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View Full Version : How many do you print & how much do you sell?


Henning Brazer
07-18-2006, 09:15 AM
Hi Guys

The title is pretty self explanitory.

Of you small press guys out there - how many comics do you print of a new story and how many do you sell on average?

Do you print enough - or do you always have to go back and print some more?

And do you sell most of your comics at comic cons?

C'mon - share. You know you want to.

Jason Arthur
07-18-2006, 09:18 AM
you're lucky to sale any and you almost always have too many.

:man:

Or at least that's what I've seen when I hung with my friends in Chicago who were trying to sale stuff.

-- J

Henning Brazer
07-18-2006, 09:35 AM
But why is that? Is the cover price too high or the quality too low?

Do they really put a lot behind their marketing?

JasonM
07-18-2006, 10:05 AM
Raven (writer of The Gift from Image) taught me a very interesting lesson... The single most important thing when selling a book is to be excited about what you're selling. My books were doing crap and I was bummed until after he read my book and started doing the selling for me! It was that he was excited and so I got a lot more pumped and got back in the groove and turned what started out as a shitty con into a pretty good one! Then My girlfriend and I realized we lost some of our energy when doing the cons and that it was more about our lack of energy then the book, the price or anything else.

In short, I think how well your book performs at a con will of course have some to do with price and quality, but far more is how you sell it. If the creator isn't excited by the book, why should anyone else?

As for the original question, I print a thousand usually. It keeps the over all price low so I make profit without having to even sell that many, plus the last thing you want is to run out of the first book or two if it's an ongoing or mini. People want the first books, and if they can't get them they likely won't care about what comes later. Selling 1000 does leave me with leftovers of my trade, about 200 after a year, but since I've made a profit they can work anywhere from for promotion all the way to donating to a library for a tax deduction. I like the last one because not only do you get something out of it but so do people who may not normally see a comic.

jrod
07-18-2006, 10:44 AM
For WToT we printed 2k and sold through most of all five issues.

For Elk's Run we printed...more...and now we use them for table cloths, napkins, paper airplanes...The Random House deal which guarantees issues 5-8 will never see print individually pretty much ensures that a lot of issues 1-4 will eventually end up in the recycle bin. Storage costs money, after all, and thereís a point you reach where the amount you spend storing books (provided you donít have a garage or you donít mind have cardboard box tables) becomes greater than the amount youíd make selling them

It varies from book to book. Keep it conservative - 1k to 2k. The less capital you have tied up in an issue of a book the more capital you have to print other books, after all.

ehobbs
07-18-2006, 12:27 PM
I'll second what Jason says. Any first timer should study the way Raven pitches his work to fans. I guarantee you walk away a better salesman of your own book.

L Jamal
07-18-2006, 01:30 PM
Your print run really depends on how much profit you want and how many books you want to store. If you are going with a traditional printer then you'll have to print at least 1000 or a black and white comic (2-3K of a full color book).If you're going POD, then at least 50 because that's the price when the set of fees don't drastically increase the unit price of the books.

If you are moving less than 500 books, then look into POD.

Jason Arthur
07-18-2006, 02:47 PM
But why is that? Is the cover price too high or the quality too low?

Do they really put a lot behind their marketing?

Probably because nobody on the cover is wearing their underwear outside a pair of spandex or any women on the cover have more than 3 cenitmeters of clothing on.

-- J

jrod
07-18-2006, 03:16 PM
Probably because nobody on the cover is wearing their underwear outside a pair of spandex or any women on the cover have more than 3 cenitmeters of clothing on.

-- J

I'm not trying to be a smart ass but companies like Top Shelf, Oni, Adhouse, :01 Second, Ait, Pantheon, Avatar, Penny Farthing, Arcaia Studios Press, D & Q, Fantagraphics, NBM, SLG, and, often, Image, IDW, and Vertigo don't seem to have that problem, to name a few publishers.

People do buy non-superhero books, if they're good and marketed effectively.

Buckyrig
07-18-2006, 03:32 PM
People do buy non-superhero books, if they're good and marketed effectively.

I'm sure it helps to have a fan in the press. ;)

jrod
07-18-2006, 03:40 PM
I'm sure it helps to have a fan in the press. ;)

Being that the press tends to be fans of the medium in general that's not too difficult, either.

Jason Arthur
07-18-2006, 04:51 PM
People do buy non-superhero books, if they're good and marketed effectively.

Yes, all 500 of us buy those types of books.

Most of the publishers you listed above would consider selling 5000 copies of a book to be a HUGE success. That's sad, but it's the way it goes.

Now if you stick a nearly naked woman on the cover of your book and sell it at a convention (wait...is that what we're talking about? or just selling in general...I might be confused here) then it's gonna sell like hotcakes.

So, in summation...put a naked woman on your book and maybe use the word "Blood" or have a big "X" somewhere on the cover and you'll do well.

-- J

L Jamal
07-18-2006, 05:00 PM
But why is that? Is the cover price too high or the quality too low?

Do they really put a lot behind their marketing?
Attempting to sale to the wrong crowd.

D.J. Coffman
07-18-2006, 05:44 PM
Man, I lose absolutely ZERO dollars on my work now. I'll never go back to the lame old way of doing things.

Bam-- I put up a two week presale, say I sell 400 books-- I simply have 400 or a little more for stock printed up. BAM. Money in the bank...rem... off to be bills and advertising dollars.... sigh! heh

But still, it beats the hell out of sitting on cases of books. Fug that crap!

jrod
07-18-2006, 05:53 PM
Yes, all 500 of us buy those types of books.

Most of the publishers you listed above would consider selling 5000 copies of a book to be a HUGE success. That's sad, but it's the way it goes.

Now if you stick a nearly naked woman on the cover of your book and sell it at a convention (wait...is that what we're talking about? or just selling in general...I might be confused here) then it's gonna sell like hotcakes.

So, in summation...put a naked woman on your book and maybe use the word "Blood" or have a big "X" somewhere on the cover and you'll do well.

-- J
Well maybe not necessarily bad. A lot of these places are two or three man ops so their overhead is much, much lower and their profit margins are much, much higher. They can do well with 5000 copies of a book.

And youíre right Ė we are talking about cons Ė I got off a bit - the only experience I have is selling WToT and Elkís Run at a con and they both seemed to sell well but I really donít have any sort of basis for comparison with a cheesecake book.

But the whole naked woman on the cover equals sales Ė I donít know, itís been my experience, at least, from talking to folks, that most people looking outside of marvel and DC are actually looking outside of marvel & DC. It could be why the companies Iíve listed have stayed around so long and built an audience whereas most of the marvel/DC clones seem to show up for a year or two before disappearing.

Iím just saying, it tends to take more than tits on a cover to sell a book. And you can sell a book without having tits on a cover.

Usually.

Comix Obsession
07-19-2006, 11:42 AM
Yes, all 500 of us buy those types of books.

Most of the publishers you listed above would consider selling 5000 copies of a book to be a HUGE success. That's sad, but it's the way it goes.

Now if you stick a nearly naked woman on the cover of your book and sell it at a convention (wait...is that what we're talking about? or just selling in general...I might be confused here) then it's gonna sell like hotcakes.

So, in summation...put a naked woman on your book and maybe use the word "Blood" or have a big "X" somewhere on the cover and you'll do well.

-- J

I'm going to release a book called 'Blood X' just to test this theory... :har:
It's about a crime fighter who doesn't wear a disguise. In fact, she doesn't wear anything at all! :w00t:

innocentboy
07-20-2006, 11:32 PM
wicked wicked wicked,
interesting thread