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Old 06-05-2006, 05:44 PM   #1
jrod
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Moving Away from Comic Publishers

Since the press release went out announcing ELKíS RUNís move to Villard (a division of Random House) I can finally talk with a bit of weight about what I see as being the best way for the little guys to make good in comic publishing.

Itís been happening quite a bit lately, Hope Larsenís two book deal with Simon & Schuster, FLIGHT and Pekarís books coming out through Ballantine (a division of Random House), and other moves to tradiational publishers.

The big book publishers Ė theyíre looking for innovative comics. Whereas the Marvels and DCs of this world are looking for superhero stories, more and more book publishers are taking chances on the small-time guys with stories that have a more mass market appeal.

Itís such an ideal situation for us small pressers. Weíre talking about a market where 99% of the people donít know you from Bendis. So Iím just wondering if other small press publishers have been trying this avenue and, if so, howís the experience been so far? Do you think tradiational book publishers are a good place to go for our creator owned work?
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Old 06-05-2006, 05:54 PM   #2
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I think it all depends on what the ultimate goal is.
Most do indie books as a step to the Big Two. Some just have a story to be told.

If you are the former, then what really matters is your DM readership.
If you're the latter, then all you care aboiut is getting the story told.

Then there are us that just want total control.
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Old 06-05-2006, 06:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljamal
Then there are us that just want total control.

The control thing's obviously an issue but Iíll be the first to say we had complete control, couldnít sell it, brought it to Speakeasy and, well, you know. Maybe some books just need somebody else to guide it.

The great thing with our deal is that Dallas (the acquiring editor) wanted the 8 issues delivered without giving any editorial input at all. So, story-wise, it's all us. Which is nice, being able to tell the story you want and at the same time ensuring itíll be read.
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Old 06-05-2006, 06:11 PM   #4
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Selling is really just a problem of marketing and finding the audience. That is something which (ideally) the publisher does and most of the time it's also the something that the self-publisher lacks.

I assume that this is the Elk's Run cover that Noel was telling me about earlier today. I look forward to having the entire story in my hand.
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Old 06-05-2006, 06:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljamal
Selling is really just a problem of marketing and finding the audience. That is something which (ideally) the publisher does and most of the time it's also the something that the self-publisher lacks.

I assume that this is the Elk's Run cover that Noel was telling me about earlier today. I look forward to having the entire story in my hand.
Yeah, that's the cover.

Even with strong salesmanship, though, there still seems to be a problem with getting the DM system and small publishers on the same footing. Occasionally you get an IDW and guys like Archaia strike gold with Mouseguard but those are rare occurrences. I can't help but wonder why more self-publishers aren't going collected editions and pushing to get them distributed through a non-Diamond distributor. Itís a way to keep control, market it the way you want, and get greater exposure at the same time.

Havenít tried it, though. Plan on it, with Postcards, but not sure what the probability of success is going that route.
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Old 06-05-2006, 07:09 PM   #6
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The problem is most have DM tunnel vision.
Archaia is a great example as Smylie's plans are almost exclusively outside the DM.

There are great number of DM retailers that you can deal with directly and have greater success than via Diamond. However, you have to do the foot work to get to them and in doing so you will realize there are a great many other outlets where you should get your book.
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