Back in 2012 we really wanted to start publishing comic books as well, and we had worked out a licensing agreement with Justin Zimmerman of the Killing Jar over at Bricker Down, and worked with Zelda Wang over on Manga Magazine to see about bringing some of their stories to life via printing. And we promptly went broke, as you have seen over the latter 2012 and through 2013 we were basically on life support with the company.
As 2014 progresses though we have started to recapitalize the company, meaning we have a few coins to rub together. The problem is that the market has really changed, and I mean really changed since 2012, and few people are willing to shell out 3.99 for a comic book serial anymore. While we tried to focus on complete stories, printing costs have ballooned over the last two years where it can range for 1.99 for a black and white interior crappy paper copy, up to 4.00 for the quality and print runs we were looking to do. We really wanted an awesome work of art to go along with what we wanted to do, limited edition beautiful comics that people would want to purchase.
Well, 2012, and 2013 happened. You learn a lot in adversity and chaos. Life had a lot of meaning.
The market has really changed, so we need to change along with the market, most comic book companies now are willing to take the risk on a digital comic, no print run costs, only one set up charge, multiple channels, and if we have a winner, something that a lot of folks would purchase, then they go ahead and print them. That is the model that so many of the independent comic presses have to follow along with now to survive, print a lot of stuff that is good quality, market the crap out of it, and then pray that you have a home run in there at places.
Then 2014 happened, and we figured out a lot of automation and cool technology that would help us lower costs to minimal levels for an electronic comic book. 2014 is turning into a beautiful year with 26 titles published in the last month between comics, picture books, and other books along the way.
Now that we have this down, and we know what we are doing and we have a plan, we want to be your publisher of choice for independent electronic comic books, and if they take off enough to cover the costs of a print run (anywhere from 3,000 to 7,000 dollars depending on what we want, and we are going to want a good quality print run of 500 or so comics) we want to manage the print run.
We will promote it; manage distribution and everything else so you don’t have to. We will work with you to try to keep you informed of what we are doing, and have you help us out along the way. You are the ones with the audience, you are the ones with the fans, the more you talk about it, the more copies that sell, the more fun we all have.
Now for the money terms, of course we are all here to make enough money to maybe purchase a soda and some top ramen soup.
The reality is that most independent comics sell only 100 copies and most of them to family. Printing is expensive and beyond the reach of just about everyone. We are hoping to reach some of the more interesting sales numbers of 1000 to 2000 digital copies to sell. On average the total net of each comic book is about 2.50 cents (depending on size and royalty model, the larger the book the more it costs to transport and we like everyone else gets nickeled and dimed by the distribution networks), so you would make 1.25 per book. We are realistically looking at 125 dollars if the comic sells the average amount. We want to pay you 125 dollars up front for letting us use your content, and then once we get going, on sale 126 for you we start paying you royalties.
So you get an advance before the book ever goes on sale, 125 dollars purchases some top ramen, some hot dogs, and some mac and cheese, with maybe enough left over to buy some gasoline.
Plus you get printed by an honest to god printing house, with your own ISBN and everything else so you can honestly say you are a printed comic book author.
We won’t do this for “exposure” or use any other model, we are all going to work hard here to make this go and make this work for everyone.
Sound good? Hit us up – firstname.lastname@example.org
We do have quality bars, we might reject your comic book, and we will reject poor spelling, bad grammar, and other issues. We can’t do porn because no one in the electronic distribution system sells e-comic book porn (yet). We will reject your comic book if the art looks like it was banged together in Microsoft Paint; it has to be professional and a good example of independent comic book art.
We hope to work with you.