Of course, I’m happy no matter where someone buys my book. But personally, my favorite places would be a local bookstore—whether that be a comic shop, an independent, or your closest Barnes and Noble.
Many comic book fans are accustomed to buying books directly from artists and writers at conventions, with the good intention of putting money directly in the pocket of the creative team (not to mention getting autographs and sketches at the same time). This may be financially desirable to many self-publishers, but is actually a bit counter-productive for authors like myself, whose work is put out by larger publishing houses like First Second, Random House, Scholastic, Penguin, Clarion, and so on. These publishers have long-standing relationships with various distributors and booksellers, and judge the success of a book by how well it “tracks,” via sales submitted by retailers to data services like Bookscan (run by the same organization that monitors TV Nielsen ratings) or the New York Times Bestseller list (which is like the Box Office sales chart for biggest hits). And much like Hollywood studios or network executives, book publishers pay a lot of attention to how many books move in the first few weeks and what the rate of sale is like over time. They sadly do not track “intentions to buy eventually,” or any sales sold at comic conventions, unless the creators are specifically selling their books via a retailer exhibiting at the convention(which is actually an awesome thing I’ve been trying to do more of).
The reason why book sales at conventions don’t “track” is because if an author like myself buys books directly from my publisher, these are considered “special sales” rather than retail sales. So in theory, I could sell thousands of copies of Astronaut Academy at conventions, but in the eyes of the book industry, would still be perceived as a sales flop. And “trackable sales” are vital to whether or not authors eventually earn royalties! We usually get paid an advance at the beginning of the publishing process, but until that advance is earned back in sales, we don’t see a penny in profits.
And if you don’t think there’s a comic shop nearby you can check out ther Comic Shop Locator service and perhaps there’s one near a relative!
To summarize, here’s the best places to buy my books:
–A local independent bookstore
—A comic shop.
Astronaut Academy: Re-Entry is listed in the current issue of Diamond Previews (the catalog comic shops order from):
MAR13 1155 ASTRONAUT ACADEMY RE ENTRY GN 05/15/13
–Your closest Barnes and Noble or big box bookstore
Thanks, and happy reading!