Retailer Bundles, or Yes, Virginia, You CAN Sell Digital In Your Store (The Majors Are Just Too Lazy To Sort It)
We love comic book shops. Some of our favourite books we've ever read have come from a nice person in a store saying, "Hey, have you seen this?". And one thing we've felt, well... bad about, is how there didn't seem to be a place in Kickstarter for working with comic shops. We know there are a lot of progressive retailers out there who are happy to take unique books independently.
And you know what? Several of those retailers contacted us. And helped us design a retailer bundle, which if you are a store (either online or bricks and mortar) you can buy right here on Kickstarter!
Here is what you get when you buy a retailer bundle, and how it works:
> Once Kickstarter is over, we send you five nicely-printed, sealed, folding 5x7 art cards with art samples, plot summary, and quotes from various comics luminaries about the book. These are the "keys" to the digital edition.
> You sell a bundled digital and print edition via these cards for an SRP of $30 (we don't want to disadvantage either those who participated in the Kickstarter, or those buying through your store, by having the price different from the Kickstarter price). You can start selling these immediately as soon as you get the cards.
> The customer opens/unseals the card when he or she gets home and enters in a special unique code to Comixology. This allows him or her access to the serialised digital version, on web, iPhone/iPad and Android. We think this is nifty.
> Purchasing the card for $30 also gets the customer one of the numbered, limited-edition hardback. When the hardback ships, you just have to give it to the customer.
> Each Retailer Bundle contains five books. Four will be unsigned and one will be signed. We're happy for you to sell the signed one for whatever you feel like.
> If people don't want a digital edition, they don't need to use the code. But we are not offering "just" a book edition. There is likely to be a trade edition down the road if we are funded.
> There are several advantages to you with this Retailer Bundle. First, your money isn't tied up for a year while we make the books. You can sell the cards immediately on receipt due to the digital component. Second, you need no extra stuff/tech to deal with the digital version. Third, if we are funded, the only place people will be able to buy Ashes once the Kickstarter closes, throughout 2012, will be via participating retailers who have bought the retailer bundles. And we'll post a list of you up on the main project page shortly before the project closes so people know where to go. So once the "select few" who pledged in the Kickstarter get the serialised digital chapters and start talking about them, if someone else wants the book... well, they have to go to your store!
> To repeat. We will not be offering Ashes to the general public via Comixology after funding closes. It will only be available to people who go to participating retailers. So please, participate!
> Your customers will be able to preview the book via Chapter One (the first 17 pages of the preview) being available publicly on Comixology, to aid their buying decision. We're also looking into printing up some posters to ship with the bundle, for advertising help in-store, and you will be able to download hi-res art samples, logos and so forth from our Dropbox.
> If you also want something else, like a page of art, or one of the books with the hand drawn and coloured cover, contact us before purchasing to arrange a bespoke price. This is really important as Kickstarter is very fiddly and doesn't allow multiple bids/purchases from the same user.
> If you want more than one bundle (eg you want 10 or 15 or 20 books), just choose the "retailer bundle" reward tier but type in the multiple of $105 that you want when it asks for your actual pledge amount ($210, $315, $420, etc). Shoot us a note and let us know you're doing this, as it requires manually adjusting availability numbers. Yeah, fiddly order system is fiddly.
> If you're not signed up with Comixology's Pull List Service, this might be a nice time to think about doing so. Basically it allows customers of your store to let you know what books they want to buy (via the previews on Comixology and a nifty one-click feature), so you can order and place the books aside for that customer. It's a bit like Amazon one-click but for comics, and the sales go to you.
Retailers, remember you are only charged for Ashes if the whole project is funded. If we don't meet our goal, the money is never taken from you.
Please note that we are still keeping the hardback's print run to 1,000; in order to lay aside 250 books for the Retailer Bundles we've reduced the number of some higher-value rewards as well as taking 100 out of the base book availability. Obviously if we're wildly successful we'll re-examine the run size but we'll hit that bridge when we come to it.
Folks, if you know a good retailer, please tell them about this. Otherwise, keep telling your friends about our book; every sale counts.