I need some opinions, and some feedback, and hopefully some interest.
How many of you would be interested in getting your comic into the hands of 30,000 people on average? This isn't exactly a sales pitch, it's sort of an offer...like alot of the talk lately about new forms of pubishing.
From what I've noticed, the biggest problems Small-press comics face is their lack of exposure. Sure you can advertise in Previews, or budget permitting, Wizard, but people only get to see an ad. They don't know what the comic is about more than a line or two, and even if they know what it's about, they still don't know if they'll like the art or the writing. I've had an idea kicking around in my head for quite some time, and I've finally gotten the (pardon my expression here) cojones to try it out.
What I propose to do is gather together a group of small-press publishers, and put out a specialized Indy Rag Comic, tentatively titled "InSight". A tabloid sized publication (folded in half which is approximately comic size), on newsprint, of course BW (with cover exceptions). Each publisher would buy space in the publication to place 9 pages of their actual finished product, and one page for an overview, review, ad, and any pertinent information. There will also be ad space for anyone that wishes to purchase, as well as a NEWS page and some color pages, etc. The trick to this entire operation is that the publication will be FREE to the retailers, and hopefully FREE to readers. People will be able to pick it up, and see, first hand, a sampling of your comic. Retailers can read it and see if they wanna take a chance, they might even be able to order it directly from you if you give that info. They could show it to customers that they believe would be interested. Friends would be able to pass it around, or it could sit near the toilet for anyone to read through. After testing it out on just retailer stores, I might even be able to get it into bookstores, and other stores...because it's FREE. I have spoken with Diamond and ColdCut about the shipping, so it would be going everywhere (shipping cost included) that these distributors reach.
It would also serve you well if you wanted to buy extra copies for yourself to hand out at conventions, but that's another option (that I have not run pricing on just yet). I might even be able to get extra copies for free, it depends on the support I can get.
Here's the breakdown (per month):
30,000 copies will be distributed to the 4,000+ stores that Diamond and ColdCut deal with. Some stores will recieve more copies than others based upon the size of their usual orders.
6 publishers will have space for a 9 page comic, and one page for info, each (the pages are comic sized pages, two comic pages equal a full tabloid page).
A publisher gets the 10 pages above, plus 3 quarter comic page ads (upgradeable) in the three months after their comic appeared. A total of 4 issues (4 months of advertising) for $1725.
After that we have some space for just ads, especially the covers, inside covers, and middle page (which I call "poster"):
$75 for 1/4 comic pg. AD
$150 for 1/2 comic pg. AD
$300 for a full comic pg. AD
$550 for a full tabloid pg. AD
$550 for a full comic pg. AD (color)
$750 for a full tabloid pg. AD (color)
$1500 for the poster (2 full tabloid pages - color)
$250 for the covers (full comic pg. - color) both are technically front since the way it
is opened doesn't matter. The covers are cheaper because there can't really be
much info placed on it, and there will be info placed on it like the Name, price
(FREE) and anything necessary.
Full-Year Plan -
you can purchase 3 spots (for the year) for your comic pages at $4575. With the free quarter comic page ads that come with it, you'll have an ad in every month. It also qualifies you for a 20% discount (read below). Hell, I'll even make all the ads half comic page size for $250 more.
20% Discount -
If you order 3 ads or more for the year, you get 20% off all advertising except the actual comic pages.
Sure it's not the traditional way a comic should be seen, but the times, they are a'changin. You have to admit that it's tough to gauge whether a book will be good or not, even/especially when it's from Marvel, DC or Image...and they get as much exposure as possible. I think we can create a new awareness for self-published books by giving consumers something they can actually sink their teeth into...to give them some InSight. If you're going to spend the money on Diamond anyways, I can guarantee that InSight will be seen by the same retailers (they have to pay for Previews), and they'll be able to read it and decide for themselves, or others will read it and ask the retailer to order it.
So people, tell me what you think. You interested?