Friday, 23 December 2011

Paradox of choice

I recently watched the Barry Schwartz Ted Talks' 'Paradox of Choice' presentation, and it left me wondering.

In the world of comic books there so often is a dearth of options - characters appearing in multiply titles, covers upon variant covers, the big companies vs the smaller publishers - are these to the detriment of the reader and collector, or are they a cunning attempt to suggest options where non-really exist?

A lot of the books cross over during big stories, meaning that to follow the story path you need to get all of the books - so is the real choice is "all or none"?

Do variant covers actual make a difference any more? Do people genuinely still want to collect, bag and store books in the hope that their value will rise? Has this 20 odd year speculative market resulted in less substance and more razzle dazzle?

For my own book, The Hero Code, I had three covers available for the first issue - as part of the Kickstarter campaign.

I could detect some interest in specific covers, but not much - at least not enough to persuade me that it was a totally worthwhile exercise. It made for a nice bundle of rewards for the campaign, but I often feel that the most streamlined of campaign rewards are the most successful at attracting backers.

The paradox of choice.

With this in mind, I am thinking of limiting the availability of the variant covers somewhat. Offering up the Main cover through the online store, the B cover (Jonathan Rector's cover) as a subscription only cover and the C cover (Karl Altstaetter's wrap around cover) at conventions only.

Opinions on a postcard, please...

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