Almost a week later, Brian Hibbs considers Free Comic Book Day:
The other majorly (seemingly) secret is that “Free” Comic Book Day comics aren’t actually “free” to the retailers — we pay anywhere between 20 and 39 cents per giveaway book. Retailers are also “forced” to buy a selection of books — the “gold” sponsors, of which this year, there were ten of these that we have to commit to having books in stock of.
This isn’t so brutally heinous except when its titles that you can’t sell as a store — like, for Comix Experience, a good example of “Transformers.” We don’t sell a single copy of “Transformers.” Not even a subscription order (“Atomic Robo” has those!) — but because IDW is a Premier (front of the catalog) publisher, and, therefore semi-automatically a “Gold” FCBD participant, I’m obligated to give away “Transformers” comics that aren’t even within the demographic alignment of my store, or what I’d like to represent to the general public.
I believe that the FCBD committee needs to seriously rethink the way stores become “participating” stores — I totally understand the value in demanding that stores have a range of the “official” free giveaways, but mandating that we stock things that we don’t/can’t/won’t sell seems absolutely counter-productive.
Retailers have to stock the Gold level books? I didn’t know that, but at least now I understand the difference between Gold level books and the others (Also, that’s ridiculous for the very reason Hibbs mentions: What good is it forcing a store to buy something they literally won’t even be able to give away?).