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.