Comics Self-publishing 101… from a man who’s been there and done that

Paul Raven @ 16-03-2009

If you’ve ever considered setting yourself up as an independent comics publisher to push your own work, novelist and indie-creator Jim Munroe has got your back with a self-publishing primer.

One of the coolest thing about the comics world is that it doesn’t dismiss self-publishers the way the lit world does. Maybe because it’s a less pretentious field, or a newer one, or that drawing talent is more quickly discerned at a glance.

Pretentious? Us? Au contraire! Well, that’s a debate for another day… for now, let’s see what Munroe suggests as a start:

Someone wrote in another Xeric testimonial that you should not attempt self-publishing and all of this business unless you have no choice. This is really true. It’s a tonne of work, there’s no money in it, and trying to put comic books out there for public consumption is another full-time job on top of doing the actual (creative) work.

[…]

But the more of your own work you do the more focused you become, and the easier it gets, at least to be confident enough to start a project, to see it through, and to learn a thing or two about it and yourself in the process.

In other words, self-publishing shouldn’t be considered a short-cut to success for shoddy work… which is the one thing that the majority of self-published novelists seem to have utterly failed to realise. There’s lots of solid practical advice in Munroe’s post, so if you’re a comics writer or artist (or just interested in the business side of small-scale publishing) go take a look.

Will increasing ease of access to self-publishing tools make it more acceptable to self-publish novels, or less?

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2 Responses to “Comics Self-publishing 101… from a man who’s been there and done that”

  1. Screen Sleuth says:

    Self-publishing in general stinks, unless you have a bunch of money or a very niche audience, IMHO.

  2. SMD says:

    I agree with Screen Sleuth, self-publishing is generally terrible. I don’t think people will ever realize that just because it’s there, doesn’t mean you should do it. Shoddy work is shoddy work. Period. I think there is a delusion that you can self-publish and become famous or rich or successful or something.

    I think there are going to be two things that will happen with easier access to self-publishing:
    1. More people with crappy, unpublishable work are going to shove that stuff into the market (because it’s easier to publish) and will largely be unsuccessful and further tarnish self-publishing (thus making the industry lose all value as a viable publishing market).
    2. More people wanting to act as publishers will start using such services as printers. I’m doing this for a magazine I’m running for young writers (using Lulu exclusively as the printer, and distributor, but not as anything else). I think this is good. This will create more variety, more niche markets, etc. It has downsides, obviously, but still.

    That’s what I see happening, anyway.