So it’s been non-stop as always around here, but of the things that stick to my mind as of late, is that the comics things to be slowing down…in real life. It occurs to me that the print industry is in a lull. Not a low mind you, I think numbers overall shouldn’t be too bad, but just a sort of unexciting time. The channels are there but not really thumping, and it seems nothing on the horizon is really making a spark. Webcomics on the other hand…
Now I have always been a big flag waver for webcomics, only because it’s the easiest way to get your book out to the widest possible audience EVER: THE INTERNETS.
The first part is easy, for sure, the second takes work, obviously, but in the end, I think it’s the promised land we’ve all wanted for comics. If done right and worked on hardcore, I think it conceivably is the place where everyone will go in the industry. Print is great and still, a powerhouse, don’t get me wrong, but it’s becoming more of a niche than ever. Convention gave it new life, and in the world of collectibles and CGC, it’s amazing the world of buying and selling these pieces of Pop Art. That being said, the chance for a new book to come out, especially an indie book, and eek out any sort of life beyond its first month is almost zero to Nil, in my opinion. So what do we do? Where do we go?
I feel the cycle could/should go like this:
- Obviously conceiving it, then make the damn thing for sure, right then and there
- WEBCOMICS. Now, this could tell you how to make yours, and it can be ass simple as getting it up on Tumblr. That being said, I would try to more likely get it on LINE WEBTOON and have people read it there and do a PATREON for that. I have to make time and restructure ZOMBIE YEARS that way and reformat the Patreon. Like that, you can gain a following and maybe make some scratch to support the book.
- Then when you have enough in the can for an Issue, Crowdfunding, either IndieGoGo or Kickstarter (the first is something we are looking into for the next series) and there is a separate following you can have there you can gain, and make a product from it.
- Then, if all goes well you now can make a print run for your books, preferably at least 1000 copies. Now you have something to sell for a website, and for shows.
- SHOWS. Going to cons and selling your wares. This is part promotion but also about making sales and getting another type of the following from there, be it digital or physical and getting your stuff in peoples hands and making connections.
- DISTRIBUTION. This is a bit iffy but a potent one; getting your book in DIAMOND and getting it into comic shops. Now, this is where your CROWD FUNDING efforts could help too but you need some good amount of moola to make it work and get it up. Between Advertisement, listing and overall getting it out BEFORE preorders are made, you could plunk down easily $2000. Then when you do have the order come in, now you’re talking potentially $3-$5000 for printing another urn. Now if you did amazingly well in your crowdfunding and printed even more books, you could easily supply this order or at least part of it, with what you printed, and since it’s paid for form the funding, you are looking at a better profit margin. I say better, not great because this is all with the thinking that you are not taking a thin red cent for your self. PLus shipping and repacking books and living with them if not storing them if you can’t.
And that keeping in mind that number people have kicked around for a comic book title to make money is at 10,000 copies…. so, sheesh.
Now you could get this fan base you have now form all of these different sources to help push the book into stores, and that will make it easier for stores to order your book. As an owner of a store, believe me when I tell you, that if enough people call a shop and ask for a certain book or product, we ourselves will be interested and start looking into ordering it. We are business but we are fans too and don’t want to miss out on a hot thing.
Plus that not getting into VARIANTS COVERS and CGC ing your books too. WHich is a whole other rigamarole really?
- DIGITAL COMICS and GRAPHIC NOVELS. Here, besides in WEBCOMICS, is where the work will live on. This is where people after the first series or arc comes out after the cons and show are done, will find your work as an archive. There is something to say about DIGITAL COMICS running after your comic is out, and the GRAPHIC NOVELS should be in distribution not only with DIAMOND but also at Book STores if you manage it. SO by the end, you have the WEBCOMICS, GRAPHIC NOVEL AND DIGITAL COMICS ALL BRINGING MONEY IN and keeping an IP alive. and that’s one single IP. You’d have Patreon going, plus show sales too and then as an artist COMMISSIONS and sketch covers.
So that my plan of sorts with each book. At least sorta. The biggest thing is each part takes time, effort, and most of all ATTENTION to be on top and make sure each thing is spinning in place as it should. You can easily neglect one piece and others falter. And this is keeping in mind that everything goes well and not to shit. Or too good either, because that a whole other grenade to jump on too. PLus MERCHANDISE which is awesome and scary at the same. I’m going to mull it over and get back to you with more.
This is all taking into account that you’re trying to make a living off this thing called COMICS. I love it, I really do, from the grimy business side to the luscious 100-pound stock covers, but if you got into this to make money? Fuck, go do ANYTHING else. REALLY. Because it’s not impossible but it’s FUCKING HARD.
Right now the biggest hurdle should be making the comic awesome, then all this stuff I just talked about can be applied so..
This weekend, Creature Entertainment is at Keystone Comic COn in Philly, and just got books in for that, AND NYCC!
Some shots from PHILLY:
BUT, we did just get the Mini-figs done! Here is a preview of our promo for the upcoming NYCC:
If you missed out, we will be having a presale for them soon, to get your own, but this will be NYCC editions and out regularly. These were just for the Kickstarter and featured certain box art for it. We are also working on the shirts and some other new Apparel coming up too!
Yeah, we have been pumping away here at the studio with lots of new things coming up. Juan is working on Issue 2 of volume 2, and that sequel we hope to be out by the end of the year, maybe even do a small Kickstarter for THAT issue, but this may be after our upcoming CREATURE ENTERTAINMENT CALENDAR we plan to do.
As always, I hope you are all well and if you need to get in touch with us, just hit us up on here or on Info@creatureentertainment.com
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