How To Sell Your Comic Article Poster

How To Sell Your Comic

In Interviewee, Practices by Phillip Allen0 Comments

After 3 articles talking about topics surrounding the selling of comics I have finally made it to the article that will talk about HOW to sell your comic.

If you’re a comic creator looking to sell your comic stay pay attention because his article will cover specific tips and suggestions on how to sell your comic to comic retailers.

I’ll be covering the first point of contact you can make with a retailer, follow ups, and some tips on what you can say and when.

I plan on building on this article, so you can expect new ideas being added on as time goes on.

For now, let’s begin with…

How To Sell Your Comic

First Point of Contact

Contact The Retailer Directly

Before we move on let me be clear on one thing. Don’t call comic retailers.

Comic retailers are busy people. Busy people can get frustrated and a little ticked off by comic creators that don’t know that they can be busy people too.

Consider emailing them or messaging them directly on social media. Don’t do it so publically. Instead do it privately using messaging features like Twitter Messaging.

Be sure to never send the same message to different retailers. It’s common for retailers to keep tabs on each other, they share information to learn how to better their business. If they find out that you’re spamming them you can’t blame them for not being open to selling your comic.

Be Personal

When you contact the retailer make sure you make each and every message personal and specifically aimed at them.

Don't know what to say? Talk about:
  • How you found them
  • What you liked about website or store
  • Talk about your recent work and how you feel it could benefit their store
  • NEVER forget your CTA
  • Don’t forget to include your Order Code and mention your FOC
You should now have plenty to write about for a short, sweet, personal, and target specific email to any retailer you plan on contacting.

Don't forget to include the last two points. You don’t ever want a retailer asking for your order code or for them to order past your FOC date.

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Follow Up

Build Awareness

Keep in mind that most retailer won’t respond to your email. But most of them will read it.

When you contact retailers one big thing you want to accomplish is to build awareness of your comic and yourself.

If you’re creating a comic series you will want to contact retailers about each individual issue you write. Then you want to contact them when you have compiled them into a trade paperback. If you remember my article How To Tell Comics Apart, some readers prefer this type of comic. Some retailers may find it easier to sell a complete story or chapter of a story than individual issues of a comic.

If you go about it this way you would building awareness of your comic and yourself for awhile. This can result in the comic retailer to be waiting for you to bundle it all together.

Make Them Feel Included

In case I haven’t made it clear by now you’ll be contacting whichever retailers you decide to contact repeatedly.

Many creators find this to be tiresome and time-consuming (and they would be correct). Although, it’s also an opportunity for them to form an emotional connection with your comic creating journey.

As I recommended earlier, during your first attempt to communicate with comic retailers you could also take each opportunity you contact them to share something about your recent career.

With each update, you can take the time to include any changes or news big or small. They could be anything from:
  • Your progress/reaching sales goal you set for yourself
  • Reaching a milestone on your social media (i.e. first 100 followers on Twitter)
  • Attended a convention
  • Partnering up with a new artist or writer
  • Etc
This is a good option for any comic creator that creates a one-shot series.

In this day and age, people are becoming more loyal to creatives. They want to support projects and ideas that have value to them. If you tell someone about your work on a regular basis and you tell them how you’re progressing they start to feel that your work has value. This inclines them to be willing to investing in you.

Be sure to prepare a list of things that you believe to be goals, milestones or important facts about your comic or career that are important to you and be sure to add them to your messages to comic retailers.

Some Other Stuff

Send Them Something Branded

Another alternative is to send comic retailers something branded.

I would recommend sending a retailer branded merchandise as a follow up practice for one reason. One, you don’t want to receive random stuff from someone who is a stranger; it’s weird.

It can be anything! Some ideas are:
  • Coasters
  • Calendars
  • Open/Close signs
  • Pens
  • Magnets
  • Notepads
  • Etc
Now, here is the catch, there are two things you should learn to expect from doing.

One, comic retailers don’t really care about getting stuff. Heck, usually they go straight to bidding sites like eBay to sell the stuff you painstakingly packed and sent to them.

Why do they do this? Comic retailers don’t always make enough money from just comics, they usually sell other products. Merchandise is a big one. If you send them free stuff it’s like giving them free merchandise. Just don’t be offended.

Two, if you want them to use what you send them you have to make it something they can use every day. For example, if the comic retailer you’re looking to send stuff to is The Lounge type then maybe you can double check if they offer coffee or other beverages and a seating area.

Don’t be offended if they end up selling what you send them. The world still gets to see your name your there. Be it in their store or on eBay.

Offer To Do A Book Signing On Their stores

Offering to do a comic release signing at a retail store is basically the definition of a win-win if done right for two reasons.
  1. The retailer can sell more of your comics and merchandise.
  2. Retailer buys extra issues of your comic to sell.
Just remember three things:
  1. Remind the retailer of your FOC date and...
  2. Order Code
  3. Promote your visit with time for people to get excited about it!
Give the retailer enough time place their orders before your FOC date (nobody wins from a signing with no comics sign)

Get Creative!

Remember this, we are all creatives here.

We are all making comics. Our world comes to reality from the depths of our imagination.

At the end of the day, there is no mold that you can’t break. No norm that we are forced to follow you can end up deciding on how to sell your comic your own way.

Do what you do best; think of something new and do something about it!

Just remember all the little things I discussed on Things to Know Before Selling Your Comic and be considerate of the retailer. If you do that, there is very little you can do to ruin your career in the comic creating industry. Take a leap, see if it works. If it doesn’t try something else.

Conclusion

In this article alone I’ve listed 7 different things you could do to sell your comic to retailers (6 if you count the last one as a cop out).

Either way, none of the suggestions that I have offered you should provide you negative results. That is not to say that any of these tips are a guarantee to success. In the end of the day remember that even though comics are a work of art they are, to a comic retailer, nothing more than a product to sell.

You will need to take on a business mindset if you hope to succeed in the comic creating industry. I hope to continue adding more tips on this article as I get more suggestions. If you have any tips be sure to include them in the comments section below!

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About The Author

Phillip Allen

Writer, Editor, and Founder of Unknown Comics

Hello there! My name is Phillip Allen and I'm the writer, editor, and founder of Unknown Comics. I am an aspiring comic book creator. In an attempt to learn how to create my own comic I came to learn just how few reliable resources existed out there. From a few books and unhelpful websites I decided to focus my attention on researching and writing a resource for both myself and the rest of the comic creating industry. This website and and its content is the result of all of that hard work.