- Posted by Johanna on October 13, 2011 at 9:43 pm
- Category: Comic News
There have been previous attempts (including one this year) to encourage people to give away mini-comic books as treats at Halloween, but what Diamond has planned for 2012 is a full-blown Free Comic Book Day.
My first thought is a mean one: Ah, comics, where a successful promotion means repeating it until it becomes useless. But if it works for publishers and retailers, why not do it twice yearly?
That is, if it’s working for retailers. I’ve heard of successful store events, and I’ve heard of those where the shop only sees the old customers, and the new attendees are freeloaders who don’t buy anything. Not everyone has the stamina to put on a big event or the resources to stage a sale to capture the attention of existing shoppers.
Successful marketing requires a lot of effort, and I would hope Diamond provides more support than a website. Meanwhile, publishers are leaning more and more on branded titles for this event, and I’m not sure that shows comics in the best light, although it’s cheap advertising. (Why spend time and effort creating an audience when you can say “we have the same brands you already know in print?” Never mind it makes comics look like a tag-along medium.)
I don’t want to be complaining without offering my own suggestions, but I’m having trouble coming up with any good ones. I think that there are too many mediocre FCBD offerings, but I don’t know how you prevent publishers from participating if they want to take part. I’m one of those existing customers that shouldn’t be part of the target effort, but I get upset if I can’t get the good-sounding comics I want. I think FCBD comics should have more of a bounce-back effect (converting samplers to buyers), but I don’t know how you achieve tighter coordination with products to purchase without ruining the “free taste” aspect.
I guess it all boils down to, getting them in the door is only the first step. Does Free Comic Book Day do a good enough job of getting them in the door, and are retailers able to do the so much more required with them? Would it be better to do more with the existing event instead of adding another, or does a second date provide retailers more flexibility?