Question about small independent publishers
Obviously I had a major brain fart when I chose the words to use in the subject header of my previous posting. I've been looking into self publishing for myself for a while now, but a friend of mine has this small independent publishing business he's trying to get off the ground. Being as he's a pal of mine, I asked if he needed any help and this was obviously the problem that he needs help with.
So how do small press companies sort out things to decide how much to pay their artists/writers for the work they do. Do they pay them any percentage up front, or is it all strictly after the work is received by the company and meets their editors/company standards or criteria for publication. He's in a bit of a pickle on that one as he's had to stop all printing until he can sort that out for the artists he'd like to keep.
If there's a website, or books out there on becoming a small publisher of comics I think that would also help his situation.
I do believe that every small publisher handles things differently in regards to paying an artist. Basically, whatever agreement the publisher and the artist can come to is acceptable. He could spend a lot of time trying to find a model to base his deals on or he could just sit down with his artists and hammer out an aggrement that makes both sides happy. As long as there is a contract, and everyone knows what is agreed upon up front and has it in writing, I don't see how anyone can complain.
Yes, contracts are very important. Your company is never to small to make people sign contacts. It really helps out and gets rid of any nagging doubt as to who gets paid, when and how much, and when the work is due, because if there's ever any disagreement, you can always point to the contract.
Also, be sure everyone signs the contract before they do any work.
With Oddgod Press (the publisher that my Richmond buddies strated) I think they found that while they did really well on a local level, but couldn't make the sales they wanted on a national level, so you may want to keep your print runs small.
One of my professors said that if you make an illustrated childrens book it costs $7,000 to publish it. That includes printing, shipping and advertising. I don't know how similar that would be to publishing comics, but it may be worth considering.
Starting an independant publisher to hard work, so good luck to you and your friend. You may want to check out SPX (Small Press Xpo) next fall. They have panels to help guys like you start their bussinesses.
Can you share the url to the Small Press Expo, by any chance? Does anyone have any experience with them, did they feel that it was worth their time/money?
One question opens a door for more, odd, eh?
You know I heard about this thing once, called yahoo - some people called it a "search engine" if you can believe that. Anyway, believe it or not, it took all of two seconds of using that to come up with this:
Imagine how quickly questions could be answered if everyone knew about these "search engines".
[Mork]Sarcasm, ARR, ARR.[/Mork]
I prefer google.com myself, but I asked as a lead on for my second question as to whether anyone here has had any experience with the small press expo and what experiences they've had, postive or negative with it.
As far as the sarcasm, it's Good stuff, but as the old saying goes, it's better to be thought of as a fool then to open your mouth and remove all doubt.
Nice try, but fess up-- you didn't know what a search engine was, did you? Did you??
Just kidding, anyway, I think if you're a small publisher it's definetly worth it to go (if you live on the east cost at least, since it's in Maryland). It's $30 for a three-day pass, and I think tables are pretty cheap too. They have panels that discuss how to go about setting up your bussiness, and take you through every step of the process, from starting with your first sheet of paper to soliciting through Diamond and advertising in Previews.
The con's also just fun to go to, and it's refreshingly small, especially if you're used to those overwealming Destructo-Cons like Comicon or Wizard World, and it's fun to see what all the other poor comic slobs who haven't been picked up by the Big Two are doing, from Kinkos ashcans to Sin City.
Also it's a great place for small publishers because it's the best place to find people who like to read small press stuff and are willing to take chances with unknown labels.
Anyway, check it out, I think you'll enjoy it.
I went through the whole self-publishing experience with the exeption of making sales.
1) found cheapest printer
3) recieved books via. UPS on doorstep
4) looked at books, awed at books, marvelled over my first books, touched them, loved them, showed all my friends, and even sold a couple...which leads me to step five
5) never really got around to selling, but everything before that was easy as hell...
Selling is THE MOST DIFFICULT part of publishing, and it is also THE MOST IMPORTANT part of publishing...
if you know how to sell then you can go into business...your company can grow on it's own profit, and if your good, you and your employees (if you choose to have any) can profit too...
but if you don't sell, then your just wasting time and money...
I didn't mind wasting money for my first print run...it was exciting and I learned a lot...the rest is just selling for me...
anybody know how to sell???
It seems the only venue these days is Diamond...unless you want to go door-to-door for 10,000 issues....
Cold-Cut distributes a lot of indy stuff, which is good and bad because on the one hand the people who buy Indy stuff will be looking at it, but on the other hand not that many people will be looking at it.
But anyway, yeah, selling is tough. I always thought that Oddgod should have tried to buy more advertising space or something, or put out better promotional stuff.
Actually. . . going door to door doesn't sound like such a bad idea. . .