QUOTE (Cary @ Jun 29 2012, 07:15 PM)
If I had to boil it down to one single thing Indie creators fail at, this would be it. Most people assume, quite incorrectly, that when the book is done, so is the journey, when in fact it's quite the opposite. It really drives me crazy to walk by someone's table and find them staring at their art board rather than up bouncing around actually selling the books and other product, or hell even pitching the book! One thing everyone who has ever been near my table at a convention can say is that I'm relentless when it comes to pitching people on the books. If I have an artist at the table, they'll be good to draw all they want because I'm there selling away. For one man teams that might seem harder, but hell take your wife, your sister, your girlfriend, whatever! Take SOMEONE who can do the business portion, because if you don't you just wasted your time and money attending a show that could have truly been successful.
I tried bringing my wife, girlfriend, and mistress with me on a shopping trip once. Hoo boy, they did not get along.
Yes, sadly, the product is only half the battle. In some cases, books have the advantage over comic books, in that they have a far more prevalent promotional source. Nearly every shop around the corner has a bookstand. So everyone can spot a book that interests them. Even the cover alone will get them.
But comics...well, that is a far greater battle. There is the conventions, the shops, the web etc, but even then, it dos not guarantee sales. One an always go for a publisher to publish their comci, but again, that does not guarantee sales either. And then they can easily be exploited. Just harken back to Solson, among others, who published comic books that required those creating the comics to publish the work. To say they were exploited would be like saying snow is white. Solson did little to any promotional work, just putting out a truck load of bog standard comic books.
Sad but true.
Yet, one may think that these kinds of things no longer happen. The sad thing is, that with the internet, these things will probably become far more prevalent than we can imagine.
There are aspects of the big two that really annoy me, as well as aspects of the others that also annoy me. Image and Dark Horse don't do half the promotional crap as the big two, yet they also do not garner as much attention either. Maybe Kirkman may try and rectify this, since, as a writer, he knows that art will not sell the book, nor will it keep people coming back either. But promotion is often the untapped vein that many folks need to try and get good at, and Kirman, whether in interviews or advice, often goes out of his way to talk with folks about his groups. Compare that to the other Image guys, who do one interview every few years.
There are people out there who sell themselves like a pimp, and get the paychecks to prove it too. Jim Lee is a guy who knows, full well, that even as a working professional, he cannot allow himself to relax, as the next guy will take his job.
Some creators are compensating for this by setting up blogs, communicating with fans, and so forth. Not only does it allow one to promote their work, or get additional jobs, but they can establish relationships with folks who may be able to get them their next gig.
These can backfire somewhat, such as the Scott McDaniel v John Rozum, or the other way around, where both of them had a creative meltdown behind the scenes of the book, and ultimately the title, Static Shock, died. Yet the sad element behind it was that both individuals decided to air their dirty laundry in public, rather than keeping it private.
One artist who has a dedicated fan following, is Barry Kitson, a very talented penciller and all round nice guy. When people queue to get a sketch from him, they don't pay a dime. The only payment they have to give is their time (and a dedication, which he writes on the drawing). Again, clever promotion.