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AdHouse Books cancels plans for Superior Showcase #4

Superior Showcase #3

Superior Showcase #3

Diamond Comic Distributors’ new order threshold has claimed its first known casualty: the next installment of AdHouse Books’ Superior Showcase series.

“I was working on bringing a new issue out this summer that would have been filled with new talents that I’ve met over the last year,” Adhouse Publisher Chris Pitzer revealed this afternoon on the company’s blog. “People whose voice may or may not have been heard before. But, I’m going to kill that issue now. Why? Well, at $2.95 there’s no way I’d get orders to put it anywhere near the new threshold. Numbers for #3 were not that great, and I can’t imagine #4 would improve.”

The revised policy, made public on Friday, increases the order minimums for publishers from $1,500 to $2,500. That means the average $3 comic would have to sell more than 2,100 copies, a difficult feat for many small publishers, even in better economic times. (The number of copies varies depending on the discount offered to Diamond.)

In the blog post, Pitzer stated that he could release the issue online, or pursue other publishing and distribution routes. However, ” just figure that my OGN schedule is full enough for the year that I’m going to go ahead and not worry with SS #4.”

He also echoed sentiments expressed by SLG Publishing’s Jennifer de Guzman and others, saying, “Comics are dead, long live OGNs.”

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4 Comments

There is definitely going to be a tough road going forward, even OGNs will have a difficult, if not more difficult time clearing the hurdle for most of us. There will be an interesting juggling act going on trying to set price point to attract enough sales to clear the threshold, while still making sure you are not pricing your product out of the market. That said it seems as though there is a larger market for OGN outside of the direct market than there is for periodicals.

As sad as this might be, there is only so much money to go around. It’s a fact of life, if there is no demand, it has to go. There is always something to fill in the empty void. How much are the artists making on these books? A sad state of affairs. This is one thin buck to spread. Gentlemen we have to rebuild this business plan, it’s not working. INDIES UNITE! CO-OP! There has to be another way to squeeze more money out of these passions that creators put out. You can’t feed a family on sales like that. You have to be a one man show from creation to publication to make some money.

I managed to do it a different way. Mind you this was for charity. I printed 5000 comics and sold them at 2.00 a pop for a worthy cause at theaters with the release of The Incredibles.http://www.coverbrowser.com/covers/dr-robot#i2 ( The non Dark Horse edition) Sometimes you have to take your product to the people. Find a new venue, a theater to me was ideal . You have to talk to people. If you convince people of your passion they will believe in you. I paid my printer 2000.00 ( you have to fight with your printer) and paid my artist 1000.00 ( a bargain) for the work. Passion it might be but you have to go out and find your customers. Just because you publish a comic people think you will make money. Not true. If you work hard it will pay off. I gave the other 7000.00 to a Children’s Hospital. A perfect way to promote comics as a whole to kids. There are ways, but are people willing to sacrifice? You play with the big boys at Diamond sooner or later you will have to pay like them or you are out of the game. This is true for anything in your daily life. Start by sending samples and previews to sites such as this and others. It’s a lot of work, but you have to try. So they stick an ad of your book and how many people with a short attention span will look at that ad in Previews. Not too many. You are better off putting an ad in the Comics Journal. There are other places. You have to find them. Even Craiglist will do you better justice. I place my ads there all the time with success. When times change you have to change with them. Personally I think Diamond is behind the times. They are stuck in the 90’s and are trying to make more money off a tired plan. Raising fees is not the answer. Work with the people too. We all gain in the end. Diamond never asked the readers what they wanted, maybe they would find out some interesting answers. Are they not the buyers in the end? I guess not.

[...] Tom Spurgeon has more from AdHouse Publisher Chris Pitzer regarding yesterday’s announcement that he’s canceling plans for Superior Showcase [...]

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