I want as many people as possible to read my work. When it comes to comics, that typically means getting into comic book stores. If you don’t know how comic book stores work, the majority of them order their books from a distributor called Diamond. In most cases, if your book is not available through Diamond, comics stores won’t carry it.
There is the rare store owner that has an independent or small press section for self-publishing folk like myself, but the reach is small and the number of readers is usually modest. Conventions, webcomics, and comiXology submit have helped, but for the most part, the readership is modest. How do you get into comic book stores? You have to ink a deal with one of the publishers/distributors.
So how do you get with Diamond? You can submit your work directly to Diamond and they will vote and decide if your work is good enough for them to carry it in the rarely seen (and even more rarely ordered from) Independent section of Previews, their catalog. Or, the other way is to ink a deal with one of the established publishers/distributors that distribute through Diamond such as Image Comics, Dark Horse, IDW, etc.
In the past, I have submitted Vigilante Project (VP) to these publishers/distributors and they passed. No big deal. I know that I made some mistakes with VP, and even though it hurt, I understood. However, this time around with The Ronin, I figured it would be different. I honestly believe that The Ronin is as good of not better than 95% of the comics on shelves right now, so I figured it’d be a no brainer for one of these publishers/distributors to pick it up. So at Comic Con, I met and spoke with quite a few publishers and some were very interested. However, this week I got the final “no” I was dreading from the publisher that I wanted most. The other two I spoke with didn’t even respond (which means no).
So what now?
Self-publishing is something that I am very familiar with. All five Vigilante Project books were self-published and we did pretty darn good for a little indie book that could. However, The Ronin is a different animal. It’s an adaptation of a novel and as such I have to deal with rights, minimum print runs, and more. I’ve already spent a pretty penny on Ronin and I hesitate to spend more without getting some input from the marketplace.
So, it looks like I am headed back to Kickstarter to get some help funding book one of The Ronin. If you recall, we did two Kickstarters to get VP printed and out to the masses. Once funded, I’ll get The Ronin on Amazon and comiXology, the people will love it, and the sales will be enough for us to keep going. But it all starts with Kickstarter… again.
If you’re reading this, check out the preview of my Kickstarter page here and let me know what you think. It’s not ready to go yet. I am waiting on GC to finish a new t-shirt design reward and then I will record the video for it. But check out the content and help me out of you see something that I should change, or something that I could make better. Thanks.
I couldn’t decide between Ernie or Thanos, so here’s Ernie.