The Importance of Marketing Comics

As this blog post goes live, the first copies of Free Sunnyville have been sent out.

Copies of Free Sunnyville

The first copies has been sent out to Forbidden Planet as well as to the libraries in West Fargo, Fargo and Moorhead.  Copies have gone out to two of the local media: Fargo Monthly (a local magazine) and the High Plains Reader (an alternative weekly).  Starting this week, copies will be sent out to various libraries, namely the ones with really big budgets.  

Free Sunnyville is part of the marketing drive of my work.  I’ve talked about it in the early days of the blog, but it is worth repeating.  You need to market your work.  It doesn’t matter how good your product is (be it comics, a book, a new car, your organic food store, etc) – if you do not market the product, then it will NOT sell no matter what its quality is.

While I was attending night school at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, I took a marketing class from Matthew Archambault.  He and the other students responded positively to my work, but he emphasized it was nothing unless it was marketed.  That is something I’ve taken to heart.

An average or above average product that has superior marketing will perform better than a vastly superior product with lousy marketing.

So how do you market your work?  That is an entire blog in itself.  There are good marketing blogs out there as well as many useful books.  I did put up a post about promoting your comics and also reviewed one of the Guerrilla Marketing titles.  It takes time, effort and maybe even some money, but you have to do it.  What’s more is that you must do marketing whether you go it alone or your work is handled through a publisher.

Besides Free Sunnyville, I use other means of direct mail to the press and to potential customers such as postcards and sales letters.  Social media is a useful tool as well.  It’s cheap and easy to use.  I make aggressive use of Twitter as well as Facebook, Google Plus and Tumblr.  Word of mouth can be useful too as well as my good reviews.

Getting back to the Guerrilla Marketing books, these are must-haves for marketing techniques and strategies.  The first book was written in 1984 by Jay Conrad Levinson and has sold millions of copies since.  A trip to your local library or bookstore should turn up plenty of these titles.  Besides the aforementioned book I reviewed, I also have copies of Guerrilla Publicity (ISBN 978-1598698459) and Guerrilla Marketing For Free (ISBN 978-0618276790).  In fact, I may need to review those books.

There’s no shortage of marketing resources if you know where to look.  But marketing is something you have to grin and bear.  Without any of it, you can’t sell your comics or anything for that matter.



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About Max West

I am a freelance artist and the creator of Sunnyville Stories, an independent slice-of-life comics series.
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7 Responses to The Importance of Marketing Comics

  1. Grieg says:

    Do you consider “Free Sunnyville” to be “superior marketing”?

    • Max West says:

      Yes. Yes, I do. Rather than tell people to buy my work, I can show them samples, give them a brief rundown of the series and also show them the positive press Sunnyville has gotten.

      • Grieg says:

        But you’re not showing anything in Free Sunnyville that compels a reader to read more. You’re showing some really rough art and some little facts that don’t really tell anyone what Sunnyville is about. “There is a general store” doesn’t tell me what kind of story it’s going to be, or why it’s worth reading.

        • Max West says:

          It gives a basic overview. Plus to someone like you who is biased against my work and thinks everything I do is garbage, it’s not for you and it’s not like your opinion even counts.

  2. Marky says:

    Isn’t a book from the 80s going to be really out of date? I mean, it predated the Internet as a household service! Max, I know you have this whole “I don’t get the modern world” thing going on, but using that book is actively harming your approach.

    • Max West says:

      Where did you get the 1980s from? The copyright dates in my Guerrilla Marketing books are from 2003 and 2008. On top of that, I do stay current with marketing blogs and podcasts.

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