In the current marketplace, most "ongoings" are making it to, what? 6-12 issues, no? If you're lucky? I've got a plan and I'm not being shy about planting seeds that I hope to come back to for, you know, exponential awesomeness... but neither am I holding my breath.
Though Carol is an Avenger, there is no Captain Marvel movie coming out this summer, you know? And we talk a big game about wanting female-led books that don't look like gynecological exams, but can the community actually come through with the numbers to back that up? I don't know. God, I hope so.
The problem isn't just that we have to get folks to buy it; it's that we have to get retailers to order it. The failing of our distribution model is that our customer isn't really the reader, our customer is whoever places the Diamond order at any store. So if there's a perception that the book won't sell, it gets under-ordered and it becomes this self-fulfilling prophecy.
Here's a thing that happens to every creator on Twitter on one Wednesday or another: an incredibly sweet reader who really wants to support you, writes to tell you that they tried to buy your book at their LCS and it was already sold out! It's only noon, they say! The shop only opened at 10! Your book must've flown off the shelves!
And then the creator, not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings, says, "Wow! Thanks for your support — better pre-order the next one!" and then they cry into their coffee. Because, friends, selling out by noon on a Wednesday is not good news. Heck, selling out byThursday is not good news. That means your book was under-ordered — if it was ordered at all. If the consumer wants the product and we can't get them the product, our system is broken.
I hate the pre-order thing. Hate it, hate it, hate it. Ten years ago, I was complaining about it on the WEF — I'm a shopper. I looooove to shop. I will spend money. But I am not going to buy a pair of shoes that I'm expected to order three months in advance and am not able to try on! And that's what we're asking of our readers. It's the dumbest system. No wonder we have problems! Is there another industry that works like this?
And yet, here I am begging you: if you want to read this comic, please, please oh please, oh please: pre-order it. If you want to see more female-led titles from the mainstream publishers, pre-order this book. If you're not familiar with how to pre-order, or you're not sure why it's so important, check in with me on Twitter @kellysue or on my blog athttp://www.kellysue.com — some time in the next couple weeks I'm going to do a step-by-step blog post. Maybe I'll even do one of those Warren Ellis-style pre-order coupons.