. If you’re interested in a trade, I do a zine too. If not, I can pay you the cash, just let me know which is better for you.”
That way it’s an easy out either way. If they don’t want or don’t like your zine, just pay cash. But a lot of times people want the trade.
As for the shyness, I’m not sure what to say other than most of the people at zinefests are introverted as well. Maybe wear a button that says, “I”m an introvert, please talk to me.”