Not too long ago I wrote a series of articles about selling comics. Such a series was spent discussing how to sell to Comic Retailers because as I mentioned before, they are a comic creators’ primary target market. This article will take the time to discuss the various tools and practices a comic creator can use for selling comics to readers.
The reason for why I’m writing this article is because it never hurts to interact with the end user of a comic.
Now, what do I mean by the end user? What exactly do I mean by comic readers? Aren’t they all just comic buyers, aka people who buy my comic?
Well, yes and no.
Comic readers are the individuals who, by the powers that be, found themselves within the grasp of your comic and gladly took the time to read it.
There are two types of comic readers. Paying Comic Reader and the Non-Paying Comic Reader
Paying Comic Readers
A Paying comic reader is a person who read your comic after paid for it.
To a comic creator, this is the most valuable type of comic reader.
They have heard of your comic, they went out of their way to find where they can buy it, bought it, and read it. If they like it, then they are likely to talk to their like-minded friends and convince them to start reading your comic.
Non-Paying Comic Readers
Now, if you read my article about how Reading Comics For Free isn’t such a terrible thing for comic creators you may be a little more familiar with this group of people.
This type of comic reader has come across your comic and, without purchasing it, has read it.
This can happen in a couple of different ways.
- Either a friend lent them the comic
- They went somewhere online and found it, OR
- They read it off of a shelf at a comic retailer.
Either way, they didn’t pay for the pleasure of reading it.
BUT… they read it.
They formed an opinion, that opinion may even be positive. They may be willing to share that opinion with others and encourage them to read your comic. They may be your new biggest fan and start buying all of your merchandise.
Do not dismiss this comic reader, they can still help your comic succeed.
What You Can Do To Sell To Readers
Now, if you remember the argument I mentioned in my article Selling Comics: Who’s My Customer? it might have sounded like I recommended you never should try selling to readers. That would not have been accurate.
In order for a comic to truly succeed you need to get people excited for it. You don’t get people excited for a comic if you don’t try selling it a little to those who will end up reading it.
Let’s begin looking at some of the tools and practices you can use to sell to your current and new comic readers.
Using Social Media
This is probably the quickest and most affordable way for a comic creator to ever sell to a comic reader.
Using any number of social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc; you can reach a boat load of potential and current readers in a matter of seconds.
One big problem that most comic creators face is that they don’t feel they know the best way to communicate with their fanbase. The best advice I have ever heard yet, “be yourself”. At the very least most fans appreciate an authentic creative.
Another big problem that most comic creators have with social media is that they feel like it takes too much of their time of their day to manage their accounts. This is understandable, but an ignorant problem to have.
There are a number of different tools available online to schedule, track, and analyze social media communications such as Buffer (I use this one personally) or HootSuite. Both of which are free to use, with some added features and services available for a fee.
Consider using these to schedule messages days in advance in order to give yourself the most time to focus on your comic creating efforts and other selling practices.
Attending conventions is probably the most direct way that you can ever possibly interact with comic readers.
You’re sitting at a table and waiting for people to take a moment of their day to look at your comic, flip through some of the pages, and maybe purchase it.
Remember to take the time to answer questions, offer any information about yourself and your work, and try to have fun.
Using Your Own Website
Running your own website and using it for selling your comics to readers can be time-consuming if not done correctly.
I’ve personally come across a number of different comic creators that just so happen to have a website because they had a friend help them set it up. A viable option to a few, but not many.
With the rise of Content Management Systems, or CMS for short, has made it significantly more affordable, less time consuming, and far less technical to start and manage a website. Even one that sells comics.
I’ve heard a lot of good things from the CMS called Shopify which specializes in the design of online stores.
What I would recommend to any comic creator is to take advantage of the ease of starting a website and learning the basics or web management. It can help increase sales and legitimize your presence in the comic creating industry.
Don’t forget to also include a detailed page about yourself and your work. People love learning more about creatives these days.
There is a ton of little things you can do to sell your comic to readers directly.
You may be more comfortable with some more so than others.
I personally believe that you can only maximize your sales if you try each and every possible tool and practice once or twice and see what happens. If you like the result and the price it took to get it, do it again.
If this article helped you come up with some new ideas for selling comics to readers be sure to leave a comment. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them!