Rembert Parker of Reader Copies of North Anderson, Indiana has his own view on Marvel Previews (see 'Marvel Adds Previews Supplement'). He thinks it might be a positive:
Once upon a time we gave a free copy of Previews to all our regular customers (and even to strangers who walked in the door), but the price kept climbing to the point where we couldn't afford that many copies of Previews, and most customers wouldn't buy a copy to order from. Since a significant amount of our pre-sales comes from mini-series, crossovers, toys, games, videos, and new comics that wouldn't be on standing pull lists, it was in the store's best interest to get copies into customer's hands. Giving a four-dollar book to somebody who spends under $10 a month is clearly a money-losing proposition, so we had to find a solution.
Our store still has a few customers who routinely pick up and pay for a copy of Previews, but most of them simply take advantage of a 'loaner' policy. We order a dozen or so extra copies that are lent out free to customers who simply want to see what is solicited so they can order various items from us. Some customers have their orders back within 24 hours, while others borrow copies over one of the weekends, so a dozen copies easily cover interested customers, and near the end of the month we give away any remaining copies.
We obviously order lots of extra order forms for them and give those away free.
The ability to order separate copies of the Marvel Previews will give us a chance to offer a much less expensive book to customers who are interested in Marvel titles, and I suspect we will sell a lot more copies of the separate Marvel Previews as long as it really includes useful advance solicitation materials. A net cost of only sixty cents implies we can sell copies for a dollar, which for many customers is a cheap read; customers who routinely pick up even a few Marvel comics each month (but who don't order comics from us regularly) may well spend a dollar to keep up with what is happening by picking up a copy of the current month's Marvel Previews.
And we can once again give away free copies of the Marvel Previews to both regular and casual customers due to the decreased cost of extra copies of just the Marvel section - not only to comic buyers, but to customers (such as Yu-Gi-Oh! duelists) who may be interested in comics thanks to all the movies and television shows.
Who knows, this may well be an IQ test that can actually lead to increased sales; if so, it's a much better promotional idea than trying to put Princess Di in X-Statix.