Agents Of Change, the coffee-table book profiling the history of Vista, California-based DC Shoes, isn’t on its way to breaking any sales records, judging from its first month sales.
Harper-Collins, the book’s publisher, says marketing the history of DC Shoes has been difficult due to awkward timing and the fact that the book doesn’t fall simply under the genre of “extreme sports.”
“We tried two different angles-the sports angle and the business angle,” says Gina Garza, a publicist at Harper-Collins. She says the early February release was bad timing, citing that the popularity of the summer’s X-Games may have boosted sales.
Garza also tried shopping the book to magazines like Fast Company, realizing the book is more than a documentary of skateboarding-it also chronicles the path of a struggling business on to the road to success. “We figured it was a hot topic since they (DC) were a small company and now they’re making all these millions of dollars, but they (other companies) just didn’t bite,” Garza says.
Admittedly, it’s a tough market for action-sports books. “It’s a small subject niche market,” says Carolyn Brown of BarnesandNoble.com. “The book has sold fairly well, but the most popular book is probably Tony Hawk’s because of the crossover appeal.”
That isn’t to say the book hasn’t been well received. Both Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com have the book at five-star approval ratings. Customer reviews are still minimal, but, as if to prove business journals wrong, reviewers on both sites recommended books like Pour Your Heart Into It (the Starbucks story) and Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make The Leap And Others Don’t.
Bree Duncan, head of public relations at DC, says response has been overwhelmingly positive in skateboarding and BMX magazines, and even the urban-style magazine Mass Appeal. Agents Of Change is arguably one of the best print documentaries of skateboarding, and with summer a few months away, both DC and Harper-Collins are hoping to see sales pick up.