Comic Book Week – exploring options in changing publishing world

Hello everybody! Since this is the week of MCBA’s FALLCON I had to write a piece that comic book artists and writers are discussing at their shows and conventions. I recently attended a convention for anime, manga, sci-fi, and comic book lovers and I picked up a few more tips. I panel discussion I listened to was about creating an online comic with Fes Works, someone who helps offer resources for storytelling at webcastbeacon.com. This was of interest because I’m a writer and artist who enjoys the comic world. I wanted to see if there similarities from other workshops and classes I attended in the past.

Here is what I learned from Fes Works, contributor of Webcastbeacon.com:
1. If you’re going to post your work online commit to your site and update frequently. WordPress was mentioned for getting a free domain. They also mentioned other inexpensive sites such as godaddy.

I had to agree with this point because writers need to make commitment to their writing or it will never be published. Also, literary agents from other workshops told us authors in the audience that they do check out your social media and blogs. They want to see an established and active site. This was also the first thing I was told by other published authors. They were told to create a blog for their work by their publishers. In other words committing to regular postings will help you connect to the writing community and those who would read your work.

2. The next point was important. I know we all dream of quitting our day jobs and landing on the bestseller’s list but let’s take it one step at a time. The panelist told comic creators to forget about the merchandising part of the business and focus on content. I took this as – get down to business and create something. It’s good to have dreams but you still need to have something to present to an agent or publisher. I know hearing this from other professionals changed my way of thinking. Instead of worrying over book inventory or numbers the advice shifted my focus. This small change took the pressure off myself and it increased the number of pieces I’m able to finish.

3. This one is obvious. This was a panel discussion with someone who was established and built their own following by producing the online comic with fesworks.com. The comic book world is experiencing the same changes as the traditional book publishing world. Groups and individuals are starting to publish digital ebooks or online publications. I never thought I would see a traditional paper comic book go digital but good old Amazon did it again. They have ebook publishing and now they have a comic book creator. I’m not choosing sides but it’s something to consider since many people you know own tablets. Digital will never be the same as our paperbacks but it doesn’t look like it’s going away. In fact, the number of users does and will increase each year.

As authors and artists we need to keep our research hats on. Think of the changes as new options for you to get your work published. Think of how far and much the printing industry has changed. New inventions will continue to affect our world but keep writing. Don’t think about the million dollar contracts a few of us get. Fine tune your craft and get in touch with your audience. Connect with other creative minds and listen to their voice of experience. One last note, if you’re a writer who can see the scenes or lines playing out as you write you might want to considering teaming up with an illustrator. You might make a great team. One can come up with the lines and the other can draw out the visual for audience.

I hope this helps you on your creative journey!

-Mahieu

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