Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Goats glorious goats

Yesterday I found out that it's not that unusual for a goat to climb on top of a cow and stand there for a while. This is big news. If this keeps up (and what reason is there for it not to?), goats will surpass donkeys in my animal rankings system to take the number one spot. What do YOU know about goats?

I got my calculator and my slide rule out this morning and have decided, quite arbitrarily, that Ghosts (my most recent book) has not been a hit. I wouldn't say out loud that its sales have been weak, but if they were represented by a man, it would be the man below:



Three people have written to me to say that they enjoyed it, but one of them received it free and their experience may be coloured by that fact.

I suspect that this turn of events tells me the following:

a. The market does not want new Scary Go Round stories (it may be saturated by the current five-a-week schedule)
b. I should use my spare time just to go for a walk rather than crafting coherent tales
c. Bonfire night is coming soon and tinder has never been at such a premium

I am not too depressed as I really enjoy bonfire night.

42 comments:

Keri said...

My husband and I really enjoyed the book! but I guess the total of four comments won't make a huge amount of difference... feel bad that we bought one copy to share now, of course. Cheapskates.

John A said...

Your feedback has boosted my spirits by a factor of ten: FORWARD TO THE FUTURE!

mordicai said...

Mister A, I am a bastard who only has purchased your books as gifts, despite following your exploits for precisely 845 years. You were great in the Battle of Hastings. Stiff upper lip!

Edmund said...

I bought a copy it came out which also prompted me to buy a major teacup T-shirt which I had had my eye on for some time so it wasn't a total loss. The book was a solid SGR story that seemed quite outside of the current continuity - I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. It left me wanting more/ended abruptly which, again, I'm not sure is a good thing or a bad thing. Still, some great lines in it "perspective protects our delicate sanities" & "what if exorcising a ghost is like shaking up a wasp?" are my favourites.
I would still buy short form original printed SGR stories like 'ghosts' in the future. Shame it's not selling that well

Jen said...

I have never left a comment here before, but have been motivated by your post to say: market saturation of SGR? Never! I and many of my midwestern friends & relatives enjoyed Ghosts very much. Though I am not discounting the value of a nice walk, you should find time to fit that in, too.

Laura said...

I really enjoyed Ghosts, esp the trombone! I hope you don't stop doing things like this!

Sarah said...

I love your comic deliriously, but I'm poor and euro/pound to dollar rates make me weep salty tears. You should not correlate sales to love of you. That would be silly.

Sleepery said...

It's no reflection on your work, but due to the onerous exchange rate, I'll have to work an extra shift at the lapel flag factory to afford it. But, one must support the arts, so I've placed an order. I'm sure I will love it.

Cheers,

Bob

Sparkles F said...

I agree, it must be the weak dollar. Maybe everyone is broke at the same time as well?
I will buy Ghosts on the 15th, so please don't burn every one of your copies.

John A said...

These comments have been very constructive. The fierce and toothy bite of the poor dollar to pound exchange rate is largely to blame. Perhaps an economist will join the party and tell me when these bad days will end.

Roman said...

I still bought Ghosts despite the fact that the dollar is about as strong as that young man in your blog post. And it was good!

Ah well. Maybe you can sell them at conventions and other personal appearances? Nothing says buy my book quite like someone staring you in the face and saying "buy my book!"

Jeremy said...

I bought and enjoyed it in appreciative silence. Sadly, I had to pay in my feeble American dollars, which likely did you little good. They'll certainly be excellent kindling for your forthcoming bonfires, though.

colleen said...

Book ordered! And I am most looking forward to it.

Nick said...

I greatly enjoyed "Ghosts" as well, and I'm sad to hear that it isn't selling so well. I was hoping to accumulate a stack of such standalone SGR stories over the years. Bad news.

Maybe I'll console myself (and perhaps, you, Mr. Allison, as well) by finally buying all of the collections.

Off to be violated by the rotten exchange rate!

Eric said...

John,

I did buy your latest book, too. I quite enjoyed it. Being from the San Francisco bay Area, I too was damaged by the dollar/pound issue. However it dod not stop me from ordering it. In fact, I would be in favor of more short stories like that. I love your books (the big ones) but I also adore your smaller offereings. Keep em coming.

My only sad thing to remark is that the paper didnt do your art any favors. But the story rawked!

e

Jon said...

I also think it largely had to do with the exchange rate. Not that I minded; I laugh at such things atop a pile of barbarian gold, swaddled in furs and jewelry! This is all to say that I enjoyed this story immensely, and the extra material was also much appreciated.

Paul Wilcken said...

The book was thoroughly enjoyed.
Not enough SGR I say dear sir, not enough.

Daisie said...

I bought it and enjoyed it, as I buy and enjoy all of your material, but definitely the weak power of the dollar limits my ability to indulge in SGR merchandise as often as I'd like.

Still, if it's not going to be worth your while to write standalone pieces, I personally would rather you not burn out and work on the things that do make you money so that I can continue to enjoy Scary Go Round five days a week :)

Poor Yorick said...

Dear sir, I think it's excellent that you put out these extra stories - it must be a massive undertaking! And that in an already busy life. I hope to get one as soon as I'm able; but as others have mentioned, the exchange rate is very bad, so it's a bit tricksy at the moment for us not in the UK, alas.

sarah j. said...

I'm sorry, John! For some reason I was sure that your store wouldn't take paypal. An eCheque is on the way!

And yes, Virginia, the exchange rate IS terrible. Prince Charles just came by my house and held back my arms, while the whole of the European Union punched me in the gut.

At least I'll soon have a piece of ScaryGoRound to love and touch and display on my buckling shelves.

DevilShadow said...

All I know is that with genetic modification, we will soon have super goats!

I bought a copy of ghosts as soon as I could and fully enjoyed it. However maybe some readers may not want to shell out for the shipping (real cheapskates) for a 40page book. Perhaps Halloween will push some copies along with some Most Haunted shirts.

Marianne said...

I have every SGR book (yay me!), and despite the deplorable state of the Australian Dollar (it looks at the Pound and runs and hides under a large and barren looking rock) Ghosts was worth every cent! In fact, I would go so far as to say that Ghosts is my favourite SGR story to date! I loved Heavy Metal Hearts & Flowers, Looks, Brains & Everything and Spy Girl too, but there is something about Ghosts that I just adored! I think I also prefer the short format stories. The monochrome colour scheme was so completely readable and made me want to absorb every background, and I loved the blues you used, John! It seems like the quality of the printing was better for this story too... The paper was so glossy and smooth as to make it feel like I was reading something decadent, like chocolate truffles and cream! I liked the paper in this story better than the longer format ones. The art and dialogue and the plot itself was of the excellent standard we expect from Master Allison. Plus, I think your work is maturing and just getting better and better, John. Your stories are better told, drawn and put together. At least that's my two cents worth (approx. 0.0087 pence).
Please don't despair!

Jeff said...

john a,

I don't know nothing about exchange rates, but if you want to respect goats more than ever, check into the wonder and majesty of Tennessee Fainting Goats via Google. Which is ruining everything, I'm told.

There's too much to explain in a blog comment. However, fainting goats are potentially the best kind of goat.

Robert said...

Alas, I can only blame the poverty of the US dollar--it is crippled and blind and can be found on the street corners begging. Sometimes it is accompanied by starving, sad children. The freedom eagle soars, but it has forgotten to take the CURRENCY of freedom with it!

I will purchase your book (if not multiple books!) when I have more disposable income. Or when the freedom eagle remembers to lift the mighty dollar in its mighty talons.

fingle said...

Screw the budget! I'm buying a book, or maybe two! Especially since I couldn't buy everything I needed at Comic-Con in July. We had to save money for drinks at the Cuban restaurant on Fifth Street. (Random Flamenco dancers = AWESOME!) Also groceries. Groceries are awesome, too...

fingle said...

Okay, okay, so it's been a while since I logged on and stuffed money into my account. My balance was five bucks US, so in pounds Sterling, not so much... I guess it will be between 3 and 5 working days before my money is in the grasping clutches of PayPal. See you then!

Mizufae said...

I prefer to buy my books from you en masses personally and await eagerly for your next visit to the land of FREEDOM so i can drop big moneys on your deliciously anglophilic goods.
If you can make sense of that sentence I am worried about you. But that's why I haven't gotten Ghosts!

Drew Falconeer said...

Crap!
I bought 3 copies!
You should have told me the exact number needed to make it a hit. I would have bought them all!!

(Don't even think about stop doing it!)

arborealprimate said...

Damn your hide. Armed with guilt at your tale of woe, I marched to the store to buy Ghosts. And left £53 lighter. Still, I at least have an attractive bag to carry my worldly possessions in when the Man comes to repossess my house.

allen said...

Mr Allison,

A) http://www.neatorama.com/images/2007-01/tree-goat-3.jpg

GOATS IN TREES!

B)
I will, personally, be sad if you choose to remove these stories. :[ I understand if you need to put a hiatus to this, however. The exchange rate is painful, but many of us try, nonetheless. Please don't burn them at least! Maybe a move to 4 days a week, with the normal fifth's day of week's work placed toward new creative efforts of hand-held kind!

allen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephen said...

I enjoyed my copy very much so, a story with a wonderous and wholeheartedly punk rock ending. Even more enjoyment was had as you answered my question on ghostly matters in the back! Although why I'm so happy about your advice, which urges me and my beau to kill myself to avoid an allergy that I've found DOES have medication to combat it, is beyond me. You're just another Kevorkian!

As said by others, if you blame poor sales on lack of quality, you are a donut.

Also, fainting goats are the best.

Deecee .W said...

I bought and enjoyed it. In fact I read it all in one sitting right after it came through the post.
Reading it also made me want to get on with finishing my comic and have always been attracted to the idea of simple printed comics like these.

Johnny said...

I was gonna pop by to register my enjoyment of GHOSTS, but now judging by the comments, someone may have just been goin "aw snails" just to get compliments on his musk-ules.

I've got all the books. Are you mad because I didn't buy a new copy of BRAINS with the new cover? Is that it?

Aaron said...

All it took for me to purchase a copy was a little guilt! However, I ended up submitting my order with the wrong address. I sent you an e-mail about this, but haven't heard back yet. I only hope that my book and tee-shirt are not lost forever due to hastiness!

John A said...

Johnny: it was not so much a quest for compliments as a quest for ANSWERS - but also a nod and a wink to the notion that more complex projects require support to continue.

If I piss away a few hundred quid and a few hours on a tshirt or print, I only have myself to blame if no one likes it and it's really no loss. But when I spend more than one hundred hours on something that is, pretty much, more of what everyone likes but maybe a bit better and out of (apparently) 50000 readers, only a couple of hundred are interested, I have to try to work out why.

It's not the traditional artist's whinge, it's an issue of business! In any case I have found the comments annd emails very helpful.

Katy said...

In my case it was the combination of the weak, pathetic American dollar and the amount of weak, pathetic American dollars I spend on my arts degree. However I read this post in a moment of weakness and purchased it anyways. I would be obliged if you wrote "TEXTBOOK" on the front of the package.

Rene Engström said...

I will be buying this book as soon as I am back in Europe. I have bought and loved all your books but I have never left feedback. I am sorry.

Spectra said...

I, for one, am not willing to let such a perceived slight against your work stand. Ghosts (and HMHAF) have been on my "when I get a little more money" list for ages now. They have just been promoted to my "I can't wait until they arrive" list.
And any Americans lamenting the state of their currency should try living in Australia for a while - I think I can hear my wallet weeping in the corner...

lena said...

please stop complaining about the dollar/pound exchange rate!
us south africans have to pay about R14 for one pound, and over R7 for $1
*sniff*
(though i spose i should be grateful i'm not zimbabwean)

fingle said...

I'm in for one personalized copy of "Fainting Goats"! Yay, PayPal!

Hey, can I change my sketch request to a Fainting Goat? That would be so timely! Plus, my wife Holly is a Capricorn!

Just wonderin'...

Cheers!
- Pat Hough

Robert said...

John,

I bought Ghosts myself, and it was the first thing I've been brave enough to buy from the SGR website! I really enjoyed it, and I'm one of those people who would pick a CD over an MP3 any day, so to have a thing in your hands to hold is, to me, guid (good).

I'm tempted by the ghosts Tshirt now, but my bank manager probably dislikes me enough as it is just now!

Thanks for SGR, I check it every day I can, and thanks for the merch which gives us something to spend money on. Don't give up and don't feel sad!

Norby.