Last time we ended talking about the New Comic Book Industry.
Actually, the New Comic Book Industry isn’t new, it just keeps evolving.
Around the late 90’s online web comics started and one of the most successful has been Penny Arcade. Penny Arcade is now a large corporation with several employees that has created other businesses. BUT if you look at the core of Penny Arcade, you will see that they started an all-new readership online which many others have duplicated and benefited from such as Girl Genius, Evil, Inc. and PVP, to name just a few.
So, the New Comic Book Industry isn’t new but what we can learn and take from them is how they broke the mold of traditional publishing, creating alternative products and distribution.
What we want to look at is how to use the internet to directly build a global micro-fanbase of readers who LOVE your comics and support you on a regular basis.
None of this is easy and it takes time and effort. You’ll have to spend as much time building and finding what works for you, as you will actually creating your comics. Putting more effort into it at the beginning will pay off as time goes on and you develop as a comic creator.
Something I want to discuss and you’ll see me write about many times as we go along in this journey is PASSIVE INCOME. Passive Income is “money received on a regular basis with little effort required to maintain it”. What is Passive Income in the comic book industry? Many of you will say Back Issues, Digital Comics and Graphic Novel Collections and that all is true, but actually this could be a very small amount of your Passive Income.
Let’s break it down.
Passive Income can come from three areas: Physical Merchandise, Digital Merchandise and Knowledge.
Physical merchandise is something that you’re going to have to put money into and have available to ship unless you use an online store that makes the merchandise for you but they keep a large amount of the purchase price.
Digital merchandise is always ready for delivery with very little effort.
Knowledge -this one could take up a large part of your time. You’ll have to work on how much time is spent on this so you don’t loose sight of what you’re trying to accomplish which is to create your own comic book.
- Physical Merchandise (Comics Books, Graphic Novels, Trading Cards, Prints, Original Art, Commission Sketches, T-shirts, Buttons, Sticker)
- Digital Merchandise (Comic Books and Graphic Novels via Amazon, Comixology, Drive-Thru Comics, iTunes/iBookStore, Comicsfix, Scribd, Tapastic, Pulp-Free, Gumroad, IndyPlanet, My Digital Comics (we’ll do more in depth with each outlet in a later post.))
- Others (Knowledge) (Patreon, Membership Sites, Licensing, Tutoring, Fan Club, Teaching Art Classes)
As you can see there’s a large number of ways to create a Passive Income so you can continue to create your comics.
The second part of Passive Income is “little effort required to maintain it” and this takes awhile for two reasons: One, you have to build that super fanbase that is going to support you in everything you do. Over time you will find easier ways to keep your group of Superfans thriving and growing and we’ll discuss this later.
And Two, you have to create the stories. Yes… you’re doing all of this so you can create, share and make an income from something that you want to do the rest of your life. You do want it that bad? Right…
To achieve your goals you’re going to have to put a massive amount of effort into creating. Learning about what it is you’re creating will take effort and creativity, but this effort will pay off in Passive Income in the future.
Next time: But who is going to buy this merchandise? Building your Super Fanbase.
Success = small, loyal group of die-hard fans
We’re just getting started…
Robert W. Hickey