There I was at last weekends Bristol Comic Expo and apart from a couple of publishers, not one offered review material. I was offered books to buy for review but it just does not work like that.
And when I heard the perrenial weed of a comment “We simply cannot get publicity for our comics” I did laugh out loud. I pointed out that the chances of someone on the internet finding one single site out of hundreds of publishers were bleak. I also pointed out that even in the Small Press of the 1980s we allocated at least 10 copies for reviewers. Absolutely no review guarantees sales but it gets the word out there.
“It’s too expensive to send out copies” -lots of us still do. Unlike many sites, everything CBO gets is reviewed. It is common courtesy.
It all reminds me of a letter I have from AC Comics publisher Bill Black. When I was publishing CBO I offered to do reviews and also carry PR items. The response was -I have this in black and white and signed by Bill- “There are so many publishers out there it isn’t worth publicising”??!!! WHAT? Get ahead of the competition and get the free reviews and PR…no.
And as for pdf copies for review. NO. There were two books on sale that looked good as pdf but seeing the poor quality printed versions proved my point. Also, one of the hobbyists told me that they had closed down their buy online page because “too many people” were apparently using it. And refunds? “Not sorted yet” -after a year!! So, again, I’d have been in the crap had I promoted the book by the pdf!
I also liked the comments “Why are you publicising and reviewing so many French books?” Well, French and German actually. Why? Well, because the publishers send review books. MyExcess sent review copies -including a printed version of its ebook Callex. As I pointed out to more than one publisher it is not my problem if you do not want to publicise your book(s) by sending review copies. It is your choice.
There is also the “Here are the GREAT reviews I’ve been getting on other sites -I can send you a pdf copy…” Let me make it clear: I do not have the slightest interest in what other reviewers (often a friend of the publisher) have to say/write. It does not influence me one iota and I often remove other reviewers quotes from press releases. What matters on CBO is my opinion as the resident reviewer. I do not think “ooh, that’s been given a good review by all these people so I’ll jump on the band-waggon!” I like the way some publishers think that by telling me “everyone loves my book” I’ll drop the “no PDF copies” policy.
Another thing: if you want to send me a pdf just to preview and you send me a dead SendSpace or other file storage system link and I point that out to you do not tell me “It usually throws up a spam page and you can go onto the file after.” I am NOT downloading or allowing spam onto my computer. I’ve spent a lot to stop that. Also, the link being dead is because you have NOT made it a live link. Do not get all uppity with me because of YOUR errors and then petulantly send me single jpegs in several mails. If you do not know how to do any of this LEARN. You act uppity and do this guess what? You do not get a mention on CBO.
There seems to be a mental block in some peoples’ minds. CBO is MY site that I work hard on. I write what I want based on MY opinions. It is NO ONE’S RIGHT to attack me in comments or to try to cause trouble because they do not like the truth.
Trolling is sad and shows that mummy just never gave you enough attention. Hey -attack me on YOUR sites as it’ll push my visitor stats even higher (always does). I never comment on other peoples blogs so they just look like asses.
I’m glad that Kult Creations, Time Bomb Comics and quite a few others had their best Expo ever and sold books so well. Dealers kept complaining to me (I think they believed I was an organiser??!!) but I noticed they were doing a good trade and one confided (I know him) in me: “I’ve done better than in 2009-2011 in one day!”
I would love to report on other things I heard but, sadly, I still abide by my promise of confidentiality whereas I note some report on everything like gossipy old women with no consideration of the problems they create -they really do think they are “investigative reporters” and perhaps watching a little less TV might help me? Have we learnt nothing from the TV series Gassip Girl? Well, I haven’t but then, I never watched it!
I ought to also add that I hear rumours that certain parties in Scotland are not happy that I review David Gordon’s books. Tough shit. You want your books reviewed then you know what to do. I take part in no arguements (and I’ve positively reviewed books by a couple of people I, personally, dislike) and it’s YOU losing out because I do not give one second’s thought to your moaning. Put up or shut up.
The UK is an amateur comics industry (D. C. Thomson included there) and that is good. Hopefully, one day, someone will come along with the money and set up a real comics publishing house.
The excuses for poor sales “its a very bad industry to be in at the moment” is pure bull. Cinebook and others are selling well and it’s only Marvel and DC not doing so great. If you publish something people want they’ll buy it. Comics have always weather economic depressions -check the records- and why are the Alternative Press publishers do so well and organising so many events -more than ever before- in the UK?
And Black Tower comics and Books -the UKs biggest Independent Black and White comics publisher -I’m not complaining.
Just a few thoughts to annoy certain people but mainly, I hope, to make others think.
Don’t hate me because of who I am only over what I say!
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