- I haven’t made or sold a comic yet. The other reason being;
- Not many people talk about comics they way I do. Especially about selling them to people.
After spending quite a long time researching and writing about comics the way I have I’ve come across a few contacts and resources that have helped me better understand the market for comics.
One thing I didn’t quite find very easily were who buys comics and how they were sold. This article will focus on the who and the why.
This article will not discuss the practices that you can utilize to sell a comic. Instead, it will help to refocus your perception on selling printed comics. I’ll discuss selling practices on my next article.
This article will introduce new terms that I haven’t covered in previous articles.
Let me take some time to explain them here.
Target Market (aka Your Customer): A target market is a defined group of people that you wish to focus your marketing efforts on. They are the people you have identified as being the most likely to purchase your comic.
The defining characteristics of a target market are based on their Demographics (i.e. age, gender, income levels, understood languages), Geographics (i.e. country, province/state, rural/urban living area), Psychographics (i.e. things that this group of people believes/think about), and Behaviouristics (i.e. things that this group of people likes to do, places they like to go).
Marketing Efforts: This includes things that you do to get the attention and elicit a specific action from your target market. For example, you will do something that will result in a person becoming aware, interested, purchase, and read your comic.
An example of things that can be considered marketing efforts are: setting up, designing, and sending a newsletter; cold calling; self-promotion on social media, podcasts, magazines; writing a blog and more.
Comic Retailers (aka Retailers): Anyone that sells comics. Be it stores that sell only comics and comic related products, books stores that sell comics in a section of their store, or even a corner store that sells comics in a single shelf.
Comic Readers (aka Readers): Anyone that reads a comic. Whether or not they paid for it (people share books).
As a Comic Creator Who Is Your Target Market
For the longest time I honestly thought that a comic creator’s target market was it’s current or potential readers. I was (mostly) wrong.
In short a comic creator’s target market are comic retailers. Let me explain why.
Case Scenario: 1,000 Readers vs 10 Retailers
Let’s imagine that there exist 1,000 readers for your new comic. These include people who have never heard of your comic, people who aware of your comic’s existence, and people who are currently reading your comic. All of which would probably be interested in buying and reading your comic.
For these 1,000 readers, there are 10 comic retailers. These can include digital and brick and mortar stores (a physical location).
You are can either choose to focus your marketing efforts to target those 1,000 readers to try and get each and every one of them to buy and read your comic. You could do this in any number of ways.
As you can imagine, it would either be impossible or it would simply take a lot of effort and time.
As I understand, making a comic is a full-time job on its own. Trying to talk to 1,000 people and convincing them to give your comic a try is not an effective use of your time.
The alternative is focusing your attention on the 10 retailers. That’s a 99% reduction in a number of people you would have to focus your marketing efforts on.
This means that for a fraction of your time you would’ve spent on those 1,000 readers you could refine your marketing efforts to target the kinds of retailers that you want buying your work.
Heck even if you didn’t want to do it yourself it would a lot easier to get family and friends to help you find and target your marketing efforts on 10 retailers vs 1,000 readers.
It’s very important if you want to make something and sell it to understand who is your customer. Selling comics is a very tough job, but it’s a job you probably want to do if you want to make a comic. Let’s face it, you either made the comic because you wanted to make money or wanted to share a story (and make a little bit of money).
Either way, it’s a good idea to learn how to use your time effectively. A good place to start is to understand how to effectively market your work to your target market.
By no means think that you shouldn’t be communicating with your current and potential readers. This article was only meant to clarify the perception needed for selling comics.