Monday, August 31, 2009

Jump Week

Take a look at this flier.


It's a great idea, working in conjunction with your local store to have some new product on the shelf that week. Buying comics, for many, is a ritual. Some guys just have to go to the shop every Wednesday and get their fix, it's what they do. The idea is great, although I have a huge problem with this flier. I don't know who created it, or how well circulated the image is, but let's examine the middle paragraph. "It doesn't need to be great, just better than nothing." Really? Is that what we want to show to a new potential customer? Is that how we want to bring in new fans? Is that how we want to try to reward a local retailer who generously gives us shelf space for that week? "..better than nothing."

How about we try for something better? How about you try to get a Marvel or DC zombie into trying something new. How about putting out something that looks professional and is interesting enough that maybe the store owner asks you about what's next? When will the next issue be ready. I have done work for a couple publishers who distribute through Diamond and it's hard enough getting those books on the shelves, don't perpetuate the myth of self-publishers being amateurs by putting out amateurish work. I'm not saying my self-published work is perfect, but I try my best to make it look and feel professional. I am lucky enough that I have great relationships with with 3 or 4 retailers here in the Phoenix market, and I will see if any of them would be interested in filling some shelf space that week with copies of Hurricane Kids or Fata Obstant, or even extra trades of Villains if my publisher does not mind. If they decline though, I will completely understand because that week may be the only time a potential new customer walks through their doors, and if the new release wall looks like a high school art project, that customer will not be coming back. So instead of "better than nothing" why not do "the best that you can."

One only need to take one look at this thread on the image comics board to see how many "creators" out there think they deserve a shot. How they are just as good as anything else on the racks. Except that most have not actually done the work, put in the hours and produced a quality book. Well, you have about 3 months before your book would need to head out to get printed and back to you in time for December 30th. Here's your chance, don't waste it by putting out something that otherwise could not compete for and deserve space on that shelf any other Wednesday of the week.

8 comments:

Brian Meredith said...

If you me to place some of your books in my shop, Ryan, just let me know. I'd be glad to do so...

Craig Zablo said...

You make some very valid points. Well thought!

SpazDog Comics said...

IMHO Fata Obstant could compete against anything on the racks.

David said...

Well said. Thanks!

Jason C-M said...

Yeah, at first when I saw the poster I was thinking "what a great idea!" but then that "better than nothing" line hit and I was just crushed. If you wanna lower the bar like that, I don't even want to play.

ryan cody said...

Brian - Thanks man, I'll keep that in mind.

Craig & David - Thanks.

Shawn (Spazdog) - You are too kind.

Jason - Yeah, if it looks and seems unprofessional, that's how it will be viewed by everyone.

mick statham said...

'better than nothing'...I'll get right on that. Talk about putting youdown before you even start, eh?

Scott Godlewski said...

Word.