I like you, so I was being very simple and concise explaining why your plan doesn't work for me and anyone else who's interested in staying profitable. Your idiotic idea that individual comic shops can spend like multimillion dollar corporation could, but choose not to is beyond the pale. The flaw in the DM system is lazy and cheap publishers who don't invest in their products prefering to have everyone else do it for them AND THAT'S why the DM system is the ONLY reason you still have any variety of comics at all.
In a fantasy world where individual comic shops are selling thousands of an individual title, your plan is 'workable'. In a retarded fantasy world where you can spend a couple hundred dollars to get ads on prime time TV, front page on the paper, and drive time radio, your plan is 'workable'. In the real world, not a chance in Hell.
Bob, we have always agreed that the publishers need to a) advertise, and b) make their product new reader accessible.
But that doesn't mean the local shop is absolved from trying to grow its own business. And that means marketing. All businesses, regardless of what they sell, have to advertise. Why do you think Target runs multi-media campaigns even though Proctor and Gamble already advertises their soaps and shampoos?
A 2x2 print ad is about $25-$35 in a small town newspaper, about $60-$75 in a big city paper. Even just taking it out once a week - with specific placement in say the sports section - would reach eyes you don't already get.
Radio ads can run as low as $15 per 30 second spot depending on the market and the length of term of the contract.
An ad package on your local cable system won't get you on the primetime network shows, but it can get you in front of parents that watch Sportscenter or Lifetime, at about $35-$50 per 30 seconds.
Those are just the obvious options. Do you do anything with local schools? Cub/Girl Scout packs? Do you sponsor a Little League or soccer team (a one-time expenditure of $200 gets you 12 weeks of 15-18 walking billboards)?
From your posts, I'm interpreting that your store is on a VERY tight margin. Perhaps a few months of bad sales from closing at any given moment (doesn't make it a bad store, just one that is undercapitalized). Maybe I'm wrong - I hope I am - but I don't know of any businesses that is healthy that doesn't advertise.
I'm always amazed that there isn't any kind of incentive in place at my LCS for being a regular customer spending a decent amount of money every week. It wouldn't be that hard to put something in place where if your pull list is over 10 titles you get x discount, 20 titles gets you y and so on.
I suppose they don't need to, certainly at mine. No other local competition, which is why it's the most expensive Forbidden Planet in the country.
They've got my custom either way but I'd be willing to try more, or stick with titles for longer that way.
*secret clique handshake*
Do you really get no discount at all? I've never heard of that. Where I live (London , Ontario) there are 5 comic shops and all of them offer discounts for members/pull list subscribers.
It must be like you said, lack of competition means your LCS doesn't have to do it.
But that doesn't mean the local shop is absolved from trying to grow its own business.
That's not what you were proposing. Your plan was to push specific books by advertising multimedia and giving them away 'free'. Now, you wanna move the goalposts. Pushing A title is ridiculous in the manner you posed. Every shop has to spend ad dollars responsibly for maximum effect. I never said not to advertise a shop. It's suicide to sink money into one book every week especially from Marvel.
So, say I did your plan, sold some schmuck a variant for $400, gave away my 100 copies for free to anyone who showed up at a specific time, what pray tell do I order on the SECOND issue? Do I hope the schmuck repeats if there is an equal variant stunt, so I can pay for the same number of second issues and not risk losing a ton of money if those freebies don't breed return sales? It's Marvel, there probably won't be reorders available, so I have to have the next issue on hand. Then, it's Marvel, so there's a very real chance the next issue won't ship in a reasonable time frame and no way of telling how many people would remember to come back for it. AND just because they got it free from me doesn't mean they don't have a regular shop or a closer one (or even PJP's beloved digital) where they'll pick up the next issue. If you just think giving a book away FREE means sales will automatically follow, you're just as bad as the 'if we build it, they will come' publishers are at understanding marketing. Again, how many years of Free Comic Book Days do people need to figure out that free doesn't increase long term sales?
I was a bit more testy than I intended to be with you and I apologize. Idiots who think that the stuff that you have to do as a last ditch desperation ploy when you screw up is a practical business model and are too in love with their uninformed opinions to grasp the concept that shops doing things correctly can happen got on my nerves.