Robot 6

ComicsPro survey dampens perceptions of alternative covers as retailer incentives

The American comic retailer organization ComicsPro recently released the results from an internal poll questioning which incentives from publishers do the most to increase their orders of a particular book.

Although ComicsPro’s Amanda Emmert didn’t elaborate as to how many retailers responded, the percentages reveal a lot. According to the survey, 63 percent of comics retailers who responded said that discounts for larger orders of a book are the most effective incentive for them. This outpaced other incentives by a 3:1 ratio, with returnability and free additional comics coming in at around 20 percent each. Of all responses, none said alternative covers were an effective means to stoke retailer’s purchase orders.

Emmert added at the end that smaller comic retailers might be more welcoming of free copies and returnable comics, while “larger retail accounts look more for deep discount offers, although the correlation was anecdotal.”

It’s worth a look for anyone working in the publishing — or creative — side of the comic industry, and even armchair comics quarterbacks like you and me.



Err…no offense, but this poll doesn’t say much. If you ask retailers “What encourages you to order more copies?” and then give them the choices of a) discounts (lower costs) , b) variant covers, c) free product (lower costs) or d) less risk for investment (lower costs), what person in their right mind would not select an option that leads to lower operating cost?

Not a knock against you, Chris, but more the poll itself.

[Not speaking on behalf of ComicsPRO]

Ash: that’s not strictly correct, as a great number of stores that stock the variant comics do so with the intention of marking up the price.

What I might do is look at a Diamond PREVIEWS catalog and count just how many variant editions there are, then correlate that to this poll — apparently a lot of effort and catalog space and database listings are being used on things that few if any retailers find true value in.

As a store that opts out of variants whenever given a choice, I’d love for these things to stop clogging up my databases…


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