I was such a good little comics purchaser. I did what the publishers always tell you to do before a big, new title comes out: I went to my local comic book store and put Saga on my pull list several weeks before it was released.
“Alright,” I thought, “When March 14 rolls around I won’t have to fight the masses to grab a copy off the shelf because mine will be safely hidden away in the long box behind the counter.”
Alas, I was wrong. My local shop didn't get nearly enough copies to fill all the orders they had. The clerk showed me a stack of 25 order forms from sad saps like me who missed out. I have yet to track down a copy of Saga #1 and have resigned myself to waiting for the elusive second printing.
Image Comics publisher Eric Stephenson recently posted a fascinating blog post that details the ins and outs of how publishers decide how many copies of a certain comic to print, and how comics like Saga, which despite knowing there would be huge demand for, sell out. It’s a great read from a business standpoint and really interesting to get an inside look at the relationship between publishers, distributors and retailers.
(Hat tip: iFanboy)