Hello, it's Tuesday and so Joe will take you through the notable releases of the day, with a side dish of Ping Pong.


Tom Spurgeon pointed to this post by Julia Wertz about publishing a new book. I was a little baffled by this part of the post:

If you cannot afford a book package directly from me, I highly encourage you to purchase the book directly from Atomic Books or your local comic book store. I understand that sometimes Amazon is the only choice, in which case, please try to buy the book from Atomic Books on Amazon, under Wunderpants Productions. When you buy a book from some random place, neither my publisher nor I see a penny from that and the sales does not count as a book sold for us...

I hope that's some sort of misunderstanding, as every sale, short of used books, of course, goes to the publisher and then the author. Or at least that's how I always did it. Maybe I'm missing something. I'd love to see more honest and frank conversations about publishing like Julia's. I often wonder how all these companies without distribution are getting by. The internet and the festival circuit are awfully expensive and labor intensive ways to distribute a book. Stores help a lot.

I will never tire of knowing that Arnold Roth posts new work online. It makes me happy. Does anyone draw like Arnold Roth? Nope.

Remember that Antonio Rubino stuff I blabbed about last week? Well it's apparently available very cheap right now. In Italian. But still.

David Brothers quit reading Marvel and DC comics and explains why.

And finally, Tom Gill on Tsuge.

7 Responses to Nerves

  1. julia wertz says:

    Hi Dan, that paragraph wasn’t as clear as I could have made it, and led to a misunderstanding. What I was trying to do was explain to buyers that when they buy a book second hand from Amazon from a random seller, that money doesn’t go to the publisher or creator, but Amazon sales directly from Amazon or the correct distributors DO. Same goes for buying the book directly from me online, or at a convention or comic book store. I was simply trying to discourage the buying of books from third parties, as practical as that might be for many people. Of course every single sale in any manner is helpful, if only to get the work out there, but during the initial push of sales upon release, every direct order is the most helpful. I hope that clears things up.

  2. Dan Nadel says:

    That makes a lot of sense. The second hand dealer thing that Amazon makes so prominent is really troublesome for all of us, as customers don’t readily see the difference. Thanks for responding!

  3. idlprimate says:

    did you guys review her new book? This is the first I’ve heard of it. It would seem a shame if the only coverage it got was a a second hand head scratch at a comment she made about the book business.

  4. Jeffrey Goodman says:

    As a longtime dealer of second hand books I implore everyone to save money, save a tree, and save me from having to find a real job! Seriously, for the most part we’re good people just looking for a way to do our part for recycling! It’s a career I’ve made the best of for over 25 years and I have to thank platforms like Amazon and Abe for allowing me to keep doing so without having to pay the outrageous rents to landlords, at least in the city where I used to have a store. Now my wife and I are strictly online sellers of used books, and as easy as it is to complain that Amazon et. al takes way too much a chunk of the sales, at least the books are getting to people who never in a million years would have visited my neighborhood. Customers actually like that, more times than not, they can get a book for even less, and for all of is in the vicious circle, it’s win-win. Sorry to cut you creators and publishers out, but by the time I get the books you guys have already had your taste. C’est la vie!

  5. Mike Hunter says:

    It’s also worth noting that Julia Wertz’s book is a NEW book. Having spent tons of money over the years in second-hand book stores, I can testify that the great majority of their stock has been “around the block”; is hardly new.

    I did a little research (i.e., Google’ing) on “how many used book sales are new books” (virtually new, that is) and found — if not the stats I was looking for — some interesting stuff:

    In 2002, the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers sent an open letter to Jeff Bezos, the chief executive of, which has a market for used books in addition to selling new copies. “If your aggressive promotion of used book sales becomes popular among Amazon’s customers,” the letter said, “this service will cut significantly into sales of new titles, directly harming authors and publishers.”

    But does it? True, consumers probably save a few dollars while authors and publishers may lose some sales from a used book market. Yet the evidence suggests that the costs to publishers are not large, and also suggests that the overall gains from such secondhand markets outweigh any losses…

    When used books are substituted for new ones, the seller faces competition from the secondhand market, reducing the price it can set for new books. But there’s another effect: the presence of a market for used books makes consumers more willing to buy new books, because they can easily dispose of them later.
    More at

    How The Used Book Market On Amazon Helps The Sale Of New Books

    …an active used book market means that newer books have a higher resale value (effectively allowing people to estimate how much it costs to “rent” a book). Secondly, it turns out that many people simply don’t view used books as a substitute for new books. That is, many people only buy used books or only buy new books. On top of all of that, giving customers more choice tends to increase the overall size of the market, whether by giving them more reasons to come back or by introducing them to something new that encourages them to buy more. For example, people will buy a used book from an author they’re unfamiliar with, but if they like it, they may then be willing to buy new books by that same author in the future (when, without the used book, they would never have been willing to buy the new book)

  6. julia wertz says:

    Jeffrey, I am not disparaging used books, I frequent used bookstores all the time and I buy used books on Amazon and Abe as well. I meant this specifically in the context of a new release. When my book drops in September, it will be the sole income I have for the year, and the publisher I work with is a small press, so we both need all the financial backing we can, since distribution and print numbers are small, as they usually are with indie comics. I was imploring my readers who can afford books to buy directly from myself or the publisher. Taken out of context, I understand how it seems like I am addressing book sellers as a whole, but I am not. I fully support buying used books. However I also fully support spending money in the most supportive way, if possible, and that’s all I was trying to get across in that post, albeit not as clearly as I could have. I’m glad Dan brought this to my attention so I could clarify my intention.

  7. Dan Nadel says:

    No one here is advocating not buying books from used bookstores. I do it all the time. Julia was just saying that for this, her new book, it’s better for her and the publisher if its bought on the primary retail market. That’s a fact. A lot of the books on the Amazon retailer sites are review copies, so in fact the publisher and author have not been compensated. In any case, please visit used bookstores! Also, please buy new books! Buy books. It’s good for everyone. But Julia’s point stands.

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