PR: What Not to Do: Forget to Tell Us What the Reprint Book Is About
I’m really glad we’re living in a golden age of comic reprints, with all kinds of terrific books and strips easily available. However, too many times, when announcing a new reprint project, publishers assume readers already know about the comic. I know those decision-makers are familiar with how great the project is, or presumably, they wouldn’t choose to republish it, but particularly when you’re reprinting something from more than five years ago, there’s a whole generation of potential customers that may have never heard of your comic.
Don’t forget to tell us what the comic is about, for those who might be interested but weren’t buying comics 5 or 10 or 20 or more years ago. I’ve selected an example from Dark Horse here, but I have seen this problem from several other publishers as well, so don’t think it’s just them. (This came out during the New York Comic Con, which may account for why the press release was abbreviated.) Here’s the PR:
DARK HORSE TO PUBLISH ‘THE COMPLETE PISTOLWHIP’!
From Matt Kindt (MIND MGMT, PastAways) and Jason Hall (Beware the Creeper) comes the complete collection of intricate mystery stories perfect for any fan of crime fiction.
Named one of Time magazine’s top ten comics of 2001, the breakout graphic novel series from Matt Kindt and Jason Hall returns with a deluxe edition collecting every Pistolwhip story, in color for the first time.
The edition includes the two Pistolwhip books for the first time in hardcover, along with the Mephisto and the Empty Box one-shot and a story from Dark Horse Maverick: Happy Endings. Thrill to the twisty, interconnected tales of Mitch Pistolwhip, Charlie Minks, Jack Peril, Captain January, the Human Pretzel, and a monkey!
The Complete Pistolwhip is in stores April 15, 2015, from Dark Horse Comics. Preorder your copy today!
From that I get that Pistolwhip is about crime and mystery stories, but what’s the premise? Who are the characters listed, and why do they matter? The two main volumes came out over 10 years ago, and all I remember is that Mephisto had a magician in it. It’s great that Time liked it — oh, wow, remember when Time.com had some terrific comic coverage? — but that’s not enough for me to know whether *I’d* like it.
I am hammering on this because I want books to be easy to find for new readers. Promoting reprints only to those who remember the original may be easier, but it’s a game with declining rewards. Be more expansive! Reach out wider! Tell us what your comic is about!