Making Money By Publishing Comics Online
8 min read
- Why are comics still important?
- What makes a good comic-book?
- How can you make money with comics online?
We will deal with these questions as you read on.
Superman has already been portrayed by a lot of actors already in movies as well as on TV. Spider-Man has been through the same, and Captain America and Iron Man have brought extreme riches to the actors that played them, as well as those to the producers and directors that crafted their stories.
Such facts make it clear that comic-books are among the most highly attractive forms of published materials, the kind that can rake in a serious stream of income by the likes of you, if you plan to embark on the comic-publishing gig.
The comic-book industry is one heck of a money-making giant that is also very prevalent in the halls of cyberspace. We’re not only talking about the likes of Marvel and DC here. But we’re also referring to those that do not engage in printing actual comic-books, but are only publishing their creations in online portals.
Reasons why comics are still important
Even with the prevalence of multimedia, comics are still important and relevant these days for these reasons:
They are still loved by kids and adults – Judging from their appearance, comics are something that is only meant for kids. But by visiting comic shops and bookstores and by asking the people in charge therein, you will surely find out that even adults and grown-ups are also buying them.
Many comic stories today are actually designed to attract adults. Categories that fall into that are highly available and are mostly more expensive than standard comics.
They are animation in printed form – Animated images are highly attractive, it’s the reason why they’re included in various forms of media even if cartooning is not really the main subject matter. Comicbooks are actually animations printed on paper, and it is the reason why they are very captivating nonetheless.
They’re easy to read – The fact that graphics make a book a hundred times easier to read is inarguable. And since comic books have a lot of them, they are so easy to consume and absorb as well. Novels are pretty good at making the mind get immersed in scenarios in a truly imaginative way. But some readers just want to take it easy.
With drawings that can easily describe what the story is really all about, reader engagement is increased in wider means. This is perhaps the main reason why comic books are highly salable.
What makes a good comic-book?
Before you actually make a comic-book and publish it, you have to know the elements that comprise good comics.
It has to be superbly illustrated – Comics is a form of illustrated media, and for that, you have to make your publication breathtaking in terms of graphics and drawings. In this endeavor, you have to take into account the techniques used by anime illustrators: they seem to believe that facial expressions have to be exaggerated a bit to convey more emotions.
This is because comic drawings are still images that often stared at for many seconds compared to other forms of media. By putting facial drawings that are a bit stronger than standard, real ones, emotions will be even more emphasized and will become more captivating.
The characters must be relatable – This is true not only with comic-books, but in novels and movies as well. If your characters are people that your readers can’t relate to, they will avoid them. This doesn’t mean that you have to be strictly realistic with the flow of your story. This only means that you just have to make the logistics of your narrative appear to be real from the story’s context, even though such an event can’t really happen in real life.
It must have superhero themes – Yes, they’re quite overdone already. Does that make them boring? No. If you take into account the popularity of superhero movies these days, we would surely arrive at the conclusion that comics that feature their kind will be surely salable and marketable.
Superheroes make comics appear to be some kind of “gold investments” and they’re the reason why comics stay relevant for decades already. If you don’t include heroic themes in your planned comic-books, you will be making a huge mistake.
Best comics genres newbie publishers must explore
What if you hate crafting superhero themes for your comics? Here are some attractive genres you could explore:
Comedy – Making people laugh is one of the most profitable undertakings any content-creator should consider, and an aspiring comic publisher like you could greatly exploit this fact. It is undeniable that keywords like “funny videos”, “pranks”, and “funny animals” are among the most-searched keywords on Youtube today.
This makes it clear that in the avenue of writing, or in comic-publishing, funny items should be present as well.
Horror – Decades ago, when the likes of The Justice League and The X-Men were still small-time characters in comics, they have very strong competitors – horror characters and stories. If you can compellingly illustrate scary images and put some relatable stories into them, this would be very attractive to readers of all ages as well.
Love stories – Have you heard about Wattpad? I’m sure you have. But have you heard and absorbed the fact that romance stories comprise the greatest percentage of the published materials within that online portal? Since it is solid knowledge, one that you can take great advantage of, you should consider crafting a romance-oriented comic story.
The greatest number of comic-book lovers are teenagers and young adults. Do you need to be reminded that love stories are among their all-time favorites? Let me remind you then… write something that fits into that category, and riches and fame will be ushered into you your digital doorstep!
Steps to take in starting to publish your comics online
Now that you’ve understood the importance and the factors that make a comic pretty and marketable, let’s start to take these steps:
Work with a storyteller – Are you just an illustrator? Then find a storyteller that can stitch your drawings together by means of words and sentences. If you happen to be both, then you just struck a pot of gold since you can do the tasks single-handedly.
The step to take then is to work on your storytelling so it can be fit for comic books. If you have written a novel before, excellent. Writing a comic story should be easier for you since it only requires fewer words. The only catch about it would be making dialogs and narratives that can truly supplement the graphics for each page.
Work with an illustrator – This item should just be considered as the opposite of the previous one. But if you are quite good at making story outlines that are compelling enough, then you should be an effective comic storyteller.
The good thing about crafting stories for comic books is that you don’t have to really describe that your character is happy, sad, enraged, or scared… the illustrations will do it for you. So if you have this deep passion for telling stories but can’t draw nicely, then working with an illustrator should be highly considered.
Study the greatest comics – What makes Superman the most popular superhero? What makes Spider-Man highly loved by kids? Those are questions that you should highly ponder upon. When Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster started crafting Superman, they were just high-school kids who don’t have solid ideas yet on what they’re actually doing.
Decades later, even during the times when they’re no longer among the living, their big boy in blue is still prominently making them wealthy not just in comic -books, but in the silverscreen as well. Think highly about that.
But in contrast, you need to think about the possibility that imitating their style would not work anymore in this generation. Think about the likes of Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore, such guys broke the conventional forms of comics and invented a new genre within comic-publishing.
By reading Stardust and Watchmen, you might begin to think that stepping into the weird and diverse in the avenue of comics could sometimes pay off. That is if you’ve brilliantly utilized storytelling and illustration.
Build a portfolio and pitch your work – If you are just starting out, then you have to acknowledge that there is no money on this… yet. This is the stage where you will just be making yourself attractive to established publishers, should you decide to work for the big names in the industry already.
Make a few good stories, illustrate them, or have an illustrator do it for you, package your creations, and pitch them to publishers. It should be a wise move still, as it is the effective and proven method used by many novelists today.
Once you have already polished your portfolio, you may want to consider marketing your illustration or story-telling skills on platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer. It’s getting tougher and tougher to get noticed these days on such platforms but if you have a strong and solid portfolio, you should ease out on the competition smoothly.
Another option is through social media ads. They are so surprisingly cheap and affordable these days. Your creations can already be seen by thousands of people for as slow as $10 on Facebook. Other social media platforms are not that far. Build a page for yourself as a comic-book creator and publisher and let it run for a few days with that amount, and you will see amazing results in no time.
Steps to take in self-publishing your comics
What if you want to go independent? Is it doable? Can you really reach the level of achievement of the established comic-book companies? Let’s answer these questions in a practical and realistic approach.
Comicbook companies, albeit the most successful ones, have been around for decades already. And what keeps them going is the presence of their army of staff, their marketing network, and not to mention, their powerful reputation already.
If you plan to self-publish your comics, you’d be most likely a lone writer-illustrator, or the half of a tandem, or a duo (or whatever term is applicable to a working pair). If that happens to be the setup of your endeavors, then being on the level of those established ones already would be unrealistic, for your starting years, at least.
However, as your popularity and reputation grow, you could then put up an office, hire some staff, and purchase some high-end equipment. By putting up a few more years to your efforts, maybe… you could be on the level of those successful publishing companies.
But for the time being, as a novice online comic-publisher, you could just embark on the following:
Publishing a comic ebook – This should be the most viable course of action for you, the ultimate starter for your online comic-publishing journey. By making an ebook, and publishing them to online portals who would welcome you with open arms, you could be on your first steps to success.
For an in-depth understanding of publishing ebooks, read this.
Comics blog – If you plan to have a steadier income with comics online, maybe you should consider publishing a blog, instead of an ebook. The hard thing about a blog though is that you need to publish more content on it compared to that of an ebook.
Most expert bloggers believe that having 30-40 posts should be the ideal post count for highly searchable blogs. This means that you have to create at least comic chapters with that number. And also, you need to blog regularly for at least a week, or twice a month.
Comics vlog – If you want to give a more immersive experience to your readers, maybe a comic vlog should be your choice. By presenting your comics as a video slideshow, then you can make your stories appear more lifelike since you can embellish some transitions and sound effects to your comic stories.
Or you could also provide voice-overs to make your comics appear to read themselves, instead of just relying on your audience to the reading. Such an option could really give you a greater advantage compared to your competitors.
The real world and the online universe are waiting for you illustrated stories. Captivate and dazzle the minds of the readers within it and make a living out of it. Do it now. Who knows? Your characters could be something super or amazing for the next decades even after you pass away.
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