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Monday, February 16, 2015

Comics: Apple picking doesn't help the fruit producer!

We live in a fantastic age with the internet! Comics fans now have an unbelievable selection of comic books to chose from, available online. Comics that can be ordered right from the artists themselves!

La Boite à B.D. de Laval
Doesn't it feel great to buy a comic book from the artist? It's so - Oh! so - very satisfying for a comic book fan to get the goods right from the hands of the author. And believe it's the best way to buy something. Because all the money goes right from your hands to those of the artist. No one in between to take a cut!

Folks, sorry to break your bubble here, but brutal truth is: it doesn't really help the artists.

Don't get me wrong. Sure, as an author, it's really satisfying to get an e-mail, a Paypal payment for those comics we make with passion. Often, comics are printed low runs on-demand, and money is always, always welcome to recoup the investment.

But what's even more satisfying is to receive an email from a retailer, or even better, a distributor. Selling comics to fans, one by one, is very cool, but retailers will buy comics 10 (or more) at a time. And a distributor will buy in bulks of hundreds. Or thousands. Yes, they do take a markup, sometimes an outrageous one, but in the other hand when we publishers print runs of comics in quantity, the production prices go dramatically down. Down to the point where it's more interesting to sell in bulk with 60% discount than it is selling comics one by one directly to readers.

«So... what are you saying? Not to buy from you?»

Of course not. My online store is always open! But before ordering from me (or from your favorite artist), check if the comics are available at your local shop. If the retailers hear about our comics, they might be up to order them, and carry the entire series in their stores.

Volume is the key. What helps the most a small indie publisher is selling in bulk. And retailers play a critical role. Ask your retailer for the title you want to get even if you know they don't carry it just yet.

Remember: would Metallica have made it if they were pressing their own albums to sell fans?

Sv Bell

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