I hear "privately" from two small publishers who have been "in the business since 2000 and 2002. Both read a piece I wrote on UK conventions, table charges and the problem of selling books. Both are in full time employment so, unlike myself, comics money is not food on the table. Having salaried jobs, travel cards and so on has meant they can get to all the shows. "How do you get a table at all the shows?" I asked. "Apply for one and never had a problem" which leaves me asking a number of questions.
Anyway, both men sat down, one with his wife, and worked out the finances. Both men were apparently "hammered" and "shocked" at the results. Both found that their annual sales from all the conventions paid for tables at two events but adding in travel, hotel, food and so on they found that each year they had lost "a few thousand" -neither would be specific but the married man "got a dark stare" from his wife.
Both also stated that they, too, saw the "same old faces" at every event (ahem. They, themselves would be the "same old faces") but noted that it seemed to be the same customers going to those same tables "like groupies" and these people "never look at other tables -just their mates or selected publisher" which is what I have been saying for years now -welcome to the club.
Comics now are an amateur, small press Vanity "thing" and that is it.
So, realising that they are losing so much from their (grit teeth) "hobby" (and they called it that so they were not "in the business") both are going to try online selling after the events they booked this year. It seems others are just giving up.
Put it simply: look at the post/advert view figures for CBO and all its feeds -utilising Google+, Twitter, Face Book, Pinterest and so on. I pulled out all the stops last October and slashed the prices "to the knuckle" and the result? Two sales. Now, if you have a full time job your..."hobby" should not be costing you half of what you earn. If the conversations these two men had with others is correct then a few hobby publishers are cutting back this year and some thinking of quitting.
Ridiculous. And I have this message for both men and other publishers (you know, the ones who keep saying "Yeah, we're doing great" while their faces say: "Please put me out of my misery") DON'T hide the truth or tell me privately -get on your blogs or contact bloggers opnly and state what is going on rather than buckling down to the bully boys who demand you say "everything is GREAT!" -bullies have killed the industry and I do not want ever to talk about the UK comics scene again.
Grow a set of balls and be truthful.
I post this only as a warning so please do not try to engage me on the subject of the fictitious UK 'comic industry' and 'comic community'.