With comics becoming more mainstream and more alternative comics being sought out, it’s a good time to be in the industry. No longer are comic conventions tiny, niche, intimate gatherings – now, they’re full of A-listers and attract hoards of crowds. They’re the new cool and it’s more important than ever to learn how to promote your comic book or webcomic.
5 Ways on How to Promote your Comic Book
1. Crowdfunding TO PROMOTE YOUR COMIC BOOK
Don’t underestimate the power of crowdfunding – there’s nothing against asking for some fan financial support if it means you get to deliver a rad product. Sites like Kickstarter, Patreon, and Indiegogo are popular (and really awesome) sources to use to get your passion comic book project funded, as well as a great tool to spread the word about your work – it helps to promote your comic book by getting the word out about it in a shareable way.
Take Jacob Halton’s comic Boke Expressway. He had a Kickstarter to fund printing his comic – which had been available as a PDF online – on glossy pages to bring out the amazing visuals of his comic that he could then shop around to comic shops. And his Kickstarter was a success!
Speaking of PDFs…
2. Make your comic available online
I know, it may seem a bit counterintuitive to have your whole comic available online as a PDF when you’re trying to, y’know, sell it for real money. And comic book purists may look at this suggestion and scoff. But this is effective in a few ways:
- You can build readership by making your comic easily accessible. It’s a zero effort way that people can check out your work
- This makes it easy to link to your comic in content and on social media so that people can access it directly
- If people become fans of the comic from what they’ve seen of it online, they might be more inclined to buy hard copies of it
- You can always make a sample of your comic free online, or the first issue, and put the next issues/trades up for sale. Promote your comic book and get people hooked for free and they might be more willing to put money towards buying future issues. Because not only are they now fans, but hey – you’re the guy/girl who gave them a rad free comic! And for that, they’ll thank you.
- You can add extra perks to your comic this way, such as Spotify playlists that go along with the comic, like Ezra Claytan Daniels did with his comic, Upgrade Soul, available as an app (another thing to consider doing).
You can try submitting your comic to Comixology – an app that makes comics available right on your phone/tablet!
3. Be a guest Blogger
Sometimes getting promoting your comic book means not plugging your work directly. If you, say, become a guest blogger on a blog that appeals to your niche (a comic site, sci-fi blog if your comic is sci-fi, comic art blog, etc.), you’ll get peoples’ attention with your writing, and feed their interest by including a link to your site/info about your comic in your author bio to promote your comic on the DL.
Another way to use blogs/sites to your benefit is to reach out to authors on relevant outlets to see if they’d be interested in writing about your work. The guy I mentioned earlier, Jacob? We wrote about his awesome art on the Threadless blog, and it actually gained him a few extra Kickstarter backers, so there’s that potential financial benefit as well.
4. Sell it IRL
The internet is a great tool for selling your product and gaining promotion for it. But you can also gain readership and interest in real life. Here are a few ways of doing that:
- Comic Conventions, big and small: It doesn’t have to be the promised land of San Diego Comic Con – you can set up a booth and sell your shop at smaller, more specialized cons and expos too, like Chicago’s CAKE. Here’s a handy list of all geeky conventions you can attend.
- Local coffee shops, bookstores, and comic stores: not only can this get you some sales, but if you build a good relationship with the people running these places, they might just be more inclined to help promote your product as well!
5. Don’t just sell the Comic – sell swag too
Have you ever bought a pin or shirt or sticker with an awesome design on it, only to find out that the art was actually from a comic or show? The first thing you want to do is learn more about the source of the piece or art.
This can be a great way of advertising for your comic. Consider selling pins, patches, or apparel donning designs relevant to your comic. Take Leila del Duca, the illustrator of SHUTTER. She has an Artist Shop of apparel with cool images from SHUTTER printed on them. Alexis Ziritt – the illustrator of Space Riders – uses his Artist Shop in the same way.
On the other hand, the artist of the comic Descender has a mix of Descender-related designs in his shop as well as his own personal art. And The Wicked and the Divine comic has an Artist Shop that actually sells shirts the characters in the WicDiv comic wear. Changing it up a bit can be a nice way of showing off your art style and talent as well as not just being promote-y.
Do you have any tips for how to promote a comic book? Let’s hear about it in the comments!
If you want to create t-shirts or products for your comic book – but have been too nervous about the cost of products – especially when they go unsold – then Artist Shops are perfect for you. With Artist Shops, we handle all of the manufacturing and shipping, giving you flexibility to experiment with what designs and marketing techniques work for you with none of the risk. Open a Shop right now!
Illustrations done by the rad Katie Lukes