Friday 15 March 2024

Selling Comics In Schools, a new market?

Have I found a new untapped market for my books? Why I haven't thought of selling my comic direct to pupils in schools before, I don't know. Well, maybe I do. I figured kids don't have cash, so it was a non starter. Then, at Leigh Academy in Dartford, I discovered something called Parent Pay, whereby the parents will pay in advance for stuff and the school will pass it on to you and, bish bash bosh, I'd sold a dozen pre-ordered books which I sign on the day.

Another factor which had dissuaded me from flogging books to kids before now was the thought that my books were a bit old for them. My first 3 Shakespeare books are very teenage, and most of the kids I'm teaching are primary school age. But that changed with Richard The Third, published at the end of October, and I've realised I have a book young kids really respond to.

So, on Monday I drafted an image to send to schools to forward to parents...

Little did I think that schools would respond so quickly. Whitnash on Thursday not only bought 18 books, and not only did that include Prince Of Denmark Streets and Findlay Macbeths as well as 13 Richard The Thirds, but they paid in cash!

See the picture at the top, the kids from Year 4 in the morning and 6 in the afternoon had come in clutching handfuls of coins and notes - nostalgia rush - and I signed as many books as I had with me (luckily I had enough Richards in the car, they hadn't warned me they'd be buying any!) and will be posting the copies of the other books today.

If this carries on in all the other schools I visit - a dozen books in every school - well, that would have added up to 960 books last year. And selling them at £6 each (rather than the usual £6.99) that'd be £5760.

What could be the downside to that? Not much, except that I have a limited stock of all my books. 

The Kickstarter for each book funded a print run of 500 each. Findlay Macbeth came to the end of its 500 last month, and since then I've been ordering them 10 at a time from Lulu. Midsummer Nights Dream Team and Prince Of Denmark Street both seem to have about 20 copies each left. It will only take a couple of schools and a live event to wipe those out.

Even Richard The Third only has 300 copies left, four and a half months after I published it. Of course, these Kickstarter copies are pure profit when I sell them. But if I have to start getting Lulu copies, I'm looking at these prices:

PODS (original full version) £4.71 + post
MNDT (original) £4.50 + post
Richard (original) £4.99 + post
Omnibus edition £8.32 + post
Findlay (short version, no Shakespeare text at back) £3.80 + post)
PODS (short version) £3.80 + post
MNDT (short) £3.80 + post
Richard (short, via D2D) £2.76 + post (BUT post is from US, plus sales tax, no unknown)

So, do I commission new print runs for my main books, at a major outlay but ultimately higher profit margin, but with no guarantee they'll sell? Or do I order Lulu copies, smaller print runs, narrower margin?

I shall think on.

My Books and where to get them:

Richard The Third Amazon - Etsy - Barnes & Noble - Waterstones
Findlay Macbeth - Amazon  - Etsy 
Prince Of Denmark Street - Amazon - Etsy - Kindle
Midsummer Nights Dream Team  - Amazon Etsy 
Shakespeare Omnibus Collection (all 3 books) - Amazon

Tales From The Bible - Amazon -  Etsy - Webtoons
The Book Of Esther - Lulu  - Amazon Webtoons
Captain Clevedon - Amazon
Tales Of Nambygate - Amazon  

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