London, circa 585 AD
From Wonderful London Vol. I
[via Spitalfields Life]
We’re getting on an airplane for San Diego Comic-Con soon! Swing by the IDW Publishing Booth on Saturday at noon and get your copy of the first volume of ARTFUL DAGGERS signed by Sean!
Zeus Comics is without question one of my favorite comics shops anywhere. It’s in Dallas, Texas, and it’s built a friendly, inclusive community of loyal readers, due in large part to the efforts of owner Richard Neal. I asked Richard for a short article that could be helpful to new comics creators, and this is what he gave us. Listen up, people! GS
RICHARD (ZEUS COMICS) NEALWant to get your comic or work into comic shops?Don’t email the store.Don’t call the store.Don’t mail a package of material to the shop.All of that initially is a waste of time.In order to get in front of retailers, think about how you navigate your own email inbox.
After having read this article, I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with Mr. Neal. This might be how Zeus Comics likes to run its shop, and I don’t begrudge them that; taking calls from creators takes time away from customers in their store.
But from a creator perspective, not making those calls is a guaranteed way to make sure your book doesn’t sell as many copies as it could.
Mr. Neal’s approach relies on you (the creator) having connections near all the top comics retailers across the country, as well as those connections having time to personally go in and hit up the retailer to carry your book. And I don’t know about you all, but I just don’t have that many friends.
In case you were wondering, we did exactly what Mr. Neal recommended (and most creator-owned series are doing these days), and made pre-order forms for the first trade paperback of ARTFUL DAGGERS. But you can’t rely on your friends and family to do your work for you. And unless you’re writing a BATMAN or SPIDER-MAN book, you probably don’t have enough readers to hit up every comic shop for you either.
This was the case with us when the trade paperback for ARTFUL DAGGERS was first coming out. So we went the extra mile, and I spoke with almost 200 retailers on the phone (full disclosure: I did not speak with anyone from Zeus Comics). While some clearly thought I was wasting their time, about half openly welcomed my call and thanked me for making them aware of ARTFUL DAGGERS. In a monthly catalogue the size of PREVIEWS, even with its “Certified Cool” status, ARTFUL DAGGERS was still getting lost in the shuffle.
In addition to those who thanked me, I had a handful with whom I was on the phone for a half hour or more talking about the state of the comics industry. Some invited me to their shops for signings.
If I hadn’t made those calls, I have no doubt we would have had half as many initial orders as we did.
I do agree with Mr. Neal that emailing stores (unless they ask you to explicitly) is a waste of time. But you can’t rely on anyone else to sell your book for you. Make the calls…just not on Tuesday or Wednesday - that’s when retailers are busiest!
TL;DR: Do make pre-order forms for your friends, family, and followers to take to their LCBS, but also make sure you call retailers yourself. You can’t afford not to.
Quick post before I get on the road!
I’ll be at San Diego Comic Con on Friday and Saturday! Here’s my signing schedule for all your FAIREST/ARTFUL DAGGERS/VAMPIRE DIARIES needs:
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM - DC Comics Booth
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM - IDW Publishing Booth
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM - DC Comics Booth
Hope to see you there!!!
45 years ago today these three men inspired the world with their bravery, skill and example; Thanks Mike, Buzz and Neil.
The symmetry of clocks lulls us into believing that time is a fixed commodity, but studies indicate that’s not the way it’s experienced. Time speeds up as we age. And the older you get, the more quickly it appears to vanish.
Age scales linearly, but perception of time scales exponentially.(via spytap)
…but the apes didn’t have planes.