By VanAce 2 Comments
Like it or not Marvel NOW is happening no matter how many fanboys complain. Marvel would be stupid not to do this by taking advantage of the cinematic universe. This blog post is not so much a pro/con for the series but the things that Marvel should do to make sure it is successful. What should Marvel do to retain as many of these new readers as possible and make sure there is enough continuous awareness as possible.
WHAT MARVEL SHOULD DO
1. Quality stories
Tell good stories that people so people will want to keep reading. If people are enjoying the series then they will want to keep reading. Axel Alonso has said that it will be the focused on so that is a good start.
2. Don't have too much continuity (to begin with)
These series need to a true jumping on point in which new readers/lapsed readers are not required to have read previously to understand what is going on. Clever exposition on anything a reader might need to know about a character (powers, name, relationship to other characters) is the only past you really need. Continuity can play a bigger part further down the track once the reader has a firm grasp at who the characters are. So in summary don't throw them in the deep end.
3. Make sure people know when the next issue will arrive
Often new readers wont understand that a book comes out monthly. A friend of mine when he started reading the New 52 had no idea exactly when the next issue was coming out. He doesn't follow comic book media to see reviews pop up, indicating that a book he is reading is out, nor does he read the solicitations like us fanboys. The only reason he tends not to miss out is because he has a standing order so what he reads has been saved behind the desk for him so when he does come in he hasn't missed out. Anyway where I was going with that is new readers wont know when books are coming out unless they are told.
What should Marvel do? On the back page instead of saying, "Next Month" or "In Two Weeks" put in the date it will be out. If they know exactly when it is coming out they might write it in their diary or in their phones or somewhere so they are reminded. Of course this might backfire if the series ends up delayed but if they keep to a tight schedule then it will be fine. Also why not have the dates on the house ads also if Marvel are confident that they will come out on time.
Also since some of these titles will become biweekly make sure readers know that so they don't think that they are monthly by accident.
4. Social Media
Marvel uses social media quite well so with Marvel NOW hopefully they will continue to use it well. Also use the Avengers Movie facebook and Twitter pages to make sure the movie fans know that the comics exist.
5. Know where to find the comics
Marvel should make sure that readers know where to find the comics. Whether this be at their closest comic book store or on Comixology or the Marvel Comics App readers need to know where they can get there Marvel fix.
How you do this? Marvel need to promote the Comic Store Locator both in the books and in their promotional items for Marvel NOW (flyers, advertisements, social media etc) The
6. Work with retail to give the best opportunity
Marvel need to work with retailers, just like DC did, by making riskier series returnable for the first few issues. They also need to give plenty of promotional items to store so they can make sure people know what is going on, what series are part of Marvel NOW and when they are coming out.
Marvel should give retailers the confidence to order large like they did with Avengers Vs X-men but not large in a way like they did in the 90s with X-Men #1.
While not as feasible since a new jumping on point is meant to come out every week, Marvel should encourage a midnight parties like they did with AVX for at least one or two of the big series. By making it an event it shows people that it is a big deal and more likely to pay attention.
7. Get the second prints out fast
If this is successful, and the first print sells out that Marvel get the 2nd prints out as quick as possible. If it is like the new 52 then people will want the series now rather than later.
8. Promote Marvel NOW through the Avengers movie
When the DVD/Blu-ray comes and people rush to buy it why not have a sticker on the cover saying something along the lines of "Enjoy the movie? Why not read the comics?". Obviously something better than that but along those lines. Why not have a video with the same message in the DVD extras or show some concept art to get their interest flowing?
9. Keep people informed
I have sort of touched on this but keeping people informed of what is happening is a good thing. Make sure readers know what series is being relaunched next, when the next issue is coming out, what are the new series etc. The more people know the more they are able to get excited about it.
10. Recommend series to new readers
If a new reader picks up an X-men series make sure they know that if they enjoyed it that there is other X-men books that they can check out or that the writer is writing other Marvel books. I guess it works to a degree like Last.fm in that they recommend music based on what you are listening to, so why not comics based on what you are reading?
On a side not make sure people know that the difference is between Avengers, New Avengers and Uncanny Avengers. For a new reader that can be confusing.
Well that is what I think Marvel should do to make sure Marvel NOW is a success and a continued success in the long run. What do you think Marvel should do?