The blog post I put together outlining the economic realities of low print run comics being distributed through mainstream retailers really caught fire this week. The link spread out to several comic news outlets and sparked discussion about creator-owned comics all over the place. It was really surprising and enjoyable hearing from so many people bringing their knowledge or opinions into the mix.
Some people asked me if I was going to get in trouble for talking about the numbers this way or if I would be black listed, which was quite weird. In short- No, everything’s great. I received a lot of praise and kind words from creators and editorial alike. The financial material I posted has been talked about before and the data on the percentages each part of the industry takes is freely available. I didn’t rip the lid off anything super-secret. The pie chart I put together just makes it extra-clear how it all fits together in the current market.
My post was focused on one revenue stream: issues released through mainstream retail outlets. It talked only about indy titles versus the massive mainstream footprint. When I have more time I’m going to write more about digital comic sales, trade paperback collections, conventions and other revenue streams.
My post wasn’t a condemnation of comic book stores or how mainstream distribution works. Comic shops are a valuable part of the process, even if the financial return on low prints runs can be slim. Beyond comic book stores there are other revenue streams available and independent creators should make themselves available to as many of those as they can. The key is to expand readership by casting the widest net possible and pool together revenue from multiple sources to support production of the work.
I have a lot of writing deadlines coming up so follow-up posts may take longer than I’d like, but it is something I’ll get to. Please stick around.
If you’re interested in seeing some of the broader discussion that happened this week, here are a few key links:
Thank you for your support!