Submitted by Max Vaehling on April 7, 2009 - 16:39
When I started working on the Conny book, my plan was to publish two 36 page books via POD, and maybe later release a shiny trade paperback with an actual publisher that Iâ€™d lure in with those books. The main reason for that is, I canâ€™t provide proper International distribution myself, and I want the trade to get the best chances possible.
Now Iâ€™m thinking of aiming straight for the trade nonetheless: Release a trade of Vol. 1, the way I did in Germany, then continue with â€œfloppiesâ€ of Vol. 2. Use both to interest publishers in a Vol. 2 trade.
What got me thinking is the impression that floppies are on their way out. (Of course, right now, I canâ€™t find the links I thought I had to back this up. But it isnâ€™t just my impression.) Especially small press publishers seem to root for the trades now. The current success of graphic novels may be one reason for that. And then, of course, thereâ€™s the web.
In analogy to the music business, trades are albums (actually, thatâ€™s how we call the closest to that format in the European tradition), and floppies are singles. The stuff that gets airplay to promote the album, the tour, the band and also the single itself. But nowadays, we have webcomics to do that, donâ€™t we? I know I do. And all those new eBook formats, too. Iâ€™d love to look into those some more, but not right away. Anyway, webcomics. As singles go, theyâ€™re even better than booklets because the airplay is included in the format.
Thereâ€™s more. If you follow that analogy a little further, singles are contemporary, albums are made to last. But those two singles of mine arenâ€™t contemporary any more, are they? I finished Vol. 1 of Conny a year ago. In a way, they arenâ€™t singles at all, theyâ€™re EPs or something.
Iâ€™ll have to think about this some more. For now, read on to find a top-of-my-head list of pros and cons.
- It reduces the promotion hassle by half.
- Itâ€™s only two books to begin with, what kind of a TPB would that be?
- Itâ€™s a narrative unit. Thereâ€™s a story arc to Vol. 1, if you get to read all of it.
- I might not find a publisher for the Vol. 1 TPB, and then Iâ€™d feel cheated.
- Iâ€™d get to Vol. 2 more quickly.
- Like I said, I canâ€™t do that much in terms of International promotion.
- Which means, Iâ€™d postpone my shot at whatever commercial success a title like Conny holds until Vol. 2 is out.
- I might be back at this point when itâ€™s time to edit Vol. 2, book 1.
- Vol. 1 will take longer to launch because I canâ€™t split the workload into two easy batches.
- By then, the first book of Vol. 2 might not be that contemporary either.
Itâ€™s really just coincidence that I found five points for each position. Not that it matters: What counts is the strength of each point, not how many I find. So, how strong are they?