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Max Romaine
01-18-2015, 07:31 PM
I read this article at New Worlds Comics:

6 Harsh Truths About Indie Publishing
http://newworldscomics.com/?p=875

It essentially says that fans don't care about free issues and previews, and that reviews, ads, being really good, and talking about your comic do not help sales. I wondered what the self-publishers on DW thought about this.

And if all this is true, what options available to the indie publisher will help sales?

Scribbly
01-18-2015, 08:20 PM
I read this article at New Worlds Comics:

6 Harsh Truths About Indie Publishing
http://newworldscomics.com/?p=875

It essentially says that fans don't care about free issues and previews, and that reviews, ads, being really good, and talking about your comic do not help sales. I wondered what the self-publishers on DW thought about this.

And if all this is true, what options available to the indie publisher will help sales?

The only option for the indie publisher is to wait. And keep farming and harvesting their books.
Unlike mainstream comics that can print at once and sell 3 thousand to 50 thousand books in one month with a mediocre title or character that has worldwide distribution, indie comics can sell the same amount of books in 10 or 15 years, maybe 20 years of continuing publishing. If the indie book is good it may sell as much as 1 thousand or 2 thousand copies a year. Artisanal work can't sell in the same amount that industrial work does. Actually, corporate industrial work.

The only option for indie publisher is to produce a good, decent quality product.
Regardless the immediate sales and keep going producing another one after.
Sooner or later, the snow ball effect will increase the sales through word of mouth advertising. It is a very slow process. Sometimes it becomes viral.
But only sometimes.
Free issues and previews, ads and reviews? Of course these may help, but ultimately comics readers go for what is appealing and at the moment clicks to them feelings, not anything else.
The same happens with prose novels, TV series, movies, etc.
Or in any other order on life.

About reviews and previews;
Who is going to buy a comic book right after reading a review? I don't know for sure.
But who's going to buy a comic book right after seeing a preview of it ? I will do it, as well the 99,99% of comics books retailers that are selling comics books all around the world.

Steven Forbes
01-18-2015, 09:01 PM
I have thoughts.

Give me a couple of hours. I'm at work, and have to move positions in a bit and get settled.

Alyssa
01-18-2015, 09:07 PM
Editing to add the caveat: my experience is with indie novels/prose, not comics, so I could be full of it. :har:

Link bait article, and full of shit, in my humble opinion. :whistlin:

Harsh truth #1: Reviews don’t help sales.
One of our first series, Wynter, was immediately called by reviewers an “SF extravaganza” and that reading it was “necessary for you to exist”.
Wynter #2 came out. Reviewers across the web started calling it “the best sci-fi comic on the shelves today”.
Wynter #3 came out. It was again hailed as “the best SF comic book on the market” across the board.


Bull. I can tell you right now as an indie author with books under her belt: reviews DO help sales. But fakey-faker reviews make readers get skeptical.

I'd like to see WHO claimed Wynter was the best SF comic on the shelves. For me, seeing the SF Image comics at the time, would immediately throw that claim into question. "SF extravaganza" is the kind of review that sounds exaggerated, unless it's said by someone incredibly important AND relevant. "Necessary for you to exist" sounds like a Fiverr review.

So, you need reviews that are genuine. Websites who give you a positive review in exchange for money or exposure (yes, newbie review bloggers often give stellar reviews in the hope you'll spread the word about their site) are not worth the time.
If you can get genuine, positive reviews by folk who are followed by your target audience, all the better.

Finally, WHERE were these reviews? I know that selling novels as an indie author, you can basically ignore any reviews that aren't on Amazon or Goodreads. What are the review sources comic book readers trust? That's where you need your reviews to be.

Harsh truth #2: Ads don’t help sales.
We placed ads on CBR, a comic book website with hundreds of thousands of unique visitors. The results: 14 visitors a day from CBR.


There are a few key things playing into this.

1) Most folk who spend a lot of time online (you'd probably agree this includes comic book readers) use an ad blocker of some description. Know your audience.

2) When I was in internet marketing, you could usually count on the following formula: 5% of people who see your ad will click it. 5% of people who click your ad will actually buy something from you.
What's 5% of 14? 0.7. In other words- not a single sale.

Unless your ad is being shown to a highly targeted audience who are literally LOOKING for what you're offering, you're playing a numbers game. That means you need to advertise on more than one bloody website. Especially if the majority of your audience uses ad blockers. And you have to be super smart about which sites you advertise on. Usually the best places to advertise are also the most expensive, which means that most indie creators won't be able to do this.

3) The ad itself could've been a failure. Let's say that the site received 100k unique visits in a day (I don't believe that number, but the writer of the article seemed to). Let's say that 5% (or 5000) of those visitors actually saw your ad because they didn't have an ad blocker up. 5% (250) of the people who saw the ad clicked it. That would mean you could count on about 12 sales of your comic, presuming the ad linked directly to the sales page.
But this person got no sales. So what changed? Even the best internet marketers test different graphics for their ads. Some graphics convert better than others. Did this person just make one ad, have it fail, then called advertising in general a failure?

4) If the ad itself didn't link directly to a sales page, they were shooting themselves in the foot. Because only 5% of the people who click through your ad will then click through to another page.

Harsh truth #3: It doesn’t matter that you’re good.
The fact that people think you’re good will not get them to recommend your comic book to their friends in any meaningful way.


Again, this is both to do with the audience and the numbers.
Do comic book readers IN GENERAL have huge crowds of close friends who'll pick up any product they recommend? This is why you need the right people recommending your book. The thing is, in order to get the "right people" to even notice you, you need to have numbers backing you. Catch 22. Again, this turns into a numbers game. Do your best to get as many relevant, trustworthy, and socially active people to recommend your book as possible. But only if that recommendation is genuine.

Harsh truth #4: People will refuse to read you for free.
New Worlds Comics offered a free Wynter #1 through two reasonably popular comic websites. All the readers had to do was email to get a free copy.


Two things here:

1) "Two reasonably popular comic websites". Nope, that doesn't cut it. You can't settle for merely two "reasonably popular" sites. Remember the numbers game.

2) "All the readers had to do was email to get a free copy". This is kind of ambiguous. Did they have to open their mail client and send an email to "vote" for their copy? If so, I'm surprised they received any emails at all. If all they had to do was plug their email into a field on the website, that presents another problem. Anyone who spends a fair whack of time online (like comic book readers, hello!) knows that if you enter your email into a website (especially merely "reasonably popular" ones), you're pretty much inviting spam. The sites have to be ultra popular and trustworthy for this to work very well. It's usually teamed up with social recommendations (e.g. important people saying, "Hey! You can download this awesome comic for free here: link!") and advertising (that link directly to the page where you enter your email). Don't forget the whole 5% thing.

Harsh truth #5: Fans don’t care about previews

Probably the biggest load of bull in this article. Unless you already have a fanbase waiting to pick up whatever you release, previews are going to be one of the key things that create sales for you. Absolutely, there are a swag of people who don't bother with previews, but they're the minority. Go to Amazon. How many books have the "Look Inside"/"Send Sample Now" feature? Amazon just doesn't keep features like that if it doesn't increase overall sales. And I can tell you from first-hand experience that having that feature makes a HUGE difference.

Conclusion: Sharing awesome, unbelievable, magnificent art or previews from your awesome, magnificent, unbelievable indie book will not get you more sales. It’s not what fans really want.

Here's the thing: ever think that MAYBE the preview WASN'T "awesome, magnificent, unbelievable"?
Here's the preview to Wynter: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=20378

While the preview is certainly better than a lot of indie works out there, it's not great. Muddy colours, an unintuitive composition that doesn't properly lead the eye, angsty character who unceremoniously gives her rear to some random bloke on the street on page 3 (there goes all the female readers), and a non-existent hook or storyline.
Not my idea of "awesome, magnificent, unbelievable".

If your preview isn't absolutely kickass, it's doing more damage than good.

Harsh truth #6: Talking about your comic makes people want to not buy it

Incorrect, unless ALL YOU DO is talk about your comic. People aren't drawn to selfish creators or salespeople. Don't be either of those things.

In Conclusion

Yes, those harsh truths look bad. Really bad.

That's because they're horribly generalised and mostly incorrect.


*ahem*

In my humble opinion. :har:

bramjm
01-18-2015, 11:24 PM
Replied to the OP with:

Hm. Someone came into the comic shop and asked about this; had no way to order it for her. TBH, quick Googling (all there was time for as she browsed) turned up the CBR press release, and I didnít note the year ó told her it hadnít released yet.

Building an indie comic audience is done person-by-person. Conventions, a webcomic Ö yes, even a free issue. Six months is nothing

Steven Forbes
01-18-2015, 11:50 PM
I'm gonna disagree with Alyssa. She's definitely entitled to her views, but here are mine.

This person who wrote the article is generally correct.

ComixTribe is in Diamond. We've tenuously been able to keep our sales around their threshold. It's a fight, let me tell you.

We've gotten good reviews from reputable sites and sources. It didn't help our sales all that much. (The thing about reviews and word of mouth is that it cannot be overblown. Giving in to the hyperbole machine will make people automatically tune you out.)

We've gotten good word of mouth. It didn't help our sales much.

We didn't buy ads. That's a money pit, and it's almost impossible to see if it works. Not unless it's unusual. (We bought an ad once, and that helped, because it was unusual. We took out an ad on a billboard for Scam, and we did it in Vegas. That got us some buzz.)

Before we got into Diamond, we had called every comic shop in the country. 80% of them weren't interested because we weren't in Diamond. Once we got in Diamond, 80% of them weren't interested because we weren't one of the bigger publishers.

Readers don't care about your books. Sounds counterintuitive, but it's true. Readers generally don't care. (I'll give points to the person who tells me who DOES care about your books.)

Alyssa does make some points, though. It's a numbers game. You have to have good numbers in order for anything to really happen.

Now, the biggest caveat is that the books have to be good. Just taking a glance at the first couple of pages, I can see the preview isn't a good book. The artist did all the work: pencils, inks, colors, and letters. Some people can carry it off. This person obviously can't. The letters are terrible, the colors are muddy, and the whole thing makes me not want to read it. The cover is intriguing, though.

Wynter, however, isn't a good book. That's after reading 2 pages.

You have to have a good product, to start with, and then you have to get people on your side. And then, you have to stay in the public eye. The best way to do that is to produce monthly. This means you have to sink a lot of money into the initial production costs so that you can produce your series on a monthly basis. Even though ComixTribe knew this, we still went about it the hard way with some of our titles.

If you don't produce monthly--or even bi-monthly--you might as well not produce at all. That's a simple truth. People forget about you, and any forward momentum you've gained is then squandered. Then you have to build it again, and that can be challenging.

So I wouldn't call the article linkbait. He's just espousing the realities he's faced. Everything he's said I can agree with, to a point.

Now, on to the OP question.

What works is having a truly good book, published monthly. It doesn't matter if it's a limited series. Publish it monthly. Be innovative in getting the word out about your book. Want to buy an ad? Make sure the money is well spent. (The next few years are rife with comic book movies coming out, yes? Try to get an ad campaign to run in front of the movie. People come in and sit for a while before the movie starts. This would be a perfect time to advertise. Just be prepared for the expense.)

Diamond is a great barometer for your book.

Understand that Diamond is in the business of selling. They want to buy your book. They do! They want to buy it at a deep discount, so they can then turn around and re-sell it, and you both make money. (They sell it to the retailers at a discount, who then turns around and sells it to the public at cover price, thus, everyone makes money.)

If Diamond cannot sell your book, then there is something about your book that is off. Usually, it's the art and story, followed by just the art. If Diamond says "no" to you, ask for reasons why they won't accept your book, and then work on those issues. Their objections will generally be the same objections everyone else will have.

There are lots of strategies to help your sales. However, the simple fact is it all starts with a quality book. This is not something you can take for granted. Get the opinion of someone you trust to give you the truth, who also knows what they're talking about. If you don't have a quality book, you're already starting from a weak position.

And those are my thoughts.

Scribbly
01-19-2015, 01:38 AM
The thing is that this Wynter guy is not on Diamond yet. And maybe he's resentful about that.
The problem with Diamond is that if for some reason they accept your book you must be prepared to print at least 3000 books having them ready for distribution; 3000 printed books cost a lot of money. A huge investment beyond the pocket of many indie authors and self publishers like this guy.

Big sales and big revenue would never happen if your sales venues are coming from online places like comixology or Drive-thru where according the interviews, the best sellers and popular authors are selling 4 to 20 books per week as great success.
That is the difference between traveling from one State to other walking or going on airplane.
Probably would make it, but it will take far more time.

About the artwork on that Wynter book, you can take this same artist to draw/ paint one issue of X-men and he probably will be selling 2 to 4 thousand books easily. The problem here is that this Wynter book is an unknown title by unknown writer, sold online by small print on demand distribution.

Good comics sell well without any help beyond their content. Comics sell by years and decades after their authors are dead.
Before the digital revolution or Direct market good comics where selling well without advertisement or promotion through public media. Good stories and good illustrations that is what comics readers want.
Anything else is circumstantial.

DaveyDouble
01-19-2015, 03:05 AM
There's something about but he article that flat out, immediately makes me want to not trust the writer.

Anecdotal evidence? Probably. The whole thing reads like a bad mood blog post because his book didn't get picked up immediately.

I'm more inclined to listen to what Alyssa has to say.

Charles
01-19-2015, 11:28 AM
I read this article at New Worlds Comics:

6 Harsh Truths About Indie Publishing
http://newworldscomics.com/?p=875

It essentially says that fans don't care about free issues and previews, and that reviews, ads, being really good, and talking about your comic do not help sales. I wondered what the self-publishers on DW thought about this.

And if all this is true, what options available to the indie publisher will help sales?

I will preface my comments that follow, by pointing out up front that I am NOT an independent publisher of comic books. But, since I think that your primary desire is to figure out ways to increase the sales of your own comic books, and not to limit feedback only to existing indie publishers, I thought that I would chime in, if you don't mind.

First, I read the article in question that you provided a link to. From my perspective, what the author describes in his article as harsh truths, are not really all that harsh, after all.

I don't buy a lot of comic books. Why? Because, they tend to cost too much.

Think of it, this way. How many people out there want to create and sell their own comic books? In my first-hand experience, there's quite a LOT of them. Really, there is!

Before I can buy your comic book, I have to know that it - and by extension, you - exist. If I just go looking to find some comic books, assuming that I am looking for comic books to purchase (rather than just free comics that I encounter, which are simply there for the taking), how does your comic book make its way to the forefront of my attention?

Typically, I will spend a matter of minutes, if not seconds, finding a comic book that grabs my attention. Most of them suck. That tends to be my first impression of them. Why would I want to buy something that sucks?

Whether your comic book sucks or not, though, it doesn't really matter, if I don't encounter it.

If someone is brand, spanking new to publishing comic books, then in all likelihood, your comic book products lack any real degree of brand awareness across the population at large.

On top of that, unless you just have money to burn, advertising can be a very cost-prohibitive prospect for getting the word out about your comic book that nobody has any awareness of.

Ideally, other people will talk about your comic book, but in order for them to do that, they will need to become aware of it, first.

If nobody's buying your comic book, then how big if your comic book's readership? If it is non-existent, then how will you change that situation in your favor, without raising awareness on the part of others about the comic book that you are publishing?


Harsh truth #1: Reviews donít help sales.

I think that it would be more accurate to say that reviews can help to drive sales, but that they don't always help to drive sales, noticeably or significantly. Reviews of comic books are going to have a very limited reach, in any event, since many people who do read comic books don't bother to read reviews of comic books. Furthermore, using myself as an example, I will typically look for a comic book to read, but if it doesn't fall within a genre that I gravitate to, then I likely will never encounter a review for the comic book in question, even if it has a multitude of reviews, and even if it has the best review ever written for a comic book. There are, thus, many barriers between your comic book and prospective readers.



Harsh truth #2: Ads donít help sales.

Advertising has been proven to drive sales of all kinds of different products. Ads take many forms. Ads vary in their degrees of effectiveness, not to mention their reach. Advertising is an industry, and a very lucrative industry, at that. So, certainly, quite a few people do believe that advertising matters. If you create your own ads for your own comic book, you might want to ponder whether you're truly a jack of that many trades.



Harsh truth #3: It doesnít matter that youíre good.

Good is subjective, in that not everyone likes the same thing, and not everyone agrees that a given thing is good. That said, quality matters. Quality tends to sell, when inferior doesn't. As far as reviewers not successfully recommending a given product, think about that. What is a successful recommendation, anyway?

Celebrities, for example, already have an established audience of note, and they also tend to have reach, when they say something. So, if a celebrity recommends your comic book, or even if they mention it, people might well throng to it, since many will hang on everything that a particular celebrity says or does. That doesn't mean that their recommendation is better written or better spoken, per se, even though it might be vastly more effective at driving sales of your comic book.

How do you quantify good? My son thinks that pizza taste good. I don't. Pizza ads sell countless numbers of pizza, every year. But, they never sell pizza to me.

Think about the Super Bowl. Ads are at a premium, there. They are very expensive, and they are often very memorable. By comparison, how many reviews have you encountered that are as memorable?

Using myself as an example, again, I have written a few reviews for comic books, of late. How many people actually read those reviews? Not very many, at all, if the statistical data that I occasionally glance at are any indicator - which it is.

So, why do I write reviews, if nobody (or very few people) bothers to read them?

Well, for different reasons, of course. One of those reasons to provide comic book publishers a talking point for their products. Now, whether they bother to utilize that talking point in an effective manner or not, I leave entirely up to them. If I write a review of a comic book, I try to send the publisher of it a link.

While there are people who get paid to do reviews, and at least some of them will give your comic book a positive review for that very reason, the reviews that I write for comic books aren't predicated upon being paid to write those reviews. Of course, the review, itself, might very well end up sounding more negative than positive. Do comic book publishers, particular of independent comic books, want to bring people's attention to reviews of their comic books that they believe to be negative?

To me, the challenge lies in converting a negative review into a positive opportunity. If you can exploit a negative review in this manner, then odds are, you can also exploit a positive review. But, if you can't exploit a positive review of your comic book, then how likely is it that you can turn a negative review of the same into a mechanism for driving sales? Again, how many different trades are you the master of?


Harsh truth #4: People will refuse to read you for free.

Not everyone will, but then again, not everyone is going to come into contact with your comic book, regardless of whether they would be willing to read it or not.

Of those that do encounter it, and who also bother to read it, how many of that sub-set of people do you thing will be likely to then talk about it, as opposed to just consuming it and moving on to the next comic book to read? If your comic book, itself, doesn't contain the sufficient motivator to compel other people (namely, the readers of it) to set about talking to others about it, then where does that leave you? How do you overcome that barrier?



Harsh truth #5: Fans donít care about previews

I think that this particular assertion stretches credibility to the limit. I go through far more previews of comic books, than I do actual comic books. I consider previews to be a time saver. My opinion of them? Generally speaking, the previews confirm my suspicions that a given comic book is either an exercise in mediocrity, or that it is worth taking a closer look at.

In my experience, previews of independent comic books tend to be very short - even to the point of it being to their own detriment. On numerous occasions, I have encountered previews that contain the front cover marred by a watermark (effectively destroying visual interst of the cover), a credits page, and a couple of pages that are either blank or text.

Another "technique" that I have encountered is where comic book publishers utilize the front cover, itself, as the preview. Either that, or the front cover ends up looking nothing like what I then find on the interior pages. In other words, the front cover is the bait. Use it to tempt the prospective buyer, and then the interior pages disappoint. Some independent comic book publishers create their own comic books, but use others to create the front cover. Now, this doesn't present a moral dilemma, per se, but it does present a marketing dilemma.

A cover can be used as bait. So can a preview. If the preview is so short that I don't have neither the time nor the opportunity to become invested, reading-wise, in the comic book, then how effective do you believe that the comic book will be at persuading me to spring for it, by purchasing it? Not very, in my personal, first-hand experience.

Is a short preview a better preview? Not necessarily. Not usually, if my past experience in looking at comic book previews is any indicator.

But, it may well be that an independent comic book publisher may not want to divulge too much, out of fear of effectively giving their product away for free. But, if they don't buy it, anyway, then where does that leave the publisher?

Between the proverbial rock and a hard place, of course.

Yet, go back to the preview, to the concept of it. What is the intended purpose of a comic book preview? It is to tempt the prospective reader/buyer, is it not?

So, if a comic book preview is making no difference to the sales of a given comic book, could it possibly be that the preview, itself, is ineffective, rather than that all previews are worthless? Are all comic book previews created equal, or are some better - and more effective - than others?


Harsh truth #6: Talking about your comic makes people want to not buy it

The author of that article said this: So when you try to sell, it turns them off.

Sales pitches gone astray is something that I frequently encountered, when looking at various Kickstarter projects. People try to pitch their products, and such pitches often fail. This is hardly the same thing as talking about a comic book makes people not want to but it.

The fact is that a LOT of talk by publishers about their comic books is either misdirected or it falls off the mark. What methodology of targeting are you using, when talking about your comic book?

At times, when independent comic book publishers talk about their comic book, they have a way of conveying that their product is boring. They want people to believe that their comic book is the best thing since sliced bread, but at the same time, they offer stale presentations of their comic book. If it looks stale and if it smells stale and if it sounds as if it is stale, then the odds are pretty good that it is stale.

I have never published a comic book. I have, however, published a small scale digital magazine, one that used comic book art as its front cover. My objective was NOT to SELL the magazine. I gave the magazine away, for free.

The goal was to build readership, which is not the same thing as building sales. To build readership is to grow an audience. If you're an independent comic book publisher, and you have no audience, then how do you intend to sell something to no audience? The world is full of people, but that is not the same thing as saying that these very same people, or any given sub-set of them, are an audience-in-waiting for your comic book.

As regards the Wynter comic book that the article references, not all reviews for it were to the effect that the comic book in question is a science fiction extravaganza. I didn't get that feeling from this review, for example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVNhLxUHcA0

That particular review only has 137 views, as of the moment that I point to it in this posting.

Beyond any of this, though, there is also the consideration of competition. How many comic books, both by main line publishers and independent publishers, are vying for people's attention, at any given moment? Dozens? Hundreds? Thousands?

Floating in a veritable sea of competition, how does one rise above the waves to get seen? To get noticed requires that one get seen, first. After all, to take notice of something, in a manner that is substantial, is not the same thing as simply someone catching a fleeting glimpse of your comic book while browsing.

Of the people browsing for comic books, how many of them are browsing specifically for your comic book? How easy is it to look past a comic book, without even really noticing it?

So, you want to sell comic books, huh? What preparation have you made? What is your ground game? What is your strategy? What is your plan?

More importantly, what are your connections? You don't have to hawk your comic book like a pauper begging for their next meal, provided that you can tap in to an existing, established, and effective communication source. If you don't have that, though, then what's your Plan B?

Then, too, is your mechanism for bringing your comic book to market a sustainable venture? Or are you aiming for a one shot deal? If everything depends upon how well your first issue does, then what happens if your first issue doesn't do very well, at all? What then?

A lot of sales pitches fail for the very simple reason that that is just, exactly what they are - sales pitches. If you sit down to watch something on television, is it the commercials that you are aiming for? Or are you after something of far greater substance, of far greater interest, of far more entertainment value?

Sales pitches make poor foundations for building a new comic book empire. They tend to be dreadfully boring and grossly ineffective. Yet, it is what independent comic book publishers seem to be prone to lean toward, when launching their lines of comic books.

Stewart Vernon
01-19-2015, 05:59 PM
Familiar sells better than unfamiliar, regardless of quality.

Put an unknown writer/artist on Amazing Spider-Man and it will still sell well sight-unseen. If the comic turns to crap, then people will stop buying... but on a flagship title creators get the benefit of the doubt.

Take a hot creator off Amazing Spider-Man and let him do his own "I'm the Man" book at Marvel, and people will give it a shot too. Not in high-numbers, but good enough... since it's a known creator with a known company.

Now, put that hot creator on his own... self-publishing or with a new/small imprint. He can do the greatest work ever and it just will not sell in high numbers at first, if ever.

If IBM or Apple releases a new piece of hardware, people will jump up and down even if it isn't the greatest thing ever. But if a new startup creates literally the greatest thing ever? People will be skeptical, and ask "If it is so great, why didn't IBM or Apple invent it?"

Lots of other ingredients go into the mix... but people are weird when it comes to how they evaluate new things to try. My friend might like something, but I might not listen to him especially if it doesn't fit my preconceived notions of what I usually like.

You're always fighting an uphill battle... and those that have come before you get more benefit of the doubt and if several of them work together OR work for a company that also has been around a while and established itself... then even more benefit of the doubt.

Some independents publish stuff today that IF it were a Marvel, Image, or DC book it would be a top seller every month! Conversely, Marvel and DC and Image publish some stuff that if it were an indie publisher, that indie publisher could not pay you to take it.

Screwtape Jenkins
01-19-2015, 06:04 PM
In my very limited experience, that article is absolutely spot on.

The first good review I got, I thought my sales would skyrocket. Nope. I got a few more hits on my website, and that's all.

I gave my book away for free. Got a thousand visits to the site in one month. The most I've ever gotten. No increase in sales. (Heck, I didn't even get any comments. I know about 1000 people have downloaded the book. Nobody even said "Thanks!" or "This sucks!" Nothing.)

I bought ads, mostly on facebook. Went from about 30 to over 150 likes. No increase in sales.

Turns out it's just really, really hard to get people to part with their money.

Until you've created an indie comic, you have no idea how little anyone cares that you've created an indie comic.

For a long time I thought it was just me. I just thought I failed and the book wasn't good enough. Well, all that might be true, but it's also true that it's just hard to sell indie comics, no matter how good they are. I've read some really good books by really talented creators who've told me the same story.

scrappy
01-19-2015, 10:26 PM
Turns out it's just really, really hard to get people to part with their money.


This statement really stuck with me because it makes me think of Kickstarter. I too believe that its hard to make people part with their money, which is why I'm so amazed that people have success on sites like Kickstarter. I see people throwing money at others to create stuff. Some of it very stupid.

It seems you have more of a chance generating money through a Kickstarter for a comic than through sales of the comic itself.

Scribbly
01-20-2015, 02:44 AM
Not for consolation, but big mainstream publishers are canceling and closing up titles very often when them books don't match the expected sales.
And these books are well made by pro writers and artists and have all the printing, advertisement and distribution cost already solved and financed. Usually running under the flag of some famous title or characters as well.

So? Why these books don't sell? Why people refuse to read or pay for read those well produced books?
If you have the answer, maybe you will come up with the answer on what works and what doesn't ;
and what makes a comic book be of value for the comic's audience.

SamRoads
01-20-2015, 10:11 AM
Wynter is not amazing. It has very average lettering. This is not a mistake you can afford to ignore, but so many indie books seem to. Whoever acted as creative director on the project permitted the bad lettering, which implies a level of creative laxness may have affected other areas of production.

(The bad lettering extends to the cover of the book - subtly turning off many prospective purchasers.)

On another point: I think reviews do help, but it depends who the reviewer is. Get New York magazine to give you four stars. Get Alan Moore to call you brilliant. Get Oprah to mention it. I suspect any of these things will directly lead to high sales.

http://comicbookroundup.com/comic-books/reviews/new-worlds-comics/wynter/1

Here's the 'necessary to exist' quote: from perfectly good comic book blogger. He's a nice quote to have got, but he's not Neil Gaiman, or Joe Quesada.

Personally I tend not to trust the view of bloggers, or any critic who self publishes. There's no barrier to entry, so you've no way of knowing how valuable their criticism is.

The Wynter creators don't know where they are on the ladder of success. Wynter is a wonderful indie title, with plenty of flaws. You could sell it at a con, but you'd never get it into Diamond (with THAT lettering).

Rob Norton
01-20-2015, 10:57 AM
so what y'all are saying is this shits really really hard....?



(make you wonder why we all bother at all?)



rob

Duane Korslund
01-20-2015, 11:00 AM
so what y'all are saying is this shits really really hard....?



(make you wonder why we all bother at all?)



rob

Because we're artists....we have no choice...I think the key is to make peace with how hard it is and do it because you love it....if you happen to get the golden ticket...all the better.

The other direction lies madness!

Screwtape Jenkins
01-20-2015, 12:56 PM
It seems you have more of a chance generating money through a Kickstarter for a comic than through sales of the comic itself.

That is a strange but true phenomenon. I've seen unknowns raise thousands of dollars on Kickstarter, when there's no way they could have sold enough books to reach that amount.

I'd guess there's something about feeling like you've helped launch a product that gives you something that just buying the product doesn't. So, for that altruistic high, people will pay $10 for a pdf on Kickstarter when they wouldn't pay $4 for a physical copy in a store.

Max Romaine
01-20-2015, 02:59 PM
Beyond making the best quality book you can and making sure as many people know about your book as possible without being obnoxious or wasteful about it, everyone seems to have a different opinion on this. Very interesting to read everyone's thoughts.

Steven Forbes
01-20-2015, 03:25 PM
Opinions are great things to have.

Now, look at those, and see which ones have actually published their own comics and which ones haven't. You'll see which ones match. You'll also see that those who have published their own comics agree with the article (to a point).

Charles
01-20-2015, 06:26 PM
Indeed, opinions are great things to have, as it facilitates the creative process, plus it is one of the things that lead to innovation.

Sam is right, that you shouldn't trust the view of bloggers, or of any critic who self-publishes. There is no barrier to entry, as Sam said, and it's quite true that you have no way of knowing how valuable their criticism is.

But, then again, knowing is a big word. If you knew what options available to the Indie publisher will help sales, then you likely wouldn't create a discussion thread to try and seek input from others, in order to gain a better understanding of how to increase sales to a desirable level.

Of those who have self-published their own comic books, how many copies did they sell, and at what price, or each of their respective titles? Over how long or short of a period of time were those sales accomplished? Of those, how many of them were published solo, compared to how many of them were published using a team?

Two weeks ago, I published a brief article (http://comicbooktemple.blogspot.com/2015/01/a-fleeting-glimpse-into-decision-to-buy.html) on my blog, one that offered a fleeting glimpse into a decision by myself to buy some digital comic books. It was something that I posted, after the fact - after the purchase was made. Different things taken collectively persuaded me to make that particular purchase. For that independent comic book publisher, they had a Special Holiday Offer, and it factored into my decision to purchase from them.

And if all this is true, what options available to the indie publisher will help sales?

I think that it is a fair thing to say that many different things can help sales, but that none of them are likely to be the equivalent of a Willy Wonka Golden Ticket to selling lots of comic books, or to making lots of money via the sale of comic books.

What is a sales figure that you had in mind, Max? How many issues of a comic book would you have to sell, before you would consider it to have been a successful issue?

Scribbly
01-20-2015, 08:26 PM
Opinions are great things to have.

Now, look at those, and see which ones have actually published their own comics and which ones haven't. You'll see which ones match. You'll also see that those who have published their own comics agree with the article (to a point).

Taking about opinions from famous self published comic's authors:

"There is an inverse relationship between imagination and money." Alan Moore after his experience as self publisher.

Lets bet for imagination then.

SamRoads
01-20-2015, 09:52 PM
Charles: I've published one 60 page graphic novel. I ran a $4000 Kickstarter, which prizes included 100 copies and since then I've sold another 100 at about 7 daysworth of conventions. I sell each copy for $15.

Diamond Europe have agreed to include it, but Diamond US are in the process of deciding.

I'm very happy with this, as it's my debut. Over the next year I expect to sell another 100 copies, at which point I will have broken even.

For my second project, a 90 page graphic novel, I'm self financing the first quarter, released as a single issue then will attempt a $6500 Kickstarter.

If you're interested, the first Kickstarter is here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/samroads/kristo-graphic-novel/

And my next project is here:
www.facebook.com/SiliconHeart

Charles
01-20-2015, 11:54 PM
Charles: I've published one 60 page graphic novel. I ran a $4000 Kickstarter, which prizes included 100 copies and since then I've sold another 100 at about 7 daysworth of conventions. I sell each copy for $15.

Diamond Europe have agreed to include it, but Diamond US are in the process of deciding.

I'm very happy with this, as it's my debut. Over the next year I expect to sell another 100 copies, at which point I will have broken even.

For my second project, a 90 page graphic novel, I'm self financing the first quarter, released as a single issue then will attempt a $6500 Kickstarter.

If you're interested, the first Kickstarter is here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/samroads/kristo-graphic-novel/

And my next project is here:
www.facebook.com/SiliconHeart


Sam,

I remember seeing something about your comic book undertaking a long while back, even before your Kickstarter. I've followed some Kickstarter projects, but I didn't follow yours, as I didn't really take much interest in Kickstarter until a number of months after your project ended its campaign cycle. I don't recall, off the top of my head, where I first read about your Kristo undertaking, but it was during my Internet searches about stuff related to Harlequin Games, I'm pretty sure. I used to read a lot of comic books, back when I was a kid, so to discover that you, a PBM personality, was trying to create a comic book was something that just sort of caught my eye, when I ran across a tidbit about it.

I'm glad to see that your first Kickstarter succeeded. I'll check out the link for the Silicon Heart project that you are undertaking.

SamRoads
01-21-2015, 01:42 PM
Heh. Nice to be infamous in two different worlds. :)

B-McKinley
01-23-2015, 11:14 AM
This thread linking to the article made me seek out and read Wynter #1. But only the quality of the finished product will make me keep reading it or recommend it to others. I can't really recommend Wynter based on what I read.

Publishing and marketing are things that take just as much time and skill as the "creative" jobs. Having a finished issue or several issues doesn't automatically make you good at publishing or marketing. That takes as much practice and research as writing and drawing.

Tyler_James
01-26-2015, 04:55 PM
Whole lot of caveats needed for that article.

I would have lead it with Harsh Truth #0: A new indie publisher with their first book is not going to sell very many comics out of the gate... and thus take every "Truth" they've learned in that short time with a grain of salt.

What are we supposed to take as "advice" from that article?

- Don't bother getting your book reviewed.
- Don't spend money advertising your book.
- Don't worry whether your book is good or not.
- People suck and don't want your free crap.
- Don't bother sharing previews.
- Don't talk about your book.

I can guarantee you, following the above recipe ain't gonna help with sales.

Stewart Vernon
01-26-2015, 05:47 PM
People are funny. A slight tangent... years ago a friend and I used to sell comics at conventions. Some shows we did well, others we did not. But it was weird.

We were friendly, people liked us and we often had books cheaper than other dealers at the show... but we observed other dealers would sometimes wander away from their tables and be elsewhere while potential customers stood there waiting for the dealer to come back.

More than once, we would see someone wait for 10 minutes for a dealer to come back... then pay that dealer more than we were asking for the same book in the same condition AND they had already been to our table so they knew we had the same book.

It was frustrating.

IF we had a unique product, however, we could corner the market on the show... for a while we were the only dealer with trading cards so people would flock to our table for those items and we had no trouble getting whatever price we were asking!

So we never conquered the "why pay more and wait for something we have cheaper and will sell now" problem... but being unique in other areas helped offset that.

I mention because... If your work is like everyone else's, even if it is good... you might have a hard time getting attention to it. People will even pay more for inferior work sometimes if they are more familiar with that comic and have never heard of yours.

The flip side, is once you get "in" it's easier to stay in... and your follow-on projects will be easier to sell once you establish a reputation... but that can take time.

Guy H
01-29-2015, 07:54 AM
Hi everyone. I'm Guy Hasson, CEO and head writer of New Worlds Comics. I wrote the piece you're talking about.

They teach us at Indie Comics School to not respond to fan conversations. But a short conversation with Charles on Facebook convinced me that I should.

First of all, I appreciate all the thoughts, in both directions. And I saw that there was a disagreement about Wynter and even a disbelief about the reviews it got.

So below I'm going to link to a bunch of reviews. But remember I said reviews don't sway people? I really think they don't.

The important thing in the piece, for me, is that readers' reactions to Wynter is such that 95% of those who read it become great converts. You don't believe me? You'd like to disprove me? Then disregard the reviews below and judge for yourself.

Everyone here who emails me at NewWorldsComics@gmail.com will get a free PDF copy of Wynter #1.

Nothing speaks louder than your own voice and your own opinion. You be the judges!

Okay. Here is a very small sample of the reviews Wynter has gotten:

Rhymes with Geek said "Once in a while a new book shows up out of nowhere and reminds you why you love comics in the first place." and gave us a 10 out of 10: http://www.rhymeswithgeek.com/wynter-1-rwg-reviews/
Florida Geek Scene said "Blows its competition out of the water" http://www.floridageekscene.com/review/wynter-3/
Geeks with Wives said "I recommend this book especially for Sci-fi buffs and hopefully you will be hooked as much as I am.Ē http://geekswithwives.com/wynter-1-review-new-worlds-comics/
Adventures in Poor Taste said "The painting by Aron Elekes is astounding. The quality is Alex Ross levels, but the layouts and pages are much more dreamlike and inventive than anything Ross has ever done." http://www.adventuresinpoortaste.com/2014/04/30/is-it-good-wynter-2-review/
Fan Girl Blog "Blown away" http://fangirlblog.com/2014/04/wynter-cheering-for-a-new-scifi-comics-heroine/
End of the Universe said "Itís the comic Philip K. Dick would create if he were writing today." http://endoftheuniversecomics.com/2014/04/30/the-new-worlds-of-wynter/
Living Myth Media chose Wynter as the top five comics every time it came out and put it in its Most Addictive Series of 2014. They said "Hands down the best hard sci-fi series going right now." http://livingmythmagazine.com/blog/2014/12/31/god-comics-2014s-newest-addictions/
Fortress of Solitude: "I got a feeling this title will never disappoint!" http://www.fortressofsolitude.co.za/os_book/wynter-4-review/
The Spanish comics website El Sitio Del Heroe said "Wynter is poised to become one of the greatest SF narratives of the decade." http://elsitiodelheroe.com/2015/01/05/por-la-subversion-wynter-el-comic-que-va-por-todo/

Steven Forbes
01-29-2015, 10:08 AM
Hi, Guy. Welcome.

This may sound combative. I don't mean it to be. I mean for it to be a conversation starter.

What are the reviews supposed to prove, if anything?

I'd much rather talk about the article instead of the book.

Schuyler
01-29-2015, 11:46 AM
I am really happy that I got a free Wynter # 1. Thank you.

I have never read a review and then picked up a book because of it. I don't pay attention to ads.

I just got a free book. If I like it I might buy more. It has to be good, though.

If someone tells me about their comic in a very efficient way, I might buy it. If it sounds good.

Four out of six of the harsh truths seem true. For me, anyway.

-Sky

Charles
01-29-2015, 01:51 PM
They teach us at Indie Comics School to not respond to fan conversations. But a short conversation with Charles on Facebook convinced me that I should.

Oops!

Was it something that I said? Or, something that I didn't say?

Actually, I didn't say one heck of a whole lot in that conversation, which took place in the Indie Comic Discussion, a Facebook discussion group focused on independent comic books.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/238269816368764/

There's probably a reason why they voiced that advice at Indie Comics School. But, I'm not really sure that this particular discussion thread technically falls properly under the ambit of a "fan conversation," per se.

The thing about in engaging in fan conversations is that fans can get very animated, and become very passionate, about a given comic character or commodity. But, intentionally going out of your way to avoiding all fan conversations holds the potential to do a disservice to both yourself and your fans, in my considered opinion.

The other edge of that double-edged sword, of course, is that fan conversations can pose a great temptation to enter the fray of what is being discussed. As a general rule of thumb, as long as you can maintain your cool, your calm, and your wit, then fan conversations shouldn't pose any more of an undue obstacle than any other kind of conversation.

The important thing in the piece, for me, is that readers' reactions to Wynter is such that 95% of those who read it become great converts. You don't believe me? You'd like to disprove me? Then disregard the reviews below and judge for yourself.

Everyone here who emails me at NewWorldsComics@gmail.com will get a free PDF copy of Wynter #1.

Nothing speaks louder than your own voice and your own opinion. You be the judges!

Indeed! For, if they take you up on that offer and that challenge, then it holds the potential to work to your advantage, in getting the word around.

I had downloaded a copy of Wynter # 1, previously. I took time out to read it, in its entirety, this morning.

Scribbly
01-29-2015, 04:09 PM
That script was...especial.

Schuyler
01-29-2015, 04:29 PM
I read Wynter. I plan to respond to Guy personally with some of my thoughts on it.

The art reminds me of Black Orchid. That's a good thing.

I went to order some actual books and discovered that Wynter is only digital. I personally think, that should have been mentioned.

I don't know how other people feel about digital comics, but I would rather hold a book in my hand. I read digital because they are usually free, and it will tell me if I want to spend money on a hard copy.

I'm just some guy that has nothing published. I do not think of myself as an authority on comics. But, here are some thoughts.

The lettering in Wynter is small and hard to read. There is a word in the wrong place on page 2, which actually made me not want to not finish it.

The story feels disconnected from the images at times, to where I'm confused about what is actually happening.

None of that matters though, because I got my free copy and I was going to order more. Not to prove a point, but because I did find the story intriguing. I might still buy the PDFs because they are a good price at $1.99. If I could have ordered some hard copies, I already would have.

There should be a seventh harsh truth added to the article.

Comic geeks like physical comic books.

Just a thought,

-Sky

Stewart Vernon
01-29-2015, 04:49 PM
On the subject of reviews... just because you get a good review doesn't mean you are good. Just because you get a bad review doesn't mean you are bad.

Some people do buy (or not) based on reviews... that's their loss (or gain).

I have read bad reviews that enticed me to buy something and judge for myself because of the bad review... and turned out I disagreed with the review and liked the thing I bought!

I use reviews like any tool... they add to the decision-making process, rather than dictate to it.

The world is filled with people who were told "you're funny, you should be a comedian" only to find out they weren't really that funny... some people also are told they are no good to the point they start to believe it, which is sad because they never give the rest of the world a chance.

Alyssa
01-29-2015, 09:21 PM
Okay. Here is a very small sample of the reviews Wynter has gotten:

Rhymes with Geek said "Once in a while a new book shows up out of nowhere and reminds you why you love comics in the first place." and gave us a 10 out of 10: http://www.rhymeswithgeek.com/wynter-1-rwg-reviews/
Florida Geek Scene said "Blows its competition out of the water" http://www.floridageekscene.com/review/wynter-3/
Geeks with Wives said "I recommend this book especially for Sci-fi buffs and hopefully you will be hooked as much as I am.Ē http://geekswithwives.com/wynter-1-review-new-worlds-comics/
Adventures in Poor Taste said "The painting by Aron Elekes is astounding. The quality is Alex Ross levels, but the layouts and pages are much more dreamlike and inventive than anything Ross has ever done." http://www.adventuresinpoortaste.com/2014/04/30/is-it-good-wynter-2-review/
Fan Girl Blog "Blown away" http://fangirlblog.com/2014/04/wynter-cheering-for-a-new-scifi-comics-heroine/
End of the Universe said "Itís the comic Philip K. Dick would create if he were writing today." http://endoftheuniversecomics.com/2014/04/30/the-new-worlds-of-wynter/
Living Myth Media chose Wynter as the top five comics every time it came out and put it in its Most Addictive Series of 2014. They said "Hands down the best hard sci-fi series going right now." http://livingmythmagazine.com/blog/2014/12/31/god-comics-2014s-newest-addictions/
Fortress of Solitude: "I got a feeling this title will never disappoint!" http://www.fortressofsolitude.co.za/os_book/wynter-4-review/
The Spanish comics website El Sitio Del Heroe said "Wynter is poised to become one of the greatest SF narratives of the decade." http://elsitiodelheroe.com/2015/01/05/por-la-subversion-wynter-el-comic-que-va-por-todo/

I respond to this by reposting my earlier comments. Bold for emphasis.


So, you need reviews that are genuine. Websites who give you a positive review in exchange for money or exposure (yes, newbie review bloggers often give stellar reviews in the hope you'll spread the word about their site) are not worth the time.
If you can get genuine, positive reviews by folk who are followed by your target audience, all the better.

Finally, WHERE were these reviews? I know that selling novels as an indie author, you can basically ignore any reviews that aren't on Amazon or Goodreads. What are the review sources comic book readers trust? That's where you need your reviews to be.

Reviews need to be written by relevant and well-known personalities. This is how readers put more trust in reviews. If you don't have relevant and extremely well-known personalities backing you, then you need numbers. Loads of numbers. Otherwise, folk will likely dismiss what's written.

Here's an example (note, do NOT buy this book):
http://www.amazon.com/Newsjacking-Inject-Breaking-Generate-Coverage-ebook/dp/B0065MKMMS/

If you look at the star ratings, you'd think this book is pretty decent. 33 Five-star reviews, versus 15 reviews four-stars and lower.

The book is shit. A great steaming dog turd.

The only reason this book has so many glowing reviews is because the author got his groupies to jump on there and vote 5-stars when the book launched.

I'm NOT saying this is what's happened with Wynter. What I'm saying is that because the above kind of behaviour is rife throughout the indie book industry, the importance of 1) reputable reviewers, or 2) sheer numbers becomes critical.

Look how many 5-star reviews Wool (http://www.amazon.com/Wool-Hugh-Howey/dp/1476733953/) has got (the vast majority accrued while Hugh was still a nobody, and self-publishing). He didn't pay for those reviews, people just bloody liked his book. A lot. He won through the numbers game. Things snowballed when he started getting well-known personalities recommending his book.

Don't think that reviews are useless just because you've got some good ones, yet sales aren't increasing. There are so many different factors involved that- in my opinion- you're doing your followers a disservice by presenting your current experience as a fact of life. Bearing in mind that the book series hasn't even been out that long.

Guy H
01-30-2015, 07:31 AM
Responses.

Hi Charles. Was it something you said? Oh, I grew up in a Polish Jewish family. I can sense dissatisfaction in silence better than than anyone. ;-) And I agree with it, which is why I chose to write.

Schuyler, Scribbly, Charles - I'm glad you took the time to read it.

Schuyler, many people shy away from digital comics. At the same time, the digital world is growing and growing. But more importantly, my choice in going ditial was this. If you take out the printing and distribution costs you come out with a reasonable cost for a comic, so much so that I could create uncompromising art (in my opinion, of course) consistently. Artistic independence is the key behind it. Now, I was fortunate enough to have another publisher approach me and through him we're doing physical trade paperbacks of all titles. The Wynter TPB should be out in a month.

HDMe: About reviews. I completely agree with you.

Alyssa: I agree you shouldn't trust reviews. You should trust your own opinion. However, reviews have their purpose. Sometimes they get your name seen. You can use quotes from reviews supposedly more effectively than you writing about how awesome your own book is. And lastly, an abundance of reviews one way or another is evidence to new buyers whether they'll like it or not. At the end of the day, it's your taste that counts. And, as I wrote in my post, you're welcome to get a free Wynter #1. I'd love to hear what you think of it.

Schuyler
01-30-2015, 11:02 AM
Schuyler, many people shy away from digital comics. At the same time, the digital world is growing and growing. But more importantly, my choice in going ditial was this. If you take out the printing and distribution costs you come out with a reasonable cost for a comic, so much so that I could create uncompromising art (in my opinion, of course) consistently. Artistic independence is the key behind it. Now, I was fortunate enough to have another publisher approach me and through him we're doing physical trade paperbacks of all titles. The Wynter TPB should be out in a month.

I'm glad it will be going trade.

I only wanted to point out that I think your sales have suffered because of the lack of a physical copy. Would it have been worth it to pay the extra costs? I have no idea.

-Sky

Robert_S
01-30-2015, 05:04 PM
Harsh truth #1: Reviews don’t help sales.
One of our first series, Wynter, was immediately called by reviewers an “SF extravaganza” and that reading it was “necessary for you to exist”.
Wynter #2 came out. Reviewers across the web started calling it “the best sci-fi comic on the shelves today”.
Wynter #3 came out. It was again hailed as “the best SF comic book on the market” across the board.


I hope these are fill-in/summary reviews by the article writer and not true reviews because these types of reviews are BS. They mention nothing about the quality of dialog, character development, story development, artwork, etc.

It's real easy to see why reviews like this didn't lead to more sales. You may as well just had someone say "IT'S AWESOME!"



Rhymes with Geek said "Once in a while a new book shows up out of nowhere and reminds you why you love comics in the first place." and gave us a 10 out of 10: http://www.rhymeswithgeek.com/wynter-1-rwg-reviews/
Florida Geek Scene said "Blows its competition out of the water" http://www.floridageekscene.com/review/wynter-3/
Geeks with Wives said "I recommend this book especially for Sci-fi buffs and hopefully you will be hooked as much as I am.” http://geekswithwives.com/wynter-1-r...worlds-comics/
Adventures in Poor Taste said "The painting by Aron Elekes is astounding. The quality is Alex Ross levels, but the layouts and pages are much more dreamlike and inventive than anything Ross has ever done." http://www.adventuresinpoortaste.com...nter-2-review/
Fan Girl Blog "Blown away" http://fangirlblog.com/2014/04/wynte...omics-heroine/
End of the Universe said "It’s the comic Philip K. Dick would create if he were writing today." http://endoftheuniversecomics.com/20...lds-of-wynter/
Living Myth Media chose Wynter as the top five comics every time it came out and put it in its Most Addictive Series of 2014. They said "Hands down the best hard sci-fi series going right now." http://livingmythmagazine.com/blog/2...st-addictions/
Fortress of Solitude: "I got a feeling this title will never disappoint!" http://www.fortressofsolitude.co.za/...nter-4-review/
The Spanish comics website El Sitio Del Heroe said "Wynter is poised to become one of the greatest SF narratives of the decade." http://elsitiodelheroe.com/2015/01/0...e-va-por-todo/


This is more of the same: little more than saying "IT'S AWESOME."

Stewart Vernon
01-30-2015, 05:44 PM
I once got a comment to one of my comic strips that was simply...

"It's a comic strip."

I *think* it was a friendly jab meant as an insult... but I chose to accept it as a sideways compliment. IF I ever collect those particular comic strips in any way to sell them in printed form, I fully plan on going back to that guy and asking for permission to put his quote on my cover! :)

Max Romaine
03-06-2015, 03:45 PM
Mr. Hasson has posted his follow-up article:

6 Harsh Ways To Become A Successful Indie (http://newworldscomics.com/?p=1188)

Meaning no disrespect to Hasson, many of these had me raising the eyebrow of disbelief. Here's my take on it:

1. Stop Selling - This doesn't make any sense to me. I can understand the admonishment not to try so hard that you're being annoying about it, but to stop trying to sell almost completely sounds kinda silly.

2. Find The One Thing You Do/Are That No One Else Does/Is - Unless I'm misunderstanding him, this seems to contradict Hasson's previous article where he said being good doesn't matter. Wouldn't doing something no one else does be a matter of style and therefore constitute being "good"? I'm going on the broad assumption here that having an aspect of style no one else has ever tried before would generally be a good thing assuming it's at least moderately well executed. But he seemed to be saying before that such things don't matter which makes this a little confusing to me.

3. Start Doing Things For The Fans - I thought trying to make a great comic was doing something for the fans. I was under the impression that was the point. So what is Hasson suggesting here? Freebies like art, stickers, etc.? Again, his previous article implied such things don't work and Hasson offers no suggestions whatsoever so, honestly, I have no idea what he's talking about.

4. Find Your Audience - Again, no suggestions or examples of exactly what he's talking about here. It sounds like he's basically saying "do some networking" but isn't that common knowledge by now? And how should we pursue this? According to Hasson's previous article, ads, previews, freebies, reviews and talking about your comic have no effect. So what exactly is he suggesting here?

5. Work On These Every Day - Well...I would if I could begin to understand the point of all this.

6. Sell Rarely - This is the one that really made me shake my head in true "WTF??" fashion. Doesn't this basically contradict what rule #1 says? First he says "Don't Sell". Then..."Okay sell, but just a little." Did he not just say that trying to sell is a bad thing? And if trying hard to sell has little or no effect, what good is making only a minimal effort to sell?

I don't have hands-on experience publishing so maybe there's something I'm missing or misunderstanding here. What do you guys think about this? Does any of this make sense?

Steven Forbes
03-06-2015, 04:17 PM
Most of this is crap.

Some of it is good advice, but most of this is crap.

But, hey, at least he has people talking about him.

Max Romaine
03-17-2015, 03:04 AM
Well, not really. He posted that article about a month ago and so far it has just seven likes and only one comment on his FB page. Again, not trying to put the man down, just sayin'.

Justice41
03-17-2015, 07:51 PM
UuuuH people don't want to read. Youts today are too lazy and uninterested in reading anything except texts and idiotic twitter posts and FB whatever. It's funny but if you want an idea of what these empty skulled idiots are interested in reading venture out to Barnes and Noble or the other big bookstore and just hang out near where they have the comics and like type books. Unless ya have decades of your characters being around the whole tights and capes stuff is becoming very niche. there will always be breakouts, but mostly failure. The answer to why some of the bigger books fail is probably agenda's. You get writers and artists with their little agenda's and they can kill a book with all their politically correct bullshit and their wacky agenda's being forced into the stories