Brian Hibbs responds to my post yesterday and everything is quite civil and everyone seems to understand where everyone is coming from, and they lived happily ever after. In response to my “Would Brian Hibbs donate $1 to keep Top Shelf, Cartoon Books or Fantagraphics alive?” query Brian responds:
Not that that is actually the point, but, yeah, when FBI and Top Shelf came to us with “please please buy stuff from us, we’re on the brink of going out of business” we OF COURSE stepped up and bought a bunch of stuff that we didn’t actually need in order to try and help keep them solvent.
There’s much more in Brian’s post (he also responds to Tom) and further along says something I agreed with:
Further, I don’t think “buzz” comes from being-on-sale-first *in and of itself*. I think Top Shelf would have sold exactly the same # of LOST GIRLS as they did, and had exactly and precisely the same amount of “buzz” and being “the book of the show” and everything else, had LOST GIRLS been in stores that same Wednesday. I’ll go so far as to say I’m absolutely positive that LOST GIRLS would have had the same national buzz, and sold the same # of copies at the con even had the book debuted a week before in the stores.
It’s hard to argue that, but as I posted elsewhere, publishers have a lot of “last minute-itis” with shows like San Diego and MoCCA — as long as it gets to the show — even if it’s Saturday instead of Thursday or Friday — YIPPEE WE MADE IT! I think THAT is a simplistic idea on publishers’ parts, and part of the cause for the problem.
All that said, retailers seem to want more information to stay informed; I suspect that some kind of system of notification when possible and limited returns when not possible (sometimes books just SHIP LATE for other reasons) may be the solution to this problem. The original paper might have been better served by suggesting this, but hey, at least every one talked about it and, in the blogosphere at least, common ground was found by some!