(photo from the Nantucket Historical Association. I shudder to think what ‘all the latest novels and magazines’ meant at the time this photo was taken. It’s entirely possible that all this store carried was Gatsby.)
People occasionally e-mail and call us to tell us that they think we’re awesome (thanks, guys!) and that they want to support us financially by buying books in the way that is the most advantageous for us. What should they do? Where should you buy books if you’re just like, “:01, you’re so cool, I want to give you all the money possible from this $15.99 transaction!”
Here’s the thing: there’s not a good answer to this question.
A lot of companies that employ as many people as we do have a direct fulfillment service — a system where people e-mail them and are like, ‘here is money; please send me a book!’ and then they do. Because we’re part of a giant multinational conglomerate, we don’t do that — if you called our warehouse and asked them to send you a book they wouldn’t laugh at you, because they are too nice for that sort of thing, but they wouldn’t be able to help unless you were a registered corporation looking at placing bulk orders with a minimum monthly quantity.
So we’re equally pleased with you if you buy our books at Barnes & Noble or at your local comics store or your local bookstore or anywhere else you can find them. Really. And we probably get about an equal amount of money in any place, once we figure in the shipping costs and other vendor costs.
If think that we’re awesome and want to support us, just buy our books — wherever is most convenient for you.
(Please note: saying ‘you can buy our books anywhere for optimal :01 advantage!’ is not actually the same as saying ‘anywhere you go, you will find books by :01.’ Obviously, we spend a lot of time working with bookstores and comics stores to make sure that our books are as well-represented as they can be as broadly as possible. But sometimes, bookstores find that their customers are just buying graphic memoir . . . or comics stores have a customer base that’s just buying pamphlet comics and graphic novels for kids. Etc. So if you’re going to stores and are unable to find all the books by First Second you want on their shelves, remember that you can always ask the bookseller to order the books; if that doesn’t work, there’s always the internet, which has many sorts of book-buying options.)