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Spike on Zuda

Great quote from Spike posted by FLEEN:

Did you know that, with a 1% cover price share and assuming the books are equal in cost, a Zuda book would have to sell 10,000 copies to make the creator what I would selling 100 copies of Templar? And that’s assuming there are no penalties in the payout for deep discount/damaged/give-away books, and the payout isn’t be split in half between a writer and an artist or something.

There's a good discussion at FLEEN in the comments.  Here's my question though -- no matter how good Spike is at DIY (and she is good) shouldn't ZUDA be able to do better?  Otherwise what the heck is ZUDA adding to the value chain?  It's just another flavor of the question I feel like I've been asking all year -- given all of the DIY tools available to a comics creator, what role is there for a publisher/agent/manager kind of entity?  I think there is one for a company built around doing really well and efficiently the kind of business and marketing things that someone should be able to do for the new breed of comics creator but I'm not sure I've seen it yet.

Re: Spike on Zuda

I think that's what Topatoco does for shipping and Project Wonderful does for ads.

 

Re: Spike on Zuda

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

But it's not rocket science to sketch out that some combination of activities could be done by a company on behalf of a comic creator -- freeing up the creator to just worry about creating comics instead of managing everything.  The company would need to handle things like merchandising, printing, etc more efficiently than any average creator could on their own and also do it in a way that was still very profitable for the creators.  What I envision is someone like Robert Khoo of Penny Arcade starting a company to do similar things but for say somewhere around 500 creators.

Cafe Press is not that company or business plan.  Zuda also seems not be that either.  Maybe it will have to come from a lean start-up but I think it will come from somewhere, I don't think we'll have an entire world of completely indie webcomics forever. 

 

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

Re: Spike on Zuda

The problem is that Zuda is doing a good job....for itself. All distribution companies are in the business of making themselves money, not you. Take for example Cafe Press. They give really just about as bad a return as Zuda to the actual artist. They are making a ton though. The point of all of this is it is always better to do the production and distribution yourself (on the low and mid level, huge volume sales would require you to make your own distribution network) in terms of profit. These companies exist for people who don't ant the hassle or can't handle the business aspects fo dealing with all of the parts needed to do your own efforts.