So I had a lovely dinner with Charles Brownstein from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund when I was in San Francisco for APE last month, and agreed to work on an article about creating LGBT sections in comic book stores. I’ve been trying to do retailer outreach over the past year on that very same subject, and it seemed like a natural fit.
I have a background in marketing and advertising and have some ideas already, but I’m sure there are a lot of pressures and concerns that retailers have that I’m unaware of, or underestimate. I’d love to create an article that can really be a good resource for retailers and help them reach out to new audiences in a constructive way, and maybe avoid some pitfalls that you’ve experienced.
If you’re a retailer and want to share your thoughts on the subject, I would be really interested to hear. Or, if you’re a customer at a shop that could benefit from an LGBT section and have some ideas on how they might implement it, that would be great, too.
Here’s some questions to get your gears turning; if any of these strike a chord with you, please post Facebook comments in reply, or email me directly with your thoughts.
- Do you have any success stories to share about creating a section in your store?
- What works, and what really hasn’t?
- Do you have an “unofficial” section (perhaps adjacent to the indies), or do you do a seasonal PRIDE display?
- Have any customers had issues with your implementation? Had any issues with parents?
- Has the section increased business? Changed your customer demographic?
- Has the fact that you have an LGBT section gotten you any press?
- Do you have customers who might be well-served by an LGBT section? or who have asked for one?
- Are you interested in reaching LGBT audiences but aren’t sure how to do it? afraid of doing it wrong and offending people?
Any and all responses would be appreciated, even if you haven’t created an LGBT section and have limited experience on the subject. I would welcome your concerns and ideas, as a retailer, on how you might go about it if you did.