TwoMorrows 2007 Books 50% Off

Last month, TwoMorrows offered all their magazines at 50% off. This month, they’re extending the sale until December 15 and adding the following book titles published this year:

Image Comics: The Road To Independence by George Khoury

John Romita… And All That Jazz by Roy Thomas and Jim Amash

Brush Strokes With Greatness: The Life & Art of Joe Sinnott (standard edition) by Tim Lasiuta

Working Methods by John Lowe

Comics Introspective: Peter Bagge by Christopher Irving

Comics Gone Ape! by Michael Eury

Modern Masters: In The Studio With Michael Golden DVD

That brings them all under $20, including postage. Their stated reason is that it’s “due to overwhelming response”. But selling more items cheaper isn’t the usual response to popularity; usually, increased demand means higher prices. Does higher response to the sale mean that their regular prices are too high to maximize profit?

Does TwoMorrows need to raise a bunch of money before the end of the year for some reason? They’re now selling direct to consumers at the same rates, roughly, they sell to retailers. Do comic stores care? I suspect many don’t carry a full line of books, especially titles like these, which are more specialty publications.

9 Responses to “TwoMorrows 2007 Books 50% Off”

  1. Augie De Blieck Jr. Says:

    I can’t speak to the economics of it all — though I could imagine a couple of tax reasons for it — but I’d suggest the Image Comics book and the Working Methods book as two great additions to any comics fan’s library.

  2. Johanna Says:

    Unfortunately, I already had the Image book on order at full price, so the savings don’t help me any. I am looking forward to seeing it.

  3. Joshua Says:

    No, quantity demanded increases as price decreases…that’s what the demand curve represents. You’re treating it, rather uncharitably, as if what they ought to mean by “overwhelming response” is a shift of the entire demand curve. Though unexpected popularity can cause that, that’s not usually how we talk about popularity (we don’t say McDonalds is really unpopular because they have to keep the price so low in order to sell millions and millions of units). It’s clear from the context that they mean that lots of people are responding to the sale, and demand at that price is high.

    As to whether the good response to the sale demonstrates that their regular prices are too high to maximize profit, the answer is no. In fact, if they couldn’t substantially increase the quantity demanded by cutting the price in half, that would be a pretty good indication that they’re charging too little to maximize profits. Ideally a firm would charge each individual customer exactly what that customer would be willing to pay; since they usually can’t do that for a whole host of reasons, they maximize profits by price discrimination where they can. In this case they charge enthusiastic customers who definitely want the books one price, and wish-washy customers who are willing to wait ’til the end of the year and only maybe get the book if it’s cheap a much lower price. In their best-case scenario they would have sold every last book that they ever could have at full price, and only the remaining books that had been printed and would otherwise be a loss at the lower price. In practice they’ll probably cannibalize some sales from the would-have-paid-full-price group (those who waited to see if there was going to be a sale, and those who would have picked it up during or after the sale period but jumped on it during the sale), but with any luck there won’t be very many of those.

  4. Johanna Says:

    Thanks for the economic lesson!

  5. Alan Coil Says:

    Whatever the reason(s) for the sale, I think it is a great idea because many comics shops these days don’t carry the TwoMorrows magazines. My LCS bought a couple extra copies a few years ago, but the customers never bought them. I think it is a case of good magazines not finding and audience (in my area), and the sale might entice some readers to give them a try.

  6. Bill D. Says:

    Too bad that hardcover book about the Mego superhero toys isn’t part of the sale. I’d gladly grab that one at half-off.

  7. Steve Lieber Says:

    I’d go with tax reasons. It’s been a long, long time since I took an accounting class, but as I recall, the value of one’s unsold inventory at the end of the year is taxable. (Or rather, the increase in value of this year’s inventory over last year’s)

  8. John Morrow Says:

    You’ve got a couple of very economically astute respondents here, Johanna. One clarification: We’re offering 50% off the POSTPAID price, which still isn’t comparable to what retailers pay, since they get free shipping in the US, and their discount is based on the cover price. (And since most retailers don’t stock old issues of our magazines, we’re not undercutting them anyway.)

    The sale really has been a huge success (to the point where we completely ran out of shipping boxes late last week, and had to scramble to find more locally while waiting for our usual supplier to get them to us), so we extended it two more weeks to maximize the response. We’re getting a lot of people finishing off their runs of our mags (Kirby Collector and Alter Ego, especially, I guess since there’s so many issues). If your hints of it being a “fire sale” helped bring some of them there, to quote Jack Kirby, “I thank you for that.” :-)

    But there’s other reasons for a sale; one is it’s the holiday season, and we think our stuff makes a great gift idea. Plus, we greatly appreciate all the readers who’ve supported us this year, and want to help them out a little during what are economically tough times for a lot of people. Also, we’re trying to draw new people to our site, to discover things they didn’t know we had.

    But perhaps most importantly, Pam and I are taking our daughters to Disneyworld over New Year’s, and we need the dough for souvenirs. So order early and often, everybody! :-)

  9. Johanna Says:

    That’s the best reason I’ve heard yet. Have a wonderful trip!




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