Wednesday, October 08, 2014

The Local Comic Shop: Your Bestest Friend

Regardless of whether or not you do regular comics or webcomics, it can only help to establish some sort of relationship with your local comic book shop. Not only can you get some great feedback on how to better market your comics, and they are definitely interested in promoting local artists: There is no narrative better than the local boy or girl done good, and being local it means that they help promote that work more effectively than someone that lives anywhere else. This is why it really helps to develop that relationship.

[Keep in mind that everything I say for comic book shops should apply to any book store. Comic book shops are just more responsive, and a more receptive setting. This should not be seen as a reason not to try it, and you should definitely try it.]

The first step for webcomic artists is to create links between the two sites, literally. Local comic book shops are always looking to promote local comics; they are willing to promote any comics really, but they really like local comics, especially if the shop is outside the usually roads, such New York or Los Angeles. The local creator wins by having access to someone who can sell his books.

Which of course brings us to the second thing, which is to discuss selling your books. Even if the shop itself doesn't buy your books directly, they may be willing to discuss commission, where they sell the books and give you most of the money back (stores usually charge 10%-15% for commission sales, though some stores charge more). Combined with some sort of display you should be able to sell more books than usual.

You should also debate holding an author day when you start selling at the store. This is something that you and the store should work (see previous entry for more information). It will take some work to set up, but it should be well worth it.

The local comic book can be one of your biggest supporters, and they can help you in a lot of great ways. Let them know you exist, and see how they can help you. Expect them to ask some requests, as they are a business after all, and it would e a bad businessman that would do something totally for free. Nonetheless, it can be a profitable exchange, and one that should happen for the benefit of both of you. 

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