Free Comic Book Day 2007: The Day After.

§ May 6th, 2007 § Filed under free comic book day § 1 Comment

Before you say anything…yeah, that pic is from last year’s Free Comic Book Day wrap-up, but I took the picture, I liked how it turned out, and I’m using it again. So there.

First off, thanks to pal Dorian for lending a hand, a foot, and at least one lung to our FCBD event, helping me manage customers, pack up bags of FCBD comics, and so on. Even with Dor there, we had more business than nearly all of us could handle…this may have been the busiest FCBD we’ve had yet.

Speaking of packing up those bags…as per previous years, we had our selection of books divided up and packaged together according to appropriateness for particular age groups (i.e. children, teen, and grown-ups). Thus, when people popped in looking for those four-color handouts, all we had to do was hand them the right bags. And, of course, if they were old enough, they got one of each bag for maximum Free Comic Book Day participation.

To make these prepacks, we started sorting and bagging nearly as soon as the cases of FCBD mags arrived at the store a couple weeks back. We ended up preparing hundreds of these packs, and I thought that would at least get us through part of the day, leaving us time on FCBD itself to sort and create even more packages as necessary. Well, by about a half-hour past opening, I learned the kids packs were already down to critical levels and we had to rush more of the packs into production. In fact, most of the morning and early afternoon was devoted to just barely staying ahead of the customers in our prepack production frenzy. That’ll teach me…um, something, I guess.

Other random notes from the day:

  • Prepared a box of FCBD books (multiple copies of the all-ages titles) for a school teacher…and have another school teacher and a doctor coming over the next day or two for their own assortments.
  • Surprisingly few problems during the day…I thought a mom and daughter walked out the store with one of the Classics Illustrated Junior reprints without paying, so I ran outside, looked around for them, came back in, and noticed the comic in question still on the shelf where it was in the first place, making me feel just brilliant.

    Also, our entire section of Spider-Man funnybooks probably needs to be put back in order, given the number of people I saw pulling books and putting them back seemingly at random.

  • I haven’t confirmed this with the guys, but I didn’t hear anyone complaining about the selection of free books this year. In years past, I heard the occasional “Oh, these are the free books? Thanks anyways.” For whatever reason, even if it’s just for the sheer number of freebies available this year, people were more impressed by what was actually being offered for free, rather than grabbing random books off the new comics rack or the graphic novel shelves and trying to get those for free instead.
  • Set out a small shelving unit and used it to hold small piles of various leftover comics from previous FCBDs…got rid of a good number of those extras that way.
  • Still a good number of people who seem to think that FCBD is something that our store made up, instead of an industry-wide event. Despite my temptation to encourage this belief (“Why, yes, that’s right…no other store cares enough about you to give you free books!”), I set them straight.
  • Speaking of temptation…sure, we have to give these comics away for free…but no one said anything about us CHARGING ADMISSION AT THE DOOR! Ah HA HA HA HA…okay, I didn’t do that. Next year, though….
  • Thankfully…thankfully…it wasn’t just us giving out books for free. We had plenty of customers dropping some cash as well, making it a very good day financially. In fact, our take more than paid for the cost of the FCBD books…which is a good thing, because we ordered a lot of them.

Overall, it was another successful Free Comic Book Day event. Nonetheless, I’m glad this year’s brouhaha is now behind us. I think I’ll be dreaming about sorting comics by age groups for a while.

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