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Monday, October 12, 2009

[expletive deleted]

[Q| I am angry, but I shall try to channel that energy constructively and politely.

I have been a graphics novel retailer since 1994, when I worked for SuperCrown Books in Washington, DC. Since 1999, I have been employed by Barnes & Noble.

Diamond Comics Distribution is the de facto distributor of comic books in the United States, supplying prouct to thousands of comics shops across the country (and world).

Each Fall, Diamond hosts a two-day seminar and trade show known as the Diamond Retailer Summit. Workshops on various topics are held, there is an exhibition space. Most important, during the meal sessions, publishers present their upcoming lines and even present surprise guests.

I have attended the last two Summits, flying out to Las Vegas last year, and attending the 2007 Summit in Baltimore.

Here's why I am angry:
I attend for the following reasons:
1) To learn about new product
2) To network with publishers, editors, and comics retailers.
3) To offer my experience as a mass-market retailer to anyone who might listen and profit from it.

In the past, Diamond was gracious enough to give me a complimentary pass. I would have gladly paid the $75 fee (or any other fee as a non-comics retailer), and last year I balanced the karma by giving the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund a $75 donation after their presentation.

This year, I utilized a contact at Diamond Book Distributors, which serves the library and bookstore market. He assured me that everthing was okay, that my credentials established.

So... Sunday morning, I go to check-in. They know I am a customer of Diamond Books, but they have no record of me. This leaves me in a bad mood for the rest of the day.

No change in my status this morning, so I am now waiting outside the Fourth Floor ballrooms so that I may meet my contact and get credentialed.

Here's the bigger problem. Diamond is a Siamese twin. Diamond Comics (which hosts the Summit) serves the non-returnable comic book store market. Diamond Book serves the returnable(cont'd)

1 comment:

  1. So...

    Let me get this straight:

    You should get in free to something that other people have to pay for. Just because, well, because you're you. And you have a blog.

    You can swing the 'but I work at B&N' stick if you want. But guess what? You're not the Graphic Novel buyer. You're actually, wait for it, not even a buyer. You don't even run their marketing for Graphic Novels. You have no direct decision over the goods that hit the shelves at B&N stores across the country. You are effectively an employee of Bed Books & Beyond. And you effectively attempted to crash someone's private party (and you didn't even bring a gift of towels, how uncouthe.)

    So what DO you bring to the table?

    Well, lets see:

    First: You brought no money. You didn't pay to be there. Even if you feel you are a retailer so you should be allowed to attend, you still have to pay, just like the rest of us. Instead you expect to saunter around, collect your free stuff, 'talk about the business' while gushing to your latest fanboy crush creator. That seems productive.

    Second: The publishers are deceived by your presence. You claim to speak on behalf of B&N. So what happens when a a smaller-sized publisher talks to you, thinks they have 'an in' with B&N, and then calls up James Killen? Me thinks I do hear a click on the receiver. Boy, that again, seems less than productive.

    This just all seems like so much WAH. You didn't get to have Robert Kirkman sign your underoos. You didn't get to eat a cold turkey sandwich while hording the free Doritos and listening to news about upcoming lifesize R2D2 statues. And you had to beg borrow lie and steal to get in.

    What do you think the odds are that they would let me into the next B&N store managers event in Orlando, Florida? I mean, I sell books too.

    Get over yourself.