I started going to conventions and the difference between webcomic money and small press money was so obscene it made me feel bad. Seriously. I was making more money by giving away my comic online than everyone I ever saw who self-published their comics or who went through smaller independent publishers and Diamond. It’s a basic question of overhead. If you print, you have to pay to print the comics; to ship the comics; to store the comics; to ship the comics again to Diamond, or the retailer, or the customer. And that cover price? I know the customer feels like $2.99 is a bit much for one issue (nevermind the $3.99 that will become the standard price later this year), but that’s got to go toward paying the printer, the shipping, the storage, the shipping again, Diamond, and the retailer. What pittance is left over is then split between the creative team and the publisher. That’s a lot of ways to slice $3 especially since the retailer alone keeps $1.50. And mind you, this is if you get a sale. Print comics customers are not merely inclined to not buy things they don’t already buy, they actively fight it. Good luck out there!
That’s Brian Clevinger, writer of everyone’s favorite, Atomic Robo, up there. And, you know, he’s onto something.
Brian discusses far more in his piece “The Diamond Age.” Go ahead and click. He poses a few interesting alternatives to paper distribution, and in this era of recession panic and Diamond cutbacks and indie fears, he’s got some good ideas. As a dude who’s looking into making his own comics pretty soon, Clev’s got my attention.
Anyway, it’s good reading. So, go. Read. Discuss. Come back here if you want. Would you read comics on your iPhone? Hell, would you ever buy an iPhone?
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