Advice from a shop owner!

As a previous post mentioned, in June Mike Bradley from Collectors Kingdom in Huntington Station Long Island stopped by. Here is some of his advice to Pronto:

Notes from July 7th Discussion w/ Mark Bradely
· Make friends w/ retailers; they can help promote
· Meet deadlines; will lose audience if issues take too long to come out
· Create rapport w/ store owners by getting their opinions on books. TAKE opinion, then read & discuss.
· Don’t become a pest & be too aggressive – store owners are doing you a favor (they carry indie books out of a love for the hobby, not b/c they’re making money)
· Shops find it harder to move digest-size / B&W / ash-can style books, and likely won’t give them the same focus/attention as reg. Comic-sized color glossy titles
· Best situation = consignment. Put X # of copies in the shop and see if they sell
· Get books OUT as cheaply as possible; lower cost = higher sales. Anything over $3 starts to meet w/ customer resistance
· Talk to retailers about putting their ads in your books to help w/ printing costs. Print more @ lower cost – gets more copies into distribution
· Doing promotional events in stores is comparable to cons – get more people interested, don’t be afraid to ask shop owners. HAVE A GAME PLAN. Events need to be of mutual benefit.
· Align promo events w/ store sales for max traffic. Can offer stores a percentage of profits but not mandatory
· Diamond is hard for indie books to break into. They are more apt to take in a more expensive anthology book ($10 or more) if it will sell. Min print run on reg books is about 300-500 / purchase @ 65% off
· Diamond = International. Will immediately hit every store in the world. Full page ads run about $2500 and GUARANTEE sales. A-D names more common – listed first
· MERCHANDISING: have to establish a property worth merchandising before you market it. Recurring logos, characters, etc. Start small – stickers, buttons, cards, magnets, etc.
· Use conventions as a chance to talk to dealers. Do they have a store? Are they willing to stock your books? Try to wholesale books to the stores.
· SUNDAYS are best (slowest) / lull on Saturday when they’re in a good mood
· Promote books far & wide and see how well they take off. Every store/state is different. Indie books more prone to variation between locations
· Print-on-demand sites for indie books can help reach a broader audience
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