Story Followup LinkBlogging

Free Samples

More on Free Samples: “the more his book was available for free, the more sales of the actual book increased.” From Best-Selling Author Actively Pirating His Own Book — Finds It Helps Sales Tremendously.

Convention Pre-Sales

More on convention pre-sales: From the publisher side, this detailed response from Fantagraphics lays out why publishers debut books at shows and the many benefits it brings them.

I know retailers who flat-out tell me they aren’t concerned with this issue at all, including two who are directly affected by it because they exist in cities we exhibit and sell books at during cons…. It’s going to be difficult to get publishers to budge on this because there’s no hard data and debuting books at cons is widely perceived as a valuable promotional tool and very crucial part of the bottom line for an event. Also, let’s face it, it will likely be hard to get one publisher to do it unless everyone else were to, because these businesses are competing with each other and vying for attention at shows. There needs to be a better case for how not engaging in this practice will improve the situation appreciably for everyone in spite of missing out on an excellent promotional opportunity (how many review sites and blogs write column after column about what the ‘buzz’ books of every show are?) and a hit to the bottom line.

Eric Reynolds goes on to say that if they decided not to debut books, they’d attend fewer conventions, and they only go to a few anyway (four indy comic-focused shows plus San Diego and a local show). That’s not an outcome that would benefit anyone.

Increasing Sales

Retailer to publishers: Want higher sales? Make better comics!

I don’t think that’ll really work, because good comics, like The Order, get canceled (with issue #10), because not enough regular customers buy them. I’m now down to one Marvel series I look forward to: X-Men: First Class.

3 Responses to “Story Followup LinkBlogging”

  1. James Schee Says:

    Darn, and I’d just ordered the tpb of The Order the other day based on your coverage of it.

    That author giving away his book online like that is a pretty interesting story. Though crafty too, as I wonder how many people would sit and read an entire novl on their computer screen. Get them hooked, and then get them to go buy the book so they can read it at their leisure.

  2. Johanna Says:

    Well, that’s the point, too — you can give away something and then sell versions that give the reader something more, like convenience (reading away from the screen) or permanence (owning their own copy) or extra features… the list goes on.

  3. Lisa from Neptune Says:

    You know The Order is a superhero book published by Marvel, right?

    But seriously – what makes a good comic book can often depend on the reader. What small press publishers SHOULD do is get their stuff out on-time and at a fair price. (You often advertise books sold for prices well below cover, stating that while you want them, you don’t want them for that price – and the price is set by the publishser.) They should also try to be more creative in their marketing. Selling the same things to people that stores are selling doesn’t make much sense. There are all kinds of great viral marketing things going on now. And many creators don’t take the time to visit stores and talk with owners and customers I believe there are so many more ways that publishers could get people interested in their comics, other than just selling those comics at conventions, if only they took the time and energy to do them.

    Note – free SAMPLES, not give the whole darn thing away for free. There is a difference.




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