I founded my own library company in 1994. Catfish Comics released 14 releases before I was looking at the pictures. After six years of pause, I returned to the self-version of the game with SINNAMON: GRRL VS. WORLD # 1.
Several have asked why this comic is only available with ComiXpress. They ask that in the past there were SINNAMON comics available at comic bookstores. These fourteen issues were published through what I call the "traditional system".
Let me explain the basic steps behind the "traditional system":
1. Get the cartoon book listed in the distributor's catalog. Since the late 1980s, the store has the most extensive market operations of Diamond Previews.
2. Notice when the book will be registered in the store. Usually the book is listed three months before it is for sale. For example, if SINNAMON # 13 was coming out in December, it would be listed in September View.
3. Wait for the orders to arrive. Continue with the above example, Orders for SINNAMON # 13 come sometime in November
4. Send a comic to a printer.
5. Sometimes in January, you get a payment from Diamond for the books.
Other than observing various time limits, the system is not very complicated. Everything is thought, it's probably the only way an publisher can get his book out to comic stores all over North America. But is it effective for smaller publishers like yours? I would not say that.
This is not a cheat against Diamond Distributing. There are small publishers who have complaints but the reality is that the overwhelming majority of Diamond sales are from five or six publishers. There must be an obvious imbalance in the treatment of someone who could cause sales of 1,000 books compared to someone who makes thirty or more times that amount.
I was in the publisher until 1999. When I had trouble getting SINNAMON SAGA # 2, I craved a towel. I had been considering this for a moment, because I had the feeling that "traditional systems" were not in my best. It took a few years away from the company to get a perspective and figure out why my mouth was probably right all the time.
Why? Consider what I consider to be the main disadvantages of this "traditional system".
Start at Diamond Previews. The topic of each month is the size of a small city call. How exactly are you making your book different from the hundreds of books listed? You can advertise. How much money have you set aside for advertising? Now, if you read this article, the odds are very good, you're nowhere near advertising plans for companies like DC, Wonders or Image.
Fine, you say. You'll be creative and find other ways to get people to notice your book. Go for it! Every small publisher should override the principles of guerrilla marketing.
Now you have to deal with the second major weaknesses.
Suppose you get your book advised. Perhaps you get the least in a newspaper article, or become the Internet darling. Great! So now people want to buy your book.
Where will they buy it? Under this system is the only place comic. And how are books sold in the comic book? The new cartoon comes on Wednesday.
And that's it. In general, your book has one week on the main shelves. All of your marketing needs to be aimed at getting people in the store this week. Otherwise, your book will fight for space among all other backing topics, given that it has not sold out.
It's not the only fly in the ointment.
Remember my description of a "traditional method"? Remember in part where the owners store make the order? That means your marketing must hit that period. You need to get the owners shop to order your book. If they do not work with your marketing, you need to get people to go to the comic book and order the book.
Read this sentence carefully?
"You need to get people to go to comic stores and order the book." Every reseller will tell you that the key to sales is to put as many barriers to the customer as possible.
What could be easier for customers than clicking a link?
Let me explain every step of the "new system":
1. Create your book and get it printed on Print on Demand Printer. I use ComiXpress. If there are other POD printers who make comic books, please do not hesitate to contact me with information.
2. Set up your sales ad page. ComiXpress will put one up for you. They take a cut off every sale, but in return they take orders and handle shipping for you. ComiXpress accepts credit cards, which is another factor in facilitating customers' lives.
3. Promote your book.
That's it. Compare this to the "traditional system". Notice how this system is less complicated? You will also notice that no external deadline is available. Your marketing will no longer depend on getting a word out on a particular day. Instead, marketing needs only to get the word out. It does not matter when a word comes out, as long as you have a link to the store (or your website). So, if you're featured in a national newspaper or magazine, you do not have to worry about stores selling out of your book.
Here's an example of how the "traditional system" fails small publishers. For ten years, I worked for a publisher on a book called Bruiser. Very surprised, BRUISER # 3 received a positive review in the magic magazine magazine (not a magician). This was a good good news that all publishers would like to get. Did it help BRUISER # 3?
It did not. The review will appear a few months after the book had ended. Since the initial search had been very low, there was no way anyone could find a copy.
Ten years later, such an article could be a link to a website that provides further information about Bruiser. It would not put any books on the shelf, of course. However, the publisher could sell Bruiser from the website. The issuer's reason was to have a copy. So after ordering from Diamond, the publisher might receive an extra box or two printouts.
An additional box or two are fine if you publish only one book. I put out fourteen issues by Sinnamon, and because the first orders were good I put over four or five boxes per version. In ten years, I've carried a lot of backing, but did math. Now I have about twenty boxes of comics Sinnamon in the cellar. It's good that I live in a house.
I like the idea of keeping ten or twenty copies of the book and let ComiXpress print more books as they need. It is certainly safe to move to a larger location, especially in this housing market.
While this "new system" makes life easier for the small publisher, it does not make automatic performance. The only way to sell comic books is to work hard on marketing. Diamond Previews comes in to each comic. The economy of this "new system" means that you can not sell your book through comic. Instead, you must focus on all your marketing issues when you get people to click this link.
This is not bad. Too many small publishers believe in Previews is a marketing activity in itself. Too many believe that preview registration automatically means sales. That's not the case. No matter what system you choose, marketing will be the key to your success. It is my opinion that the "new system" will allow a small publisher to maximize the performance of his marketing marketing.
My faith will be tested with "Sinnamon: Grrl vs. World # 1". If it works, expect to hear from me again!
Source by Angelo Furlan