Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 16 to 23 of 23
  1. #16
    Web Guru Brian Garside's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    31

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hibbs View Post
    What's to "disagree"? Every six months or so I order a copy of TRANSFORMERS to see if it will sell, and 60 days later I remove them from the rack, unsold. This is a factual statement, not something with any kind of opinion attached to it.
    Awesome, I'm saying this is an actual continuation of the original series, and may have different results. I understand that your particular store can't sell a Transformers, just like mine can't sell Manga in any way, shape, or form.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hibbs View Post
    There's not really an issue of hand-selling here. Why? I have umpty-thousand different SKUs in the store, so if I (or my staff) are going to handsell something, it's going to be something that we personally believe in. I'd rather handsell a SAGA or a PROPHET or FATALE any day before I'll sell a third-party licensed comic, no matter HOW good it may or may not be.
    ...ummm, kay. But here's the thing Brian, Saga, Prophet, and Fatale were not FCBD selections. What I'm saying is that SURELY by exposing people to this particular TF storyline maybe you can sell one or two with a little explanation? I totally get that you're not in the business of exposing people to anything outside of YOUR own comfort zone, if you don't like it, it must be absolute crap...and this is one of the reasons I find you frustrating.

    If I were to see someone who's 40 in a comic store, I might casually ask them "Hey, did you read Transformers when you were a kid? Yeah, cool, check this thing out, it's a continuation of Simon Furman's stories from way back then. Cool no?"

    When I worked in a comic store that's what I did, I looked at people, asked them about what they liked, and tried to pair them up with stuff. It was so cool back then to be able to refine my skill and technique, much like a sommelier does with wine.

    Far be it from me to give a veteran retailer like you any sort of constructive criticism, it's much more effective for you to Tilt at Windmills and punch at the wind. From what I understand, raging against the dying of the light usually results in MASSIVE sales upswings.
    Brian Garside
    brian.garsideweb.com

  2. #17
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    173

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chad Anderson View Post
    Even if that person is a regular reader of Atomic Robo, and they really want to read the FCBD comic? [etc etc]
    Until it is "legal" to take preorders and charge cost on a FCBD book, then no, I don't think it is reasonable for any current reader to expect ANY specific FCBD book whatsoever.

    Certainly, I'd prefer that they change the rules so we can accommodate everyone properly, but the situation is what it is.

    -B

  3. #18
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    173

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Garside View Post
    I totally get that you're not in the business of exposing people to anything outside of YOUR own comfort zone, if you don't like it, it must be absolute crap...and this is one of the reasons I find you frustrating.
    If that's one of the reasons you find me "frustrating", then I totally suggest you check your assumptions, because this statement has absolutely no bearing in reality whatsoever.

    If I only sold things inside "my own comfort zone", then the store would have less than 100 series in, not the 30x+ that it does. (Do I honestly need to put a "smiley face" after that?)

    Hell, Brian, there are dozens of things I love, that sell zero copies as well... and so I don't stock them; there are scores of series that I think are hot steaming monkey ass, and they sell like absolute gangbusters.

    I have in fact tried (and tried and tried and tried!) to sell TRANSFORMERS, largely because I assume as you mention that there must be some sort of nostalgia for the old comics, that with three hit movies surely some person out there is interested in it, and yet time and time again, the books don't sell, even though things that as (at least some way) like it (eg: VOLTRON, GREEN HORNET, whatever) sell a few copies.

    What should I conclude at that point? What action should I take? Should I continue to take $2 (the wholesale cost of a copy of that non-returnable copy of TRANSFORMERS), and just throw it away month-after-month? Is that rational? There are thousands upon thousands of comics vying for rack space, why should I continue to support a book with a PROVEN & REPEATED TRACK RECORD of not selling?

    What stuns me, ABSOLUTELY FLOORS ME, is this bizarre internet assumption that somehow this is a result of "elitism" or some other emotional-based decision making process. I can't understand how anyone could possibly believe that after two decades of my writing this column. Trust me, when I have an emotional-based reason for not carrying something, I lay it out up front so the whole world can see it -- I don't hide it behind code.

    And so, yes, I've spent oh let's say at least $100 over the years repeatedly proving that TRANSFORMERS does not sell at my store. I therefore object to having to pay roughly the $6.50 "TRANSFORMERs tax" in order to be an "official" FCBD store. I'd rather spend that $6.50 on something else that might hold a potential chance for a sale someday. This is a business decision, not a "Oh, I'm far too good for TRANSFORMERS (but I'm somehow a whore for MEGA MAN or VOLTRON, I guess)"

    The reality of it is, in a highly competitive market like San Francisco, I would not still be in business after 23 years if I ran the bizarre kind of emotion-based operation that you've constructed in your mind's eye.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Garside View Post
    If I were to see someone who's 40 in a comic store, I might casually ask them "Hey, did you read Transformers when you were a kid? Yeah, cool, check this thing out, it's a continuation of Simon Furman's stories from way back then. Cool no?"
    Well, I'd never hire you if that's your sales technique!

    The best way to sell comics is now, and always will be too find out/know WHAT THE CUSTOMER IS INTERESTED IN, and *then* match genre/style/creative voice/tone/sophistication/etc against that, preferably backed by your own INDIVIDUAL PASSION for genre/style/creative voice/tone/sophistication/etc. -- "What movies do you watch? What books do you read?"; but not "Hey you're in your 40s [you've just described a third of my customer base!], clearly you must have read TRANSFORMERS almost thirty years ago! And still care about it today."

    Sales techniques based on nostalgia seldom create a reoccurring sale.

    Either way: my point was that there is a wonderful bounty and cornucopia of amazing comic wonderfulness to handsell to people. I have more potential choices of great great great comics in a variety of styles and voices and tones than I can even begin to name, and my store racks are overflowing with comics that I'm passionate about. This isn't 1986 any more when we had maybe 20 things to sell people who came in. There's an embarrassment of riches available to us, and, so in the absence of compelling SALES DATA that would say otherwise (like if I had even one sub out of 150-ish that was interested in TRANSFORMERS), the books you're going to handsell are the things that you really believe in.

    -B

  4. #19
    Web Guru Brian Garside's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    31

    Default

    <golf clap>
    You win. I'm devastated that I'll never get that coveted job working for you.

    You seem like you'd be a peach to hang around.
    <wistful sigh>

    The thing I like about you is that you have numbers to back you up. I really do think that's cool.

    I guess what I'm saying is that if you can't sell any rack copies of every FCBD title you're carrying, then the comics part of FCBD is fundamentally broken for you.

    Consider instead that $6.50 you're paying is really just super-inexpensive marketing money which you would otherwise have thrown away at some other marketing effort somewhere (where 90% of the time you have no idea how successful it will be), which has helped create a focused marketing effort the likes of which no other hobby enjoys (from what ai've seen, FCBD far outshines free record day, and free games day in other similarly sized/targeted niches).

    That's a whole other topic for another day though. For now I need to go be by myself and mourn my loss of a job opportunity.

    DAMN IT ALL! Now if I ever choose to move to San Francisco, I'll have to settle for working at some Internet company, like I've been doing for the last decade!
    <sniff>
    Brian Garside
    brian.garsideweb.com

  5. #20
    Elder Member The Batman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Otisburg, USA.
    Posts
    10,136

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by deadbeat19 View Post
    You're right, I'm not entitled to anything other than what my store decided to purchase for FCBD. But from what I've seen for FCBD, people come to the store, grab as many free comics as possible, and are never seen again. As a loyal, weekly customer who spends a sizeable amount each week, it would have been nice for the store to get a better selection. I made it abundantly clear what books I had an interest in, and would be adding to my pull list.
    No, you're entitled to whatever FCBD stuff your LCS decides to give you; nothing more and nothing less. The books are theirs after all, they paid for them, and they can give them away to whomever and in however manner they see fit. FCBD isn't meant for us and the grubby, greedy insistence that it should be just points to some of the problems with the direct market in North America.


    Sorry to say but the customer is always right.
    Don't confuse a slogan with a justification for whiny, over-entitled behaviour.


    One positive note from this latest FCBD is that I might purchase my comics from dcbservice. I can save a considerable amount of the $2500+ I spend yearly at my LCS.
    Well, there you go. Make sure to let them know that, in return for your business, you also expect them to give you whatever FCBD stuff you want or else.

  6. #21
    Elder Member The Batman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Otisburg, USA.
    Posts
    10,136

    Default

    I dunno, I'm a guy who likes the Transformers and who likes Transformers comics, and even I think that ReGeneration One is an odd choice for a FCBD offering and a bit of a tough sell in the long run. I mean, it's not just building off of broad Transformers nostalgia, something that's not all that reliable a motivator to begin with, but with fondness for a very specific bit of Transformers fandom.

    If nothing else, if IDW is going to push one of their licensed books, why not the one with the movie coming out this summer?

  7. #22

    Default

    Brian,
    I was excited to read that you had a digital storefront, so I made sure to stop by this week, but couldn't find the link off of your main page. So I went back to the column, and discovered it was part of the "Savage Critics" page. I'd like to suggest that you link to it directly from your main "Comix Experience" page if you want people to find it. Unfortunately, I couldn't use it anyway, because it is based on iVerse and I am trying to keep everything on Comixology (Dark Horse has their own app, but otherwise I've been able to do this). Is there a reason why you chose to go with iVerse? I suppose this could be another argument against digital comics as they are currently marketed - too many incompatible platforms.

    Otherwise, I wish you good luck with the experiment and hope it will surpass your expectations.

    With regard to the FCBD supply issues, I have found that many of the issues in question are available through digital storefronts - hopefully this is a way for customers to get the specific issues they want without retailers having to pay to stock them.

    Aaron
    Last edited by amcpherson; 05-16-2012 at 11:49 AM.

  8. #23
    RecessionBornSuperVillain deathcry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    1,768

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hibbs View Post
    I can speak only for myself, but my personal opinion is that FCBD is about NEW READERS (and children) -- 364 days a year the Direct Market focuses primarily on the current readership, and one day it looks beyond that.

    So, I'm not particularly concerned that you weren't about to get every FCBD book that you wanted, because that's not the point of the promotion, in my personal opinion.

    One structural "problem" with FCBD is that the comics really are "not allowed" to be preordered, and sold at cost -- in theory, that could solve your problem; just ask the store ahead of time to get you x, y, or z, but, in theory, the store could be punished for that action.

    Still, I have a fairly large problem with the idea that anyone is entitled to any specific FCBD book, whether they spend $0 a week, or $200. FCBD isn't a "reward" for you buying comics all year long...

    -B
    I think you kind of miss the point of 'advertising'. While I agree with you that no one is entitled to a free book, or a reward for buying...
    If someone sees something that interests them, and they want to check it out for free, when its being advertised as free... that's not a sense of entitlement. That's simply bargain hunting. And it's potential future sales. And now the FCBD is going to work in reverse for his LCS, because he will go to a different store next year, and maybe drag his $40+ there for that week. And who knows if that doesn't lead to longer term visits to the other store.
    If deadbeat did know ahead of Saturday of the book he wanted, it probably would not have been a bad idea to mention it to the store, but they are still going to do what makes sense to them.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •