Thursday, 3 October 2013

Print or Skint part 8 - Brand Ex

I need to build a readership.

A thought which hopefully most creators have at some point.

Before plowing money into a printing venture - especially an off-set print run - one needs to be sure that they are not getting themselves into a situation where they will be storing a lot of books.

Trades over singles have a much better shelf life, in my opinion, so how do you use single issues as a means to a) make some money and b) build a readership?

One thing to really look at while doing this is keeping costs down. At present I have been limiting the number of books I print for shows, simply because I don't do that many shows, and I don't sell that many books when I do them. I have a lot of single issues, but nothing big to push.

I lean more towards digital single issues, because a) storage is cheaper and b) cost is lower. Return is also lower, but with POD being the main source of my print runs, margins are pretty comparable to be honest.

Running my books as online readable content really appeals to me. With online comics one key factor is always consistency - if you want to build a readership, you need to be posting a set amount in a regular fashion.

For me that normally means a page a week.

I am thinking of adopting a model next year, mainly for The Hero Code, but I will be probably trying it with other series. It would be as follows:

1. Stat to run a book as a weekly updated online series through the Monkeypipe website.
2. At the start of each issue offer the complete issue as a paid downloadable PDF (repeat at the start of each issue)
3. Once the series or arc is complete, run a Kickstarter campaign to help put out a trade.

While doing these I would also be offering up the books for Comixology through Submit.

The Kickstarter campaigns would be very pared down, looking to raise a small number, and offering a simple reward structure - with stretch goals unlocked if the campaign pushes beyond the goal.

I am also thinking about offering up a Patreon page for the MPS stuff, perhaps a general MPS subscription. Again pared down (digital, print, trade only?).

If I can keep a consistency with this model (and of course with the quality of the stuff we are putting out) I hope I can build that readership for the books.

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