"I just published a comic book! ... sorta."

I wanted to do this since the first day I started Curveball because comic books are awesome. I just couldn't figure out how to make it work price wise. But in January I finally figured out how to make trade paperbacks (er... "prose comic books") of Curveball available on CreateSpace and Amazon.

Short story: I wanted them price-competitive with physical comic books, and as single issues they weren't. But as Double issues--that is, Curveball 1&2, 3&4, 5&6, etc., they were price competitive with the cost of buying two comic books. CreateSpace blocks off their costs in page ranges, and the page count of two issues falls into the same range as the page count for one.

So I'm pleased with that. I really don't expect too many people to be interested in them--this is more of a "ha! I did it! Muahahahahahahaha!" kind of moment for me--but I actually had one purchase so far (before I was even ready to announce them. It was weird. Someone stumbled across Issues One and Two on Amazon and decided "eh, what the hell."

Anyway, my announcement is here:


So, since I've lapsed back into buying comics from the Big Two, I have to let you know that the price point is now 3.99 per issue with Marvel comics. The one thing they do that I appreciate is that the digital version is part of the price. (So when I finally have enough time I will be looping back to get those.)

But yeah- hitting a sweet spot with cost and printing with PODs is a tough one. It isn't so much the cost to print as the cost of distribution. Shaving off 50 pages here and there makes a difference sadly.

Yeah, distribution definitely took a hit. I can only sell through CreateSpace and Amazon because the extended distribution would be too expensive (also, it's freaking $25 per title. Can't justify paying that every other month.)

I'm not sure that their distribution would get you the audience you want.Sadly though to reach into comic book stores requires going through Diamond and they rarely take prose books unless it's attached to a normal publisher.

Tokyopop and whoever does WOW has pushed prose books into my local comic book store through Diamond, but that is because the comic book store itself orders it from their catalogue. (The now defunct Tokyopop books were light novels that were translated from their original Japanese source. They were attached to properties that had an anime predecessor in north america. The WOW novels were a surprise for me to uncover, but the store does cater to gaming folks so I guess someone ordered it knowing the clientele would likely pick it up.)

It remains to be seen whether the YA Marvel X-Men novels make it in through there too.

But AHEM... I think these are greatly priced for the convention - perhaps underpriced. However, it's set at a price to encourage impulse buying. So make sure you have great signage!

Incidentally, if you need another convention in your area - make sure to look at Animazement next year. Mostly anime, but a very good family convention. Went two years ago (after a long hiatus) and it was one of the strongest conventions I've done in the Southeast.

And of course you have Heroescon too in your area. I don't know how the indies sell, but I do know the ones who go from here have a LOT of fun.

I've never had much time for cons in the past (damned day job) but I might be able to start working them in more now (new day job, working from home). It'd be nice to get on the circuit a little, but I don't think I have the infrastructure for it quite yet.

You have a lot of good local ones in your area - no reason to branch out too far as they are expensive "indulgences" for indie creators. Comic conventions all vary in terms of their receptiveness to those who aren't currently working for the Big Two as well.

That said, I think NC has some of the BEST con attendees I've seen in this part of the country, hands down. If it weren't such a huge drive up for me I would participate in more of them in your area.

Oh, I don't live in NC. I live in West Virginia at the moment (moving to Alabama in May). I just know a lot of people at the con in Greensboro. It's sort of my vacation.