On Business: A Different TPB Model
So here's the clever bit...
You've got 10,000 extra copies of each issue, right? What if, instead of putting a cover on each of those and stapling them together as a pamphlet comic, you put a cover around all of the issues and glued them together along the spine? You'd basically have a paperback collection!
I've talked about a similar method of collection before, in regards to some of Russ Cochran's EC reprints but where he was taking advantage of complete pamphlet issues that he wasn't able to sell individually, this method is baked into the production line itself. So you can be a little more selective of what shows up in the trade version -- not including covers, for example, or letters pages (although that would depend a little on how the book is laid out, of course). But the key here is that the contents for these TPBs would not require additional set-up on the presses -- you would just take half of the contents from each print run and set them aside until all the issues were complete.
Now, that would require storage of the unstapled versions of each issue until you had all four issues done, and there's almost certainly going to be some costs associated with that. And you'd still be paying to have all the pages printed, so we're not talking about zero cost TPBs here, but you could save a significant amount. Something between 30%-50% depending on how the book is set up. That means that you can turn around and sell what most people would expect to be a $15-$20 book for $10-$15. That's a heck of a deal, particularly if you're aiming younger audiences with less disposable income.
The EC books were a little awkward because they included the covers using different paper stock than the interior pages. But the paper quality of the interior pages would be fine on its own. Cheap newsprint might not work so well, but who publishes comics using newsprint any more?
It's a genius idea, I think, and I'm surprised more publishers aren't doing something like this!