Marketing Your Comic Book as an Indie Comic Creator
There’s four primary markets within your target audience that you’re going to attempt to reach with your book: readers, commentators, other creators, and speculators.
Readers are your primary audience. These are people who purely buy your book based on its entertainment value and its ability to satisfy their joys. These people enjoy reading comic books. However, as I talk about more thoroughly in other videos, they can also be readers of a specific genre, like horror or romance, or a specific niche, like skateboarding or camping…and they’ll branch into comics and graphic novels simply because they’re written in a genre or niche they’re a fan of.
The second category is commentators. This basically means Reviewers and The Press. It’s review sites, it’s comics twitter, it’s pop culture websites, etc. These are people you can reach directly out to on social media, or join their group, or submit to, etc. With comics, even the biggest names you’ll be able to reach out to and submit to and give them a press release or ask for an honest review.
The third category is other creators. This is probably the smallest category you’ll work with, but also one of the most important. You’ll want to help other creators so they’ll help you promote your work. You’ll also want to make sure not to piss anyone off, or talk poorly of other creators because that can bite you later, because nobody likes negative people trashing other people’s work. Best way to use this category to you advantage is to hire great artists for variant covers because they’ll promote your work when it releases, and it helps build credibility when you’re directly connected with top tier creators. The final category is comic shops & speculators. These are people who don’t buy your work to read it, they buy it to sell it or re-sell it. Shops buy books to sell to both readers and speculators. Speculators buy books they think will increase in value on a later date. This is because they expect the series to take off, or to get a movie deal, or something like that. They treat your book as a collectable, not a story. To appeal to this crowd, you’ll want to offer limited and exclusive covers, special covers like metal covers, blank covers, stories with high concepts, variant covers with popular and trending artists. Although I saved this group for last, they’re probably the most important category on the list when it comes to sales.
So with the audience understood – I’m going to jump into the three practical action items you’ll need to understand. Your promotional designs, your advertising campaigns, and research.
1) PROMOTIONAL ARTWORK. You have gather up a large amount of artwork and it all has to be professional grade. You need to create stellar covers, and a logo, a trailer, and general high-quality designs for promotional material for ads and social media posts. Physically create or hire out exceptional artwork. You can use Canva or BeFunky for templates, or hire it out via Upwork or Fiverr, or even just reach out to professional graphic designers or companies. You’ll need multiple covers. Not necessarily different artwork, but different designs. But also you’ll probably want to have multiple covers to grasp different markets. You’ll want your sexy cover, your scary cover, your bloody cover, the villain focused, to the hero focused, one that highlights a monster, or an animal etc. And all of them need to be high quality. I can’t stress that enough. If you have artwork that’s stretched out, or colored wacky…none of this will work. You’ll need to figure out exactly which cover you want to be you’re A cover, the one you highlight the most as your “primary” product. You’ll then need to create square photos of your covers, and banner versions. Basically a long small version and a full version for the artwork you want to highlight, because you’ll be posting this artwork on all forms of social media, including for ads, which can pop up on the side of pages stretched out longwise, horizontally as banners, and as squares. And for each cover, you’ll need to add some important text – If you’re selling through Diamond, you’ll need to add the Diamond Order code on your promotional material, along with the date of release. If you’re funding on Kickstarter, you’ll need to post the Kickstarter link and the deadline to fund.
2) ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS For free advertising, use Facebook groups and Join Discord communities. Don’t join indie comic creator communities, or writer communities. Well, you don’t necessarily have to avoid them all together, they have their place… but just know that those aren’t very helpful for actual advertising. Creators aren’t your true audience, at least not your mass/core audience. You need to find readers who seek our your genre. You want to find a group that has a lot of engagement, where you can simply post your artwork, ask some questions, leave a few comments and get at least a handful to hundreds of people to like and engage with it. I do this, I post covers, I ask questions, and I often get dozens of people asking for links to my comic on a good post. It’s not that hard, you’ve just got to find the right groups. Best way to do this is to find reading groups and groups who are interested in a particular niche. If you’re writing horror, join horror groups. But you’ll also need to be very specific. For example, join Vampire Romance groups, or Gory Anime or Halloween fan groups. If you’re writing Teen Drama stuff, find “teenage wasteland” groups or something. If your book deals with science fiction, find groups that focus on “New tech, UFOs, Ancient Aliens,” or whatever. Find your super niche group and go there. That’s where people will actually want to see what you post. Comic groups and writer groups, that’s basically just a dumping ground for newbs to post links to their Kickstarter pages and the posts get seen by nobody, because even if there’s thousands in the group, they’re all posters, nobody’s a reader except brand new people.
If you’re going to pay for advertising…best way is to use Facebook ads and Google/Youtube ads. This is where your trailers will come into play and your promotional material comes into play. This is a massive topic in itself, so I’ll make a whole separate video on this. But main thing is you want to have a catchy picture for your ad, and you pay for clicks. Every time someone clicks your ad to go to your website, or Kickstarter page, or publisher page…you pay for it. And it varies a lot. You can pay like 1 or 2 cents per click, or like 20 cents per click. The better your ad, the less you pay per click. Basically you pay to have your ad target certain people who search for certain things in certain locations, and they post your ad to those people. The more people in that target range that click on your ad, the less you pay per click. So the worse your ad, the more you pay.
3) RESEARCH: BACK-ENGINEER THE BEST This basically means, copy what other successful books are doing. Look up a book you really like, that’s within your realm, meaning it should also be a creator owned indie book, maybe published by a bigger name publisher, and within your same genre. Look the book up on Google. Figure out who all reviewed it, and reach out to those reviewers to see if they’d be interested in your book as well. Did that book have its own website? Did the author or creators have their own website? You should copy the same format as those creators, maybe it’s a linktree, or just a single landing page. How many covers did the book have? Is there a trailer on Youtube? Who on Youtube talked about the book? Point of all this is, find out what the successful people did, and find out who the audience was for that book, then find a way to reach the same audience and same commentators.
Hope this all was helpful!
Thanks, Lord Max