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wohoo19m
05-25-2006, 12:20 PM
I've been away from the scene for a bit, so I have no idea if a solution to counter the effect of Diamond's rules change had poped up.

If there are any, mind sharing?

I'm asking not because I plan on releasing comics, but because I've been pretty active in the marketing scene lately and I just had a brainstorm today about a possible solution.

So while your at it, tell me any problems that you have concerning getting your books, into customers hands.

T.J. May
05-25-2006, 01:02 PM
While I have issues with Diamond essentially having a monopoly on the distribution market. I don't think finding a solution FOR DIAMOND is going to work as a magic bullet and infuse the industry.

There simply aren't enough people reading comics. With the exception of the Superhero Genre, the numbers across the board are woefully low. From what I gather on these boards, and from people I talk to at Conventions, pretty much the people creating the comics are also the majority of comic book consumers.

This of course is untrue in any of the other successful entertainment media. While we'd all love to be action stars, the only people going to the movies aren't aspiring actors. And most of the book readers in the world have no ambition to become novelists.

So, marketing is probably a larger problem than the distribution methods (which is an issue), because we aren't bringing in enough new readers. But, this is also a cultural thing. It's the US market that hurts the most. Asia and Europe have much healthier sales. So, what are they doing that is different?

wohoo19m
05-25-2006, 01:14 PM
Hmm, true that the image of a person who reads comic books isn't exactly the image of the coolest guy/girl in school. While movie goers are normal/cool and book readers are "intellectual".

JasonM
05-25-2006, 01:27 PM
1) make comics an exceptable art form / entertainment form

2) make comics available to the average shopper

3) advertise

If a company with money focused on those things, hell if marvel and DC focused on those things just to increase their own profits, the industry would grow. As it stands, superheros still haf a stigma of being just for kids and the successful non-super hero movies don't advertise their origins in comics (then you get crap like ultraviolet that pretends to be a comic thus hammering one more nail in the coffin!)

wohoo19m
05-25-2006, 01:43 PM
Maybe if you all told us how you were introduced to comics and how you took interest in them. Then that would help in brainstorming ideas.

j giar
05-25-2006, 01:59 PM
Hmm, true that the image of a person who reads comic books isn't exactly the image of the coolest guy/girl in school. While movie goers are normal/cool and book readers are "intellectual".
Hey! I'm cool! Just ask my kids. I make them tell me all the time!

j giar
05-25-2006, 02:05 PM
1) make comics an exceptable art form / entertainment form

2) make comics available to the average shopper

3) advertise

If a company with money focused on those things, hell if marvel and DC focused on those things just to increase their own profits, the industry would grow. As it stands, superheros still haf a stigma of being just for kids and the successful non-super hero movies don't advertise their origins in comics (then you get crap like ultraviolet that pretends to be a comic thus hammering one more nail in the coffin!)
Good point Jason. I finally got to see History of Violence over the weekend. the movie for the most part stayed true to the book. Except for some liberties taken with the son's character and the ending. And Perdition. But neither one of them touted their graphic novel origins. It's one small problem totaling many that has stifled the independent as well as mainstream markets.

JasonM
05-25-2006, 03:37 PM
My *favorite* comment is when I read a review that says "______ was a great COMIC BOOK movie". No one said that about a history of violence.

I'm just going to start screwing with people and saying even non comic book movies were based on comics!

ehobbs
05-25-2006, 03:48 PM
I like that Marvel is starting to tag some of their promotional items with the phrase "Graphic Fiction".

They're doing it with ETERNALS and THE DARK TOWER, and I think it means they are shifting their focus from the direct market to the mainstream. And why shouldn't they? They pretty much own the shelves at my local comic shop.

It's something that we should do as small pressers. I've written about it at COMIC BOOK HUSTLE (http://www.comicbookhustle.com) already. Why do we try to steal readers from Marvel and DC when there is an audience out there that isn't into either?

Books like BLANKETS and BLACK HOLE have found a huge audience OUTSIDE of comics. That's what we should be doing.

JasonM
05-25-2006, 04:29 PM
Graphic fiction sounds like a gory version of a romance novel. "It's like romance novels only with killing!".

I think a new name would help but again, without have easy access for the consumer, comics will never break out. The web is a huge leveler in those terms but still, it's a question of advertising to the proper audience - Who doesn't currently buy comics but if given the chance, would? Follow that up with a solution as to how to get them to actually try it and you'll have a winner.

I think we need the following steps:

1) A group effort to bring non comic fans to Indy comics.

2) a central hub for those people to go to where they will be able to make purchases easily and see reviews and samples easily.

3) a new name for the medium.

It needs to be a targeted group effort not only to soften the blow of advertising costs but to offer a variety. They cant show up and only find a comedy and a horror book, they need variety. Personally I'd love to see a group like small press association or indyplanet do something like this. It could work off donations like CBLDF for the betterment and expansion of the independent comic book scene.

Such a group would set goals in advertising in several print magazines as well as on the web. None of this advertising should be directed to current comic fans, but instead directed to new potential customers. Eventually radio and tv commercials should be a goal. The group could function as a non profit with a set donation getting viewers free downloads, a larger donation gets publishers listed thus providing incentive to donate.

Ok, I'll stop rambling now... ideas like these require small ego's in management and cooperation amongst independent thinkers... In essence, we need to unionize! Which is why it likely won't happen, but it is a solution!

L Jamal
05-25-2006, 04:34 PM
Why does the medium need a new name?
Milk didn't change it's name when they started it's ad campaign.

The name is fine, the medium just need more of the the right type of exposure and better outlets for purchases.

ehobbs
05-25-2006, 04:35 PM
Right. I don't really like the phrase "graphic fiction" either, but I love the idea behind it.

People have a preconceived notion that comic books are for little kids. That you have Spiderman, Superman and Batman - and nothing else. Somehow, you have to convince people on a whole that our medium is like any other form of literature.

DarkOra
05-25-2006, 04:57 PM
I'm just going to start screwing with people and saying even non comic book movies were based on comics!
Pretty much all movies are. They just call 'em storyboards. :)

L Jamal
05-25-2006, 05:28 PM
Right. I don't really like the phrase "graphic fiction" either, but I love the idea behind it.

People have a preconceived notion that comic books are for little kids. That you have Spiderman, Superman and Batman - and nothing else. Somehow, you have to convince people on a whole that our medium is like any other form of literature.
Even with a name change people will think the medium is about Superheroes. The only way to change that is to present books that are not about superheroes.

ehobbs
05-25-2006, 06:17 PM
It's a Catch-22. Getting someone to try a graphic novel can be hard if they feel they are above a "comic book". Sadly, that's what a lot of people think. Our biggest hurdle is finding a way to get a mainstream audience to respect our medium.

Most people do not understand that comics can cover a wide range of subject matters. Like Jason said, tell someone that ROAD TO PERDITION was based on a comic book and they're shocked. They shouldn't be!!

You guys are grasping onto this "name change" thing. I pointed it out because it is an attempt on Marvel's part to find new readers. It might not be a good attempt. That's debatable. But it is an attempt and it is something us small pressers should take note of. That's all.

Raven
05-25-2006, 06:33 PM
Getting rid of Diamond is as likely as getting rid of Bush. It seems logical to do so, but there are many people who are making lots of money and like to keep things just the way they are.

L Jamal
05-25-2006, 07:07 PM
The only people who complain about Diamond are those that somehow think Diamond owes them something. If you want to do soemthing about Diamond, find a way around them or stop supporting titles distributed through them.

j giar
05-25-2006, 07:18 PM
The first comic my wife ever read was J Obarr's The Crow. I remember telling her, just try a couple pages and if you don't like it fine. But you won't know if you don't try. She was under the same impression as most adult readers. Comics are about superheroes in tights and soft furry animals. Not only did she read all of Obarrs book but went on to read Strangers in Paradise, Preacher, The Dark Knight Returns, Sin City....well you get the idea. The goal would be for them to just try reading a couple pages. How do you get someone to do it? Maybe setting up an area for readers new and old to sample pages. One thing I like about indyplanet is everything is categorized by genre. Something along that lines. Now advertising that site that area to attract the readers and let the know it's there. O.K. I'm rambling....... :yawn:

Shishio
05-25-2006, 07:33 PM
As it has been said repeatedly, the main impediment, in my opinion, to the success of the North American comics Industry is the fact that, for the most part, comics are viewed in a negative way by North American society.

Comics are so successful in Japan because Japanese society perceives comics in a very positive light. I would imagine the same holds true for Europe as well.

Therefore, in order for the industry to be successful, we need to make society view comics in a different light.

I believe English editions of Japanese comics and webcomics do this, but not on a big enough scale as of yet.

Also, believe it or not, but according to what I hear, a lot of people don't know how to read comics.

I would like to see comic creators work together to promote print and web comics, much like the Dairy Farmers of America.

j giar
05-25-2006, 07:48 PM
When I hear that people don't know how to read comics that just blows me away. Now granted those that do the creative diagonal borders and alot of the hard to follow crap...that I understand. Hell, even I have a hard time reading some of them. But straight 6-9 panels. Come on. That's like my daughter getting a D in english. For christ sakes she speaks english. Left to right, top to bottom. If done properly it's pretty easy to follow. That's the fault of those of us that put out the books that are hard to read.
My feeling is we can't solve this problem over night. But if we continue in the direction we're headed. And we keep pushing the awareness. It will eventually begin to have an affect on the general public. We as an industry need to raise the bar.
Exposure, variety, quality stories and artwork. That's what will bring new readers

ChuckBordell
05-25-2006, 08:17 PM
I agree that the main problem does not lie with Diamond. Perhaps my experience was unusual, but when I was self-publishing, I had no trouble with them. They called me about the book, were friendly and professional and treated me with respect. (This was in the late 90's, so things may have drastically changed). I think a lot of people like to blame Diamond if their new book only sells a couple of hundred copies. Admittedly, they are pretty much the only distribution option in the US, so that causes a lot of resentment in people who remember Capitol and Hero's World, etc. Certainly their business practices favor the big companies, and I feel that frustration, but Diamond is not the Evil Empire (that's the NY Yankees! :har: )

An Indy Comics Union is a great idea, and the subject has been bandied about here ond on other forums before. But most of us here are creators and don't want to take away from our creation time to organize such a thing. It would need some people who could devote most of their time to the oganization in order to keep it together. Those people are hard to find.

Chuck Bordell
www.highanxietystudios.com

"There is no chin under Chuck Norris' beard. There is only another fist."

Shishio
05-25-2006, 08:57 PM
I feel the same way, J. Giar, but it's true. A lot of people can't read comics.

If a Comic Creators Association were to arise, I think one of the first things they would have to do would be to teach people to read comics.

Buckyrig
05-25-2006, 09:03 PM
The solution is for us to pool our souls for one giant mass sale to almighty Satan!


With regard to Diamond. I don't know if people think of Diamond as bad per se. But any kind of monopoly (or reasonable facsimile) is bad for commerce.

wohoo19m
05-26-2006, 08:24 AM
What if I had an idea where I could rally thousands of comic fans to read a preview of your comic books. Would that be appealing to you?

At the same time, advertising indie comics to the mainstream.

T.J. May
05-26-2006, 08:31 AM
What if I had an idea where I could rally thousands of comic fans to read a preview of your comic books. Would that be appealing to you?

At the same time, advertising indie comics to the mainstream.


Of course. Send 'em to www.summ.net for a 5-page preview of Catching Lucifer's Lunch.

That's what we are all trying to do but with Micro-Budgets. We tried tons of stuff, and will continue to try more. If you've got something, I'm game.

But, it would have to be based on demographics. See I need more exposure to the folks that are huge horror film and novel fans. I need to pull from a similar genre in a different media. I think a marketing guru would be a welcome addition to the forums.

--T

wohoo19m
05-26-2006, 08:47 AM
Good idea on the demographics. That just expanded my idea.

My idea is generally based on helping the little guys, without robbing them blind.

I'll do a little more research to see if the idea would be do-able and most importantly, profitable for all parties involved.

JasonM
05-26-2006, 09:53 AM
Maybe indies should devote the inside front cover to a thumbnail size drawing that explains how to read a comic. If we set up a standard image and all used it, that might make some progress.

j giar
05-26-2006, 10:29 AM
The solution is for us to pool our souls for one giant mass sale to almighty Satan!


With regard to Diamond. I don't know if people think of Diamond as bad per se. But any kind of monopoly (or reasonable facsimile) is bad for commerce.
To late! I already sold mine to get Jerry Springer off the air!

j giar
05-26-2006, 10:32 AM
Maybe indies should devote the inside front cover to a thumbnail size drawing that explains how to read a comic. If we set up a standard image and all used it, that might make some progress.
We've had this discussion on here before. Like I said earlier, Ive gotten my wife, my sister-in-law and even my mother-in law to read graphic novels. And not one of them had ever read a single comic before....that I know of. Unless my wife was stupid enough to date a comic artist twice....and never told me..hmmmm????

D.J. Coffman
05-26-2006, 10:53 AM
I stopped using Diamond because it really doesn't make sense for an independent comic to use them, there aren't many "pluses" to doing so.

The main problem with distribution is NOT that not enough people are reading comics.. it created the problem itself in that NOT enough outlets carry comics anymore. You have the "direct market" to blame for that, AND Diamond.

The days of heading down to 7eleven or the corner store to buy your comics is pretty much dead abroad and has been for some time.

A real revolution needs to take place for distribution. I've blabbed for years now about doing vending machines at WalMarts and major shopping centers... I've even had people from so called "big" companies pick my brain for ideas, (but dammit, they'd best pay me for the really good ones!) . do you know how many kids would be clammoring to buy comics if they could only SEE THEM EXIST?! Beyond the kids, (kids = new future readers), you'd have adults using those machines too. I think this would take some SERIOUS cash to have behind them, most likely a couple million to do it right. I dont know the specifics of how to go about getting it done (just an idea guy here) but I know that if something like this existed...it would be beyond good for comic books overall.

Take a look at this: http://www.mixercomics.at/mixerseiterl1.html

Anyway, could you imagine if Diamond backed something like that? A vending machine or two in every town full of the hottest comics? Maybe with an ad for the local comics shop for MORE titles available??

-Who would stock it?? Hell, people need jobs. Hire local route managers, wherein they'd receive through UPS, books to stock in the machines, bagged and backboarded. Books get swapped out every week or so.

-Who would develop the machine? There are several vending companies who can custom engineer whatever you want. It would just take some capitol to do so. Maybe tap one of those big movie stars who love comics to back an idea like this.

How else could this make money? Imagine selling BIG advertisments on the front face of the machines for one month , the big lightup kinds like you see on Coke or Pepsi machines? Wouldn't it be cool to see a big light up SAVAGE DRAGON cover glowin in your local shopping centers or street corner?

matts128
05-26-2006, 12:15 PM
That venfing machine looked cool but if you check it out it actually looks to be dispensing trading cards. I know it says comic shop on it but after a few cclicks on the site it showed an image of how it worked and it included a shot of a hand holding something small like a card.

But the problem is that there are no outlets for readers to buy comics but at the LCS. And the people who go to the LCS are already reading comics. That is why there is no growth in readership, just a decline.

T.J. May
05-26-2006, 12:34 PM
The main problem with distribution is NOT that not enough people are reading comics.. it created the problem itself in that NOT enough outlets carry comics anymore. You have the "direct market" to blame for that, AND Diamond.

A real revolution needs to take place for distribution. I've blabbed for years now about doing vending machines at WalMarts and major shopping centers... I've even had people from so called "big" companies pick my brain for ideas, (but dammit, they'd best pay me for the really good ones!) . do you know how many kids would be clammoring to buy comics if they could only SEE THEM EXIST?! Beyond the kids, (kids = new future readers), you'd have adults using those machines too. I think this would take some SERIOUS cash to have behind them, most likely a couple million to do it right. I dont know the specifics of how to go about getting it done (just an idea guy here) but I know that if something like this existed...it would be beyond good for comic books overall.

Anyway, could you imagine if Diamond backed something like that? A vending machine or two in every town full of the hottest comics? Maybe with an ad for the local comics shop for MORE titles available??



That's all great...for DC and MArvel. You aren't going to see Indy products in those machines. And just cause people start reading Superman more often isn't going to lead them to seek out our stuff. IMO.

Your right about the direct market and Diamond's hand in that fall....but it still lead to the situation that fewer and fewer people read comics in the US. The US consumer (and I assume this is true for the rest of the world) wants bang for the buck. The monthly 32-page book is a dinosaur and not worth the cover price for its entertainment value. Whether its a SUMM Book or Batman book, B&W or Color, too a consumer $3.00-$4.00 for a 1/4 or less of a story isn't worth it.

Beyond the cool, foreign factor, the reason Manga is so popular is becasue it's worth the $9.95 you pay to get 180-200 pages of cool art. You feel like you're reading a novel with some substance. And that's why the folks that read, as opposed to collect comics, don't bother with the monthlies at all, and why the TPB and GN sections are exploding. But it's mostly Manga growing and the US shelves are stale or shrinking.

We need to get Indy books in larger page counts so that other areas will carry them. Because of MAnga, the general rule for the book chains to carry a GN is 120+-pages. So, the very package in which the produt is presented needs to change in order to attract new readers.

D.J. Coffman
05-26-2006, 01:36 PM
independent comics will go NOWHERE if the icons don't lead the way. You might not see Digital Webbing books in those machines, but you could wager seeing companies like iDW , Devil's DUE in those.. and books like GIJOE, the new Transformers and more of their titles selling really well through machines like that. Those are independent companies leading the pack.

T.J. May
05-26-2006, 03:31 PM
independent comics will go NOWHERE if the icons don't lead the way. You might not see Digital Webbing books in those machines, but you could wager seeing companies like iDW , Devil's DUE in those.. and books like GIJOE, the new Transformers and more of their titles selling really well through machines like that. Those are independent companies leading the pack.

Touche. I wan't thinking of them, but that's a good point. Still, I don't see how it will help smaller indies and self-publishers. WHich always stand to be on the losing end of the money game regardless of how much better the industry gets.

I don't buy into the theory that if Spider-MAn sells well that it's good for me because people are going into stores looking for spider-man and they "might" see my book. That's a nice thought, but it dosen't happen like that.

MAybe I should hire a major league baseball player to wear a hat with my web-address on it during interviews. There's a thought.

JasonM
05-26-2006, 04:37 PM
The trick is more comic readers. It's true, liking the movie does not translate into new comic readers. A one time spike doesn't count as a new reader. I may like the Da Vinci Code movie, doesn't mean I'll be reading angels and demons or Da Vinci code.

The vending machine idea however IS a good idea because by making comics in general more available, that can lead to more readers. More readers will in turn help indies by eventually finding their way to cons or when they see the ad online, instead of ignoring it like they might normally, this time they might cick it.

We simply just need more people open to comics!

j giar
05-26-2006, 04:57 PM
I asked this on another thread and may as well ask here. Has the avenue of cross promoting in each others books ever been brought up or attempted? And if so with what results. Another question, has anyone attempted a campaign of sorts pushing the reading of independent books? Something small to peak the interest of the public as to what "independent" is. As an example a slogan such as "READ INDY!" followed with some sort of symbol or image. You know kind of like this :) did way back when. Not really telling to much followed by a website address or something along that lines. Like "STAND"! or many others.

Buckyrig
05-26-2006, 08:34 PM
Seal them in opaque plastic bags, make them illegal for anyone under 21 and keep them behind the counter. Kids will run to read that shit! :thumbs:

T.J. May
05-26-2006, 08:45 PM
I asked this on another thread and may as well ask here. Has the avenue of cross promoting in each others books ever been brought up or attempted? And if so with what results. Another question, has anyone attempted a campaign of sorts pushing the reading of independent books? Something small to peak the interest of the public as to what "independent" is. As an example a slogan such as "READ INDY!" followed with some sort of symbol or image. You know kind of like this :) did way back when. Not really telling to much followed by a website address or something along that lines. Like "STAND"! or many others.

I know my biggest reservation about cross promoting with other indies is the fact that there is a very real chance I'll put an ad in my book for someone else, only to have them flake and quit publishing before they return the favor.

Other than that it's a great idea. We do it from time to time but only with other publishers we know are as serious as us.

wohoo19m
05-29-2006, 01:46 PM
Alright, here's a little idea of what my plan is:

Let's say you wanted to send a postcard to all the comicbook readers out there. Let's suppose you have a list of 50 000 readers. For 50$, you can have 1000 postcards printed. For a total of 2500$. So your already in it for 2500$ without counting shipping and all that. Let's say you profit .80$ from your comic ( a guess figure ) and you get a 15% response rate. So you get 7500 orders. Or 2000$ Wich still leaves you 500$ in the red. So no profits on this one. Better luck next time.

What I'm thinking about is a way to get to those these 50 000 readers, But only costing you 25$, saving you ALOT of money and putting it back into your pockets.

Interesting idea?

I do need something to put this together though. I'd like to know of all the comic book related sites that you know about, everyone of them.

In the words of Tom Cruise in Jerry McGuire " Help me, Help you " :banana:

L Jamal
05-29-2006, 02:29 PM
Actually you can print 50K postcards for about $1900 (including shipping for a 2 sided full color postcard).

Just what do you have in mind? This sounds like the beginning of a spamming operation.

wohoo19m
05-29-2006, 03:19 PM
Just what do you have in mind? This sounds like the beginning of a spamming operation.

Haha, it does, doesn't it :) OK here is the idea:

What I have in mind is having comic creators submit a 5 page preview ( or whatever the creator feels like giving ) of their comics to a list of people who have opted into a list I'd build.

The preview would be included in a 200 ( not determined yet ) page online pdf magazine wich would be sent out every week to the list of readers for free.

This way, readers would be able to get a glimpse of what your comic is all about and then there would be a call to action for them to order the comic from whatever means the creator decides he wants them to order from.

Of course, I'd do alot of testing before hand, before charging anything to make sure that it'd work out and that everybody's happy. Making sure that the comic readers get value as well. There are a couple of potential problems I see, but I can't know the answer without testing.

Concept is similar to what Viz is doing with their Shonen Jump magazine.

I don't spam btw, I hate spammers.

So, good? Bad? Let me know of things you'd add/take out/etc.

jmandryk
05-29-2006, 03:30 PM
everyone would be interested in a scheme like that, however your math is a little flawed.. I've been in the print business for 20 odd years now, my god, I'm getting old...and I personally oversee the printing of 2+ million rack cards (4"x9" promotional pieces) a year. The industry standard response rate for those printed peices is 2%-3% with an order generated on 35% of those. that makes for .7%-1.05% order rate... Obviously some industries get a higher response that others but those are the facts..

wohoo19m
05-29-2006, 03:34 PM
Then that makes it even more important to save costs then, no? :)

D.J. Coffman
05-29-2006, 06:43 PM
Meh. I've gotten postcards in the mail from some indy comic places that somehow got my mailing address back when it was listed in Wizard Magazine for something, and when they come, I take one glance at them and usually pitch them out-- it would have to be something SO earth shattering or mind boggling to make me keep it and check it out, and i don't know you can pull that off on a postcard.

The future for indy comics is what we're all doing right now... communicating, on the internet. Not webcomics persay, but THE CONVERSATIONS. Being available and accessable. To the manner and energy you put into that avenue is up to you individually though.

Scott Story
05-29-2006, 07:42 PM
I think there are several futures for comics. Some would say that indy comics have moved onto the web, and webcomics ARE the indy comic scene. There's something to that. But, as evidenced by the rise of POD, there is still a strong indy print community.

So, I can see the web community going their way, and the print going its way, or the two will integrate, with the web being the place where new material is premiered, and print being collections of web published material.

I see the web comics going their own way, because serialized webcomics have as much to do with newspaper strips as they do comic books, and the webcomic audience for the most part doesn't read print comic or go to comic shops. Also, the indy print crowd doesn't care for webcomic for the most part, citing webcomics as the place for cartoonists who aren't good enough for print, or citing the collectibility argument, or the simple bias that anything that is essentially free must not be worth anything. The way I see it, the two camps are distinct.

But, you counter, people buy the print collections of Sluggy Freelance, or Yirmumah, or PVP, or whatever... True, but the fans who buy those books are fans of those books, and that doesn't mean those same fans will then begin to stop by the comic shop and plunk down 20.00 ever Wedsday.

I have no idea if this is how the future will work out for indy comics, but as of the moment that's my current thinking.

L Jamal
05-29-2006, 09:03 PM
I think the largest stumbling block on online indy sales is simply shipping costs.
DJ is smart in that he included shipping in his prices. I'll be updating my online store soon to make US shipping free with orders over $10.

j giar
05-29-2006, 10:12 PM
As I had asked earlier. Has there ever been a collective attempt in the independent market to bring it to the forefront through a campaign? Advertising, constant exposure to the readers. The big two obviously are dominating shelf space at the retailers. The only way people will buy your product is by filling their needs and letting them know you have the product to do it.

L Jamal
05-29-2006, 10:28 PM
Any indy with enough money to do a serious campaign would do it for themselves. Anybody that would champion it would be those that couldn't afford to do it themselves.

The coolest idea that has worked in an indy tour. Dave Sim did it with a Cerebus World Tour (paid for by retailers) and there were 2 Trilogy tours headlined by Jeff Smith (Bone) and several other indy publishers. They did conventions, store signings and various other signings together. Of course, all of them had regular books that sold at least 5-6K.

D.J. Coffman
05-30-2006, 10:07 AM
Times have seemed to change as well. I remember when I'd be at comic shows and people would complain about high cover prices for indy books, like a 2.95 cover for a black and white book was too much-- (which was the price you pretty much HAD to have through Diamond to even make a little money back) -- but now, it seems that people don't have a problem slapping down 5 bucks for a book, especially if that includes shipping to their house. I have to charge a bit more for overseas...

And damn, I am shocked at how many overseas regular buyers there are. the UK and Australia are great... third place would be a tie for Spain and South Africa. It is such a ****ingg trip to have books all over the world, even if still swimming in obscurity. :happy:

D.J. Coffman
05-30-2006, 10:12 AM
There was some buzz about some Comics Public Awareness program Council thingy-- sort of like MILK has it's Dairy coalition--- people paid membership dues, and I havent heard a damn thing from the company at all. oh-- here's the link, I found it...

http://www.comicarts.org/index.php

QuinnDexter
05-30-2006, 11:47 AM
I get the feeling from my friends (none of them read or want to, comic books) that they are a nerdy medium (watching the movies is cool on the otherhand ?!).

And mostly to be able to pick up a comic over here (UK) you either have to sift through the teenage girl pop mags in a newsagent or go to a "comic" shop that only sells comics. Now how on earth would a non-comic reader get to pickup /enjoy and then appreciate the medium if they make it bloody hard to do so.

Better exposure to a more diverse audience would be a start, supermarkets, seperate sections on magazine shelves, stands at airports (comics would be great as freebies on planes imo) etc. Reach a bigger audience and you would be bound to pick up more readers - relying on just word of mouth is lame, shove them in a hole and no-one will find them.

T.J. May
05-30-2006, 12:27 PM
Better exposure to a more diverse audience would be a start, supermarkets, seperate sections on magazine shelves, stands at airports (comics would be great as freebies on planes imo) etc. Reach a bigger audience and you would be bound to pick up more readers - relying on just word of mouth is lame, shove them in a hole and no-one will find them.

They found the Dead Sea Scrolls :laugh:

Couldn't help it. But you are correct.

j giar
05-30-2006, 12:40 PM
Any indy with enough money to do a serious campaign would do it for themselves. Anybody that would champion it would be those that couldn't afford to do it themselves.

The coolest idea that has worked in an indy tour. Dave Sim did it with a Cerebus World Tour (paid for by retailers) and there were 2 Trilogy tours headlined by Jeff Smith (Bone) and several other indy publishers. They did conventions, store signings and various other signings together. Of course, all of them had regular books that sold at least 5-6K.
Thanks Jamal. That's pretty much what I was asking. DJ kind of hit on what I was getting at. The MILK advertising...STAND. A conscious effort on our part to get our books into the spot light..but as an industry. Not individual. What is it we all have in common? We all want our books to be recognized, we all want a fan base. It just seems like we all pull in the same direction but seperately, and obviously, don't have the deep pockets of the larger publishers. Or the years and years of recognized characters and readership. A perfect example is how alot of folks in print see no future in web comics and vice-versa. Any one who can't see that web comics do and will have a dramatic effect on our industry is running with blinders on! I'm old school and still see it. We almost need an independent shot in the arm like the late 80's and early 90's when Eastman and Laird started the independent explosion along with Dave Simm and others. If we're trying to go head to head with the big boys...we're fighting a losing battle. We need a different approach, instead of flooding the retailer with crap. They're already getting that from Marvel and others.

L Jamal
05-30-2006, 06:02 PM
Comic Arts has been dead in the water since sometime in 2005. As I said the problem is that without major publishers donating, there isn't enough money. With the major publisher, you'd see more of their characters that any other.

D.J. Coffman
05-30-2006, 06:52 PM
I'm sure that if some legitimate place like the Comics Arts place were to approach several larger indys, they could raise some money if they had a proper plan. With a the proper plan to help indy media in comics, you could easily get some companies or individuals to pony up a couple grand or the equivalant of a printing bill or two... but it would HAVE to be the right plan.-- It seems like Comics Arts took peoples money, then stalled out. That really sucks.

L Jamal
05-30-2006, 07:55 PM
It seems like Comics Arts took peoples money, then stalled out. That really sucks.

Sad but true,but .... that's the comic book industry

j giar
05-30-2006, 10:32 PM
The website is a joke. They have articles, by its founder and executive director, of the business, marketing and promotion of comics. It says to stay tuned as of april 27th 2004! Alrighty then! Kinda sums it all up right there now doesn't it. ANd they have a promo for Speakeasy. Ahhww forget it!

Scott Story
05-30-2006, 10:40 PM
When they first came out I thought they looked pretty good, but I hesitated to join. I'm glad I didn't.

What they intended was cool, but they made it too academic.

MrGranger
06-01-2006, 12:40 PM
I think the largest stumbling block on online indy sales is simply shipping costs.
DJ is smart in that he included shipping in his prices. I'll be updating my online store soon to make US shipping free with orders over $10.

I also offer free shipping for over $25...but I might just lower it to compete with you big boys. :carrot:

MrGranger
06-01-2006, 12:46 PM
Actually...here's an idea. If you did a website with a link to all the indy publishers you could put their shipping charges. I'm sure you'd get more interest if you could buy for cover only.