As I covered in my article, Selling Comics: Who Is My Customer, I detailed out the reasons why comic retailers are a comic creators target market. Now I want to discuss what else you need to know before selling your comic.
I also recommend reviewing the previous article, Types of Comic Retailers, where I list out the different types of comic retailers. (There is a difference I promise).
Different Types of Marketing
Now before we begin, I want to make clear the differences between two different types of marketing; direct and indirect.
Direct Marketing: These marketing efforts that reach your target market in a single step like a phone call or email. This type of marketing always requires the comic creator to contact his target market directly.
Indirect Marketing: These marketing efforts are more focused on exposure. All while trying to get the primary target market to take the desired action. These marketing efforts, if done right, should result in your target market contacting you.
Get Your Order Codes Ready
For those of you who do manage to get printing and distribution done by Diamond Comic Distributors (the biggest printing and distribution company for comics in the world) then you should be getting a Diamond Order Code (aka DOC).
If you do not get printing and distribution done by Diamond and go with another printing and distribution company then should still be receiving an order code. This is the code that you would be giving to retailers so that they may order your comic with.
You should be using it on just about every conversation you have with a comic retailer. Without code or instructions on how to order your comic retailers will probably never bother with you. They are busy people.
Know Your Final Order Cut-Off Date (aka FOC date)
Don’t know what your FOC date is? Well, you’re probably in a little bit of trouble.
Your FOC date is the final date that comic retailers have to make an order for your comic. For a comic creator, this is a crucial date.
If I continue to use Diamond as an example, it’s by this date that they use to determine how many comics they need to get printed for shipping.
A lot of sales can be lost if a comic creator isn’t keeping track of this date. It can be an extremely useful date for your marketing strategies too (more on that in the next article).
Remember Your Retailer
Before selling your comic you need to have an appreciation and respect for your target market.
You need to remember that you can’t just be selling to a comic retailer once. You have to retain a good relationship with them. Engage with them regularly, see how you can help them out.
Remember that the more you help them, the more you’re helping yourself. Retailers want to sell comics, and you want to sell your comics to retailers. Help them so that they may help you.
Learn What A Call To Action (CTA) Is and Use It
Whenever you design a marketing document (be it a poster, a blog post, an ad to promote on a site, or take part in a podcast or vlog) don’t ever forget the Call To Action (CTA). You will need to understand this before selling your comic. If not you’re not using your time and marketing efforts to their full extent.
Call To Action: It’s the part in your message that calls for your target market to take a specific action. (i.e. click this button, check out my work by following this link, preorder my comic here, use my order code on this website example.com, etc [my patreon button in the middle of my articles is a good example too]).
Any target market you plan on selling to needs direction. That is the purpose of the CTA. Without it, you are simply wasting your time designing content and hoping for someone to magically end up on your store’s page and pre-ordering your work.
You want the retailer to receive a message and react to your CTA and make an order as soon as possible. You don’t ever want a retailer asking for your order code. That’s because, once again, they are very busy people.
I wanted to cover some topics before jumping straight into discussing selling practices. The reason being was that there are a lot of small things that are incredibly crucial to a comic’s success. A lot of which is often forgotten or ignored.
This article was meant to cover some of those very important things that make or break a comic’s success before it is ever even printed. Whether it was to understand the different types of marketing efforts, to remember the order codes for your comic and use them in your marketing efforts, respecting the retailers time and interests, or understanding the key element in every marketing effort you put out into the world.
If you’ve read this far then you would know these things now and you have a better chance of designing a better marketing plan for your comic. And on that note, I hope you’re looking forwards to the next article where I plan on discussing the different practices that you can use to sell directly to comic retailers. Because now you’re better prepared for it!