I’ve talked before about affiliate marketing and how it relates to the comic book industry. In fact, small press comic book publishers can learn a lot from affiliate marketers and how they earn their livings.
The first affiliate marketing technique every indy comic publisher should familiarize themselves with are the social networking tools. The biggest of these are Digg, Facebook and Technorati.
Become familiar with these sites and become comfortable in using them to promote yourself and your comics. Use them to make a name not only for your comic books but also for yourself. Stories about or by you that get picked up and go viral are just as important to the development of your brand as the ones on your comics are.
Give your comics a face…YOUR face…because developing a public persona or a “character” for yourself is an immediate way to connect with your potential audience. Kevin Smith is a great example of this technique in action. The same can be said for the current crop of comic creators – Warren Ellis, Brian Michael Bendis and others have leveraged the power of social networking to build their careers in a way their “abilities” never could. Neither of those guys are living on their so-called “talent” – they’re making their way on the power of the personalities they have created for themselves and their fans, as well as on their ability to build communities around those personalities.
I mentioned three sites: Digg, Technorati and Facebook. Those are not the only social networking tools around – there are tons of them out there: Furl, Delicious, YouTuve and fifty others I could name just off the top of my head. Use these sites to build recognition for yourself first and then for your books. Write articles or posts that will get picked up and passed around. Readers will then come looking for what else you’re doing.
Build a buzz about yourself and it will bleed over to your books and equate to more sales.