SporkBot wrote:Not in the long term, it seems. #1 issues sell well because of the illusion of a fresher start over just starting a new arc and maintaining the numbering (excluding titles that get cancelled for years before reviving). DC figured they could kill multiple birds (boost sales, get younger readers, indulge their fan-fiction-style desires) with a single stone (reboot). Looks like the wind shifted and sent that stone right back in their faces.
This is the thing about gimmicks. A gimmick sells more in the short term, but only in the short term. If the stories and art are not good enough, the people who bought issue 1-2 don't stick
. And on top of the ones who don't stick, the gimmick turns off an unquantifiable number of people who would have stayed with the series if not for all the gimmicks. Anecdotal example: All the gimmicks this year (Throne, Trinity War, etc) with JL turned me off that series. I would have stayed with it a while longer, probably, because the stuff in between
the gimmicks hasn't been bad, but I dropped JL because TW was just one gimmick too many. (And of course, partly because I knew that with VM and Forever Evil, there were only more gimmicks coming down the pike.)
Similarly with a lot of the family-wide crossovers, if you look at sales, the books are doing X sales before the crossover, and jump up to X + Y sales during. But as soon as the crossover is done, they don't drop back to X, but they drop further (to X - Z). Which means that although there is a boost for a couple of months during the crossover, in the long run, there is a cumulative loss of readership that builds up, bit by bit, as readers get fed up with the gimmicks that are doing nothing to help the quality of the book.
The numbers therefore suggest that gimmicks bring them in the door, but only quality keeps people on board.