Page 2 of 3 < 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#207097 - 01/23/00 04:22 PM Re: Selling trade collections exclusively?
Jim Hanley Offline
Member

Registered: 06/19/99
Posts: 1313
Loc: NYC
OK, there are a couple of specific questions that I can address.

Books are usually sold at 40% off. There are numerous publishers who offer better discounts based upon size of order, annual back-list sales, etc.

Best of all there are many publishers who sell at 50% or better off for non-returnable sales. This is a much better deal. The idea that returnability is worth ten points of discount is one of those arguments made by people who always complained that they's never need algebra (present company excepted.)

Buying Peanuts books from Ingram or Baker & Taylor (or Diamond) at 40% off is foolish when Henry Holt will sell them to you at 50% off. Of course, buying things from distributors to sample them is always a good way to "test before you invest."

Collecting on-line comics is an obvious way to generate revenue from something that is otherwise offered for free. This is not unlike Peanuts or Calvin & Hobbes collections. Spending a lot of time surveying stores brings to mind the scene in (I can't remember the name of the play/movie) where the Jack Lemon character spends lots of time selling to an elderly couple who turn out to be just lonely. Stores that have lots of time to talk, usually don't have many customers to occupy their time. It's better to spend the time and money getting the word out to customers, than retailers.

Regarding marked down Dark Knight's and Dilbert's, I'm quite certain that neither has ever been remaindered. If a store is selling them marked down, they are either "hurt books" or things that the store didn't know how to sell. The regular appearance of Kitchen Sink books in remainder piles over the years was more likely a case of Denis selling off some inventory for quick cash, but not wanting to "spoil the waters" in the comics market.

[This message has been edited by Jim Hanley (edited 01-23-2000).]
_________________________
"I love him like a brother. David Greenglass." -- Woody Allen - Crimes & Misdemeanors

Top
#207098 - 01/23/00 05:19 PM Re: Selling trade collections exclusively?
Coppervale Offline
Member

Registered: 03/26/99
Posts: 120
Pulling Chris's new thread into this one...

Regarding differences between Comic shops and Bookstores (which hopefully applies to Ralph's topic as well):

I tried an experiment a couple of years ago, by calling up ten 'Comic shops' between British Columbia and Northern California, and asking about my own STARCHILD:AWAKENINGS trade paperback. The STARCHILD:MYTHOPOLIS series from Image was just starting, so Diamond was making the paperbacks visible, availible, and affordable.

Two shops had the books in stock; two more said they could order it (one of which did - the other dropped the ball) and six said they couldn't get it at all. I dropped hints about looking in Previews (while looking at the book's listing in the Previews on my lap), I offered to buy the hardcover instead - to no better response. Then, I finally said I had the publishers' number (my fax line), and if they'd call and order the book from him, I'd come into the store and pick it up.

Four of them said they would; even after a month of 'Is it in yet?' calls to them, I was still waiting for the order. The other two suggested that if I had the publishers' number, I ought to just get the book from him.

One of the shops who said the book was unavailible did have copies of STARCHILD:MYTHOPOLIS on the rack. I went out into the mall, keeping the store in sight, called them from a pay phone, and asked for a comic I was looking at from sixty feet away - and was told they didn't have it.

Mind you, Ralph, Jim, and Rory's stores are not in the category of what Rory calls 'catalog' retailers, but it seems most are - are are poor examples of such, to boot. Our own shop on the island (where Paul Chadwick and I sometimes get books) is a catalog store - we have to preorder stuff more than two months in advance to get it, which is what may frustrate new customers from ever becoming longtime customers. The shop had (has) up a poster for THE DREAM HUNTERS; a friend who likes manga and Gaiman was convinced by me to go in and order it - and was told he'd missed the deadline for turning in order forms. He said that he'd just buy it when it came out, to which the manager said it would likely be unavailible at that point.He offered to place an 'advance reorder', but by that point, so many protests had clouded the issue of 'Hi - I'd like to buy a book,'that we agreed just to get out of the shop and into open air.

Needless to say, the poster is still up, but the book never came in.

After DREAM HUNTERS was released, I took my friend over to one of the three 'traditional' book stores here, where we said we'd like to order a book. "Okay," replied the owner, "it'll be in Wednesday - what's the title?"

This is now my friend's impression of Comic shops versus Bookstores - in comics, you have to order stuff well in advance to ever have a hope of getting it, and if you don't, you can't order it later, even if it's not yet released. At the book shop, he just ordered the book.

(Incidentally, I didn't advance order it either, figuring I'd pick it up at one of the shops in Seattle or L.A. - I dropped into Mile High Comics in Garden Grove, where they had three copies. Trying to keep business before pleasure, I deferred my purchase until a couple of days later. To my dismay, the books were gone. The manager offered to place a reorder, to which I gloomily agreed - then he showed up with a copy the next day. He'd determined that he couldn't get the reorder in until the day after my return flight to Washington, so he sold me his own copy, still in the shrinkwrap.)

James

Top
#207099 - 01/23/00 09:50 PM Re: Selling trade collections exclusively?
Jim Hanley Offline
Member

Registered: 06/19/99
Posts: 1313
Loc: NYC
James:

Not to beat a dead horse, but I wrote extensively about the misguided application of Bud Plant's marketing idea that grew into Previews (and Advance Comics, et. al.) I'll try to find the thread and post its location here.
_________________________
"I love him like a brother. David Greenglass." -- Woody Allen - Crimes & Misdemeanors

Top
#207100 - 01/23/00 09:51 PM Re: Selling trade collections exclusively?
Rory D. Root Offline
Member

Registered: 09/12/99
Posts: 628
Loc: Berkeley,Ca.,USA
Now thats a good manager,congrats Chuck. James any good comic store could have done what the folks at MILE HIGH did, and should. But I must shake my head at any store too stupid to reorder a $30. book that sells out, let alone not take an initial order #%@&%$#@##$ cataloge stores,give the rest of us a bad name.
_________________________
Comic Relief: THE Comic Bookstore

Top
#207101 - 01/23/00 10:28 PM Re: Selling trade collections exclusively?
Chris Juricich Offline
Member

Registered: 09/19/99
Posts: 721
Loc: Berkeley, CA USA
Mark Badger does bring up a thought-- online comics collected in paperback seems a natural synergy. So long as the creator formatted the online material to work in a fairly standard comic/TPB format, why the hell not?

I have some mild aspirations of doing such on my own, so answers and speculations on this would interest me.
_________________________
Chris Juricich
Berkeley, CA

Top
#207102 - 01/23/00 10:52 PM Re: Selling trade collections exclusively?
Rory D. Root Offline
Member

Registered: 09/12/99
Posts: 628
Loc: Berkeley,Ca.,USA
the V.C. a web based comicstrip had its first book collected for holiday sales.
www/thevc.com/index.html

[This message [url=hashttp://www.thevc.com/index.html]hashttp://www.thevc.com/index.html[/url] been edited by Rory D. Root (edited 01-23-2000).]

[This message has been edited by Rory D. Root (edited 01-23-2000).]

[This message has been edited by Rory D. Root (edited 01-23-2000).]
_________________________
Comic Relief: THE Comic Bookstore

Top
#207103 - 01/23/00 11:06 PM Re: Selling trade collections exclusively?
Rory D. Root Offline
Member

Registered: 09/12/99
Posts: 628
Loc: Berkeley,Ca.,USA
well that didn't work at all.hopefully somebody wiser in the ways of ubb can fix this.
_________________________
Comic Relief: THE Comic Bookstore

Top
#207104 - 01/24/00 09:02 AM Re: Selling trade collections exclusively?
Don Markstein Offline
Member

Registered: 11/24/98
Posts: 1202
Loc: Earth
"...co-written by former comics publisher Rod Underhill and current comics writer Nat Gertler..."

What, you mean Rod actually is a former comics publisher? That is, he actually published something? I'm still waiting to see Voices for Children, with that story I scripted for free just because I, at least, thought it was a good enough cause to justify some personal sacrifice.

By the way, there already are printed collections of on-line comics. Kevin & Kell, for one, came out with its first dead tree edition several years ago, and I know I've heard of others but just can't think of which.

Quack, Don

------------------
HUNDREDS of daily comics -- and MORE!
http://www.stormloader.com/markstein/daily.htm
"Your Daily Dose Links Page"
_________________________
Today in Toons
Every Day's an Anniversary

Top
#207105 - 01/24/00 01:13 PM Re: Selling trade collections exclusively?
NatGertler Offline
Member

Registered: 07/10/99
Posts: 4618
Rod published Threshold, if memory serves. This was before the Voices For Children days. I have no knowledge of the status on that.

Top
#207106 - 01/25/00 07:12 PM Re: Selling trade collections exclusively?
Bill Willingham Offline
Member

Registered: 08/26/99
Posts: 157
Loc: rutland, vermont, usa
For what it's worth: my vision of a perfect comic store (as a customer, not a retailer) would be a vast and well-stocked graphic novel (or collections...or whatever they're called anymore) store, with a small new comics annex which features more of the indy type stuff than the men-in-tights stuff.

------------------
My Page: www.clockworkstorybook.com
_________________________
You can buy my books at: www.clockworkstorybook.com

Top
Page 2 of 3 < 1 2 3 >


Moderator:  Rick Veitch, Steve Conley