A successful comic launch is never an accident. Marketing your comic before its design is a good way to set a foundation for greatness. It takes time and lots of effort, but seeing one’s creation hit it off before a single issue is even printed is what we all want for our own comic.
This article will outline the few things a comic creator can do to market their work before a comic has even begun entering the design process.
Before We Begin
I am focusing this article to discuss marketing efforts before a comic has been designed. I want to make very clear what I mean by that.
Basically, I mean that no art has been prepared. Not a single pencil has outlined a panel or drawn a nose (I suck at noses). No inking or coloring. The script itself may not even mention much in regards to what the panels would show.
The most you have is a rough outline of what you want the story or plot to be. You have a rough script that covers dialogue and major plot points and maybe not much else.
Basically, what you have is an idea.
This is not to say that you can’t have more ready before using any of the practices covered in this article. It does, however, give you a good idea of what little you need to start marketing your comic.
What Should I Do?
Do Your Homework
If Your New
If you’re new to the comic creating game (welcome) then you probably want to get yourself familiar with sites that discuss comic creation. A place where you can get some pointers on what you can and should do with your comic.
It can also be a place for you to try some networking. Finding co-writers or artists; be they pencilers, inkers, colorists, or digital artists.
Learn The Vocabulary
Knowing what to say when trying to explain a specific project can help in the long run when trying to get answers to question.
It can help with explaining the extent of funding necessary to complete a project or even what you’re trying to sell.
Engage In Conversation
You are an individual. You have thoughts and opinions. And as long as you can be polite and considerate you should most definitely share those thoughts and opinions with those in the comic creating community.
Express yourself, but also give reasons behind your words. If you’re going to say something like, “I don’t think trade paperbacks should be considered graphic novels” then you should share some logic to go with such a statement.
Get On Social Media
This is a tough one for a lot of people. I won’t go into too much detail since I recently talked about how to sell to comic readers using social media, but I will say this. At this point don’t just follow people who create comics. Find people who LOVE comics. People who actually spend their time, and maybe money, on buying and reading comics or just people who influence readers to buy a comic.
Get a feel for what readers are looking for. What kind of art style do they prefer? What types of stories are they looking for? What, maybe, are they thirsting for? Don’t draw any conclusions at this point. Instead, ask questions, engage in conversations and thought-provoking topics.
This will get you some recognition. Something that you will benefit from later.
Get Your Things Ready
- Your website (I’ve written more on this here).
- Social media account descriptions and post drafts (on how to properly use social media to improve sales read this article).
- A preliminary budget you can manage to expect for a project like yours. This is good to have if you’re thinking of using crowdfunding tools. (For funding options read this article, for available tools read this article).
By Now What Do I Have?
- You’ve found available resources that you can use to properly complete your comic.
- You’ve learned how to communicate your project to collaborators, retailers, and readers.
- You’ve engaged with potential collaborators and readers about your comic and other topics.
- You’ve gotten on social media and talked to other readers and share your thoughts and experiences.
- You’ve gotten a read on what they feel they want from comics they read and buy.
- You’ve got your things ready to get started marketing your comic. Everything from marketable materials like your website and social media accounts to a quick budget that you can use to quicken your search for funding.
You’ve shared your idea for a comic with potential collaborators and fellow creators, you’ve expressed clearly what it was you wanted to produce to both comic creating peers, retailers (maybe), and readers, you’ve made yourself recognizable to a significant crowd on social media and you’re ready to get started marketing your comic on your website and personal (or professional) social media accounts.
This is a great place to start for any promising marketing campaign.
Doing all of this, you’ve managed to give yourself and your comic a recognizable presence to a number of readers and creators. Once you manage to actively promote the production or pre-production of your comic you will most likely have a decent following of supporters willing to push your marketing efforts to more willing readers.
It’s never too early to promote your comic. Even if it doesn’t feel like you are, simply talking about an idea or basic concept can get people excited and willing to help make your dream a reality.
Take some of these suggestions and give them a try. Let me know how they worked out for you.