Keeping Your Readers Coming Back – A Primer
Hey there, guys and gals. It’s Mat Nastos back again with another bit of marketing advice for your indie comic book publishing adventures. Today I’m going to talk about how to keep from losing your audience while you are making it grow.
Stan Lee is a genius. Everyone in the comic book industry knows it. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize his true genius lies outside of having created Spider-man, the Hulk, the X-men and the Marvel Universe itself. The real force behind the genius of Stan Lee was that he knew the reason why most businesses lose customers.
I know what you’re saying to yourself right now. You’re saying, What in the hell are you talking about, Mat, and what on Earth does it have to do with drawing the Wolverine?” Truth be told, it has absolutely nothing to do with drawing the Wolverine and absolutely everything to do with why a lot of comic book publishers lose sales after their first issue and, eventually, cancel their comics.
The major reason why comic book publishers (and businesses in general) lose business is because of customer apathy. In other words, most comic book publishers are chasing away customers by ignoring them after the initial sale. Marketing experts estimate that over 65 percent of all business lost in the US is from apathy after the sale. And even back at the beginning of Marvel Comics, Stan Lee knew this. (Read the rest of the article at http://comicbookmarketing.com/)
Since I started this series of articles on marketing for comic book publishers I’ve been getting email questions from my readers (and watchers of the new videos). The most common question from comic publishers and creators so far is “What is an affiliate program and how do I get one started?” I hope to answers those questions in today’s video post. Read More »
A school of thought that has become prevailant in the comic book industry is the idea of “if you built it, they will come.” In other words, the act of creating and printing a comic book will automatically result in sales. Comic creators believe this, a lot of comic book publishers believe this and even some online comic distributors believe this. My automatic response would be to call these people “morons,” but I’m in a good mood today and will just call them “uneducated.” Read More »
Hey, all. Quick post today.
I just found out I’ll be on Planet Comic Book Radio tomorrow night, speaking with Javier Hernandez of El Muerte fame. He puts together a great show and it should be a lot of fun. I see Javier all the time at the Frank and Son Shows down here in Southern California, but this will be my first chance to chat with him. Check it out: http://www.planetcomicbookradio.com
I know a lot of comic book publishers and comic creators are already familiar with blogs, and many of them run blogs for their books. What I also know is the majority of them are doing it completely wrong. While it is a noble effort to run a personal journal or gallery blog, they do absolutely nothing to aid you in building either your brand presence or valid, targeted traffic that will help sell more comic books.
And, yes, I realize the top of my head is cut off in the post. I’m using a new camera and haven’t quite got it down yet! Read More »
Since I started my latest series of articles on marketing for comic book publishers I’ve received emails asking me about affiliate programs and what they are. The best way to describe what an affiliate is to someone is as a freelance commissioned sales person. An affiliate will go out and using whatever methods they specialize in will go out, market your product and refer sales back to you. These methods might be blogging, articles, PPC, coupons, classifieds or one of about a thousand other techniques.
It doesn’t matter how they do it, what matters is they bring sales to you in exchange for a commission that can be anywhere from 5% up to 50% or more. The percentage in any given case is determined by the company recruiting the affiliates and is based on what margins the company can give up and still make a decent profit. A lot of affiliate programs pay in the 8-12% range. As a comic publisher I’d probably offer around 25% of a sale to my affiliates. But that’s me. If you go too low, you won’t get anyone to sign up…too high and you won’t make any money. Read More »
Last time I talked about how to better leverage the internet to help build your sales and presence as a small press comic book publisher. I’ll be coming back to the internet and ways you can expand what you’re doing by using it, but right now I want to move to talk about a place that most small press comic publishers aren’t really doing much with — the offline world. Although, some of these tips do crossover with the online world as well.
In the past I’ve said over and over again “by focusing on the comic book industry you are limiting yourself — cutting your business off at the knees — by not opening up to the mainstream.” This is also true by limiting yourself only to the internet as an advertising platform. You might be surprised to hear me say that because of how I earn my living and my own love of the internet. But it’s true. Moving your branding offline and out in to the real world can be one of the best things you do for your business.
Now, I know a lot of you are saying “I go to comic conventions” or “I go out and talk to comic shops in my area.” You’re limiting yourself because the comic industry is a dead end for the indie comic publisher. It is — no one wants your books in the comic industry outside of other creators, and even they probably don’t want your books. However, the mainstream public will buy your book, you just have to let them know it.
What follows are 5 tips for marketing your comic books offline and how to start building your business locally. Remember, in spite of it being a global economy these days, every business is a local business and that is where you can start. Read More »
Most comic book publishers these days will have their own websites. The smart ones will have their own domains, the less-smart ones will only be on free hosts such as Myspace, Comicspace, Geocities or one of a thousand other choices. Unfortunately, most publishers stop there when it comes to their online presence.
Today I’m going to give you a list of 6 ways to expand your market by leveraging the Internet to its fullest extent. Read More »
In general, the comic book industry lacks business sense. This is almost universally true with comic shop owners, comic book publishers and comic creators. Just because you have a lot of comic books in your collection does not mean you have the ability to start and run a comic book store. And, just because you can write or draw does not mean you should publish your own books. Well, let me rephrase that, you can give it a try but odds are you are going to fail. I know as an indy publisher I’m supposed to be all warm and fuzzy when it comes to talking about creating comic books and the industry. However, while comic books are my first and one-true love, I love running a successful business almost as much and am not by any means a hobby publisher. If you’re a hobby publisher then this post is not for you. If you are interested in trying to take your business to the next level, then read on! Read More »
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. Read More »