Here is my Super Bowl Ad for my upcoming Graphic Novel, SIDEKICKS....
So I've been thinking about the socioeconomic effects of the internet and how it effects sales at book stores. Specifically, I mean independent bookstores. The fear is that if eBooks pick up steam then no one will go buy books at bookstores. If bookstores can't drum up business then they suffer and end up going out of business. I love my independent book store. I love any independent bookstore for that matter, but to hope that eBooks won't replace printed books, I think, is a futile wish. eBooks are easier to acquire on-line. That sums it up in a nutshell. People bought music on-line because they could have the music instantly and you had the entire internet at your disposal in terms of selection. The experience of going to an actual record shop is irrelevant. Convenience always wins out.
Now, I want to try something different and I hope you will all help me out.
I'm sure you've all seen the "Buy Independent" buttons and tags all over the internet endorsed by indiebound.org. and many authors embrace the cause by putting the button on their websites, but the best that can do is ENCOURAGE you to buy books. I'm going to assume that the average on-line consumer will buy their books on-line at the cheapest, quickest, most recognizable place you can get it (i.e. Amazon.com) Most people probably don't even consider buying the books on-line at an independent bookstore's website because it isn't the first place they think of.
I can't make you buy my graphic novel, but if you are one of those folks who were planning to by the graphic novel anyway then I can at least entice you to buy the book from me. As many of my readers of my blog know I've been working on my graphic novel for seven years and along the way I've ended up with lots of extra stuff. TONS. Stuff that I hate to see go to waste. So, I decided to compile it into another book. A PDF actually, and I'm going to give it away for free. To you.
IF you buy my graphic novel from me.
Also, if you want a tangible version of the PDF book, and I mean a real book you can hold in your hands and turn pages and so forth, then I'll provide a link for you to buy the book at a print-on-demand service with no profit to me. You just pay for the cost of it getting printed and shipped to you.
Here's the idea....
The one thing I've been hearing often is that perhaps picture books are suffering due to the lack of justification in spending $17 on a hardcover picture book. Well, in this case, I'm trying to bridge that gap for you, the consumer. You buy the graphic novel from me. I collect the money. In that exchange you get something extra that you can't get anywhere else. The hardcover graphic novel sells for $24.99 plus shipping and handling. I'm charging you $25 plus shipping and handling. What I'm hoping is worth the cost is me exchanging my knowledge and experience of making the book for you to enjoy at your leisure. I don't go on book tours and I don't do many signings because, quite frankly, most people don't care if Dan Santat is coming to town. The contents of the PDF book are essentially what I would share at a book signing and MORE. If you're interested in someday making your own graphic novel then I promise you that this book can help in certain aspects. If you happen to be a fan of my artwork, then you'll also get that added benefit of seeing my process of coloring, design, storytelling, and ideation. You'll see what the editor suggested I keep and what we suggested should be enhanced and why. It's the behind the scenes of the book. I would equate it much like the bonus features on the DVD of a movie you love to watch.
I'm also throwing in an extra piece of art that you won't get anywhere else. I assure you that it's a nice piece of art and it will signify that you were one of the first to buy the book and I thank you.
All that extra stuff is just costing you a penny.
WHAT DO I GET OUT OF ALL THIS?
With that money I will buy my graphic novel from an independent bookstore who will, hopefully, profit well from our transaction. I'm basically focusing all the money from the sales of the book and pouring it all into helping my local independent book store. Hopefully they will be very gracious for my efforts and endorse more of my publications to their patrons. Let me hang a poster on your wall to promote the graphic novel, maybe leave a stack of postcards for you to leave right next to the cash register, or place my books in an optimal high traffic part of the store. This would be the on-line extension of local authors supporting their local businesses and vice versa. I haven't approached the book store with this idea yet, but I'm hoping they like the idea. I am honestly winging it as I go along.
If you do buy my book and you want to help me make a difference then I encourage you to buy my book here through me. I also encourage you to spread the word to others who may be interested in buying my book and send them over here if you do plan to buy it.
Have a great Super Bowl!