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  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by whippis View Post
    Why would a Comic Shop stock unprofitable titles to begin with? If you think Vibe is a loser, don't order any. If you feel the risk of losing the dude who comes in as a newbie asking for Vibe is critical to your business I think you're already lost.
    The goal isn't to stock an unprofitable titles. Ideally you should order accurately enough to always hit that 80+% sell through. As Hibbs explained this becomes more difficult with the smaller titles. When I order 200 Batmans I can have 30 or so on the shelf to generate potential new customers and still be within the 80% sold for profitability. As the numbers get smaller I have to order tighter and tighter to still remain profitable which potentially leads to nothing on the shelf to generate new customer interest.

    Now to just not stock a title is, in general, a bad business practice. If I just decided to not stock any book that I didn't sell 15 or more copies per month then a lot of people would get their books elsewhere. To not stock these books would be telling 8-10 customers on each of these poor selling titles to get their stuff elsewhere because you're not a full service store.

    Tony Florence
    www.collectiblesetconline.com

  2. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiggyFakeMcCoy View Post
    First of all, you can't call it an IP farm and then say publishing doesn't matter. Publishing IS the farm. Without publishing the IPs would lose their value to other depts, and as being a farm implies, would cease to create new IPs.
    Sorry, but that's an incredibly naive statement. The IP farm that Disney bought is clearly based on characters that have already been created and exist in the marketplace. How many characters created in the last ten or twenty years have any real value as IP? As far as characters losing their value without publishing, let me ask you: How long has it been since Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote his last Tarzan story, or Arthur Conan Doyle his last Sherlock Holmes story, or Mary Shelley her one-and-only Frankenstein story? And yet these characters remain valuable properties that still bring in big bucks. Sure, Frankenstein, for example has lapsed into the public domain, but the specific representation as created by Universal is a hotly protected property. You're incredibly wrong if you think the value of characters like Spider-Man and Iron Man would collapse without monthly comics. In fact, I'd venture that most people probably don't realize that comics featuring these characters are still being released.

    Second, the people who DO care how much a book sells are the people who are deciding what to publish. These Disney Overlords who care not about publishing, only the value of the character, aren't the ones choosing to publish these low selling titles. Those choices are being made by Marvel creators and editors who think they have a strong enough hook to give the book a chance, and they care if it succeeds.
    Again, this viewpoint seems extremely naive. If you think that the decision makers at Marvel and DC aren't responding to dictates from above, then you have no idea how business works. Granted, publishing decisions aren't totally out of the hands of Marvel and DC editors and creators, but to think that the higher-ups at their respective parent companies aren't involved is ludicrous. Disney doesn't buy a company like Marvel and then say, "OK guys, go ahead and do whatever you want." It just doesn't work like that.

    No one from Warner Bros is demanding DC publish a Vibe comic. Vibe is being published because (right or wrong) Geoff Johns, Dan Didio and Jim Lee think they have the formula that'll make it stick. I think Hibbs' point is they must be delusional to think that, but none the less, they ARE doing it because they think and hope it will sell, not because this is some WB mandated step one to Vibe: The Animated Series.
    Maybe not specifically, but I'd bet money that WB is certainly looking to increase their share of the Hispanic market, and have communicated that mandate to DC. Whether or not Vibe succeeds as a comic, I'd suggest, is unimportant. The fact is they're [re]introducing a Hispanic character into the market, primarily to position the character for further exposure on TV and in the movies. Why is this concept so hard to understand?

  3. #48
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    Hibbs really is the Comic Shop Guy from the Simpsons. The perpetual curmudgeon who would whine for days if DC and Marvel offered free gold and b.j.s with each comic. He cries that the big two focus too much on their big franchises, then cries harder that they focus on too many non-franchise books. I've been to shops with owners/staff like this. Like Hibbs, they constantly complained about everything and even mocked their customers over their buying preferences. Most of those shops are thankfully out of business now. Sadly, they probably drove a few thousand people out of this hobby because of their attitudes. Lord only knows how many customers Hibbs has driven to digital or torrents or just out of comics entirely.

  4. #49

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    You think it's naive to say Disney execs don't give a shit about "Red She-Hulk," "Journey Into Mystery" or "Scarlet Spider" and that the decision to publish those titles were made by Marvel guys?

    I'm sure the fact that he's hispanic was part of the decision to do a Vibe book. Diversity has be a very public part of DC's mission statement. And both Marvel and DC are part of multimedia conglomerates and putting these characters in other media is very much one of their goals, absolutely. I still maintain that reducing their existence to the status of IP Farm in which sales don't matter is INCREDIBLY insulting to the countless people who work their asses off to put this product out, and that whether they succeed or fail, try 100% to put out legitimately good product and care very much how it sells.

  5. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hibbs View Post
    Whoopty-fricking-do.

    $75m? DM sales, as-reported-by-Diamond alone are $394m (http://www.comichron.com)

    Add the $176m we know from BookScan (http://www.comicbookresources.com/?p...ticle&id=36900) -- which is, we think, less than half of the proper book market....

    I mean, hurray for extra digital money... but it is NOT enough to run the market.

    -B
    It will be in 5 years or less.

  6. #51
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    It would be, if pirated comics wasn't pretty much the same thing as a digital comic and more or less free. Plus no DRM. Same if not superior product, no fiscal cost, and a slight increase in time taken. I see why the comics industry is quite cautious when it comes to digital, because this realisation is far from a leap.

    I think the 20 page floppy, perpetually being downsized and cost-reduced, has reached a stage where it isn't worth producing. A superior product would be something 60-100 pages, multiple stories with a headliner that draws people in. No franchise would need more than 2 a month. If people want to buy a single book called X-Men, and others want maybe X-Factor or something else that sells 22k in a good month, tighten the line and sell the same product to both. Bigger product, bigger price tag, better margins, fewer things to fill out, easier to direct people to test and something in each issue to enjoy. Combine with higher quality trades and hardcovers for people who want premium printed books, and digital for people who want to do microtransactions for a handful of stories rather than full anthologies.
    I would like to say for the record that this is the FIRST TIME I've withheld dong when someone was so desperately asking for some.
    Brian C Wood

  7. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiggyFakeMcCoy View Post
    Because flooding the market IS how Image makes money. Image, as a publisher, doesn't make money off of sales. Image creators pay Image a fee for every realease (something like $2-3k. I forget the exact number). So regardless of whether the book sells 4k or 40k, Image gets their flat fee and nothing else, and then all profit (or loss, unfortunately) goes to the creators.

    So since Image's income, as a company, is per-release, their ONLY way of increasing profits is a) increasing the fee on creators, or b) releasing more titles. 48 single issue releases means 48 fees paid.
    Image isn't a company in the traditional sense though - IIRC, the tax section they're filed under basically means they have to show (within a very small margin of) no profit or loss for a year. The fees are just to cover their costs.

    The Image partners make their money from the deal because they get higher orders from their books this way - i.e., Image (and thus those who publish *through* Image) deals with Diamond on a more profitable brokered basis rather than the way smaller publishers have to manage, and they get far more prominent space in Previews as well.

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hibbs View Post
    Whoopty-fricking-do.

    $75m? DM sales, as-reported-by-Diamond alone are $394m (http://www.comichron.com)

    Add the $176m we know from BookScan (http://www.comicbookresources.com/?p...ticle&id=36900) -- which is, we think, less than half of the proper book market....

    I mean, hurray for extra digital money... but it is NOT enough to run the market.

    -B
    That's annual growth of about 200% per year. No other sales channel is growing so much. Outside of major metro areas, most of North America doesn't have easy access to DM shops and internationally it's far worse. Digital could easily end up becoming the third leg of the industry. How far it can grow is anyone's guess. Most of the world is switching to smartphones and tablets and even a tiny fraction of that potential audience becoming monthly comics buyers adds a huge, unexploited new market.

    I wonder how much profit the Big Two make on digital sales as opposed to print. They don't have to worry about print over-runs or potentially losing sales in between going for second and third printings. I wouldn't be surprised if six to ten years from now they opt to release books digitally ahead of their releases in physical stores.
    The two most powerful warriors are patience and time - Leo Tolstoy

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by vampiric_cannibal View Post
    It would be, if pirated comics wasn't pretty much the same thing as a digital comic and more or less free. Plus no DRM. Same if not superior product, no fiscal cost, and a slight increase in time taken. I see why the comics industry is quite cautious when it comes to digital, because this realisation is far from a leap.

    I think the 20 page floppy, perpetually being downsized and cost-reduced, has reached a stage where it isn't worth producing. A superior product would be something 60-100 pages, multiple stories with a headliner that draws people in. No franchise would need more than 2 a month. If people want to buy a single book called X-Men, and others want maybe X-Factor or something else that sells 22k in a good month, tighten the line and sell the same product to both. Bigger product, bigger price tag, better margins, fewer things to fill out, easier to direct people to test and something in each issue to enjoy. Combine with higher quality trades and hardcovers for people who want premium printed books, and digital for people who want to do microtransactions for a handful of stories rather than full anthologies.
    Pirated digital comics have been around for years. A fair amount of people choose to download because a digital copy doesn't need to be stored or require a trip to a store. Offering them a legit way of getting a digital copy doesn't mean sales cannibalisation. That's the same argument movie studios used to argue against VCRs.
    The two most powerful warriors are patience and time - Leo Tolstoy

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by cactusmaac View Post
    That's annual growth of about 200% per year. No other sales channel is growing so much.
    When you're moving from $0 to some dollars, it would be pretty insane if it DIDN'T have 2-300% growth for a few years.

    However, DC and Marvel executives have been clear, when pressed, that they don't see digital coming anywhere even close to "replacing" print anytime in the near future -- it is an additive sale, not a replacement one, so far.

    I just spoke with a Top DC Executive last evening, and he made it clear that print is by far the dominant system, and, much more importantly, the percentage of sales of print vs digital has not shifted significantly over the now 14 months that DC has had a full blown digital program -- with the #1s, digital sales were about 10% of print sales, and with the #14s they are STILL about 10%. Is the absolute number larger? Yes -- just as Print's, is.

    The majority of the current readership prefers print, that could not possibly be clearer.

    -B

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by vampiric_cannibal View Post
    I think the 20 page floppy, perpetually being downsized and cost-reduced, has reached a stage where it isn't worth producing.
    Yeah, except that gross aggregate sales are UP, as is the volume of the best-selling books.

    So... not.

    -B

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chiasm View Post
    There is exactly one comic book shop within 200 miles of where I live. So not that many for some of us. As to online, thats great for comics you know you want but not so great for discovering new comics. Not to mention once you go down the online road its a small step to just torrenting them.
    I live in Sweden there is one comics shop in town and i support it loyally because they are good at their shop. Giving me discounts sometimes so he can sell old comics i could get cheaper online. If there was no comics shop i use comixology. The owner in my shop knows sometimes i catch to series buying them from comixology. He knows he cant overprice me to keep me.

    Im loyal to good comics and not comics shop for no reason. Its like bookstores the good smaller ones survive by dealing with customers well.

    Torrent thing is BS, i could download all new comics but i feel i own the money to creators. If you are torrenting you would from the start. It has nothing to do with normal readers who respect the creators like me. The customer decides which comics DC/Marvel and co realese and they decide when if the real comics shops die out with their wallet.
    Pull List:
    The Walking Dead,Fatale,Near Death,Storm Dogs,Happy,BPRD,XO-Manowar
    American Vampire,Animal Man,Swamp Thing
    Daredevil, Winter Soldier,Indestructible Hulk

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hibbs View Post
    When you're moving from $0 to some dollars, it would be pretty insane if it DIDN'T have 2-300% growth for a few years.

    However, DC and Marvel executives have been clear, when pressed, that they don't see digital coming anywhere even close to "replacing" print anytime in the near future -- it is an additive sale, not a replacement one, so far.

    I just spoke with a Top DC Executive last evening, and he made it clear that print is by far the dominant system, and, much more importantly, the percentage of sales of print vs digital has not shifted significantly over the now 14 months that DC has had a full blown digital program -- with the #1s, digital sales were about 10% of print sales, and with the #14s they are STILL about 10%. Is the absolute number larger? Yes -- just as Print's, is.

    The majority of the current readership prefers print, that could not possibly be clearer.

    -B

    I agree as a comics reader i prefer print but comics shop cant get you comics the publishers are not reprinting. I went online comixology buys mostly to get old comics that are reprinted only digitally. To get other things than superhero dominating of direct market big two comics.

    Frankly also comics isnt special must have paper like having books in your hands. Its a visual media that i dont mind reading in my Ipad. Its the comics shop owners job to sell me interesting comics so i dont have to go digitally. I dont care what comics sell better in a comic shop. The buyers,readers are meant to be selfish with their money.
    Pull List:
    The Walking Dead,Fatale,Near Death,Storm Dogs,Happy,BPRD,XO-Manowar
    American Vampire,Animal Man,Swamp Thing
    Daredevil, Winter Soldier,Indestructible Hulk

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikbackm View Post
    There's no doubt that fewer comics selling more is better than many comics selling less. At least for publishers, distributors and retailers.

    (Maybe readers would disagree as such a scenario would almost certainly mean that some books they think fit them perfectly right now will have to go away)

    The question is, how to accomplish such a transformation in practice? Just cancelling the lower selling half will probably not make those who read them flock to the half that remains. Not enough of them at least. And since many stores already operate close to the limit, couldn't such a move then potentially kill off the direct market on the spot?
    You raised some good points but I wonder if oversaturation is working any better for DC/Marvel? Cutting back on some multiple titles within a given franchise might sound a little crazy at first,but what we don't see from these numbers is whether every freaking Batbook or X-Men title is at the top of sales or at the bottom. With all the complaining going on over at the CBR Green Arrow thread why titles that aren't selling as well (I'm still curious where that book ranks) are continued, regardless of whether it may be an Iconic character or not, when others have been cancelled outright.As far as what strategy would work if any, none will move fans as conservative as they are these days to something outside of their established comfort zone.I try to advocate on occasion but it's all about the Iconics these days.

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hibbs View Post
    When you're moving from $0 to some dollars, it would be pretty insane if it DIDN'T have 2-300% growth for a few years.

    However, DC and Marvel executives have been clear, when pressed, that they don't see digital coming anywhere even close to "replacing" print anytime in the near future -- it is an additive sale, not a replacement one, so far.

    I just spoke with a Top DC Executive last evening, and he made it clear that print is by far the dominant system, and, much more importantly, the percentage of sales of print vs digital has not shifted significantly over the now 14 months that DC has had a full blown digital program -- with the #1s, digital sales were about 10% of print sales, and with the #14s they are STILL about 10%. Is the absolute number larger? Yes -- just as Print's, is.

    The majority of the current readership prefers print, that could not possibly be clearer.

    -B
    I don't disagree with any of that, I'm thinking of where the marketplace will be in six to ten years' time.
    The two most powerful warriors are patience and time - Leo Tolstoy

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