CBR: Shelf Life - Dec 29, 2011
Ron shares the story of a fan actively helping sell his comic store owner on "Shinku," illustrating the power of fan activism and the problem with today's comic book market. Plus, an exclusive preview of "Shinku" #4!
Full article here.
Great article. I've recently been going to a different LCS because the one closest to me either doesn't order or sells out of indy books most Wednesdays. I'd rather drive an extra 20 minutes to support a shop that carries Memorial, Shinku, and Sacrifice than a closer shop that never remembers to add things to my pull list.
It's a problem this direct market thingy. My true LCS (a retailer with whom I'd had a pull list for about 15 years) closed down in May. Since then I'm not near enough another to go regularly and/or build the relationship. I love Atomic Robo but I'm not finding it stocked in a lot of places. Shinku I found by accident on the shelves and Lee Moder's excellent cover pulled me in. Couldn't find issue two though (since managed to get it off ebay). Now I get both regardless through comixology on release day to register my interest and support then just hope that when I hit the stores 2-3 weeks after physical copies will be there.
Needless to say I don't go to the same extremes over the Marvel & DC stuff I read.
I work at a shop, and there is nothing better than having a customer give a recommendation. I can't even count the amount of times that while talking to one customer about how good an indy book is, another ask if we have it in stock.
I have a similar tactic at my shop, when it comes to non big two stuff. Unfortunately on a tighter budget (being a comic shop employee, I tend to always put my own copy of single ordered comics or graphic novels for sale. I always try to check Diamond to make sure they're still in stock, but on more than one occasion I've lost out on a comic because my copy sold and it backordered. On the other hand when there are enough copies available I can sometimes order 3 or 4 times, and consistently sell the single copy every time the reorder comes in (I put it back in stock if possible so it gains a bit of visibility again). I've gotten more than a few indy books up to 3-5 copies on the pull list solely from this system.
Personally though it's a tricky balance, because I can also make sales on my word alone to some customer, but if I have to sell my copy I don't get to read it. There is nothing better than a nice preview that's sent out to the retailers from either the publisher or the creators. We adjusted orders and sold out of Nonplayer & Kill Shakespeare because of quick emails from the creators, we went from 0-1 copy up to 10-20. The other big story is Stuff of Legend, if it weren't for Free Comic Book Day we would've ordered just one copy. Now on the third mini we sell 20 copies per issue and about 5-6 trades the month it comes out. The fact that someone is going out of their way to contact shows that they are serious about their product.