March 23, 2015
A self-made comic book using on-demand comic book printing is a dream of many writers and graphic designers today. Comic books are a medium that has charmed millions of readers all around the world since first becoming popular in the early 20th century.
Creating a comic book was very difficult at that time, and authors were practically limited to begging the established printing houses and media organizations for their approval and favorable treatment over thousands of other authors. Many comic books remained unprinted, and some hit the underground market.
Today, the situation is very different. For starters, one can have their own comic book printed by on-demand printers at a very low price. Every author has at their disposal all the tools available for creating, editing, and preparing their comic book for print or digital distribution. Authors can also use popular social networks to put the word out on their work of art.
However, there are several tips on comic book printing that all comic book creator enthusiasts should keep in mind when trying to make their dream come true, including storytelling skills, drawing skills, technical preparation skills, marketing strategies, and financial investments. What follows are five tips on getting your comic book to see the light of the day.
It doesn’t matter if you use a computer program or you do it the old-fashioned way. The first skill that you simply must have if you plan on releasing your own comic books is drawing. You just have to know how to draw professionally. Comic books vary in the drawing quality, but the successful ones are almost always prime examples of good drawing.
You don’t have to pay attention to every single detail. Some comic books or scenes simply do not have the need to include super-detailed drawings of everything inside. Dark scenes with low light also simplify the drawing process. However, what stays inside the comic must be done professionally. This includes the color, composition, character, ambient design, etc.
Of course, you can always employ an experienced comic designer to design and draw your comic book. This variant is a good option if you are a storyteller who can come up with the best dialogues and story arc, but can’t or won’t take upon the steep curve of learning to draw professionally.
Let’s remind ourselves again; why do people read and re-read some comic books and ignore others? Primarily because of the story. You can be the best painter or sketcher in the world, but if you can’t create a compelling story arc, your comic book won’t get too far in the market.
However, you should always use these elements in moderation and in the right amount so people remain captivated on your story, but don’t get the feeling that it is a Hollywood movie plot.
When considering tips on comic book printing, remember that text stories usually follow the Exposition-Incitement-Rising Action-Climax-Falling Action line. This is similar for comic books. A lot of the text written for a standard novel gets substituted for drawings in comics. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words. That has been proven effective for thousands of years and visual information seems to captivate human minds, if executed properly.
If you are missing that edge in creating alluring stories, there are many classes that you can take both online and offline. These classes can improve your storytelling skills until you are able to write wonderful comic book stories and make them spread like wildfire among readers.
You have created all the comic drawings and connected them in a charming story. You might think you are ready for print, but did you consider preparing your file suitably? Comic books are more specific than regular books when getting them ready for print.
You should take into consideration the dimensions of the print/distribution file, the colors used, the formatting, and even the famous thought and dialogue balloons. Bear in mind that some differences in formatting might exist between digital distribution copies and printed copies (see what makes the printing press such an important invention).
Once you prepare your file and send it over to the on-demand printers, there’s no turning back. Therefore, you really must prepare the best file before you even think about printing. This is the stage where you can think about employing a professional editor to sort your file and make it top-notch.
You have invested hundreds of dollars and hours in making your comic book, and now you have it before you. The only thing left is to publish it on the market and the praise and money will start pouring in, right?
Not so fast! There is an informational war going on out there. Everyone is working on getting their information received by readers, listeners, publishers, businesses, or regular passersby. The “forest” is huge and you must make sure that your particular tree is the one that will be spotted and paid attention to. How can you do this? By devising a dominant marketing strategy.
Your content (i.e. comic book) has to reach your audience. For this to happen, you should have the best product you can manage.
Buy a book or spend some time on a marketing course, so you can use that knowledge to market and make a decent return on investment. You’ve invested plenty in your comic book — it’s time to get a return on your investment.
Even if you choose not to sell your comic book and start giving it away at no cost, you will still find yourself fighting for the attention of comic book readers. Therefore, you should conceive a way to make potential readers stop for a moment, open your comic, and become enchanted.
Sure, you might want to invest your life savings in pursuing your dream of having a successful comic book. But, is it smart? If you plan on making a profit, always think like an entrepreneur — how can I provide enough value to people with my product so they are willing to pay for it?
Everything has a price — the time spent writing and drawing, preparing the print file, the printing itself, the market placement, etc. You are probably thinking about return on investment and how you can actually start making some profit (learn how you can earn money by self publishing your books here).
That’s the exact way of thinking that should drive you to making the best product and getting it in the right place and at the right time, so you make the impact you’re hoping for. A sound financial plan will help make sure your strategy is cost effective and you allocate your resources only in the most efficient activities that will bring the best return on investment.
Do this, and you are ready to publish your first comic book!
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