- Posted by Johanna on April 20, 2006 at 8:41 pm
- Category: Comic News
For Free Comic Book Day, TwoMorrows is giving away issues of their magazines. Press release follows.
In conjunction with the comic industry’s upcoming Free Comic Book Day, TwoMorrows Publishing (publisher of the comic industry’s top historical and “how-to” magazines) is offering an opportunity for readers to try a TwoMorrows magazine free-of-charge.
On Saturday, May 6, anyone who visits the TwoMorrows website can request any in-stock issue of Back Issue, Alter Ego, Draw!, or Write Now!, and it will be mailed to them at no cost the following week. A special banner atop the home page will link to the Free Magazine Page where selections can be made.
“The goal is to expose new readers to our amazing line of magazines,” said TwoMorrows publisher John Morrow, “so they’ll in turn start ordering them at their local comics shop, or subscribe. But I also want to reward our current, extremely loyal readership. My hope is that existing TwoMorrows customers will consider trying a magazine they may not already be familiar with, rather than using this opportunity to fill a hole in their run of back issues. But however anyone chooses to take advantage of this giveaway, I’m just happy they’re visiting our site, where they’ll have a chance to learn about other new items we have coming up, including our newest magazine launch, Rough Stuff.”
TwoMorrows plans to make this an annual event if response is favorable. “I wanted to participate in Free Comic Book Day, but it wasn’t financially feasible for a smaller publisher like us to create and print a special publication to give away through comics shops,” said Morrow. “But for the cost of shipping copies of our existing magazines to individual readers, I’m confident we’ll reach a lot of people who may have heard of our mags, but haven’t actually seen a copy if their local shop doesn’t carry it regularly. It’s a win-win situation in my mind; retailers stand to pick up new customers, and we’ll grow our circulation. I encourage other small publishers to consider trying a similar scenario at their websites.”
I appreciate the gesture, and I think free samples will work well for them as a promotion strategy. (Note that only currently ongoing series are eligible for this offer, driving people to current product, and they excepted The Jack Kirby Collector because its size makes it expensive to send.) However, this completely contradicts the point of Free Comic Book Day, which was created by retailers with distribution assistance in order to bring people into physical comic shops.
In fact, it’s questionable whether TwoMorrows have the right to use the name of the program, since it’s trademarked.
The “not financially feasible” also doesn’t make sense to me, since publishers on a similarly small scale, or even smaller — like AdHouse, Heroic, Renaissance, and Skydog — manage to participate according to the rules.