These shop owners are not even trying but seem to be waiting for some incredible out of the blue miracle to save them. Marvel sales have dropped and that company is just about chugging along and I don't think their sales are that good. Don't care. As for the Other "that company" well, if it wasn't for certain reprint books they wouldn't be keeping afloat.
The reason for all this is that shops will not diversify stock. In the United States a good few comic stores buy in Independent comics and even stock Small Press titles. Also, they treat their customers with respect. In the UK many of the fan boys who opened comic shops think the customers are just there to buy what they are told to buy then f~~~ off. They do not get it: you are polite and helpful and have a good selection of stock (EVERY comic shop has Marvel, DC and books by the other two) then people come back. They do not want to be greeted by people with long faces and rudeness. A comic shop is where they should enjoy their hobby: chat with other fans, staff and learn more about other comics....and buy some to try.
Yes, Diamond, back when the Icelandic volcano stopped comic imports for a couple weeks, started begging Small Pressers for books...but a crap deal is a crap deal. Some thought it might be a good chance for sales...but were dumped as soon as things got back to normal.
One shop owner I introduced to a lot of Small Press publishers at a Bristol Con ~I remember when Bristol used to have a comic con!~ and books were handed over and a shelf space allocated (a back wall upstairs). One Small Presser (SP) phoned up every week to see if anything had sold...once a month might have been best. Others...silence. The shop owner complained that no new issues of books were arriving but he seemed to think SPs published on a regular schedule. He moaned on and on and complained that he could put other things on the back shelves.
This ended badly. I walked in one day and all the SP books were gone. Dumped. The argument was that new books were not coming in and the shop owner had heard nothing about new issues. "What did the publishers say?" I asked. Apparently, he had not contacted a single one just sat there fuming because he had assumed SP titles would fly off the shelves without any "Hey look at these!" style indicators. A couple of the SP publishers I knew complained that the shop owner had not been in regular touch so they had no idea how their books were doing "Did you email the shop owner?" I asked. Why should they? He should have been contacting them.
Amateurs on both sides.
But you have the stores, from personal experiences I can tell you this was the stance of a few European store owners also, that want continuous free comics. Here is how the deal was explained to me.
I send 4~5 books that I want to sell. The shop does not pay for them. If and when they sell the shop would be in touch and ask for more of any books that sold. I would send those books. The store would pay me if and when enough copies sold. They would decide what they would pay me from the sale of the full priced comic and I knew from chats with others that could be 1~4%.
So, I would pay for the books to be printed. I would pay for the postage (which was steep enough before 2017s increase) to get books to the comic store. That was it. The store would just put the books on their list so not even promote them. If those books sold I would be asked to send more, paying for printing and postage again. "If" these books sold I would have to wait until the store decided when to pay me 1~4% but there would be no written guarantees of this. In other words I would be giving away books. Losing money and making nothing. The store was on to a good thing.I asked about something in writing over a fixed percentage. How dare I!!!!
This also happened with several UK comic shops.
It's called ripping people off.
This is the store joining the distributor and comic company club of treating comic fans and smaller publishers with no respect. This is why the industry is in a mess. Forget the attention seeking flamers in their fake Social Justice Warrior wars or the ones desperately seeking attention and wanting to increase his You Tube views because that is the only way he can validate himself as a person. That's just trolls and flamers who will move on eventually.
Hopefully, a few UK comic events will also become extinct. I've listed all the faults before but expecting £200~400 at some events for table is beyond stupid, it's pure greed. A seller has to print and pay for books ~postage, etc., on top of that. They have to pay for travel. If going by car they get stung for parking. They have to book a room somewhere. Buy food. It goes on. So they have to sell enough books to cover the table price then the rest. Probably why, just looking at the guests for events since 2005 you see the same old same old ~mates of mates and people who do not want anyone not toadying to them at events and, of course, event organizers being mates...
Comics are in a bad state from top to bottom. Dealers in old back issues are getting rarer because in the old days they had their tables booked at one event after another and that was the year's business. As one put it to me "We (dealers) just started getting pushed further and further away from where the main crowds were and every year it was 'sorry we need to increase table prices this year' but it was only the dealers being charged more. You cannot make any money from old back issues like that."
Oh. Right. Because no one these days is "interested in anything other than modern comics"...right. Arschlochs.
The comic 'fans' are, however, contributing to this mess. They accept "Buy what we tell you" (or used to) and "This is a good event so shut up". They accept excuses that comics such as Bone cannot be ordered in because "There is no call for the book. The distributor won't handle single copies" ~and I was in the store just as this was said and the owner suggested certain Marvel Comics were "more easily available" so the "F~~~ you and buy what we want you to!" response.
Now, I have spent the last couple of weeks updating the Black Tower Face Book page. Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus links, everywhere and anywhere I could I pushed it. Views of the page have increased by 1,400%! I did the whole polite request asking people to click the "Like" button to help the page, rather like I asked here for those who could to click or "plus" posts.
Not a single one clicked "Like". There are two regulars who click "Like" for every post and I thank them. But what effort does it take to click a Like to help support a page?
But CBO gets 5000 plus views per day and how many of those 5000 who can click Google Plus or show their support in any way?
Yes, fandom has changed because there really is no fandom anymore just people jumping onto a trend or who do not care about supporting a blogger (not just me!) in the simplest and easiest way possible but just want to read what they can and then say "Now f~~~ off"...From companies to distributors to shops to comic 'fans' everyone wants something but no one wants to support.
Luckily, there are still some old time comic fans out there ~real comic fans. CBO is for them. At least they do care about the comic scene and also try to keep it going.
Now, how many of you simply clicked on a link because you saw "SJW"?