Boom! Free Giveaway Followup: Success!

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You may recall last month’s controversy over Boom! Studios giving away the North Wind miniseries free online at MySpace. In short, retailers hated the idea, but the publisher saw early signs that the promotion was successful (including the first printing of the first issue selling out).

Now, Comic Book Resources has done a followup interview that reveals that the promotion was even more successful than hoped.

Here’s Chip Mosher, Marketing Director:

“We usually see a dip of 10% or more between issues #3 and #4 for any of our series. That said, we saw nearly a 20% increase in orders between issue #3 and #4 of North Wind. An increase like this has never happened in the history of our company. Never. Bottom line – we are talking about a total 30% increase over the norm.”

That’s astounding for a smaller press miniseries title, to see growth after the series midpoint. This was also the first issue ordered after retailers knew the full scope of the promotion, that they’d all be available online to read, and ordered with that knowledge. Mosher addresses the retailer response to the idea:

“We’ve certainly spent time checking in with some retailers who were really unhappy with the promotion,” said Mosher. “Interestingly, we’ve found some who have not only subsequently sold out [of North Wind #1], but also ordered second prints. They refuse to go on the record, fearing a response from the more militant retailers. Meanwhile, the guys that have gone on the record like Atomic Comics in Arizona, Ultimate Comics in North Carolina, and Meltdown in Los Angeles continue to be excited and supportive.”

Oooh, retailer peer pressure! But for most, sales are the element that matters. It doesn’t matter how much they personally dislike a publisher, creator, or promotion … if the book sells, they want to stock it and provide it to their customers. Mosher goes on to address retailer fear of changing times, pointing out that most readers like to own the physical copy of something they enjoy, while the interviewer suggests that upset retailers may have even helped bring more attention, and thus more sales, to the book.

That’s always a question when it comes to controversy of this type: how much will speaking out against something you dislike end up benefiting the product by making more people aware of it?

Congratulations to Boom! and Mosher for trying something new and for their sales success. I look forward to seeing what they try next.


2 Responses to “Boom! Free Giveaway Followup: Success!”

  1. Read Hexed for Free Same Day It’s on Sale » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] just as they did for North Wind (in a very successful promotion), every issue of Hexed will also be available same day online for [...]

  2. Lessons Learned in Digital: A Boom! Interview » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] digital plans. Chip points out how they’ve often been ahead of the curve (in spite of retailer dismay) and how many of their readers and sales are [...]

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