View Full Version : Going Digital

The Predator
12-22-2014, 03:40 AM
Everyone seems to go digital now. with Comixology and other companies. Do you think it is a good way to go? Are there any companies or publishers that help artists out with it or take submissions or selfpublishing?
What do you Think?
The predator

Stewart Vernon
12-22-2014, 04:23 AM
From what I've read of the terms on Comixology it's hard to say it isn't a good deal. Sure, they split the take 50/50 with you after transaction fees... but you pay nothing up front and they are an established "brand" now that should help you sell your digital comic easily as long as there is a demand for what you are producing.

Also, since their contract is a non-exclusive one... you can simultaneously sell it yourself in digital form and explore avenues to either self-publish or use a service like Lulu to get printed copy distribution as well.

I can't think of a reason not to do it really.

For me, I'm working on some things now and other things are percolating in my brain... so I'm waiting to establish a bit of an identity for myself via my Blog and then be in a better position to properly market a ready-for-selling project in the near future. By then, I'll have a Blog that I can use to help boost sales once I have a good following.

The only "downside" to Comixology and the independent publisher is that you'll get drowned out by the big companies unless people know to look for your work. So an established creator can go self-publish and name recognition will get people to try them... but newbies need to establish a presence first or nobody will know to look for your digital content.

12-22-2014, 05:26 AM
I think its a no brained to be honest. If you want to go the print route you're going to have to either get picked up by a publisher, which is a minefield.

Quality content will rise to the top, but it is back breaking just to get it noticed at all. Smaller publishers will be much more eager to sign you up, but their distribution capabilities will be orders of magnitude lower.

There's print on demand, but you'll be pretty much on your own in the same way as digital, except the product won't be immediately in your readers hands when they buy it, and the actual physical quality is highly variable.

Digital on the other hand will get your book out there, with consistent quality, and straight into peoples hands when they buy it. The audience can be anywhere without barriers to access. All they need is internet connection.

Comixology is just one digital outlet, and eventually there will be others. There's already Drive Thru, Darkhorse and a couple of others outside of the Amazon ecosystem.

Eventually, it'll be a lot easier to actually distribute it totally on your own. The tools exist, they just don't get the word out. Making your own PDF or CBZ files is pretty simple, hosting content and setting up a web store is pretty simple.

The biggest barrier for creators is, as its always been in publishing, the walled garden around publishers, distributors and retailers. They run a cartel, but its changing and for all its numerous faults, companies like Amazon are at the very forefront of that change. They operate as publisher, distributor AND retailer. Its not great, but people are twitchy and they like to spend their money that at least LOOKS trustworthy.

12-22-2014, 01:13 PM
Everyone seems to go digital now. with Comixology and other companies. Do you think it is a good way to go? Are there any companies or publishers that help artists out with it or take submissions or selfpublishing?
What do you Think?
The predator

Well, since you did ask, and since I happened upon your posting during my brief visit to the forum here, today, here's my two-cents worth off-the-cuff. Forgive the rambling, if you will, because I have a gut feeling that my response is going to deviate from your question.

Nonetheless, here's what I think, briefly stated.

We live in a Digital Age. That doesn't mean that the real world - or the print world - no longer exist. Rather, it simply means that more options exist, and that they are more accessible to more people.

The print option is still there, if one wants to concentrate on that route, regardless of the why behind that approach. But, if one is an up and coming or a hopeful type of artist, then what do you do in the meantime - until such time that the print option is viable for you?

This morning, I spent a little time online, just browsing to see what various digital subscription options for comic books are out there. Not for myself, but to give as a present to someone else.

One site that I visited was Comixology, although it's never been a personal favorite of mine. I typed in subscriptions in their search box, and that proved to be worthless.

I visited Marvel Comics, DC Comics, and Image Comics. Along with Comixology, my cursory look persuaded me that the recipient of my digital comics subscription give would likely derive the most value by me going with the Marvel Comics subscription. I haven't placed the order, yet, as I will likely wait until Christmas Day to do that.

Comixology is innovative, in certain ways, but in other ways, it's no more innovative than numerous other approaches by comic book publishers.

At the individual comic book publisher level, as in the standalone typical person trying to get their feet firmly planted in selling their comic books, the scene that is reality leaves me shaking my head. An awful lot of what is on the Indie comic scene is sub-par product, but it is often priced even higher than name brand comics of a much higher level of quality.

Comixology is but one method of distribution of comic book products. To maximize your sales, multiple methods of distribution are better, all other things being equal. It is an established distribution medium, by this point in time. It's a way to sell thing.

What it is not, however, is a substitute for active marketing.

Embracing digital is not a matter of deciding which digital site to publish comic books through. Rather, it is a revolutionary change in one's mindset.

Digital offers advantages at various stages, if I may call the that, of the comic book process. For example, if you're not crowdfunding the production, itself, why aren't you? Digital allows you to fundamentally alter the equation in your favor, and at different levels or stages.

On Kickstarter, for example, some people will simply give you money. Not all projects succeed, but many do. Why not exploit this potential benevolence to your advantage?

Kickstarter, which is but a single example of crowdfunding platforms, is as useful for establishing both an audience and a market for your comic books, as it is about funding the production or creation of them.

Digital has many dynamics. It is a malleable thing. Not everyone has to embrace it, nor exploit it, in the same way or in the same sequence.

For the most part, independent comic book artists are their own worst enemies - and many of them don't even know it.

The Digital Age alters the publishing spectrum. It opens up entire new vistas of possibility for comic book independents, but typically, they squander the opportunities, opting instead for that which is familiar.

Publishing digitally opens up both a vast potential audience and a multitude of markets. They are not the exact, same thing, and one can be used as a driver or catalyst for the other, and vice versa.

It is interesting to watch the comic book industry, if that's even the right term for it, being impacted by the Digital Age. As with the industry of music, people are having a difficult time transitioning to a new reality.

Most independent comic book artists that I encounter seem Hell-bent on failing. That's just my personal opinion, not one that anyone else has to share, of course. But, it is how I feel, nonetheless.

Instead of thinking in terms of self-publishing, you might be better served to think in terms of actively-promoting. Some of my personal favorite comic book artists, for example, do an absolutely horrible job of building their brands or of cementing and growing relationships, even though the latter is vital to establishing a solid foundation for erecting your own little comics empire upon. Again, just my personal opinion on the matter.

I am going to ahead and stop, here, as I have a few other things to do, today. Not sure if any of this will be helpful to you, or not, but it's a topic of interest to me and caught my eye, while passing through.