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DC Outlines Incentives, Variants, Returnability

For the New DC Universe

Published: 06/02/2011, Last Updated: 06/03/2011 06:21am
Bob Wayne
In a letter to retailers (provided to ICv2 by a recipient) DC’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Bob Wayne offered additional information about the publisher’s daring plan to blow up and then reconstitute its superhero universe.  “This is the launch of a new DCU,” said Wayne, “It is not a reboot.”  Wayne also revealed that DC is preparing a “short introductory video starring our creators and our content,” and will hold meetings for retailers in New York, Dallas, Baltimore, Chicago, and Los Angeles (interested parties should contact DC for invitations).
 
Regarding digital day and date (see “DC Renumbering All Titles”) Wayne noted that DC will be at price-parity for same-day digital, with no digital comic selling for less than its paper counterpart until four weeks after its release when the $2.99 standard size comics will revert to a $1.99 price for the digital version.  In addition Diamond is offering a Justice League #1 Combo-Pack ($4.99), which will include the physical comic as well as code for the redemption of the digital comic.  The oversize Justice League #1 paper comic will sell by itself for $3.99 as will the digital comic, which will go down to $2.99 after four weeks.
 
Wayne also outlined three different types of incentives for retailers including variants, deeper discounts, and returnability.  DC will offer variant covers on its five hottest titles for the months of September, October, and November with at least one title with a variant cover coming out every week. DC will offer two kinds of variants.  Justice League #1 will be a 1:25 variant where retailers can get a variant for every 25 copies ordered.  Then there is the “weekly-targeted variant” titles like Flash #1, which ships on September 28th.  At FOC retailers can order as many copies of the Flash #1 variant as they have ordered of their lowest-ordered DC title shipping that same week.
 
DC has also chosen six potential breakout titles (starting with Wonder Woman #1, see “DC Announces 10 New #1 Creative Teams”) on which the company will offer retailers an extra 15% discount.  The other five titles will be announced shortly and the extra 15% discount, which effectively gives retailers from 50% to 72% off depending on the size of their orders, will be offered at least for September, October and November.
 
DC will also be offering 100% returnability on all of the remaining 41 titles, though this comes with a qualifier.  It is only open to retailers whose total post-FOC September orders for DC periodicals is 125% of their May post-FOC orders for DC periodicals.  Retailers will have to return stripped covers to Diamond, and will receive credit minus 10% of the cover price.  Wayne noted that at a minimum the returnability program will be offered for September, October, and November.  
 
Rolling for Initiative--How to Sell Me Your Game (or Your Comic or Anything Else)
Column by Scott Thorne
This week, Thorne describes the process of selling a game (or other product) to a retailer.