Timothy and I got into a conversation today about publishing, selling, and promoting comics. All of which being aspects of making comics I enjoy very little. I like to tell stories, I like to draw. I do not like having to promote my products.
Timothy is getting further and further into the rabbit hole that is publishing comics. He wants to take over more and more aspects of the physical production as well as begin carving out an identity as a producer of comic books instead of just a website that shows you comics. The difference is mostly semantics, but it is important for our business going forward. I cautioned against losing the small amount of name recognition Strips4 has garnered. He described Strips4 as the venue or channel for comics, with a new publishing wing to be the name associated with the books.
We also got into the sticky legalities of publishing a lot of anthologies without any written contracts about how content is credited or how/when/if people make money who gets paid what. Right now everyone we work with is just excited about making comics and sharing stories with each other. I'd like to think the good times would just keep rolling if money got involved, but Timothy is trying to start up a legitimate business. And that requires a bit more forethought.
Promotion is always tough. Twitter and Facebook only promote to people that already know you. Anthologies are good exposure, but it's tough to gauge how many of those eyes actually make it back to the website. The local art and comic scenes in rural North Carolina are pretty abysmal. Even if we come up with a brilliant way of branding and distributing books, we've still got to make more people aware that we exist. Maybe that'll be my go to question for guys at Heroes Con this weekend.