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Magick Chicks returns (w/Dan Parent)

Started by invisifan, May 17, 2016, 06:20:30 pm

Previous topic - Next topic

Gisele

Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on June 27, 2016, 04:00:31 pm
Wouldn't it just be an additional revenue stream? Something like self-syndication? I'd assume the the readership of these alternative papers or magazines has pretty much zero overlap with the people currently reading the webcomic or buying digital or print compilations. Not to say that some of those alternative paper or magazine readers couldn't then JOIN the existing group of webcomic/compilation readers. I just thought it would be another way of getting exposure to an audience that would like it, but wouldn't have necessarily gone looking for it in the first place, because they may never have heard of it yet.


Sorry, I was talking about comics publishers. We were never approached to be in papers. It would really have to be something super alternative to accept the more risqué content. I don't think we'd say no if we were approached. As for books in the direct market, we'll eventually get in there. More than likely with omnibus editions using a publisher who understands the direct market more than we do.
I'm a cartoonist! http://www.giselelagace.com

DeCarlo Rules

June 27, 2016, 04:29:52 pm #31 Last Edit: June 27, 2016, 05:00:18 pm by DeCarlo Rules
Quote from: Gisele on June 27, 2016, 04:12:38 pm
Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on June 27, 2016, 04:00:31 pm
Wouldn't it just be an additional revenue stream? Something like self-syndication? I'd assume the the readership of these alternative papers or magazines has pretty much zero overlap with the people currently reading the webcomic or buying digital or print compilations. Not to say that some of those alternative paper or magazine readers couldn't then JOIN the existing group of webcomic/compilation readers. I just thought it would be another way of getting exposure to an audience that would like it, but wouldn't have necessarily gone looking for it in the first place, because they may never have heard of it yet.


Sorry, I was talking about comics publishers. We were never approached to be in papers. It would really have to be something super alternative to accept the more risqué content. I don't think we'd say no if we were approached. As for books in the direct market, we'll eventually get in there. More than likely with omnibus editions using a publisher who understands the direct market more than we do.


Oh, no... I wasn't talking about comic shops, I was talking about... I don't know what you'd call it. The underground press? Alternative lifestyle magazines? Like you see in major urban areas, supported by a lot of advertising, priced cheaply, or sometimes given away for free (for the newspapers, anyway... the alternative lifestyle magazines usually have smaller circulations, but cater to a very specific demographic). I mean, all you need to do is look under Classified, and Singles, and you can see that these papers are liberal, tolerant, and broad-minded.

I can't believe you don't have these in the major Canadian cities (especially Montreal and Toronto, places like that). You know, film reviews, political articles, arts stuff, music, college and youth culture. Like the kind of papers that carried Matt Groening's LIFE IN HELL comic strip. Boston has The Boston Phoenix, but that's a lot tamer than it started out. I don't know that it carries comix or not. Not all of them do.

If you're waiting for a phone call, it probably won't happen because they don't know MA3 exists. I guess it would be up to you to scout out potential clients and send them samples, based on looking at the content of the newspaper or magazine, and whether it was a venue where your strip would fit. Even if they don't have a comix section per se, doesn't mean they might not be interested. I'd start by looking at what's being published in Montreal, and work outward from there. I mean, you could send out a dozen samples, or two dozen. Might never hear anything, or just a polite "can't use it at this time" letter. On the other hand, the phone MIGHT ring then, because at least you let them know you exist.

Gisele

June 27, 2016, 06:03:14 pm #32 Last Edit: June 27, 2016, 06:05:49 pm by Gisele
Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on June 27, 2016, 04:29:52 pm
Oh, no... I wasn't talking about comic shops, I was talking about... I don't know what you'd call it. The underground press? Alternative lifestyle magazines? Like you see in major urban areas, supported by a lot of advertising, priced cheaply, or sometimes given away for free (for the newspapers, anyway... the alternative lifestyle magazines usually have smaller circulations, but cater to a very specific demographic). I mean, all you need to do is look under Classified, and Singles, and you can see that these papers are liberal, tolerant, and broad-minded.

I can't believe you don't have these in the major Canadian cities (especially Montreal and Toronto, places like that). You know, film reviews, political articles, arts stuff, music, college and youth culture. Like the kind of papers that carried Matt Groening's LIFE IN HELL comic strip. Boston has The Boston Phoenix, but that's a lot tamer than it started out. I don't know that it carries comix or not. Not all of them do.

If you're waiting for a phone call, it probably won't happen because they don't know MA3 exists. I guess it would be up to you to scout out potential clients and send them samples, based on looking at the content of the newspaper or magazine, and whether it was a venue where your strip would fit. Even if they don't have a comix section per se, doesn't mean they might not be interested. I'd start by looking at what's being published in Montreal, and work outward from there. I mean, you could send out a dozen samples, or two dozen. Might never hear anything, or just a polite "can't use it at this time" letter. On the other hand, the phone MIGHT ring then, because at least you let them know you exist.


At its peak, Ma3 had roughly half a million unique readers a month with over 6 million pageviews a month. Like any comic that has lasted this long, there's a drop over time. The comic still does well, and the true fans support it by buying books and removing ad blocker when they visit the site. I'm pretty sure enough people know about it that some of these folks in papers would be aware of it. I remember this one indie paper in Montreal, when I lived there... no idea if it's still around. Even then, with Penny & Aggie, we did go into these and we never saw a penny from that. I mean, it might increase readership a little but money wise, I wouldn't expect much. Right now, I'm focusing on doing more conventions than I used to (which was nil) to try and grab more people there, and I've started to accept doing more mainstream gigs to attract people to my indie work. Again, this is to supplement what's already there like you say. I could try and put the effort of finding all these indie papers and sending out emails & all but that's more work for me, and really, I'm maxed in terms of what I can physically do in a day already.

Edit: I should clarify that in webcomics, only about 1% of the readership ends up buying books and supporting via buying stuff, etc. Soooo, even though readership is high, you only grab 1% to actually buy stuff. The rest of the money is made via eyeballs and ad revenue (with those who don't have ad blockers.)
I'm a cartoonist! http://www.giselelagace.com

irishmoxie

Newspapers are dying if not dead. Usually those free magazines don't have anything worth reading in them. There's a reason they're free. Gisele is smart to do conventions. That's how most comic artists survive these days from commissions. Look at Dan Parent. He's the convention King.

DeCarlo Rules

June 28, 2016, 02:47:09 pm #34 Last Edit: June 28, 2016, 02:48:55 pm by DeCarlo Rules
Okay. Whatever. It was just an idea. Not that it's going to make anyone rich or anything. The alternative paper readership probably is not doing as badly, relatively speaking, as the mainstream newspapers are, because they're filling a gap that the mainstream papers are failing to address. The reason they're free is to increase the circulation, because it's ADVERTISERS who foot the bills for the publishing of those papers, not readers.

Yes, some of the readers of those papers are undoubtedly aware of MA3, but compared to the number of people in the publisher or editor positions at the paper, it might only be a half-dozen people, and they're not necessarily the type of people who are already immersed in comics culture and webcomics.

And I know it was ages ago, relatively speaking, but you know... what I was thinking of there was Groening's LIFE IN HELL, which kind of put him on the map, and somehow from there he got to do The Simpsons. Granted, it's a different world now, but just because you have millions of readers who somehow discover the webcomics, there's a schism there with the world of mainstream (or in this case, alternative to mainstream) culture. You never really know who reads those papers, and what connections that might lead to. Or not.

But on a completely different topic, I can't see MA3 doing much in the direct market, either. Eerie Cuties and Magick Chicks might do better, and could presumably be racked along with the manga. MA3, I think, would be difficult... It doesn't really fit in with mainstream comics (not even the indies), and it doesn't really fit with the Fantagraphics/Drawn & Quarterly-type alternative stuff. It's too "Mature Audiences" for the manga section, and it doesn't really fit in Diamond's Adult catalog either, because (ironically) it's too tame, compared to the usual erotica and hentai stuff they list.  I mean, nothing ventured, nothing gained, I guess. You could always submit it to Diamond to see whether they'd be interested. The overhead costs to you for printing might make it more trouble than it's worth, though.

On the other hand, it seems to me you're missing a good bet by not having MA3 (AND the rest of the Pixie Trix titles) on Amazon's CreateSpace Print-On-Demand service. As long as you have an Amazon seller's account, you can sell both digital copies and print. You supply them with the PDFs, they supply the printing/binding machine, and exposure to millions of potential customers. One customer order = one copy printed on demand. That's pretty low overhead cost to the publisher for the ability to connect with potential consumers.


irishmoxie

There's probably some cost to host your product. Same with Comixology. I assume there is some cost because I noticed some digital things expire after while and are no longer listed on the site. The cost may not outweigh the potential benefit.

DeCarlo Rules

Quote from: irishmoxie on June 28, 2016, 03:07:02 pm
There's probably some cost to host your product. Same with Comixology. I assume there is some cost because I noticed some digital things expire after while and are no longer listed on the site. The cost may not outweigh the potential benefit.


Of COURSE Amazon isn't doing this out of altruism. They have to make a profit. But the publisher's overhead is low compared to having to contract with a printer for a print run, which would be the case going through direct distribution with Diamond Comics. And of course, you have options as a seller. You can sell digital only, digital + POD (printed and shipped by Amazon), or digital plus print sales (Z-shops) from your existing print stock (shipped by the publisher, not Amazon).

Gisele

Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on June 28, 2016, 03:34:03 pm
Of COURSE Amazon isn't doing this out of altruism. They have to make a profit. But the publisher's overhead is low compared to having to contract with a printer for a print run, which would be the case going through direct distribution with Diamond Comics. And of course, you have options as a seller. You can sell digital only, digital + POD (printed and shipped by Amazon), or digital plus print sales (Z-shops) from your existing print stock (shipped by the publisher, not Amazon).


There's no cost to put books on Amazon. You just lose roughly 70% of the sale! Use a publisher, and you're left with 10% of the sale!
I prefer to sell directly using big cartel/gumroad and keep most of the profits (so I can eat!)
I don't use print-on-demand 'cause I have enough books to sell right here in my basement.
We sell quite well in our store, and the Kickstarters do well.
Here's an example of a typical day when we're busy with our Kickstarter...
https://www.facebook.com/pixietrixcomix/photos/pb.1523482044584339.-2207520000.1467160989./1531220797143797/?type=3&theater

Then, well, with the Kickstarters, we offer a lot and get a lot made (dolls, books, plushies, you name it!):
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pixietrixcomix/menage-a-3-volume-6
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pixietrixcomix/menage-a-3-volume-7-and-more
Our store:
http://pixietrixcomixstore.bigcartel.com/

I think we'd do OK in the direct market, and I've had many chances to put our books in there, but it's been a conscious decision not to do so up to now. Like I said, I think we'll go in the direct market via omnibus editions but I may change my mind. I follow my gut as to what I think makes the most sense financially.

I've also watched others try to expand into other things like animation, and seen the trouble it brought. I'm not saying I won't, but it needs to feel right. In a sense, we're a little like Terry Moore with Strangers in Paradise. It did well for him, and he makes money from it still, but he never went much further with it. Doesn't mean he didn't want to (or won't in the future,) but if all offers that show up don't feel right, well, you know... you pass on them. Jeff Smith is pretty much the same way with Bone. These guys are direct market guys, but if they were younger, they might be doing exactly what I'm doing now. It's hard to say.
I'm a cartoonist! http://www.giselelagace.com

DeCarlo Rules

June 28, 2016, 09:19:25 pm #38 Last Edit: June 28, 2016, 10:24:21 pm by DeCarlo Rules
Quote from: Gisele on June 28, 2016, 08:59:43 pm
Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on June 28, 2016, 03:34:03 pm
Of COURSE Amazon isn't doing this out of altruism. They have to make a profit. But the publisher's overhead is low compared to having to contract with a printer for a print run, which would be the case going through direct distribution with Diamond Comics. And of course, you have options as a seller. You can sell digital only, digital + POD (printed and shipped by Amazon), or digital plus print sales (Z-shops) from your existing print stock (shipped by the publisher, not Amazon).


There's no cost to put books on Amazon. You just lose roughly 70% of the sale! Use a publisher, and you're left with 10% of the sale!


That's pretty much what I said, isn't it? Amazon makes its profit off every sale, but 30% of the sale price is better than the 10% you'd get from Diamond (and you have to cover your own printing costs).

The math doesn't lie. 30% of nothing is still nothing, and is the same amount as 10% of nothing. So if you don't sell a copy on Amazon, that's what you're getting, nothing. It's not an either/or situation, it's profit in addition to the profit you're already making! MOST of those potential Amazon customers have never even heard of Gumroad, so you're really not competing with yourself. So what if you make more profit off a print copy you sold on Gumroad or a digital one that you sold on ComiXology? Money is money. What's your out-of-pocket expense for putting the digital copy on Amazon? It's a numbers racket, and it all comes down to selling more copies.

What you do is you put it up on Amazon, and YOUR existing readers SELL the book for you to people who have never even heard of your comics. That's why there are all those links in there to other products that the same customers bought. So if someone bought RANMA 1/2, and they also bought EERIE CUTIES, then your product appears on the page for people who are looking for RANMA 1/2. Then if they click on it, and read positive reviews for EERIE CUTIES that (for example) compare it favorably to RANMA 1/2, people are likely to order products that other people that like the same things as them (like RANMA 1/2 for example) liked. I can't even begin to tell you all the money I've spent on products from Amazon that I would never have known existed if they hadn't been linked to other products that I happened to be actually looking for.

Another point to add is that people buy a lot of stuff from Amazon because it's the big-box warehouse superstore of the internet. Just like someone goes to Walmart or Target if they can find 10 different things they're looking for, instead of say, going to the mall and walking around to 4 or 5 different stores. One-stop shopping. Funny thing about that though -- if I only went to Target looking for 10 different things, somehow, I wind up walking out with 6 or 8 extra things I didn't plan on buying in the first place.

If I like comics from Marvel, IDW, and Archie, and Pixie Trix, then the same thinking applies. I don't want to go to a store for each individual product I'm looking to buy if I can get it all in one place (and many people get the Amazon Prime account, because that is their #1 MAIN store to shop at, but otherwise if you spend $40 you can get free shipping). But the same applies whether we're talking about free shipping or just the convenience of not hopping back and forth between a number of different online stores where you have to create a new account, etc. No lie -- I live in a condo building with an outside mailbox, and I look out the window to check to see if the mail's been delivered by looking at my neighbor across the parking lot's front doorstep -- this family has 2 to 4 packages from Amazon delivered almost every single day.

Well, now I have to be brutally honest and admit my own experience. I once went to Gumroad and filled up a shopping cart with $150 dollars worth of your print editions. When I saw the shipping charges, I hesitated. Then I divided the total cost with shipping by the number of books I was ordering, to see what each individual book was actually costing me. Long story short -- I didn't complete the order. Now, I would love to find those same books at my local comic store or a convention, and would happily pay what I consider to be an extremely reasonable cover price for them. If the print versions were available to order on Amazon, I would have ordered them long ago. In the 20 years I've been shopping on Amazon, I've NEVER paid a shipping charge, except if it was a z-shops seller shipping an out-of-print book that I just HAD to have. All of the products that I've ordered over the years (and it's probably better that I DON'T know how much I've spent there over the years) have been shipped to me from Amazon for free, because I NEVER have a problem finding $40 (used to be $25, years ago) worth of products that I need there.

You just have to look at the glass half-full perspective, not the other way around.

Gisele

My issue was more about losing existing sales to Amazon. Current buyers might prefer to go to Amazon 'cause they can get free shipping and bundle it up with something else. If I get too many of those, I almost have to sell double what I do now to make up for it. If I don't sell double, I'm losing. Sure, I might get more sales, but that doesn't mean more money. In any case, like I said, I'm considering it. I'm just very slow at doing this 'cause, well, I do everything myself for the most part, and have a lot of the go. It's no surprise people like to use publishers to put out their work as they don't have to worry about this stuff, but when you get 10% of profits as a creator when using a publisher, you have to sell a whole lot of books, and I know that there are many creators out there who sell more books than I do but are poorer 'cause of the way the system works. But again, I may jump in once I feel it's safe hehe ;)
I'm a cartoonist! http://www.giselelagace.com

DeCarlo Rules

Quote from: Gisele on June 28, 2016, 10:10:36 pm
My issue was more about losing existing sales to Amazon. Current buyers might prefer to go to Amazon 'cause they can get free shipping and bundle it up with something else. If I get too many of those, I almost have to sell double what I do now to make up for it. If I don't sell double, I'm losing. Sure, I might get more sales, but that doesn't mean more money. In any case, like I said, I'm considering it. I'm just very slow at doing this 'cause, well, I do everything myself for the most part, and have a lot of the go. It's no surprise people like to use publishers to put out their work as they don't have to worry about this stuff, but when you get 10% of profits as a creator when using a publisher, you have to sell a whole lot of books, and I know that there are many creators out there who sell more books than I do but are poorer 'cause of the way the system works. But again, I may jump in once I feel it's safe hehe ;)


As a print publisher, I've heard that Image Comics has some kind of different system than I think almost any publisher uses. All of their books are creator-owned, which is why they seem to be releasing brand new titles almost every single month. While I'm not privvy to the exact details of how it works, I've been told that there's some sort of buy-in cost to the creators for start-up costs on launching a new title.

In effect, you the owner of the property are paying Image Comics as a "publishing service" for handling things like accounting, printing, advertising & promotion, editorial services, distribution. Once the book is launched, if it makes a certain minimum sales, then you the owner get a much larger percentage of the profit than would be the case with other publishers, but retain 100% ownership and control.

Just having the Image logo on a title and being under their aegis for solicitation purposes seems give a comic more notice and opportunity for serious consideration by potential readers in the current marketplace (ironic, I know, considering what they started out publishing, and in a few cases, still do). Not trying to sell anyone on the idea, because I don't know anyone who works there, but the concept sounds intriguing to me, if that situation as it exists is what I've been told it is.

Gisele

Quote from: DeCarlo Rules on July 04, 2016, 01:20:31 am
Quote from: Gisele on June 28, 2016, 10:10:36 pm
My issue was more about losing existing sales to Amazon. Current buyers might prefer to go to Amazon 'cause they can get free shipping and bundle it up with something else. If I get too many of those, I almost have to sell double what I do now to make up for it. If I don't sell double, I'm losing. Sure, I might get more sales, but that doesn't mean more money. In any case, like I said, I'm considering it. I'm just very slow at doing this 'cause, well, I do everything myself for the most part, and have a lot of the go. It's no surprise people like to use publishers to put out their work as they don't have to worry about this stuff, but when you get 10% of profits as a creator when using a publisher, you have to sell a whole lot of books, and I know that there are many creators out there who sell more books than I do but are poorer 'cause of the way the system works. But again, I may jump in once I feel it's safe hehe ;)


As a print publisher, I've heard that Image Comics has some kind of different system than I think almost any publisher uses. All of their books are creator-owned, which is why they seem to be releasing brand new titles almost every single month. While I'm not privvy to the exact details of how it works, I've been told that there's some sort of buy-in cost to the creators for start-up costs on launching a new title.

In effect, you the owner of the property are paying Image Comics as a "publishing service" for handling things like accounting, printing, advertising & promotion, editorial services, distribution. Once the book is launched, if it makes a certain minimum sales, then you the owner get a much larger percentage of the profit than would be the case with other publishers, but retain 100% ownership and control.

Just having the Image logo on a title and being under their aegis for solicitation purposes seems give a comic more notice and opportunity for serious consideration by potential readers in the current marketplace (ironic, I know, considering what they started out publishing, and in a few cases, still do). Not trying to sell anyone on the idea, because I don't know anyone who works there, but the concept sounds intriguing to me, if that situation as it exists is what I've been told it is.


I may eventually try Image for a project. Here are some interesting reads in that regard btw:
http://www.jimzub.com/the-reality-of-mainstream-creator-owned-comics/
http://www.jimzub.com/creator-owned-economics-the-changing-market/
I'm a cartoonist! http://www.giselelagace.com

Jughead



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