Kansas City

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May 1st was "Free Comic Book Day" -- did you hear about it?

This past Saturday, May 1st, was "Free Comic Book Day" (http://www.freecomicbookday.com/). It's a great concept, having only been in existence since 2002. The thought was to create an annual event whereby you give away your product for free to draw new users in and get them hooked. Wow. Now that I think about it, that's the same approach drug dealers take.

Anyway, sounds good in theory, right? Here's the problem. I'm learning that the majority of comic shop owners are comic book fans, not businessmen. Just as with the comic con referenced in the posting below, Free Comic Book Day is not advertised outside of their existing clientele. The only way you learn of this event is if you frequent a comic book store. The only way you frequent a comic book store is if you already buy comics. No advertising = no new customers = no added revenue. That is anti-boner sauce, brotha.

There are so many directions you could go with this. Pass out flyers promoting this free event at a local library. Go to area grade schools, using the angle of encouraging kids to read. How about Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Kansas City? Children's Mercy hospital? Hell, a simple postcard mailer within a 5 mile radius of your comic book store would generate business. I recently picked the brain of a local comic shop owner on how business was going and he complained about how slow things were. People aren't spending as much money on entertainment, the economy is bad, etc. *Tear*

Those things are true to an extent--but what are you doing about it? Are you doing the same things today that you were doing before? According to Einstein, the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results. Are you going after new business? Did you use Free Comic Book Day as an opportunity to gain new customers and additional market share? Are you actively promoting your store? What is your advertising/marketing budget?

A failure to plan is a plan for failure. As with anything in life, you have to go after what you want. Hope is not a strategy. But it admittedly brings a naughty smile to my face knowing that since others are so full of suck, it will make it that much easier for me to stand out from the crowd and succeed. Yay, average people!


  1. Yay, average people, indeed!! They make it so easy for us to appear exceptional, don't they? Free Comic Book Day is a huge opportunity for these nerds and they just let it pass. I guess we wouldn't want to cut in to their time sitting behind the counter reading SuperheroHype or looking at pr0n.

  2. It is no wonder comic stores don't last! There is a comic shop here in Lee's Summit that always has something going. It has been around forever; it might be a good place for you to check out.

    And, come follow by blog, ninja! My new blog has no followers:(

  3. Immature_Entrepreneur!

    Good points here.

    Free Comic Book Day could do so much more to reach a wider audience, specifically those that don't ever read comics.

    Maybe it's the "free" element that makes it seem like the handouts are essentially worthless?

    I always thought an excellent way for comic companies to attract new readers is to have key issues for sale at a really low price. I'm ALWAYS a sucker for a new series if it's just a dollar. After all, what have I got to lose!

    The concept isn't a bad one. It just needs to be tweaked and marketed a bit better.