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#475233 - 09/21/01 08:32 PM Discounts at Borders
Scott33 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/09/01
Posts: 7
Loc: Bethesda, MD
If you head on over to your local Borders, you can find a couple of graphic novels on the bargain racks.

Superman - The Greatest Stories Ever Told
Soft back 336 pages, lists for 16 bucks, on sale for $6. I picked this one up - it's got a Alan Moore story, some Byrne and some classic Swan, Boring, Binder, Siegel and Shuster, Sprang and Kirby.

Batman - I don't remember the title, as I didn't buy it, but it was a collection of four annuals from the "Year One" theme of a few years back - it had four origins of bad guys. I think Dixon, Alantera, Manley, Blevens and some others worked on it. It listed for $15 and was down to $6.

Finally, there was a giant Crumb coffee table book, soft back, quite large. It listed for $25 and was marked down to $10.

It's nice to finally see some graphic novels find their way to the discount racks. Hopefully, Borders and Barnes and Noble start to clean out some more old stock soon.

[This message has been edited by Scottrosenberg33 (edited 09-21-2001).]

#475234 - 09/26/01 03:51 PM Re: Discounts at Borders
Louis Bright-Raven Offline

Registered: 08/24/99
Posts: 185
Actually, Scott, that's a positive and a negative.

It's a positive because you got it cheaper. It's a negative because it will lead purchasers from these stores with the impression that GNs and TPBs don't sell, so they won't order as many.

I'd rather pay the full expense if it meant more people buying from these places, myself.


#475235 - 09/26/01 08:49 PM Re: Discounts at Borders
wishlish Offline

Registered: 06/13/01
Posts: 153
It's not that big a negative. Few books have indefinite shelf lives. There's still plenty of titles available on the GN shelf at Borders, and they've always have a few books go into the bargain bin.

#475236 - 09/26/01 10:33 PM Re: Discounts at Borders
NatGertler Offline

Registered: 07/10/99
Posts: 4618
Originally posted by Louis Bright-Raven:
It's a positive because you got it cheaper. It's a negative because it will lead purchasers from these stores with the impression that GNs and TPBs don't sell, so they won't order as many.
Books selling from the bargain racks hardly means that the store will stop ordering that kind of book. Heck, at any given moment there are several Stephen King books available on the remaindered market, and the stores haven't stopped ordering his stuff.

Generally speaking, books you see on the discount racks aren't leftover ones from that store that didn't move. They are either remaindered books (books where the publisher printed more than it looks like they'll sell at cover, or got in plenty of good-condition returned copies from stores that didn't sell them) or books that are created or reprinted specifically for the bargain racks.

Because purchasers buy the books for the remaindered rack, the fact that there are TPBs and GNs there means that the purchaser thinks such books will sell. It would be Bizarro World logic for the purchaser to then see the book he put out and thus be convinced it won't sell.

The existence of a remaindered book market makes it easier for a publisher to gamble with a book.

--Nat (who has several remaindered books on the market)

#475237 - 09/27/01 08:48 AM Re: Discounts at Borders
Bill Hicks Offline

Registered: 07/05/01
Posts: 2890
Loc: Ohio
I'd rather pay the full expense if it meant more people buying from these places, myself.

Louis, why do you care where other people buy their books? (just curious)

And to back up one of Nat's points: I don't know about the Crumb book (I'm tempted to go looking for one of those myself), but the Batman and Superman books mentioned were offered through Diamond last spring with the specific warning that all unsold copies would be offered to bookstores for their "remainder" tables.

I'm going to have to check the bookstores more often myself.

Yes it's my name. I've heard all the jokes. Shut the hell up.

#475238 - 09/27/01 11:20 AM Re: Discounts at Borders
Robert Boyd Offline

Registered: 12/09/99
Posts: 82
Loc: Milford, CT, USA
Remainders certainly can be indicative of failed books, but as was mentioned, they aren't particularly viewed that way by the trade.

Inventory costs money to have--you are taxed for it, it costs money to warehouse it, etc. Therefore, after a book has been on the market for a while (and it has been several years for the Crumb Coffee Table Book), a publisher will look at its inventory versus its sales and decide whether to discount the book to a remainder house. There are several of these remainder houses around the country.

Publishers often go to a big remainder trade show with a list of books (with net prices) that they will try to sell. This show is called CIROBE, and is held annually in Chicago in the fall.

The remainder houses who buy them then go to the booksellers and sell the books at low prices on non-returnable terms (I think).

So seeing graphic novels in the remainder section doesn't indicate a failure of graphic novels, but rather that these graphic novels have gone through a complete cycle as books, from frontlist to backlist to remainder.

The ideal book is one that remains a backlist book for a long time (like, for instance, Watchmen), and is never remaindered and never goes out of print. However, these are necessarily a minority of books. Everyone realizes this and therefore there is not, in the book trade, any prejudice against remainders per se. (Of course, if something is remaindered very quickly, it can be indicative of poor sales or massive overproduction--but that's a particular circumstance).

#475239 - 10/01/01 02:31 PM Re: Discounts at Borders
CaptainJersey Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/01/01
Posts: 1
Loc: Mount Laurel, NJ, USA
Thanks for the tip. I just picked up both books. I think it is great to see these books in the discounted section... Why? It is a great opportunity for the non-traditional comic book readers to pick up a book at a reasonable price... The Superman selections look good (although dated) and skimming through the Batman stuff, it loooked ok...

#475240 - 10/01/01 03:49 PM Re: Discounts at Borders
savage Offline

Registered: 11/24/98
Posts: 1007
Loc: Minneapolis,MN USA
The Crumb book is in all sorts of discount book stores. I picked it up at Atlantic in the Mall of Amerca months ago. I gathered that since Kitchen Sink went under they had sold out the contents of their warehouses to whomever wanted them at fairly cheap prices. I know dealers that were talking about how cheap the Crow grahic novel was and that they had stacks of them to sell for cheap.
Justin Savage