Most people, like me, are not very good at selling things.
But according to what I've learned, there's really only one true thing about selling your book: You have to do it - one on one, one at a time.
Unless you're John Grisham, you're not going to get a marketing budget, a promotional manager or personal assistant. You'll have to do it all on your own.
First things first - you've got to track your money. Only you know how much it makes sense to spend on things like conventions or advertisements, but to know that you have to have hard data. That means get in the habit of saving your receipts and maybe even setting a budget. Purchase a financial program. But know how much you're spending - you can use that knowledge to test what works and what doesn't.
Here's where you'll spend that money:
Charles Gaines is conflicted.
Can a socially responsible citizen love the characters of Marvel but hate the company of Marvel?
More importantly -- should he see the new Ironman movie or not?
In this month's Panels & Pictures, Derik A Badman makes an illustrated list of the various ways text is used in comics: from speech and thought to sound effects and labels.
Last month, we began delving into my third of Four Criteria which I propose help to define comics, Closure and Synthesis. We looked at what has been a widely (though not universally) accepted concept of closure, best defined by Scott McCloud as “the phenomenon of observing the parts but perceiving the whole.” This time around we’re going to be further exploring the other half of the criteria, synthesis.
This post will get rewritten (for now I'm just too tired!) but for now I just want to point out that the center of the new site design will display our longer articles: features, columns, reviews and interviews. Daily news and blogging will now appear on the right column (with tabs to choose between "featured" which displays a combination of staff posts and selected user talk posts and "talk posts" which displays the five most recent user posts).
Michael Payne examines new examples of the "new cute" in comics: Dreamleak by Greg Fraser, Fuzzy Things by Jonathan Sario, and Ghost Farm by Jessica McLeod. The "new cute" is using the tropes of "cute" to tell stories that are richer, deeper, and more heartfelt than anyone would've thought fluffy bunnies, towheaded kids, and smiling asparagus could support.
Last month, Derik Badman posited his thoughts on defining comics and essayist (and ComixTalk contributor) Neil Cohn wrote a response to it. In this month's Panels & Pixels, Badman examines Cohn's response and follows a few articles to expand on definitions and methods for identifying works as "comics."
So far on our quest to define comics, I have set out my four criteria that I believe best determines whether a given work is a comic or not. The Four Criteria are: The Intent of the Creator, Audience Experience, Closure and Synthesis, and The Use of Visual Language. In previous months, we’ve delved further into The Intent of the Creator and Audience Experience. This brings us to our third criteria, Closure and Synthesis.
What is Closure and Synthesis? Why does this criteria include two distinct concepts? And just how are these two things related?
Your book has been accepted by a publisher. The hard work's over!
Well, no. You've pretty much just entered the Twilight Zone and that means dealing with contracts.
But what kind of contract you get depends on the publisher you're negotiating with, and you need to set your expectations accordingly.
I was actually going to talk a bit about marketing this month, but the recent discussions over Bookscan numbers in a number of comics blogs made me change my mind. You can read my take on how language can shape expectations here.
For this column, we're going to look at some key details of a typical contract written for a larger publisher and the kind of thing you can expect when dealing with a small publisher.
Some pundits claim that every comic that is released is pirated almost immediately and posted for free somewhere in the vast thicket of BitTorrent sites, IRC channels, and cheesy websites that make up the underside of the comics iceberg. But is that a bad thing?
It seems wrong, but it's true; giving a comic away online can be good for sales. Look no further than Megatokyo, which is the best selling global manga of all time, even though the entire comic is available online for free. And just last year, Phil and Kaija Foglio decided to stop printing floppy comics and put Girl Genius online, a move that saved them money and apparently increased sales of their trade paperbacks as well.
While this may be a good choice for a creator, it's still unusual for a publisher to put entire volumes of a comic online for free. Seven Seas is the exception: From the very beginning, they have published their works as webcomics before releasing them in print form in order to build demand for the print versions. Curious about how they make money on a product they are giving away for free, I e-mailed Adam Arnold, their senior editor and webmaster as well as the writer of Aoi House, and peppered him with questions about how they turn webcomics into money.