Saturday, March 16, 2013

Serious Saturday, Part 3: Professional Tools for Self-Publishers

(Image:  Red Team, ECCC Edition, by Garth Ennis and Craig Cermak)
In addition to Kickstarter, which was prominently featured in yesterday's post, there are other avenues to self-publishing available to comic creators.  Professional Tools for Self-Publishers workshop, hosted by editor Rachel Edidin, business director George Rohac of Oni Press and attorney Katie A. Lane; discussed some of the methods for "...bridging the gap between D.I.Y. and traditional publishing models" (ECCC 2013 Program Guide).
Nearly everyone's perception of the publishing timeline, looks something like this:
Idea >-----------------------------------------------------------------> Published Book
The reality is, there's no uninterrupted, "straight line" to getting published. 
Here are some questions to ask as you venture down this path:
What kind of project is it? 
This help identify the resources you need.
How big is the project?
The answer affects what you need.
What jobs are you good at and can do on your own?
What jobs will you need help with?  Writers and artists will often need the professional help of others, such as a--
--project manager
--business manager
--print buyer/broker
--designer (for both book and website)
--and an attorney, just to name a few.
Writing and/or editing assistance may be available through Editorial Freelancers Association.
What is your timeline?  When do you want, or need the book to be published?
This is where treating your work as a profession, rather than a hobby, comes in. 
How do you plan to raise money? 
Kickstarter isn't the only funding site available.  Add 15-20% more to the funds you calculated as your budget for unexpected expenses.
How will you publish your book?
Various self-publishing companies are available, but research them first!  (Once again, see yesterday's post).
How will you promote your book?
Most writers are uncomfortable at self-promoting, but it's necessary to get the word out about your work.
How will you distribute your work?  Stacked on comic store shelves?  Posted on the web?
Once you tackle all these questions, you should have a straight shot at getting your book published.

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