Win, Win, Win! Why SKYPEHYPE is a 3-way Win.

Win, Win, Win! Why SKYPEHYPE is a 3-way Win.

Having a store in a city that is not New York, LA, or Chicago makes it tough to get talent to come and do in store signings. The main problem for a store is the cost. It costs the store to pay for the talent to travel (airfare, hotel, meals). Then there are some people who charge an appearance fee to sit in the store. Stores hope to recoup the cost of all that with increased sales of related merchandise. In order to do that the store has to advertise the event – at an additional cost. I speak from experience when I say that making any profit on these events is really, really hard to do. In most situations the best a store does is break even. At best! But most of the time the store takes a loss, chalks it up to making customers happy, and maybe ends up with a new customer.
I’ve always believed that the comic book store experience should include being able to meet and talk to comic book creators. Up until recently the only way to accomplish that would be an in store appearance and I’ve already explained the challenges of that. But with today’s technology we can now have creators “stop by” Neptune Comics virtually and tell us why we should buy their books, find out what is happening with their favorite characters, and just shoot the sh*…. . I call it SKYPEHYPE.
What is SKYPEHYPE? It’s a new way to have customers interact with a comic book creator in their own back yard, or their favorite comic book shop. A comic book shop can SKYPEHYPE with a creator and that creator gets to hangout with customers for a little awhile.
What are some of the benefits for Customers, Creators, and Retailers?

Customers:
1. Get to meet the person who writes and or draws their favorite character on a daily basis.
2. Find out what it takes to get into comics.
3. Find out where a story might lead to.
4. Find out what that creator is doing next.
5. Laugh or cry or geek-out or just have fun for an hour while hanging out in the sanctuary of their favorite comic book shop.
Creators:
1. Don’t have to travel.
2. Meet fans. Face-to-face marketing at no cost and in a much more comfortable chair than you get at a con.
3. Get paid more. Don’t have to spend so much time sitting at an airport waiting for a connecting flight but instead spend that time working – and hopefully getting paid for it.
4. Can drink, smoke, wear PJ’s and not brush your teeth and no one will ask you to leave.

Retailers:
1. Low cost. Just set up a computer with a webcam and you are set.
2. Keep the customers coming back for more, or introduce customers to other creators they might not know of. Maybe sell an extra comic book or two while you’re at it.
3. Be known as the most connected, awesome, techno-savvy hub of geek-dome on the planet!

The other night my store Neptune Comics hosted its very first SKYPEHYPE. While attendance was low, it was one of the best events Neptune Comics has ever put on. Comic book stores are known for being places where people can hang out and “talk shop.” SKYPEHYPE takes it to a new level. When Neptune Comics hosted Steve Niles we really didn’t know what to expect. Mid-way through I could just tell that it was a great way to connect our customers and myself as both a fan and a retailer with creators. We talked with Steve about the state of the industry for a bit, what he has on his creative plate, and even talked a while about John Carpenter movies. Point is everyone had fun. My hope is to host a creator SKYPEHYPE weekly as long as there is interest from creators and customers. If all the SKYPEHYPE’s are like the one last night we are doing them for a long time. If you get a chance please try to attend one of these as they go on, and let me know how you liked it. We’re planning them weekly on Wednesday night around 6 pm, so you can stop in and pick up your comics and/or hang out and join in on the SKYPEHYPE at Neptune Comics.
Thank you to Steve Niles for being our first SKYPEHYPE. It was great talking with you. We look forward to having you SKYPEHYPE with us again in the future.  Our next guests will be Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner on Wednesday August 21st at 6 pm.

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