Danger, Will Robinson!
I think we’ve established the fact that even harder times are coming for creator-owned comic books. While some would have you believe that we must simply “weather the storm,” I submit that the waves we now see are merely a foretaste of the approaching cyclone that will wipe us out unless we choose to be proactive and act now. This is not the time to batten down the hatches, this is the time to turn about and navigate out of the path of the approaching maelstrom.
Insert Disclaimer Here
I realize that many will view me as an alarmist, a sensationalist, or a fool who has no idea what he’s talking about. So be it. I’ve never been one to remain silent or shy away from confrontation–especially when I believe I am right. This is one of those occasions. My goal is to provide and analyze information I have gathered firsthand and present it to you: creators and would-be creators. When all is said and done, you , dear reader, must make up your own mind.
Alternate Distribution Options by the Numbers
1. Wowio – You will definitely increase your readership and gain a following for your property, but you will be doing so free of charge. While it is true that “publishers” saw incredible profits from digital copies of their works “published” on Wowio in the company’s early days, publishers have received minimal payments since the company was bought out by Platinum Studios. And by minimal, I mean zero for me personally and the majority of publishers I have spoken with.
Bottom line: If your goal is to have thousands and thousands of readers view your work, this is the place to post it. If your goal is to turn a profit, forget Wowio–unless you wish to post a first issue while publishing hard copies of single issues or a collected trade elsewhere. Wowio could be used as traditional publishers use Newsarama and CBR to post entire issues in the hopes of generating interest and sales. You would definitely want to include an ad to move traffic to a site where readers can purchase single issues or collected trades online should you choose this route.
2. IndyPlanet – IndyPlanet is the digital store for POD (Print on Demand) publisher Ka-Blam. In my limited experience with Ka-Blam, I have found customer service and quality of printed materials to be fantastic. So, while IndyPlanet is wonderful to work with and produces quality material, the question then becomes “How do I direct potential buyers to IndyPlanet?” In this digital age, I think it’s pretty easy to answer this question: HARD WORK. That would entail spreading the word online with reckless abandon. It can be grueling, but it does pay off. Depending on what you charge for cover price, you stand to make anywhere from 50 cents to $2 profit for every copy sold. How many traditional publishers can give you a similar deal? None that I know of.
Bottom line: If your goal is to sell print copies of your work for a profit, IndyPlanet is the place for you. Once placed on their site, your focus should become driving traffic to IndyPlanet to purchase your book.
Scotty, Get Us Out of Here!
Due to my children being home for a snow day (groan), I will have to end the discussion here. As you can see, though, I plan to write several posts with other available alternate distribution options and ideas. During the course of this series, I will be discussing Myebook, iTunes, Eagle One Media and others. So please… stick around. It’s going to get interesting.