Comicsfix to Add Valiant, More on the Deal for Publishers
I previously wrote about Comicsfix, which aims to be a Netflix for comics, an all-you-can-read monthly subscription service. There hasn’t been an official announcement I can find, but they have begun adding older Valiant issues, the first four each of several series, including X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, and Harbinger. There seems to be more to come.
They’ve also added a New Arrivals shelf on their library page, so users can easily see what’s new.
I took advantage of this reminder to check out their information on publisher deals. The big guys like Dynamite and Valiant have “customized publishing agreements”, but for anyone else, they’re pretty transparent. After they pay their costs for hosting, marketing, and so on, they split revenue 50% with publishers based on their traffic.
In layman’s terms: the more readers your books attract, the more money you get. Each book is destined to perform differently, but we estimate that on average 1000 readings of a 24 pages comic can generate around $20. A mini-series or a graphic novel can make $100 to $150 per 1000 readings. If we reach our goal of 100,000 domestic and international subscribers for the first year, and continue to grow, that is many thousand of readers for your books all year around, resulting in thousands of dollars for a publisher with a popular series. Compare that to the pennies that video or music services pay out to their artists.
Note: We cannot guarantee a specific or any amount of payout to any comic owner. If people do not read your book, you probably will not see much or any money. Note: Payments are generated 45 days from the end of each quarter. We use Paypal and direct deposit to distribute the earnings of your books, so consider all the fees associated with Paypal as well.
The “thousands of dollars” seems ambitious. Let’s look instead at the $20 figure on a single comic. For a print book priced at $3.99, the publisher should get roughly $2 from traditional distribution (direct sales, as at conventions, bring in more), out of which they have to pay print and shipping costs. Creative costs are the same whether the art is printed or posted, so they should be equivalent, either way. DC used to use a multiplier of 3 people reading every comic in their ad sales, but for a smaller press, there probably isn’t much pass-along.
So for a gross of $20, a creator needs to sell 10 comics — and to net $10, probably more like 40, to cover the other costs. That’s a lot fewer than needing 1000 readers to make $20 — but that method has no costs and is a much more passive form of income. By that I mean the publisher can earn at all times, regardless of how actively she’s working at it. However, more successful books using Comicsfix will be those whose publishers work to drive traffic and build readership for their books.
Publishers also get free accounts to use the service, so if Comicsfix takes off, it might not be a bad strategy to pull something together, publish it there (if they accept it), and not expect it to sell, but use it as your free account buy-in.