FCBD follow-up.

§ May 6th, 2007 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on FCBD follow-up.

Had a couple questions in the comments section for this morning’s post, and I thought I’d address them on the main page.

First, the old perennial, from MarkAndrew:

“DOES Free Comic Book Day get new customers in the door?”

Well, on the actual day of Free Comic Book Day…yes, lots of new faces show up, because not a person around doesn’t like something that’s free (unless it’s, like, “free measles,” or “free punch in the nose,” or “free Team Youngblood“).

But by “new customer” you probably mean “new regular visitors to the funnybook store,” the answer to which is a qualified “no.” We did get some new regular customers out of past FCBDs, but they represented only a small fraction of the new folks who actually came in for free books.

But that’s okay…we don’t have to turn every new person who walked in the door that day into a New Comics Day zombie. The results of FCBD are more longterm than immediate, anyway…it gets the word out that, hey, comic books are still being published, and that they can be a viable source of entertainment. Okay, mileage may vary with some of the offerings this year, but with the sheer number of books being given away, surely most people found at least one comic they kinda liked. And our already-existing clientele invariably will find something new to try out.

Plus, it’s great advertising…if some of those folks find themselves with some kind of comic-related need, perhaps they’ll think of that swell comic shop that was giving out the free funnybooks, and they’ll come back to us. And it’s good public relations…we had a lot of happy customers that day, most of whom thanked us profusely for the books we were giving away.

And it’s the gift that keeps on giving, as I’m preparing packages of some of the leftover books for some local teachers and at least one doctor…and, as always, a big bunch of comics for my girlfriend to give away to the Sunday school class she teaches.

So, um…to answer your question, perhaps it doesn’t immediately create new regular customers, but FCBD perhaps helps to create an environment from which new customers may arise, by increasing in some small way a general awareness of comics. My, that’s high-falutin’ of me, ain’t it? Not to mention optimistic.

Del Gorky asks:

“Mike, You stated that you made more on FCBD than you spent, but my question is did you make more than you spent plus what you normally make on a Saturday in May?”

The amount we took in that day above and beyond our usual average Saturday take was perhaps just shy of covering the total amount spent on the FCBD books. But, that’s okay, since as stated earlier the event generated a lot of goodwill among our customers and other visitors, so any minor shortfall is greatly outweighed by the benefits…maybe not immediate benefits, as I said, but in the long run it all helps.

Plus, we had a pretty good week, anyway, even without the FCBD bump, so we’re doing okay.

Oh, and Employee Aaron reminded me that I forgot to mention the two Spider-Man costume appearances that day: one young man wearing a Spidey mask, and another in full-on Spidey regalia, costume, mask, gloves, an’ all. Made me wish I brought my Spidey costume…but perhaps I’ve said too much.

In other news:

What to make of this exchange I overheard between a customer and his son at the shop today:

“So, what do you think of this place?”

“I think it’s a necessary evil.”

I prefer to think of it as more of a luxury evil, rather than a mandatory one.

Also, got to meet the proprietor of Thought Balloon today, as he dropped by the store to say hello. Always nice to meet a fellow weblogger!

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