Gail Burt of Metropolis Comics in Bellflower, California saw Steven Bates' column on advance ordering (see 'I Think I Can Manage -- Information Please') and offers her own thoughts on wading through the number of new products pop culture retailers need to look at every month:
I was interested in Steven Bates' comments on the difficulty of slogging through the 500+ pages of Previews, and on his TAPS method (Title, Author, Price, Story) for weeding out the great bets from the not-so-great. I wondered if he (or many of you, for that matter) recall Peter David's Test for whether or not a new title will sell through, based on several key criteria. I present it here for your review - I still use it, and I gotta say, it's uncannily accurate:
PUBLISHER - 4 points. If the publisher is DC, Marvel, or Image, 4 points, otherwise, 0 points.
CHARACTER - 3 Points. An established character gets 3, others get 0.
ARTIST - 2 points. Hot artist, or established with following, otherwise give 0.
WRITER - 1 point. I sometimes award a bonus point to star writers like JMS, Kevin Smith, Bendis, Johns, or celebrity writers.
It's a 10 point scale, and you should be able to gauge the initial success and percentage probability the book will sell through if you apply the formula properly. For example, a title earning 7 points has a 70% probability of sell-thru, and will be 70% likely to end up in the Top 100 for the month.