retailers

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I’m backpacking through the woods with my wife right now, but I set up this post a few days ago to remind people that…

Today is the final day to preorder Zodiac Starforce #1!!!

Fans and prospective readers, make sure to tell your local comic shop to order you a copy. Today is your last chance!

Retailers, order 15 copies or more and get 15% off your order! 

A Retailer's Tips On Selling Minicomics

Comics are awesome. And some of the most awesome comics are the ones you create yourself, and then print and sell yourself. (We’re calling these sort of comics “minicomics” for short.) And we love seeing an amazing new minicomic, whether it’s someone’s first work or an established “professional” who is doing something personal for themselves.

As a store, we love selling minicomics! They are far more diverse than comics put out by big publishers and showcase an amazing array of talent.  But, as a comics retailer, we’ve also noticed a lot of things that make it hard for minicomic creators to sell us comics, and for us to sell minicomics to customers. Here are some of our tips!

  • Quality
    You’ll be competing with a lot of other comics, so make sure you do your best! Get your more honest friends to look over your comic before you take it out into the world.
  • Editing
    Have someone edit your comic. Are there typos? Is anything unintentionally confusing?
  • Cover Design
    Minicomics on sale often get put together with other minicomics (due to display sections, their size, infrequent release schedule or whatever). So make sure yours stands out! Good design is key. Color covers aren’t necessary, as many minicomics catch the eye for their homemade characteristics. But you could print the cover on color paper for not too much more.
  • Cover Price
    Put a price on there. Barcodes are a decadent and expensive luxury, but it helps both us and a casual browser who picks up your comic in a store to know how much it costs.
  • Pricing Properly
    Full-color comic books of around 20-22 pages from a mainstream publisher sell for $2.99 to $3.99. Smaller presses and minicomics can sell for a higher price, since we all know that you’ll sell fewer copies and often your costs per comic are higher. These days, minicomics usually range from $4.00 to $8.00. As low as $1 is a great price for a short one, a sampler, or a small (in size) one. In general, aim for the mid range. Most people buying minicomics won’t balk at paying $5-6, but any higher and you will start losing sales. Why buy one $10 mini when you can buy 2 or more for the same price? Plus people just balk at high cost things, unless they see they are getting something extra for it - more pages, deluxe covers or design, bigger physical size… and even then, it will be harder to sell.
  • Print Costs
    The flip side to pricing a book to sell is pricing a book to make you money! Many minicomics are passion projects, done for the love of comics or just to create something. But even in these cases, losing money isn’t a good idea! However, if you break even or are just selling a book for fun, your print costs determine how much you can sell to a store for.
  • Wholesale Costs
    Stores tend to buy comics at 50% of the cover price. So if you plan to sell comics to stores, figure on selling at around half of the cover price. But if it costs you close to that to print your comic, you won’t make any money!
  • Consignment
    A lot of stores offer consignment, where they will take your comic and see if it sells, then pay you for it when it does. This is a cheap way for stores to do it, but it is also a lot of work to keep track of. Make sure you find out the exact terms of when they will contact you and how they send payment. The people in charge of maintaining consignments at a store are usually pretty busy, plus it’s a lot to keep track of, so don’t be surprised it they are a little off schedule.
  • Keep in Print
    Fulfilling demand is another thing to keep up with, and luckily minicomics are easier than most comics to reprint, especially if you are doing it at a copyshop yourself! This is another thing to consider if you are going to do a very complicated minicomic, would you be willing to make more if you sell out or is it too much effort? And if someone is interested in getting more, you should make more for them!
  • Contact Info
    Make sure you have current contact information in your minicomic. You never know where a copy will end up or who will read it. Plus, if we need to reach you, it’s often easiest to look inside a copy of your comic.
  • Website
    When you search for yourself online, make sure something shows up and it’s accurate! And on your website or blog or tumblr or whatever you have, if you are selling your comics to stores, make sure you include all the relevant information. What do you have for sale? Do you charge for shipping? How much do you sell your minicomics to stores? How can you be paid? (Paypal is increasingly popular but you will lose a percentage in the fee paypal charges, so consider that. On the other hand, if someone wants to pay with a check, make sure you have a mailing address on there, and that it says who to make a check out to, especially if you can NOT cash checks written out to your publishing name.)
  • List Stores Who Carry You
    On your website, list any stores that you have sold minicomics to. Not only does it tell people where they can find your work, it tells OTHER minicomic creators (your friends!) where they might find a receptive store to buy their work as well. Plus it is a nice benefit to us as a store, that by supporting your work, we are getting our name out there as well, helping both maintain a good reputation and helping other minicomics creators find us!
  • Range of Options
    This applies to conventions in particular, but is good for stores too. Try to have a variety of options for people to check out. Do you have something cheap for someone interested in just sampling your work or who doesn’t have a lot of money? In general, we might only get 1 or 2 copies of a $20 art project or graphic novel, but several copies of a cheaper comic.
  • Team Up With Others for Distro
    Distribution is the trickiest part of getting your comics out there. If you do it by yourself, not only do you have to mail everything, you have to do all the promotion and solicitation too. If you team up with just one friend and offer comics together, you have doubled the amount of comics you offer and made it at least twice as easy for stores to order comics. If there are 400 great minicomics out there that we are interested in, the amount of work on our end to contact 400 different people is immense. If just a few of you work together, it makes it more appealing to us to order from you, and less work for you as well. But the biggest advantage is that it makes even small orders worthwhile. If we only need 1 more copy, we probably won’t place an order. But if we need 1 copy of 5 different comics, that makes it worthwhile.
  • Submit to Distros
    Even better is if someone else is doing all your distribution for you! They often can dedicate more time to promoting your comic, plus the chances of a store seeing your work goes up. It is often that we will order something from a distributor and ask them to “throw 1 copy of that one in the order too” when we just want to check something else out. Make sure that you maintain a good relationship with your distributors! Keep your contact information up to date, fill their orders quickly, let them know when you are running low on a title, and when you reprint books so they are available again!
  • Find the Good Stores
    Finding a store to buy your work is hard. There are some lists out there of “small press friendly stores”, but really who would NOT want to be on a list like that? So if the list is really long, it’s probably a bit suspect. Again, this is why it’s important to list on your website who sells your comics. Check with your friends and on the websites of people whose minicomics you like and admire. Ask around, there are some good conversations about this pretty often, and share your own tips. Keep an eye out at conventions for retailers and people who work for comic book stores.
  • Retailers at Conventions
    When you do see a retailer at a show, especially one who asks to buy something, be prepared with your sales terms, discount level and so on. Some conventions have special deals on the last day of the show for retailers. If you have already sold out of something, be ready with information on when you will have more and how they can order it. Stores will get a LOT of business cards, so make sure to get their information too, and do a followup after the convention to make sure you stay in touch and they have all the info on ordering more from you.
  • Selling to Stores in Person
    If you are traveling, or are in another city for a convention, go by the local stores with some of your comics. Some stores won’t be interested, but others will. Often you will have to talk to a manager or owner, so call ahead of time if you know you will be visiting to make sure you know who to talk to and what day they will be there. Check with them about their policy on buying minicomics.
  • Shipping and Minimums
    Finally, shipping is expensive! But offering to pay for shipping yourself is a nice bonus to encourage someone to order your comics. Media Mail is a special service for heavy print items that is relatively cheap. Make sure to pack your comics well, if they show up bent or mangled you may have to replace them or the store may just not order from you again. Also, consider if you have a minimum order amount. It’s best if you don’t, but consider how much shipping will cost.

We hope this will be useful. If you have other tips or suggestions as either minicomics creators or retailers, please let us know!

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The definitive list of chain stores that refuse to open on Thanksgiving 

Thanksgiving should be a time for family, food and merriment. For some retail workers, however, it has turned into a slow march toward materialism-induced doom as stores begin requiring employees to come in on Thanksgiving in order pad profits and better prepare for Black Friday. 

Thankfully, some stores won’t partake in this misery. | Follow micdotcom

The Big Issue: Comic Book Retailers On Orson Scott Card And Superman, Part 1 [Interview]

By Matt D. Wilson

When DC Comics issued its statement of no action in response to the outcry over its hiring of anti-gay-marriage crusader Orson Scott Card to write a story in its new Superman anthologyAdventures of Superman, the publisher essentially delegated the moral decision, not only to fans, but to retailers. Some of those retailers will sell the book normally. A few will sell the book, but donate their profits. Others, an ever-growing group, are choosing to keep the comic off their shelves altogether.

The choices retailers are making and the debate surrounding those choices seem to indicate that the intersection of comic retailers, fans, creators and publishers isn’t what it used to be. It’s more political, more vibrant and perhaps more acrimonious than it’s ever been. In this first of a series of interviews with retailers here at ComicsAlliance, we chatted with one of the first and certainly one of the most outspoken comic shop owners opting not to sell Orson Scott Card’s Superman work, Richard Neal of Zeus Comics in Dallas, Texas.

bloomberg.com
Wal-Mart, Sears Refuse Compensation for Bangladesh Factory Fire Victims

Surprise (not)

April 15, 2013 - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) and Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD) have so far declined to join Li & Fung Ltd. and other companies in voluntarily compensating victims of a fire last year at a Bangladesh garment factory.

Wal-Mart and Sears also didn’t respond to an invitation to attend a meeting today in Geneva, where companies whose clothing was manufactured at the Tazreen Design Ltd. factory are expected to discuss compensation payments, said Scott Nova, executive director of the Worker Rights Consortium, a Washington-based international labor-monitoring group.

The Nov. 24 blaze killed 112 workers and increased pressure on Wal-Mart and other Western retailers to help improve factory conditions and take more direct responsibility for their suppliers. Clothing bound for Wal-Mart and Sears was found in the charred ruins. Both companies have said suppliers used the Tazreen factory without their permission and were fired. Sears and Wal-Mart, which don’t directly employ workers in Bangladesh and are not legally obligated to compensate them, have instituted worker-safety programs there.

“It’s so important for Western retailers to be at this meeting,” said Kalpona Akter, executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity, who was in the U.S. last week to ask Wal-Mart to do more to help make Bangladesh factories safe. “If they’re not there, they’re totally giving the message that they are supporting these death traps and they really don’t care how many lives go to make these clothes.”

  • Retailer:Hello. [Scans one of the many items given.]
  • Customer:How much is it all in total?
  • Retailer:We'll find out in a moment, I'll have to finish scanning your items. [Scans the next item.]
  • Customer:How much in total?
  • Retailer:Sorry, still a few left to go. [Continues scanning.]
  • Customer:How much do I owe you?
  • Retailer:Still going. [Internal sighing.]

ATTENTION RETAILERS:

Sparkplug, Teenage Dinosaur, Snakebomb and Floating World join forces again to bring you their 2014 Free Comic Book Anthology - BARRIO MOTHERS.

Eight Portland artists present new masterpieces guaranteed to take your face on a wild trip. These line wranglers have harvested the freshest comic jams for your hungry eyeballs. And best of all it’s FREE!

Featuring all new comics by Josh Juresko, Sophie Franz, Karissa Sakumoto, Asher Craw, Wally Catton, and Andrew Scully.

Covers by Souther Salazar, Cameron Hawkey and Nick Norman.

32 pgs, b&w interior, fc cover

Mature Readers

FREE - (you just pay the shipping cost)

Ordering info:

Email: virginia@sparkplugcomicbooks.com

Shenton4Sales(at)aol(dot)com

Shenton4Sales(at)aol(dot)com

to place your order by April 25th to guarantee arrival by Saturday, May 3rd.

Shipping:

0-100 copies = $12.35, shipped in a flat rate priority box

Well folks Jay-Z aka Jay Z aka Hova aka Jigga has spoken.. In spite of the controversies and pressure around Barney’s New York and its propensity to racially profile and discriminate against its Black shoppers, Jay Z has just announced that he intends to conquer the fragrance game with the release of his new cologne called ‘Gold’..It’ll sell for $55 a bottle and will be in stores on Black Friday.. That means after you get in line and wait around for hours till a midnight opening you can be among the first to smell like 'Gold’ while being arrested and accused of fraud for shopping at Barneys New York..

Oh yeah the CEO of Barney’s, Mark Lee after saying his staff did nothing wrong, met with Al Sharpton and just released a statement saying “No one, and I mean no individual, should go through the unacceptable experiences described by Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips” He also offered his deepest sympathies.. Still no word from Commissioner Raymond 'Stop and Frisk’ Kelly about his cops arresting folks who did nothing wrong…

— 

Davey D via Facebook

Don’t forget, his very presence is charity :p

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Can Barnes & Noble’s Redesigned Shopping Bags Revive Its Bookstores?

Trying to sell the idea that a plastic bag is better than an Amazon box

The Barnes & Noble shopping bag spent years promoting a product—the Nook e-reader, an also-ran rival to the Amazon Kindle—that was intended virtually to eliminate the need for bookstore shopping bags. It didn’t work. Now B&N has decided to use its shopping bags to emphasize something Amazon.com doesn’t offer: bookstores that offer handsome plastic bags.  

READ MORE

inyourbirdcage asked:

Are there any record stores in Houston carrying absent sounds with the 7-inch?

Here is a partial list of indie retailers carrying Absent Sounds. Call them and ask if they got the 7” and if not, ask them to get it! More to come:

Newbury Comics 

Culture Clash – Toledo, OH

Vertigo – Grand Rapids, MI

Neat Neat Neat Ft Wayne, IN

Luna Indinapolis,IN

Shake It – Cincinnati, OH

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