Dean Phillips of Krypton Comics in Omaha, Nebraska saw our coverage of the Barnes & Noble exclusive Ultimate Spider-Man hardcover (see 'Barnes & Noble To Publish Ultimate Spider-Man Collection') and the retailer responses (see 'Andy Eaton of TalesofWonder.com on Barnes & Noble Exclusive' and 'John Miller of Lost Realms on B&N Ultimate HC'), and sent us his solution:
I have been reading comments on the Barnes & Noble Ultimate Spider-Man exclusive hardcover. Each comic store out there seems to have its own way of dealing with exclusives. Some stores just get mad and grumble to themselves, while other stores will sell you the three direct versions of Ultimate Spider-Man hardcovers at a loss rather than have you go to B&N.
What is Krypton Comics going to do? I ordered about ten copies each right before the B&N news was announced. Bad timing on my part. My first instinct was to mark my hardcovers at $2 over cost and when they sell out, don't reorder, then just sell the softcovers. Unfortunately, three softcovers at retail are about the same price as the B&N hardcover. So I would have to lower those prices also. Take that B&N!!!! How do you like them apples?
Is this the right move? My profit margin goes up in smoke because I am trying to compete with a mega-store? Why bother carrying the Ultimate Spider-Man trades at all then? I certainly can't afford to not make a profit, can you? This is my livelihood. I have people that count on me for their livelihoods.
That vein in my forehead pops out and I have to send a message to B&N and Marvel... but how? Should I have my entire family stop shopping at B&N? I already won't recommend them to my customers.
What will get through to Marvel that comic stores need to be noticed too? Can the new comic association convince Marvel that the direct market needs the help, not the billion dollar mega-stores? Can one tired comic store owner typing on ICv2.com at 2:00am get the message to them? Probably not. The stockholders need to see cash flow; Marvel is making money on the deal and may really think it is increasing the market. So I guess the next move is up to Marvel. What will they do next? Can we expect more of the same? Will other publishers follow the lure of the quick exclusive buck? Yeah, probably.
What will Krypton Comics and the rest of the direct market do then? SELL EVERYTHING AT COST, BUT MAKE IT UP IN VOLUME!!!!
The opinions expressed in this Talk Back article are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.