Thoughts on selling out of issue 3

Eagle-eyed viewers of the site may have noticed that over the weekend I sold the last copy of issue 3 of London Horror Comic.

It’s the first issue I’ve sold out of and so something of a milestone as a self-publisher.

I go into some of the problems I had with getting issue 3 made in the back pages of issue 4, so I won’t repeat that part here.

Suffice to say that it was a limited print run and so stood a better chance of selling out compared with issues 1 and 2. Issue 4 is also a limited print run.

Given that London Horror Comic is more widely known now for its three issues, the completists and newcomers should help a healthy sell-through.

Knowing how many copies of an issue to get printed can be tricky if you’re an independent. It’s always difficult and even more so when you’re starting out.

You should take into account several things: your circle of friends, sales of previous issues, physical stores nearby that would sell your comics, likely cost of print run and number of conventions that you can attend to sell your stuff.

The web is a great platform for selling, but you still need to work at getting folks to take notice of your work.

If you’re thinking of starting your own comic then I would recommend trying to do an issue with a single self-contained story or several short ones.

This way you can easily test how big a prospective audience you have.

Or better yet, start a web comic and go to print once you have numbers or get enough emails telling you to do so.

What’s also important is establishing a brand for your work.

Now, some people often feel uneasy when talking about concepts like branding. Mixing branding with fine art almost sounds like heresy.

The point of branding however is to telegraph to people what they’re going to get in the book before they crack it open.

“Scares, chuckles and a bit of think” is London Horror Comic’s brand in a nutshell. Also applicable is: “the quickest longest train journey you’ll ever have” referencing the time it takes to get through an issue.

No matter how weird or out there your comic is there is a pitch that can summarise it and that will help people zero in on it, whether it’s on a shelf or online.

posted by admin at 11:09 pm  

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