Digital Publishing Platforms
Whether it be a digital distributor, webcomic platforms or direct through your website, there are plenty of platforms available for distributing your comics online.
It’s important to note that even if you plan on self publishing digital copies of your book, certain publishers require both physical AND digital exclusive rights of your book (meaning they’d be the only ones distributing copies your book). Before jumping in to digital distribution, be aware of any exclusivity requirements of publishers that you plan on applying to.
This article by Grigoris Douros covers a few of the available platforms.
Digital distribution companies host digital copies of your full comic on their sites where readers can purchase them, granting you a percentage of profits.
While many platforms charge a fee or a commission from every sale, many come with a strong pre-established audience that can help bring new readers to your stories that otherwise wouldn’t have found you.
When choosing platforms, note that the payouts each company offers can differ significantly so I encourage you to look into each companies guidelines before submitting.
Fortunately, most digital distributors don’t have any requirements regarding exclusivity of digital distribution so you’re usually free to put your comic on multiple platforms.
This isn’t always the case however, so once again, make sure to look into each company before applying.
Comixology is the single largest digital distributor of comics. They will also build a “guided view” of your comic (for free), allowing readers to view your comic on a panel by panel basis. If you plan on offering digital copies of your book, I recommend you at least consider them as an option.
The Dirty Old Ladies podcast has an entire episode dedicated to Comixology.
A new, up and coming competitor to Comixology. They have great payout rates and seem to genuinely care about creators. I use them myself and I’m happy with the choice.
Integrates well with Createspace if you’re using them for physical copies.
While not super common, I have heard of a few people publishing their books on Itunes
Note: You have to print at least one physical copy with Indyplanet before using their digital distribution platform.
Drive Thru also offers printing and distribution for physical copies.
Publishing from your website
If you have your own website, you may choose to sell your comics directly from there. This grants you the freedom to sell however you want, but also requires you to manage the store yourself. Fortunately there are many of online stores that you can embed directly into your site without having to touch much of the code.
Hosting your comics or store directly on your site grants you more personalization, but doesn’t come with the built in fan base and automatic ad revenue of established hosting sites. That said, there’s no reason you can’t host your comic on a distribution platform as well as your site. The more places your comic is available at, the more chances people have of coming across it. Again, just make sure this doesn’t violate any exclusive publishing rights contracts you may have signed.
I use Gumroad on my personal site to sell my comics. It’s a really simple interface and easy to embed into your site if you’re okay with copy and pasting some code.
Woocommerce is a plugin for Wordpress sites that lets you host your own store directly on your site.
I don’t make any webcomics myself so I can’t speak to any webcomic platform specifically, but I’ve heard good things about each of them.
As always, make sure to look into each sites requirements!
Some people choose to post their webcomics directly on their Tumblr site. I’ve seen it work decently well for a few creators who post short, independent strips, but it’s less useful if you’re publishing an actual sequential webcomic series.
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Table of Contents
- It All Starts With An Idea
- Thought Dumping
- World Building
- Writing Scenes
- Breaking Scenes Down
- Choosing A Title
- Writer's Block
- 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