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#593633 - 11/29/11 12:24 AM Kindle Direct Publishing for Comics
Carlton Donaghe Offline
Member

Registered: 11/23/98
Posts: 1619
Loc: the American Desert
Hey, y'all.

While I myself am no fan of digital comics, I was reading about the Kindle Direct Publishing Program at Amazon.

While this would require good comics done well and promotion, there's great potential here.

For anyone who's ever self-published or ran the budget for self-publishing and got freaked out, you know the printing costs can be crazy high. In addition, Diamond-- which is now the only distributor of comics to comic shops, isn't it?-- requires you sell a pretty healthy number of comics or else they won't carry you.

If there really is a digital market out there, or if one is developing, this program could work. Again, it would require a quality product and promotion, but it would be possible to make a profit much easier if there were no printing and shipping to be deducted even at Amazon's 35% royalty plan.

I haven't seen any discussion of it here, but this is the sorta thing I'd be looking at if I had any grand scheme cooking, so I thought I'd bring it up and see what you thought.

That is, if this topic isn't buried in too obscure a forum.
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Without Wax,
Carlton Donaghe
somewhere along the Rio Grande

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#593634 - 11/29/11 12:33 AM Re: Kindle Direct Publishing for Comics [Re: Carlton Donaghe]
Alexander Ness Online   shocked
Member

Registered: 09/17/03
Posts: 3857
Loc: Minnesota
http://www.createspace.com is a fine way to get into print too, especially if you are looking more to get your product out than to get rich.

Although as I said in a previous thread, I am soooooooooo not rich.

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#593635 - 11/29/11 12:34 AM Re: Kindle Direct Publishing for Comics [Re: Carlton Donaghe]
Carlton Donaghe Offline
Member

Registered: 11/23/98
Posts: 1619
Loc: the American Desert
I just wanted to show this:

2500 copies sold x $2.99 cover x .35 royalty = $2,616.25

Isn't 2500 copies the Diamond cut-off point? I'm just guessing, trying to remember the discussions I've read.
Plus, I'm not hip to a $2.99 digital comic.

But even at $1.99, selling 2500 copies will get you over $1700, which wouldn't even pay the printing bill, but is money in your pocket if you can make that in digital sales.

If.

There may not even be a market out there. I hope I haven't buried this topic, I'd like to see what you folks think.
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Without Wax,
Carlton Donaghe
somewhere along the Rio Grande

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#593636 - 11/29/11 12:43 AM Re: Kindle Direct Publishing for Comics [Re: Carlton Donaghe]
Carlton Donaghe Offline
Member

Registered: 11/23/98
Posts: 1619
Loc: the American Desert
Señor Ness,
No, I'm looking to get rich. Well, not rich and not me. I'm looking for a way that pays enough to be worth it for an artist.

Even if an artist can do a page a day, and I don't know how realistic that is anymore, that's a five-day week, four weeks a month.

So, let's say we got a sixteen page comic, with a cover and two additional pages of art. I wouldn't feel comfortable until an artist was making his living off that.
_________________________
Without Wax,
Carlton Donaghe
somewhere along the Rio Grande

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#593637 - 11/29/11 12:45 AM Re: Kindle Direct Publishing for Comics [Re: Carlton Donaghe]
Carlton Donaghe Offline
Member

Registered: 11/23/98
Posts: 1619
Loc: the American Desert
Also, does Create Space do comics? I've seen some POD publishers that can at least do illustrated books, but I don't know if I've seen a POD publisher for comics except the ones like Ka-Boom, or whatever, those geared more specifically for comics.
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Without Wax,
Carlton Donaghe
somewhere along the Rio Grande

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#593638 - 11/29/11 01:14 AM Re: Kindle Direct Publishing for Comics [Re: Carlton Donaghe]
Alexander Ness Online   shocked
Member

Registered: 09/17/03
Posts: 3857
Loc: Minnesota
Ka-blam is very good. Comixpress is good but somewhat slower.

Createspace let's you do most anything.

I think the point right now, in the world of comics, is not making the oodles of money, its getting the foothold, and utilizing the venues available.

I know two very talented older creative people, both haven't done new work for a decade and a half, when someone asked them why not they said no one at the big two will listen to their calls/pitches.

To me they've just about retired permanently if they are putting all there willingness to work in that basket. Because, its going to fall, and it is very small.

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#593639 - 11/29/11 02:01 AM Re: Kindle Direct Publishing for Comics [Re: Alexander Ness]
Carlton Donaghe Offline
Member

Registered: 11/23/98
Posts: 1619
Loc: the American Desert
Yes, sir, there are quite a few talented comics artists out there who don't get comics work anymore. Most, hopefully, have gone on to the better-paying graphics art world, but I knew some great artists who were living poorly because they no longer got work or consideration at Marvel or DC, and quite often, they're the only game in the comic world. There are indy publishers who give work to such artists, but I can't imagine the pay's too good.

Glad to hear about Createspace. I was looking over their site and I didn't see the information I was looking for. I do know fiction writers who make respectable money off some POD publishers. They haven't quit their day jobs, few do or can, but they make enough money for it to be worth it.

I've looked into Ka-Blam regarding it's income-making potential, and it's almost nonexistent. It's a way of doing ash-cans and selling comics over the internet. It's probably what I would have used back when I made comics in college, actually. But you can't make money with Ka-Blam.

Let's say that you had a rich sugar mama who was gonna fund your comics. That way, you can pay an artist. You're going to want an artist of sufficient quality to produce comics capable of earning your money back.

Now, you can't afford an older professional. Well, maybe. But if you find some hungry young artists, you'd still want to pay them enough to make them enthusiastic participants who aren't distracted by things like, y'know, hunger.

You'd also want to sell enough to afford some kind of promotion, and then enough for the bookkeeper.

I'm not talking about getting rich, but the income's got to be sufficient to make it worth the artist's while.

Of course, if all one is doing is getting stuff out there to attract the attention of publishers large enough to pay you to work, that's different. As Allen has lamented on previous occasions, there are no comics publishers who function in the same way as real book publishers. Marvel and DC want to hire writers to service their trademarks. I don't know of a publisher who will pay an artist up front to work on creator-owned original material.

The biggest question is what kind of market there is out there for original digital comics. I think sales would have to be in the neighborhood of 8500 copies a month of a $1.99 book, but that scale of an operation would make real money. If that were across multiple titles, one could actually afford advertising and promotion. Not a promotional department, but advertising to push sales towards your target number.
_________________________
Without Wax,
Carlton Donaghe
somewhere along the Rio Grande

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#593645 - 11/29/11 06:29 AM Re: Kindle Direct Publishing for Comics [Re: Carlton Donaghe]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7072
The money is in creating a body of work and keeping it ever available. For a work with sufficient following, charging readers a penny a page could earn an artist a decent living. But e-readers need to get bigger, cheaper, all in color and all non-backlit before comic books make a big shift into digital.
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"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#593650 - 11/29/11 02:21 PM Re: Kindle Direct Publishing for Comics [Re: Allen Montgomery]
MightyQuin Offline
Member

Registered: 01/26/02
Posts: 1069
Loc: Tallahassee,FL
Some comics creators offer their web strips and comics from their websites as kind of a place holder until there is enough demand to go to print. The few that make any money this way are always adding new material to bring people back to the site and continually promoting the site. Of course you could have links on your site to places with, or your own, paid downloads. They may end up spending more time promoting and driving traffic than creating comics, but this method does give you ultimate control over most facets of the process. There's no reason you couldn't do this plus the other digital distributors, I don't think any require exclusivity.
bTW did you get my PM, Carlton? Does that function work here at Commy?

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#593651 - 11/29/11 04:32 PM Re: Kindle Direct Publishing for Comics [Re: MightyQuin]
Carlton Donaghe Offline
Member

Registered: 11/23/98
Posts: 1619
Loc: the American Desert
Allen, some of what you said is why I'm not a fan of digital comics. I think that when you get a cheap iPad or Kindle with a viewable screen that's 8.5 x 11, then maybe.

Although, I am a fan of print comics. If you could have a digital comic out paying for itself, then an Image-type deal (or something else, don't get hung up on the word "Image") might be a good second step. The artists have been paid, so you can spend money on print. Or whatever the deal is. If there's a market for it, the next part of that would be collections. But you could have print and digital collections.

Still, real money, so I hear, comes from licensing. And I don't think that means putting out your own dough on additional product, but finding someone else to take on the risk and pay you the negotiated percentage.

Unless you are doing comics just for the experience, or whatever, the only way to make comics profitable is by having multiple revenue streams. I was able to sell enough advertising on my own to print 2,000 comics that I was able to give away free. I put copies to give away in just about every business that wanted them in town. I did all of that myself, even making the ads for the businesses I sold ad space to. It was just too much work, and I can't produce the artwork myself to tell the kind of stories I want to tell.

And, no, sir, Quin I have not received your PM.

Anyone can email me at my name, all small letters and no spaces, at gmail.
Like I tell my students, if they're written in iambic pentameter, I'll even read them. And if they're creative, I'll even answer them
(I had a student, an adult who'd obviously never had a teacher like me--a left-handed Irish liar--and she was very offended by my email policy).
_________________________
Without Wax,
Carlton Donaghe
somewhere along the Rio Grande

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