Dude, what it really takes is money.
And, some good investigating.
When I say "investingating", I mean
shop around. Shop around printers.
Shop around retail outlets.
Find out what your local shops carry.
And start with ashcans. Very simple, very easy. Don't go full blown comic book, full color and don't go into it thinking that you're going to turn the industry on it's head and make scores of money.
Do it because you love it, and no other reason. There are VERY few self publishers out there who become the success that Jeff Smith, Pini's, Dave Sim or Colleen Doran have become. It's a fluke.
Talk to ANYBODY else within the confines of this online convention, for example, and see how many are barely breaking even.
It helps to have some background on printing.
It helps to have some background on advertising or promotion. But the way to get started is with an ashcan. Simple, easy, effective.
And GIVE THEM AWAY.
Mail em. Toss em at shops. Ask retailers to put them into pull and hold boxes. But not just any pull and hold. Know your target audience. You're not going to put a fantasy related comic into someone's box who buys
Stray Bullets. You'd want to hit readers of
Books of Magic, Castle Waiting, Finder...that type of thing.
Shop around you local printers!!!
You'd be surprised the local printers can give you a good deal on something that you could send to Brener or Priney for example.
And get the potential printer to show you samples of their work! Ask for a tour of the shop! After all, you could potentialy be tossing a lot of money this guy's way, and you need to behave like a buisnessman.
Get a web site. Link to others.
Go to Conventions. TALK TO PEOPLE.
Give away copies of your ashcan.
Get feedback. Mail your product to online mags and other periodicals for reviews!
Get feedback from your fellow creators!
You can do it!
I do Timespell all by my lonesome.
I have assitance with the writing, and another friend does the inking...but I'm
the guy who does the advertising, production,
shipping, making contacts, goes to the conventions and sell, sell, SELL!!!
You'd be surprised what you can do alone, if you put your mind to it.
You have the energy, it's all how far are you willing to go from there.
And I wouldn't be so quick to call Diamond
"Nazi's". First rule of buisness: NEVER BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU.
If they rejected you, it was for a reason.
Don't be harsh...step back, use that criticism constructively. Don't get offended. Instead, tell yourself "Well, maybe if I do this, this and this..."
And then RESUBMIT.
You'd hate to put out your product and find
it's only mediocre at best. Dave Sim put it best when he said "Treat EVERY book like it's your best work."
Don't settle for less.
Money? Yep. It costs bucks.
Advertising. You WILL need to do this.
An average small ad in CBG can run you $30-60. Thats a TINY ad.
Go bigger, get more money.
CSN costs a bit more. But investigate it.
Do AD SWAPS with other creators.
Do links with websites.
Talk to other periodicals about ad rates.
Any periodical that reviews comics is good.
I spent over $1000 advertising Timespell last year. And I got off easy.
I paid under $1000 to do a 2000 issue print run, and that's on high quality stock.
If nothing else, anyone who's ever seen my book will tell you that it's not a cheasy looking peice.
You can't get that cost for that product at
ANY of the comic book printers.
Not Priney, not Brener, not Morgan.
I print local. I get to go to the printer,
supervise the run, I get a turnaround time
of 5 working days.
Then I box em and ship em.
This gauruntees me overage on the run,
less damaged product, and careful packing.
Also, I'm the only one responsible for a late product or a damaged product, so there's no
Hope that helped!