Why It Was Important For DC To Keep Prices Down
[Hi]gher prices don’t drive people to lower-priced comics, they drive people out of the habit of buying serial comics.
I think this is right. Marvel has mocked DC for choosing to not to raise its prices (the average DC comic book is $2.99 while Marvel recently raised its prices to $3.99). DC didn’t see a sales boost so, in Marvel’s eyes, it’s just throwing money away. I’ve always wanted to believe that there’s more to running a business than maximizing short term profits. Keeping prices down has other effects, like buying good will. Spurgeon’s argument that it keeps people in the habit is probably true, and even if some of those who drop out go to buying trade paperbacks instead of singles, it’s unlikely they keep buying every series in trade that they did as periodicals. Plus, trade-waiters don’t as easily get caught up in the hype and excitement over ongoing series since they have to wait 6-12 months to read a given storyline, so keeping readers hooked on the monthly books means those readers are participating and advocating for the format more.