Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Getting the Word Out

If you heard my Comic Geek Speak podcast interview back in September one of the questions was what I thought publishers could do to get the word out about their stuff. My recommendations focused largely on the publishers getting promotional materials like samples and bookmarks into the hands of comic book retailers. But, there are other ways too.

I received a phone call today from the editor of Fablewood Anthology. A personal phone call, where he gave me some brief talking points about his anthology and let me know where I could find samples to look at. He also invited me to contact him if I had any questions or concerns. They have a nice web site with samples and information. They are on Comic Space. They are posting on a comic book retailer forum called CBIA to introduce themselves and their book. This is good grass roots marketing!

When he told me it was an anthology I though, "ehh," because we have bad luck selling anthology books here. But I checked it out anyway and the art looks REALLY good. Even though I would not ordinarily order an anthology for the store, because this guy called me and encouraged me to check out his book, I will order it. And who knows, maybe his promotion efforts will lead to a customer or two special ordering it from me as well.

Yes, there will be store owners who blow you off, or even hang up or make a rude comment when you call them. But those that are open to new things will listen. Not everyone will order your stuff, but the more stores you get to see your works and find out more about it than what is in the Previews catalog the more orders you will get. It is work. No doubt about it. And probably not always fun. But I believe that by contacting retailers helps get orders up. And by posting your information on a nice web site and on a variety of grass roots fan sites you will get noticed by comic book buyers.

Remember, you have to do more than just create a comic book in order to sell it. If you build it, they won't necessarily come. While small press publishers do not typically have tons of money to spend on advertising and promotional materials, taking the time to make a nice web site, posting bits on sites like Comic Space, and giving people a call are some great and inexpensive ways to spread the word.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just saw this and wanted to drop a quick note of thanks.

It's INCREDIBLY nice to see a retailer who is looking to partner with a publisher rather than look at the relationship as somehow 'adversarial'.

I can assure you that all the Ape Entertainment product has postcard support, CSN ad support, and AroundComics.com spot ad support as a baseline of advertising in addition to all our 'grassroot' efforts. And... we make some pretty great books to boot. I'm confident you will find a home for FABLEWOOD (and any other Ape product you try) quickly.

Thanks for the support and we promise to do the same.

David Hedgecock
Ape Entertainment