Roberto Blake (videos) - Entrepreneurship, growing a youtube market, branding, reviews of tech gadgets that you might need.
6 ways comic book creators can make more money (article) - Russell Nohelty
How to Turn your ART into a BUSINESS (video) - Draw With Jazza
6 tips to get your comics the attention they deserve (article) - ComixCentral
The New Landscape 101 (video) - Kasey Pierce
Canva (web app) - Free graphics design tool, making it easy to create business cards, social media images, book covers and more.
Gleam (web app) - Great app for running raffles and expanding your e-mail list.
How to Make Money Writing Books (article) - Many useful tips on creating a marketable book/series.
Alright, time for everyone’s favourite chapter: The one where we talk about growing a business and selling your soul for some new social media followers and some cash.
Disclaimer: I’m no expert on marketing. In fact, over the years my social presence has dropped off significantly as I’ve found a personal need to disconnect from it all. As I shut down most of my social media accounts, I thought about removing this section of the guide as well. I definitely feel unqualified to be preaching marketing advice at this point. However, going into it I did do quite a bit of research, and I did run a publisher’s social accounts for a while, so I figured I’d leave what I learned in just in case it’s at all useful to you. Just take whatever I say with a grain of salt.
Okay let’s get into it.
You might be wondering why I put the marketing chapter before the ones on publication and crowdfunding. I did so because I believe that it’s crucial to start developing an audience for your comic before you launch it.
One of the biggest mistakes I see first time creators make is that they assume that their audience will come to them. While there are some cases where a webcomic takes off out of seemingly nowhere, these are the minority and should not be your expectation going into your project. The vast majority of the time, if you want your comic to be noticed, you’re going to have to seek out your audience yourself.
This is huge when it comes to crowdfunding comics. You can’t just launch a cool looking Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign for your comic and expect backers to come sailing in. Unless you’re extremely lucky or are doing exceptionally well already, you’re not going to be getting a reliable number of backers through random discovery.
Even if you plan on publishing through the traditional route, having a pre-existing audience will go a long way to helping you out. A lot of publishers will be far more willing to pick up your comic if you can show there is a demand for it. After all, their goal is to publish books that are going to be successful. What better way to show that than having a whole crowd of people yelling “Take my money!” at your comic?
I don’t know, I kinda hate marketing my stuff. Do I really have to?
Yeah, I’m not a big fan of it either. It’s hard for me to employ any amount of marketing tactics and not immediately feel like the world’s biggest scumbag sellout. Come gather round everyone and watch me sell my soul to the gods of capitalism! The whole concept often feels inauthentic, and honestly, I left a lot of social media behind because of it.
Honestly, from what I’ve observed, most artists find success on social media simply by following art trends (like making fan art of popular IPs), engaging with their following, co-mingling with other artists, and generally posting cool looking art somewhat regularly. Really there’s not a ton else to it.
However I know that’s exceptionally vague and therefore not especially helpful advice, so I’m going to do my best to break all that down into tangible strategies for you.
Okay so how exactly do I start gathering a following for my comic?
Marketing, marketing, marketing.
At its core, marketing is all about building and maintaining an audience for your product.
In this chapter, we’re going to cover a whole bunch of different approaches you can take to get people supporting your comic.
Before we get into it though, it’s important to know that regardless of how good your marketing campaign is, the best selling point of any product is quality.
No matter how nice you dress up your comic, if the art and story aren’t up to snuff, odds are you’re going to have a tough time gathering a following for it. And that’s totally okay! I don’t want to imply that comics that aren’t perfect don’t deserve success. You and your stories are valid no matter how many copies they sell. All I’m saying is that before you start worrying about how to market the story to potential publishers or how to get the most sales out of your Kickstarter campaign, I suggest you first focus on making a comic that people (and yourself) can really enjoy.
Table of Contents
Before You Start
- It All Starts With An Idea
- Thought Dumping
- World Building
- Writing Scenes
- Breaking Scenes Down
- Choosing A Title
- Writer's Block
Hiring A Team
- Sorting Out Your Budget
- Writing A Solicitation
- Where To Find Your Team
- What Makes A Good Partner
- General Tips
- Standard Black vs Rich Black
- Choosing A Font
- Font Types
- When To Bold Text
- Sound Effects
- Getting Print Ready Files
- Offset vs Digital Printers
- Why Page Count Matters
- Book Formats And Binding Types
- How Many Copies To Print
- Tips For Saving Money
- Printer Comparison Table