A Comic Retailer Perspective

I think I put a link on here to an article I had published on Newsarama earlier this year.

Besides the comments that ripped me apart that I did not rebut, I found a post at another site that ripped me apart. I decided to reply to it. I must be in a feisty mood.

Here is my reply to the post. You can also read it at the website in question since I made it a comment there.


I just ran across this post.

I do agree with your thoughts. It isn't just my job to just stock things. I have to sell them. I was arguing that it was a poor business plan for the publisher to depend upon retailer to create demand for their product. I do not depend on my customers to bring people into my store. It is nice when they do. It is my job to create demand for our store just like it is a publisher's job to create demand for their books. I was not arguing that retailers should not push books. I actually mentioned a book that I pushed and also one that one of our workers push. I do not think I am the passive clerk (nor are my employees) that you describe.

I think the difference between your role as a retailer and mine is that I also decide what to order. I also will not push a book that I think sucks even if I overordered it. It might hurt my short-term bottom line, but I think it helps out in the long-term if I do not push crap on my customers. They can be assured that I will only push books that I personally enjoyed or I think they will enjoy. I expect my employees to do the same. I have reprimanded one once for pushing a crappy book (and they thought is was crappy) because we had a lot of it in stock.

I am going to choose one or two books every week to push. I am going to do that based on whether I liked the book, not on whether I overordered. If the publisher did not create demand and the book was not the lucky one out or two of the 50-90 books we receive every week that I decided to push, then they will just sit on the shelf. That will prevent #2 or #3 from being ordered like issue one was ordered.

I agree with you that a store that is just clerking is not a store worth going to. But a publisher that is just publishing probably will not create any demand for their books and will be out of business very quickly. Too often publishers create books and think there job is done. They also need to create demand. Most companies have people that work in marketing. There is a reason for that. It isn't just enough to provide something; you also have to tell others that it is there. Those publishers who do not heed the words of retailers like me will be out of business quickly if there business plan for creating demand is to just publish the book and expect retailers to push that book.