Paul Allor wrote one of my favorite recent small press comics, the wonderful ORC GIRL. Because I know very little about Self-Publishing, I asked friends who have been successful at it for their honest tips, and Paul’s encouraging but sobering words here are absolutely essential. Thanks, Paul!
PAUL (ORC GIRL) ALLOR
Okay, let’s get this out of the way up-front: the subtitle of this post should be “Self-Publishing Advice from a Guy Who’s Lost a Whole Lot of Money Self-Publishing.” If you want to know how to self-publish your comics in an economically viable, financially sustainable way, I’m not your guy. Because frankly, I think that’s nearly impossible, unless you’re an established creator (or a wizard!).
But if you’re looking to self-publish as a way to get your work out there, and start to build a career, then we can talk. I’m going to assume that you already have a script, and the creative team is assembled, and everything is awesome. I’m also assuming that you’re interested in a print comic, not just something web-based. Here are a few (woefully incomplete) thoughts on where you go from there.
Anonymous said: Pandering to the people who have supported this industry for years is a sure way for this industry to be dead in a few years.> cont: it's not a since of entitlement. It's knowing for a fact that most of the people who keep your comics alive, the people that continue to buy and collect, the people you're alienating and driving away, are comic book people. You really think that saying you don't care about your core customers is the way to keep us loyal?
There’s always one of you guys who’s a sensitive soul and has his feelings hurt when I tell him that he’s not the be-all and end-all of my world.
You make a pretty extreme leap from “Pandering to the people who have supported this industry for years is a sure way for this industry to be dead in a few years ” to “we don’t care about our core customers”. It’s as though if every single thing we do isn’t squarely aimed at you, you’re like a jealousy suitor or something—you go bananas.
Just look at our output. Clearly in excess of 90%, 95% of what we do is aimed at you. But pandering is the point where it all goes over the edge. And also—and let’s be frank about this, you and me, because we’ve both been here a long time—you’ve seen younger days. You’re not going to be around much longer, not in a long-terms sense. You’re going to die.
What we need is a steady influx of new younger readers to continue to come after us when we’re disintegrating in the ground.
And let me ask you: is the guy who started reading the books a year ago, or six months ago, or two weeks ago not a “comic book person”? Were YOU not after that period of time?
If you’ve got $3.99 in your hand, then you’re equal in my eyes.
"You’re going to die."
Tom Breevort…cold as ice!
(But he’s not wrong.)