- Posted by Johanna on February 20, 2014 at 8:13 pm
- Category: Digital and Webcomics
Estrada’s experience is somewhat unique, since last year, through his own store and Kickstarter, he brought in $72,000. That’s a lot to do on your own, and I’m sure he worked hard for that. In contrast, he didn’t promote the one book that made it onto ComiXology Submit, because he’d already sold it elsewhere, so the experiences aren’t directly comparable. However, his punchline is that, on the ComiXology platform, he made (in four months) $8.80.
He was attempting to reach new readers, but there are an awful lot of digital comics out there, so I’m not surprised that few readers found his work without a giveaway or “free taste” or promotion of some kind. What I did find surprising is that, after six months, only one of his five submitted titles made it into the store. Three were rejected for art reasons, and one has been approved but hasn’t appeared yet.
Beyond the delay, he lists other concerns with the service:
-You have no control over when it goes live, making a recurring series basically impossible.
-You can’t make any changes once the book goes live.
-You only get paid if/when you’ve earned $100 and reach a quarterly payday.
Kleefeld points out:
Estrada made almost nine times the money just doing his own thing than he did going through “official” channels. It’s a perfect example of how a creator might not really get any more exposure through comiXology than what s/he was doing before. That’s not to say that it shouldn’t be tried; any additional income in the inherently unstable world of independent comic creators is a good thing.
I think it illustrates a much more basic principle, the same one I was talking about with Top Shelf this morning: you are the best salesperson of your work. The job doesn’t stop once you get picked up by Diamond or a retailer or a publisher or ComiXology. You have to sell to the end customer, most of all. Everything else is just a mechanism to allow you to do that.