Comic con canceled? Get creative
This post, updated from last May, is being shared as part of Free Friday. Every Friday, I post a sample of the exclusive content you can access as a subscriber! Although vaccinations for the COVID-19 virus are underway, many comic conventions are canceling show dates due to understandable fears over public safety. Since 2013, I’ve been arguing that comic conventions are losing propositions for most of the creators who were still participating in them. There are other — better — ways for independent creators to make money. Here are five strategies to replace – and hopefully even exceed — the revenue you’re missing from canceled comic conventions.
As I wrote earlier this year, opening a Commissions List is a great way to generate income quickly. Here’s a comprehensive guide to managing commissions.
People are flocking to digital goods during the pandemic. They don’t need to be delivered physically, they’re cheap, and they’re fun. This is the perfect time to up your eBook/eComic game. Here are some posts to get you started.
I realize that some people are backing away from Kickstarter. They assume that readers are tightening their belts. And they’re worried about fulfillment. And those are valid concerns. But recent six-figure Kickstarters like Lackadaisy animated series flies in the face of budget-frightened backers. And, which fulfillment is going to be a little more complicated than it was a few months ago, it’s not going to be impossible. When I made the decision for myself, I built in a little extra money to cover shipping (in case there are problems with the United States Postal Service) and padded my fulfillment deadlines by a couple months. This is a calculated risk that might be right for you, too.
I’ve long been a strong proponent of offering exclusives on Patreon — and I have over a hundred posts to prove it. This is the time to prove to yourself that exclusives can drive a Patreon campaign. Ask yourself what you’d be willing to do as an exclusive. This will be particularly powerful if it’s something that has some creative relationship to your central comic. Then ask what your readers would be willing to pay for. The cross-over in this mental Venn diagram is where your exclusive resides.
eBay original art
If you work in traditional media, like ink-on-paper, you can offer that original art on eBay. An auction atmosphere is an excellent way to make sure you’re getting top dollar for your pieces. I would recommend starting the first few auctions with a base price that establishes a bare-minimum worth for your efforts. After you’ve proven to yourself that a market exists for your original art, take a page from Dave Kellett’s book and start the opening bid as low as a penny. This will generate brisk interest in the opening moments of the auction — which will help rise the price quickly and place you in a superior position with the eBay algorithms.