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A lot of people have asked me about how they go about creating and selling their own comics. There are many different ways to do that, but most people I talk to want to see their books for sale in comic shops alongside mainstream superhero/big publisher titles.

I put together a pretty extensive blogpost outlining the financial realities of how mainstream comic distribution works and the profit margins involved for independent creators. If you want an eye-opening look at the business, please give it a read.
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:iconburningflag:
burningflag Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012  Professional General Artist
I have read through your whole blog and read some of the Skullkickers and am now purchasing the first Skullkickers tradepaperback. Also, I am going to use your advice and plan my stories according to your examples. All in all, thankx a huge lot for sharing. It helps.
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:iconzubby:
Zubby Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012
Thanks so much for the praise and support. I really appreciate it!
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:iconmarvelleftw:
marvelleftw Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Professional General Artist
Something needs to change. I will definitely look for another way to go about my creator owned stuff. Thanks for the honest insight!
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:iconmidnitez-remix:
Midnitez-REMIX Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I'll check it out. :D
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:icondevonta-66:
devonta-66 Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
aw, thanks for putting this up i hope one day to make my own comics i got in the works right now. (i'm both the writer and the artist, vary much alone on this project.)
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:iconarminozdic:
ArminOzdic Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for writing this...I heard that you can even owe money to publisher(Image for example)if your comic dont sell well...Did you ever experienced that Jim or know someone who did??
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:iconzubby:
Zubby Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012
As far as I know Image would not charge a creator if a book failed to make back its costs. They approved the pitch and decided to publish it, so they'd eat the difference. Even then, that's going to be very rare because retailer orders come in before books are printed. Comic publishers can gauge whether a book is going to meet its minimums before they go to press and can always cancel a book rather than print it and lose money. The only scenario where this could happen is if they overprint (to maintain extra stock after release) and it doesn't sell at all, or if the distributor makes an issue returnable due to content not matching orders (say, if a book was solicited as an all-ages book and shipped as an adult book for some insane reason).
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:iconarminozdic:
ArminOzdic Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Cool!Thanks for explaining...means a lot!
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:iconkoenken:
Koenken Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Professional General Artist
Very interesting read.
I am not surprised to learn independent comics don't make much for the creator/creative team through normal mainstream distribution.
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:iconabouelse:
abouelse Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012
As a fan and a hobbiest-creator I really appreciate the candid nature in which you engage the community. You are never blunt, rude, or condescending, you simply lay out facts of the industry in concise and easy to understand nature.

It's really great, keep up the good work and thank you for the constant outreach and information.
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:iconzubby:
Zubby Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012
Glad you're finding the articles helpful. I want people to create great stories, but also to go into the industry with their eyes open.
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:iconrodgallery:
RodGallery Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Professional General Artist
That's why I support digital sells on Ipad in site like Comixlogic. Because you can sell it for the whole world without any transportation and prints costs. With a market of more than 1 Billion People Online.
And you have, youtube, facebook, twiitter, Deviantart, Linkedin and other sites to advertise your comic.
I think people needs to wake up for this big transformation in the market.:)
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:iconredzer0fox:
redzer0fox Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thats a very interesting article. I always try to support where I can.
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:icontwiggystone:
TwiggyStone Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Wow, that was...depressing.
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:iconzubby:
Zubby Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012
It’s almost impossible to make a living wage by trying to sell indy titles through the exact same distribution/sales model as mainstream comic retail comics where you’re competing with mass market pricing and distribution, that’s true, but that doesn't mean there aren't any outlets to make money in comics with your own work.

Convention sales, self publishing, digital and webcomic models favor independent creators, but they do require some entrepreneurship. I’ll post another article about trades, digital and other outlets when I have more time.
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:icontwiggystone:
TwiggyStone Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Professional Filmographer
I had been favoring the idea of self publishing, so that's a relief.
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:iconmosobot64:
mosobot64 Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012  Student General Artist
Even without diamond distribution and an outside publisher, the costs of self-publishing are nutty. The printer takes half the cover price right off the bat, and since you have no advertising (if you're me), the likelihood of making the sales needed to break even, let alone pay my artist expenses, is incredibly slim.
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:iconchibibug:
ChibiBug Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Wow. So... do you not get any pay for your work at all? How does an artist support himself? :faint:
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:iconzubby:
Zubby Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012
It’s almost impossible to make a living wage by trying to sell indy titles through the exact same distribution/sales model as mainstream comic retail comics where you’re competing with mass market pricing and distribution, that’s true, but that doesn't mean there aren't any outlets to make money in comics with your own work.

Convention sales, self publishing, digital and webcomic models favor independent creators, but they do require some entrepreneurship. I’ll post another article about trades, digital and other outlets when I have more time.
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:icongabbyevans:
gabbyevans Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I don't know if this off-topic but, when I see a creator owned or self published comic, I want to see more stories that aren't for the same demographic as mainstream publisher owned comics (geeks & kids). I want to see more non-fantasy stories about normal people, daily life & personal stuff.

I might have just have exceptional taste, though.
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:iconiamair:
IAmAir Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012  Student General Artist
Wow, really appreciate the info! I was actually thinking of this one because I'm planning some work of my own.
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:iconscruffyronin:
scruffyronin Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012  Professional General Artist
I'm crushed.
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:iconzubby:
Zubby Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012
It’s almost impossible to make a living wage by trying to sell indy titles through the exact same distribution/sales model as mainstream comic retail comics where you’re competing with mass market pricing and distribution, that’s true, but that doesn't mean there aren't any outlets to make money in comics with your own work.

Convention sales, self publishing, digital and webcomic models favor independent creators, but they do require some entrepreneurship. I’ll post another article about trades, digital and other outlets when I have more time.
Reply
:icongabbyevans:
gabbyevans Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012  Student Digital Artist
While I do support kick starter & creator owned comics, I think it might take some time for creator owned comics to get more recognition.
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:iconpixelisedmind:
pixelisedmind Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Caught this over on Reddit. Great read, thanks for sharing.
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