PR: What Not to Do: New Technology Is No Longer News

I don’t have a specific press release to show you for this topic, because I’ve gotten too many of them that say basically the same thing: “Hey, my comic/graphic novel that didn’t sell before/you’ve never heard of is going to be on the iPhone!”

How nice for you. I don’t have an iPhone, so I don’t really care. I know lots of people do, though, and that’s why there are now something like 100,000 apps out there for that platform. If you couldn’t compete in the direct market, what makes you think you’re going to stand out in the larger field? Just for the novelty? Are you giving your comic away for free, then? If so, what’s your business model?

There is nothing wrong with a free taste. But you need to have something to convert those tasters to buying, and if you’ve only done the one “graphic novel” several years ago, what are you selling? Conversely, if you’re going to charge for your unknown comic, how are you getting the word out? Oh, through trying to get sites like mine to run your press release. Sorry. I know that it’s the hot new lifeboat everyone’s seizing on, but putting an illustrated work on the iPhone just doesn’t strike me as newsworthy. (Maybe if I had one I’d feel differently. My phone is Android, which has a comparative lack of comics available.)

This is the modern-day version of the press release that used to say “hey! I’m distributed by Diamond (just like thousands of other comics).” It’s a basic business decision, not news. As in so many other things, it only counts if you’re first, and you’ve already missed that window.

Similar Posts: PR: What Not to Do: Where Do I Get Your Online Comic? § PR: What Not to Do: Hide Your Free Digital Comic § PR: What Not to Do: Announcing Non-News § Honoring Minck Ooserveer: Free Unknown Comics § What Is a Visual Novel?


7 Responses to “PR: What Not to Do: New Technology Is No Longer News”

  1. Kelson Says:

    Or all the patents that describe “something that businesses have been doing for the last 50 years…on a computer!

  2. Augie De Blieck Jr. Says:

    I love my iPhone, but it sucks as a serious comics reader.

    I love the releases from people announcing their new 22 page graphic novel, too.

  3. Journalista – the news weblog of The Comics Journal » Blog Archive » Nov. 6, 2009: How nice for you Says:

    [...] “How nice for you. I don’t have an iPhone, so I don’t really care. I know lots of people do, though, and that’s why there are now something like 100,000 apps out there for that platform. If you couldn’t compete in the direct market, what makes you think you’re going to stand out in the larger field? Just for the novelty? Are you giving your comic away for free, then? If so, what’s your business model?” – Johanna Draper Carlson [...]

  4. THE BEAT » Blog Archive » Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 11/6/09 Says:

    [...] Johanna unleashes the cranky on PR about iPhone releases: How nice for you. I don’t have an iPhone, so I don’t really care. I know lots of people do, [...]

  5. JimShelley Says:

    Johanna, if you are on Android, the you should check out the Robot Comics Android Comic Reader. Here is the link:
    http://www.robotcomics.net/android-comic-viewer/

    As to how these comics will compete or stand out, I don’t think they will, but they don’t have to – they simply have to get the word out to the small subset of people who want to read comics this way. Of the iPod/iPhone platform, there are something like 16 million devices. If you managed to get even a small percentage of people looking to read on these devices, you will be doing much better than hoping they wander into the Android’s Dungeon and buy the random graphic novel. The impulse purchasability of an iPod comic is much greater than a regular comic.

  6. Kenny Cather Says:

    Augie, I actually love my iPhone as a comics reader. While I’m not a fan of some of the implementations, I’m really impressed by the Comixology one.

    As far as Android, it’s *much* easier to develop for Android than for the iPhone. Android development is just everyday Java vs the iPhone’s Objective C. I think you’re going to see a flood of comics for the Android platform once people even start trying.

  7. Johanna Says:

    Jim, I’ve checked out Robot Comics, but I didn’t see anything for free that looked interesting. And I’m one of those horrible people that want stuff for my phone for free. Good point about comparative audiences, although if we want to compare, we should also include bookstore, which have no expensive technical hurdle to overcome.

    Kenny, I hope you’re right, although I think it’ll take someone being brave enough to go Android and having a big success to open that gate.

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