- Posted by Johanna on May 6, 2008 at 7:32 pm
- Category: LinkBlogging
Still planning to get back to part 2 of my Free Comic Book Day experience, but deadlines are flying hot and heavy this week. In the meantime, check out this excellent read. Retailer Mike Sterling gives great advice on how to run a good FCBD event (after bemoaning the poor experiences some had at stores that weren’t nearly prepared the way they should be).
I was going to go through and list, point by point, all the crap things I’ve been hearing about how some stores treated their FCBD event. In particular, if your treatment of customers on FCBD, a day specifically designed as customer outreach, causes you to lose those people as customers, you’re doing it wrong. But, instead, let me, yet again, go through and tell you what we did. Maybe we can lead by example.
I can’t believe (yes I can) a store actually closed on FCBD so employees could go see Iron Man. I mean, yes, it’s a great film, but geez! Here’s an example of only one of his good suggestions:
… encouraging extra sales on a day when you’re giving away hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars’ worth of product is a good idea, and not that hard to do. Even a small discount, like I noted, can help. In our case, the sales on graphic novels alone that day more than paid for what we spent on the FCBD books.
I like his conclusion, too:
Ultimately, the success of a store’s Free Comic Book Day is in treating the day like a special event to be enjoyed, and not just a burden to be endured, like I’ve heard about too many stores this year. Yeah, I know I grumble a bit about preparing for it here on my site, but it really is a fun, if enormously busy, day.
Plus, he and Randy Lander argue in the comments about whether a limit of three books per person is a good idea or not. (Randy thinks so, as a way of minimizing retailer cost.) I lean towards “not”, in most cases. With over 40 titles, many of which are aimed at similar audiences, allowing people to sample only 7.5% of the items seems to waste the potential of the event.
Even if you’re ONLY interested in manga, there were four specific titles aimed at you. Or only superheroes-with-movies, they had at least four as well. If you’re picking the best for the young ones, you can’t have Simpsons and Sonic and Disney and Kids Love Comics and Owly and Gumby… put half of those back. Such a small limit just results in unpleasant decisions, or keeping the focus on the properties who least need the help.
Plus, many of these books are aimed just as much at existing customers as new. I know stores want new faces to expand their customer base, but seeking the new while annoying the old isn’t much of a win.
That’s assuming a store carried all the titles, of course. If they only chose to stock the 15 or so that they wanted to support and thought they could sell related material for, then I can see having a smaller limit.