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Thursday, September 25, 2008 

DC cancels their Minx line

At least a year ago, DC launched a graphic novel line called Minx that they wanted to gear for the female young adult market. Now, it's been cancelled. The artist Shannon Smith provided a good clue about one of the reasons why this line failed:
As soon as the first boxes came in and I saw that the thin little books would be shelved in graphic novels I knew it was going to fail. The books are small YA format and are totally lost in the GN section. Plus, they just can’t compete with manga. I tired. I created end caps for them but they were in the wrong part of the store. Could I have put them in YA? Sure. But it would have gone against the shelving code on the sticker and would have conflicted with the title look up computers so, no, not really an option. They might have had a chance if shelved with Gossip Girl and similar books in YA and that would not have taken marketing dollars. That would only have taken a phone call to Borders and N B&N to make happen. Just a call to say “hey, these books are YA so can you change your stickers to put this line of books in YA?”. It would not have taken a major marketing initiative on Random House’s part. Just a phone call. My advice to DC and all publishers is to visit a bookstore from time to time. Ask to talk to the shelvers. Ask to talk to the inventory managers. They know. They know where each book should be. They know which kinds of books the kids sitting on the floor in YA are reading and which kinds of books the kids sitting on the floor in manga are reading. Ask a bookseller. They won’t even charge you. (Yet.)
It's really strange why DC would go spend tons of money - including $125,000 on promotion alone - to launch a line of graphic novels and then do nothing to actually get the major book chains they sent them to to place them where they might do better, nor did Random House do anything on its part to try the same. Why should it be surprising then that this line ran into the ground? Come to think of it, why are the people responsible for this even in the business if they don't know how to market and promote seriously?

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