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About Bookery

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    The Post-man always rings twice. Uhm... ring ring?

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  1. Oh, it's not that I expect vendors to cancel their accounts. Like you said, they don't have much choice anyway. But I would think Diamond might have had a bit more cash flow set aside than that. I still paid Diamond for the last shipment we received, even though it came while we are in lockdown. Future shipments would have been a problem... but even a business like ours has been able to pay all our bills (vendor, credit card, taxes, bank fees, payroll, etc.) up at least until this point, despite 1+ weeks closed.
  2. Thanks Buzzetta. I'm already looking into the payroll loan part, but this is the nicest all-in-one display of basic info I've seen. If I can cover employees (I've already committed to another 2 weeks on my own), I can probably handle my own mortgage and utility payments. However, our state "technically" reopens this coming Tuesday. We all know this isn't going to happen. But until the governor officially extends the shutdown, I'm not sure I can apply for anything just yet...
  3. Looks like after just one week, Diamond already cannot pay its vendors. That's not good.
  4. Thanks. All your comments are appreciated, and yes, when it comes to online selling I am still stuck in the Paleolithic Era. And again... I'm sure other shops have it much worse than me. In fact... the problems I do face are partly because of our size and number of departments. Selling our collectibles inventory is not the problem at present. Whether I sell it today, or next week, or 2 months from now, it's not going anywhere. The collectibles will be here, and presumably, unless we have total economic collapse, they will still be marketable at some level. What I'm doing right now is continuing, on my own, to process tons of stuff so that when we re-open, the store will be stocked probably better than it has ever been. In fact, If I was just running a solo collectibles shop with just myself and maybe a part-time employee, I wouldn't be concerned at all. I'd simply wait it out. The problem is with new comics and gaming. There's no point in putting this online... it's everywhere. Right now we have about $7k in product from last week's shipment just sitting here. But fortunately, there won't be more as Diamond-Alliance has ceased shipping... which actually is a big help. The concern now is the uncertainty from Marvel and DC... are they shipping, are they not shipping, are they doing it some places but not others? There's a lot of confusion in the industry about what's going on. As I stated earlier, there is just 4 of us working the shop (before this) and we need to hire more. But there's no way that is going to happen this year at any rate. Even when this shutdown is over, the virus may resurface and cause another round of shutdowns in the Fall. Anyway-- this thread needn't be just about one shop, and you've heard enough about me already. I'm interested in this thread becoming a forum for other shops to drop in and say how they're doing. Are you Boardies seeing shops closing up already? For some is this just a retirement job, and they can still get by on SS and pensions? Or are you a young person with this business your soul source of income? In the entire history of Bookery, I have never asked my wife to help out financially with the business, as I like to keep that separate. But I can, as she's still working, if it comes to that. I have a line of credit at the bank that I only like to use for large collections that can be paid back in short order... but it can be used for this. How about others. Is all of this dire... or something that can still be navigated around and your business will survive?
  5. Actually, that was the old days. We still have a 16,000 sq.ft. store-- but only 4 of us operating it at present (as of Feb.). I haven't fired anyone... but have not replaced them when they've moved on. But as you can see, there's simply no time for us to transition to more online activity, nor to hire and train someone new to do it. I can transition the current crew to do more of this... but only if I close down some in-store departments... which may be the way we have to go. Again, though... selling our stock in-store has never been a problem for us... until now, and it would be pretty hard to have foreseen a mandatory shutdown.
  6. I don't usually handle the new comics part of the business... I do collectibles (and bills and payroll and bookkeeping... lots of that) but since my staff is on stay-at-home orders from the state, I'm trying to interpret this part of the market as best I can... so apologies if I'm not getting this right. Previously, I posted DC's announcement of plans during the next few weeks, which sparked a lot of anger among retailers and others. On the one front, at least, it appears DC is now withdrawing this Wednesday's digital releases save for a few trades and a couple of freebie items. But it appears Marvel is going ahead with a full 27-title release of this Wednesday's comics on digital. I read updated articles on BleedingCool and (in accordance with lighthouse's caution, also checked Comixology's releases for April 1). Unless I'm missing something, isn't this going to severely impact sales of the physical comics when we finally do receive them... since the plots will have been out there several weeks ahead of time? Retailer thoughts?
  7. I probably shouldn't risk this, because no matter how carefully I try to state it, someone (not meaning you, specifically) will accuse me of trying to minimize things. I'm concerned, my family's concerned... the situation is bad, period. But we also tend to be overwhelmed by the numbers that flash across the TV, often without context. 155,000 Americans die every month from disease (including 3900 per month from flu-pneumonia). 14,000 die every month from accidents. 3900 die every month from suicide. Corvid-19 has killed 2800 over 2 months to date... but this number is heavily weighed toward just this past month, and is still growing, obviously. It seems possible if not more than likely this rate will at some point surpass suicide and the flu. Beyond that, nobody really knows. But a 1% mortality rate in the U.S. as has been speculated, would mean 275,000 deaths per month from this single disease. That would make it by far the deadliest anything mankind has encountered in the modern era. That seems, at least at this point, to be a really pessimistic stretch. We should hopefully have some mitigating treatments by summer to aid survival rates, and in about a year should have one or more vaccines. At any rate, all we can do is what we're doing. My business is shut down, so my only contact with the outside world is grocery shopping... and I've kept that to a minimum... 3 or 4 trips since all this began. My likelihood of getting the virus is still (so far) pretty small. The odds of losing a 36-year old business in the next couple of months are considerably higher. We all have to worry about what we have in front of us day by day, and that is ever-fluid. But for the moment, I will choose to be skeptical of computer models that show this to be potentially the deadliest thing that could happen to this planet this side of an asteroid strike.
  8. In the '30s and '40s villains had a lot more panache (and a lot of time on their hands). Very creative... lots of painstakingly designed and manufactured torture devices, each attempting to be unique and make a statement. Today's villains... not so much. Zap you with a ray beam, blow up your city with a bomb, yada yda yada. Nobody takes pride anymore.
  9. The only problem with these worst-case comparisons is that technology, hospitalization, and healthcare have advanced a wee bit in the past 103 years. Also in 1918 much of the developed world's infrastructure had been destroyed by war, making the spread of the flu (and many other diseases) much more dire.
  10. Well... it appears I'm not the only one confused about the Bleeding Cool article... and it may be more DC's fault than BC. This just posted (comments from retailers and a former Diamond VP) -- While a number of comic book publishers have announced they are suspending or restrictingpublication, physically and digitally, DC Comics announced last night that they are going to use multiple distribution options to get their comic books out in the world. physically and digitally. Which means a new printer, new distributors, venues that are still open and ComiXology/Kindle. Retail venues could include comic stores that are not yet shut down, bookstores, or mass-market stores more widely open for essential items. There has been a lot of concern about these plans, raised by the more outspoken comic book retailers. Which does raise the fear that the obsession of certain comic book fans may lead them to travel from one shut down state to another state in search of a comic book, or from one sold-out store to another, potentially spreading the coronavirus as they go. In a world in which travel is being discouraged as much as possible, this would seem to be an anathema to that. Especially in a week when DC Comics is planned to be publishing Batman #92, featuring Punchline on her first covers. There are other concerns about the effect this may have on the existing direct market. Cliff Biggers of Dr No's in Marietta, Georgia, writes, "So every major publisher of comics who has revealed their digital comics plan during the COVID shutdown has presented a united front to support brick-and-mortar comic shops and NOT try to move our print clientele to digital comics… except for DC. And now they have also issued a vague, unclear statement that they are looking at alternative methods of getting books to readers in areas where selling is allowed–but they DON'T specify that they're talking comic shops only." Brian Hibbs of Comix Experience, San Francisco, California states "DC's announcement is disgraceful: by separating stores into have and have-nots they are going to hasten many stores' demise, and they are encouraging retailers to violate stay-at-home orders and risk their health for corporate profits. Further, not in the announcement, but buried in comments in the retailer threads (how disgusting, how cowardly!), they are not going to halt digital release of new books. This is a dire mistake, and even a tiny amount of cross-channel conversion will put the majority of retailers in enormous economic peril, when coupled with the above. I have never been more been more emphatically disheartened and disappointed by a so-called "partner". Jesse James Criscione of Jesse James Comics wrote "Well, it was the ONE company I was glad to part ways with…..They are not a team player and continue to prove that point….. LCS Remember this day." John Tinkness of Another Dimension Comics in Calgary, Alberta said "Many retailers are already in enormous economic peril due to the current shutdowns. ANY move DC or any other publisher makes against the best interests of the Direct Market could be fatal for the entire market." Randy Myers of Collectors Corner, in Baltimore, Maryland added "Agreed, never thought that DC would make a decision less helpful in a crisis than Marvel to the survival of the Direct Market but here we are." William Schanes former VP of Diamond called it a "Disastrous statement… no details, just fuels speculation" Don Alsafi of G-Mart Comics in Chicago, Illinois posted "DC has just revealed themselves to be the enemy of the Direct Market. And releasing digital is nothing less than *training* comics readers to not buy from their LCS. It's the most shockingly stupid, absolutely destructive thing a major publisher could do." Lawrence Docherty of Larry's Comics in Chelmsford, Massachussetts states "DC hasn't really told us their plan. They plan on alt distributing comics at some date. Every DC Comic that goes in sale digitally is sub only at my shop forever. I don't boycott, I'll get customers anything that they want. Yes even if it's Batman. If I was DC I'd make Batman #92 digital only this Wednesday. There's NO better book in the market to find digital ceiling with. Of course, there's no better book to betray the direct market and ComicsPro with. Let's not forget, on the forums we've been booted from we were told a crackerjack team of ComicsPro members were working behind the scenes with DC for a Solution for retailers. They own this." So it looks at least if there is a lot of blame to go around. Possibly not the punchline that DC Comics were anticipating.
  11. Pretty much. This week was a payroll week, and the utilities are heavily-skewed to the last week of the month. But other weeks there are other bills (building mortgage hits about mid-month). Of course, this includes new product orders (usually $4000-$6000 per week), but those will be on hold after this week, so the next week's bills will be far lower. I've agreed to pay my staff for another 2 weeks even though we're in mandatory shutdown. If the $1200 per person payment comes through from Fed, that should get them through another couple of weeks after that. Beyond that, they'll have to seek unemployment... but that's a full month from now based on the above, so hopefully it won't come to that. I'm uncertain what I can personally apply for... but if it's a loan, even at 0%, I'll pass... I don't like loading up debt with no guarantee what income will be like, even months down the road. My wife's still working (military contractor job, albeit from home right now), so that should help get us through for awhile. The shop will likely survive if this doesn't last for months (or goes on and off for months, if waves of virus ebb and then resurface), but it may be different... new comics may be a logical casualty, as I've stated before. We'll see. BTW -- on a different subject-- I would have thought with so many stuck at home, these boards would be buzzing with activity. But there seems to be only a small pool of posters right now. And am I the only shop-owner posting here now? I haven't seen any others discussing their situations, plans, etc.
  12. Thanks. It was a poorly organized article, and I may have misinterpreted that, then. Good to know. I'm trying to keep up on multiple articles and responding to Facebook inquiries... so I may have read through it too quickly. I'll look it (them) over again.
  13. On Bleeding Cool -- "Since the Diamond Comic Distributor shutdown and the closure of DC's printer Transcontinental in Canada, there has been much discussion wondering what DC and Marvel Comics would be doing, regarding comic books published this coming week. A number of publishers have declared they will suspend publication, print and digital, while many comic stores are also shut down. But DC Comics has remained resolutely silent regarding this issue. That changed tonight as they have now announced something very different to retailers. While they are making all comic books from over a week ago until the end of June returnable, it seems that DC Comics will not stop printing or distributing comics. They have sourced other printers, as we heard they may be, but also other means of distribution. As it stands, DC Comics is exclusive to the direct market through Diamond Comic Distributor but only it seems while Diamond are actually in the business of taking new product." Diamond did us a favor by halting distribution and leveling the playing field for states on mandatory shutdown. Looks like DC is bent on undoing that. It also seems Penguin is maneuvering to replace Diamond (another article). Also-- if they put Diamond out of business, how will this affect Alliance product? Sounds like a lot of unnecessary flux and uncertainty is being added into an already stressful situation. After 36 years, I think it's time for Bookery to pull the plug on new comics.