All the talk a few days back about sales figures for new series (re. The Magic Order 20-year record) has got me thinking about Loot Crate. For a while, it was used as a way to give new series a boost, perhaps most famously for the Orphan Black comic, among others:
We’re always talking about ways to get comics into the hands of new readers, and for a while this was a popular way to do it.
However, I don’t remember hearing about this kind of thing for a while. Has it fallen out of fashion? There’s an article here that suggests it was actually not great business for publishers as they had to sell the books to Loot Crate at such a steep discount.
(It was first in unit sales that month by a long way - 497,002 compared to the number two book with 264,399, but by dollar sales it fell to third place, which suggests a significant discount.)
I feel like there might still be some merit in using subscription services like this to get new books into the hands of as many people as possible, but if it means selling books in huge quantities at such steep discounts, I can see why publishers have turned away from the idea for now.
I guess you also might risk pissing off traditional retailers.
Are these kinds of subscription services even still popular, anyway?