DC, you suck. Here's why.
Lets just face it, comic sales arn't what they once were. But I also think they're not what they could be. DC is neglecting markets and only catering to idiot fanboys that'll drive fifty miles to their nearest comic shop (think of it as a crack-like distrobution warehouse for "sequential art" and little plastic figures that arn't even snortable). They're finally making some of that back with trade paperbacks, but really, the only people who venture into the science fiction/manga/superhero section at B&N are either my husband, or people who need to take a bath. We're talking truely frightening souls. And I can say this, because they are my friends.
Subscriptions from DC are CRAP. If you get them directly from DC, they're either so late you get issue #49 before you get #48, or they're mangled by the USPS, which used to piss me off about the subscription to Robin that I got for my brother one year for his birthday. I was like... shit, I could be just picking him up another copy at the comic shop, and he'll get it on time, and in one piece. No wonder no onen wants to do DC's subscriptions.
Comic shops can be intimidating to a newbie. Which is not DC's fault. Many of the people who work in comic shops are elitist nerd-bastards who look down on anyone who bathes regularly, has a real job, or boobs. The fuckers at Phantom make me check my bag because I display all three of these characteristics. The owner is great, the guy that's been working there the longest is great. The stupid kids with the piercings in their faces? I could set them all on fire. Really. They were talking down to this one lady and stuff... I'm like holy crap... it's commerce. You'll make more money if your place is... I dunno, inviting? Am I the only person who understands how the free market works?
Besides the difficulty in actually getting comics, when you DO get them you have several things to contend with.
1) You don't know what the hell's going on in a book because of poor writing or unclear continuity. Or it's just boring as fuck. Like Detective Comics. No idea what's going on in that book. Not really caring either. I'm just one of those retards that buys it because it's a bat book, and I don't want to have the break in my collection of stopping until they get new writers, or a comprehensable story.
2) Stories (arcs) end up stopping abruptly or changing course because of some event. Maybe people are sick of being let down and bad story telling. Could THAT be why you're not selling as many books? I can't imagine why people would stop buying a product that started out good, then ended up being completely unsatisfying and actually let them down. Deoderant aint doing it's job if it smells really good, but leaves you sweaty by lunch. Surprise, surprise, people arn't going to put up with the let-down, and won't buy the product any more. Your stories are your product. Quit looking for a quick-fix with sales by throwing out some "event" that's going to cause a serious reader to have to buy every fricking book you put out for a two or three month period.
3) Your fricking events. Holy bandaid, Batman. Not only are you trying to cover over your scatter-brained editorial policies by retconning your universe every five years, but every summer, you're trynig to boost sales with these "world-changing events." And it's not even every year now. Now it's like every four to six months. ARGH. Let writers tell at least a FEW stories with something resembling a status quo. And I'm SO sick of you killing people. It's cheap.
4) Editorial bong-haze. I haven't seen any real clarity in direction since Knightfall. The smoke coming outta your hookah may have cleared briefly during No Man's Land, but it's been YEARS since I've been able to see my hand in front of my face.
1) Clear editorial vision. Nobody likes it when you change your plans mid-game to suit some whim the suits have.
2) WB, get your grubby executive hands off of these characters. I think you'll make more money in the long run if you give artists room to create. It won't all be gold, but that stuff's quickly forgiven by fans, if the majority is better than a few faulty storylines. It's better than the crap you suits come up with. Really. Which one of you assclowns thought that the wretched Batman & Robin movie was a good idea? Sure it padded your pockets temporarily. You fleeced people the first week, until word got around how bad it sucked, and you guys were happy. Wouldn't it be a better long term strategy to put out consistantly good products? You'd build customer loyalty in new customers, and would not betray the trust of the customers who have been attached to the characters for a long time.