Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

Home > Letters to CR

Brian Hibbs on Bookstores Vs. Comic Book Stores
posted February 22, 2005

Brian Hibbs
via the Internet

While I'll agree that most of what you hear on the 'net is dopes with no direct connection to the business making nonsense claims, just because they can -- I very much believe that a significant percentage of the upper management at most of the large publishers believes that they'd rather be in the "bookstore" business than the "DM" business, because one is "legitimate" and the other is vaguely disreputable.

I've been told such both directly and indirectly.

Further, the "real" book publishers certainly appear to not give the slightest rats ass about our market, except as some poor bastard stepchild that they can pat on the head (if that) and then ignore. Example? Scholastic did dumps, window clings, bookmarks, etc etc etc for the new Bone collections. None of that made it into the DM. Have you EVER seen a DM-based ad for Persepolis or In the Shadow of No Towers or any material like that? Yeah, me neither.

If I'm defensive, it's because it's kinda frustrating being treated like a second class citizen when I'm almost certainly selling many multiples of the volume that any single bookstore might be. And, in the grand scheme of things, I'm a SMALL store compared to, say, Jim Hanley's Universe or Comic Relief...

The overwhelming majority of the DM sales are concentrated in 300 to 500 (or so) stores -- and we're STILL outselling most material from most publishers in 7500+ bookstores. Just think what we could do if we had marketing support or any commitment from manufacturers?