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  1.  (491.21)
    On CBIA an all retailer forum, theres a lot less enthusiasm about the promotion

    No, really? You do shock me.
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      CommentAuthorRandy74
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2008
     (491.22)
    Neat, the point i was trying to make is that in my opinion the retailers interviewed for certain sites were handpicked to give a mildy indifferent to glowing appraisal of the promotion. I have seen no hard proof of any success other than the announcement of the sell out, which happens pretty frequently for small publishers including Avatar with all the covers and even auxillary printings. The confusion for me is how the retailers that are weary of a promotion are somehow portrayed as backward nostalgists whose opinions don't matter including some major reatilers who own multi-million dollar chains and some of the most respected and diverse stores in the nation. Either way, i was only stating my opinions. I make a living selling comics, forgive me my sins.

    Im pre-deflecting in my leave any sarcasm rounds hurled my way.
  2.  (491.23)
    Im pre-deflecting in my leave any sarcasm rounds hurled my way.

    HA!
  3.  (491.24)
    the announcement of the sell out, which happens pretty frequently for small publishers including Avatar with all the covers and even auxillary printings.

    And one day, we should get into why "frequent" sellouts for small publishers happen these days. Another day.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRandy74
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2008 edited
     (491.25)
    Name the time and place, i'll have my cycle sheets, re-order/back order attempts and sales figures ready.

    High Noon?
  4.  (491.26)
    Good man.
    •  
      CommentAuthorUnsub
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2008
     (491.27)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    A lot of this has already been discussed when a comic or music is put on a P2P site. 4 or the 5 people I gave Preacher or Transmet
    copies I down loaded went out and bought the trades and the fifth never got around to reading them. This is probably not a good
    judge of numbers though because I knew from the type of person that they would love those books. Although the type of person who would go to the trouble
    of reading an issue online probably also will like the material as well.

    I look at it as more like converting heathens to Christianity rather than selling a product. Exposing people to god comics makes them much more likely to buy them not less likely.
  5.  (491.28)
    I may just be highlighting my ignorance (because (a) I don't sell comics, and (b) my personal moral code means I don't download pirated comics), but wouldn't it end up on Bittorrent anyway?

    Meaning that using this route as a method of promotion wouldn't hurt sales at all (if you are happy to read this stuff off screens the ability is there already), but the ease of finding it and downloading it will only increase the publicity.

    Retailers, don't you make money off the Megatokyo/PvP/Penny Arcade physical books even though they are all online for free? Or is the difference between trades and singles that big?

    As someone who gives away his (non-comic)books for free as well as selling them, I'm interested in your views - mainly because my publishers had no negative feedback from the chains that stocked my first CC book.

    I'm wondering if this difference in the markets is why IDW hasn't full downloads of the Cory Doctorow comics, while his non-comic books are?
  6.  (491.29)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    Retailers are griping that somehow making the material for free on the web without telling (consulting) them is a material change in terms and therefore cause for making the books returnable. It's not, of course.

    Assuming it were though, is it just the issue of the simultaneous release that is bothering them? What about if it's the next day? Or the next week? Or any time in the future at all?

    Retailers who ordered the early volumes of the Girl Genius paperbacks weren't told that the Foglios would later be competing with them by selling digital downloads of the collections for a third of the price at www.DriveThruComics.com . Same with Checker who offers books through both that site and www.wowio.com - books that retailers bought not knowing they would be available online for much cheaper, or free. Should these books be returnable now too? Hey, Action Philosophers is on there too, at a third of cover - returnability!!!

    Maybe retailers should just assume that everyone from the back of the catalog is going to explore digital distribution of merchandise old and new for at least less than cover if not free. Then the retailers can choose to either make themselves into front of the catalog stores or compete for sales on service and selection and the recognition and understand that the digital market doesn't necessarily affect the market for print.
  7.  (491.30)
    Warren, most retailers on the CBIA forum say the book hasn't sold all that well. But it's still early and there is a chance the controversy might help. The press release with two retailers saying positive comments about the promotion was very cherry picked. The vast majority was not happy about it. If I were cynical, I'd say that's the very reason why they haven't offered returnability despite it "selling out."

    I'm also curious about reorder numbers and the size of the print runs. Maybe it did work, but a whole lot of retailers are saying it hasn't yet.

    Renoylds:
    Books like PVP, Girl Genius, the retailers know in advance that it's online for free. The books are generally collections for those that want to re-read a large chunk of it away from their computers. Retailers have an idea of how many people are interested in that and can order accordingly.

    morganagrom: "Assuming it were though, is it just the issue of the simultaneous release that is bothering them?"

    I'm not a retailer, but I'm pretty sure the answer is yes. Comics (and most GNs) have a pretty short shelf life. When they are new they are in demand, otherwise customers are interested in the next new thing. They'll sell a whole lot more of any book the week it comes out vs. any other week after that.

    Exactly when it would be 'okay' to put it online I'm sure would be hotly debated among retailers. Some retailers only order a bit and depend heavily on reorders to keep the demand satisfied. Others order a lot up front hoping it's enough to last them 6 weeks or so. I'm sure some retailers would rather not there be a set 'read it online for free' release date in fear of customers not buying books and just waiting for it to appear online.

    Overall it's the not informing retailers that's the issue. It is quite possible that informing them would have led to reduced orders, but that's the problem with new(ish) ideas like this - you have to sell them. Again, returnability would help with that so it's not retailers taking the risk. I think a lot of us have our own theories of how to sell more comics, but not every theory works in practice. It's pretty irresponsible to make somebody else pay if your ideas don't work.
  8.  (491.31)
    The press release with two retailers saying positive comments about the promotion was very cherry picked.

    Of course it was. Don't be silly.

    I'm also curious about reorder numbers and the size of the print runs. Maybe it did work, but a whole lot of retailers are saying it hasn't yet.

    Well, someone reordered that book...
  9.  (491.32)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    "Overall it's the not informing retailers that's the issue."

    Besides of course, the fact that the deal seems to be a pretty last minute affair, formed well after orders for 1-3 were placed.
  10.  (491.33)
    Retailers who ordered the early volumes of the Girl Genius paperbacks weren't told that the Foglios would later be competing with them by selling digital downloads of the collections for a third of the price at www.DriveThruComics.com . Same with Checker who offers books through both that site and www.wowio.com - books that retailers bought not knowing they would be available online for much cheaper, or free. Should these books be returnable now too? Hey, Action Philosophers is on there too, at a third of cover - returnability!!!


    Found this through a narcisistic google alert I've got set up for Action Philosophers.

    We're very careful about making sure we don't undercut the relatilers with how we make Action Philosophers available online - retailers are our primary customers after all. We don't put our single issues on DriveThruRpg.com until they've completely sold out. In fact we're way behind - issues 7 and 8 sold out in June.

    We also don't do any direct sales through our website until they've already been in stores for a month. We've got somewhere 40-50 repeat buyers who bug the shit out of us to make the new books available for sale online the same day as the brick-and-mortar release. Our the answer is always the same: buy it at the comic store right now or wait a month - most of them wait.

    The person who buys a PDF of our material is never, never, NEVER going to buy the paper version, and vice versa. Same content, completely different products bought by different people.

    Torrent bootlegss pretty much make having a PDF version moot anyways, but we don't have control of that and never will.

    If there are any retailers out there who think these practices are undercutting their sales of Action Philosophers I would be more than happy to discuss these issues with them directly. We're very easy to get a hold of.

    You know something? I'd be fine with Diamond making our entire line returnable from the get-go, for whatever reason. Our stuff stands out enough that I think it will all sell through just fine.