It seems that the action kicked off early today at the Diamond retailer breakfast this morning, which due to its 8:30 start time was off limits for all the hard partiers we saw out and about last night.
As reported by various folks who got up early, it was anounced that Bob Wayne has been promoted to Sr VP of Sales from VP of Marketing and Sales. The announcement met with loud applause from the assembled retailers. With his long service at DC, Wayne is definitely one of the people who can provide continuity for the retail community as the new split-coast company rolls out. It was also announced that the sales and marketing team for print would remain in New York — which doesn’t necessarily mean that there won’t be other sales and marketing teams in LA for other aspects of the DC business.
Marvel also discussed their new $2.99 price point for some of the books coming out in January but didn’t discuss any details other than the fact that new books would be at the lower price, not existing titles.
They also mentioned that the January catalog would be smaller in terms of product. While Marvel has been rolling out tie-ins to THOR and CAPTAIN AMERICA and other movie properties by the dozen, these books are not meeting with much retail or reader support.
While the price cuts announced by both Marvel and DC yesterday are popular moves, they are not without some potential pitfalls. If customers simply take it as a chance to save money, they’ll keep buying the same number of books, and profits will go even lower. It’s incumbent upon publishers and retailers to persuade their customers to take that $20 and buy 6 books instead of 5. Marvel’s current flood of titles isn’t going to work if readers see them as filler.
The “Evolution of the Graphic Novel” panel we were on earlier was well-attended, given the rather distant location. GN Reporter’s John Hogan, Rich Johnson, B&N’s Jim Killen, B&T’s Jill Faherty and Muse Comics’ Amanda Emmert talked about general issues in selling books, including the need for accurate age ratings and promotion of prominent authors.