Archive for Direct market

How to Make a major Impact on FREE Comic Book Day.

Posted in Comic Book Creators, Comic Book resources, Comic Book Shops with tags , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2012 by privypress

365 Killer, Sure Fire, Down – and – Dirty Marketing Strategies; Tactics For Indy Publishers and Comic Shop Owners…PART 24

How to Make a Major impact on FREE Comic Book Day - Power girl.

How to Make a Major impact on FREE Comic Book Day - Power girl.

While investigating stores and the event that is FREE Comic Book Day ( FCBD), I noticed there were lots of promotion for the  FCBD event itself, but little to  no artist/creator promotional and relationship building material for the store itself  and its’ customers.  There was no branding, no creator community bonding, no creator retailer cross promoting… again, just the branding of the FCBD.

How to Make a Major impact on FREE Comic Book Day - The Fans Branded.

How to Make a Major impact on FREE Comic Book Day - The Fans Branded.

FCBD is already a known staple in the comic book world, what may be an unknown is your book, and the best way to change that is to get them in stores. How? You build relationships with the store owners, who have access to the customers, who in turn have access to the money and potential success of your work of art.

How to Make a Major impact on FREE Comic Book Day - True believers.

How to Make a Major impact on FREE Comic Book Day - True believers.

How do you go about building this relationship? The method I will be discussing is that of Private labeling, have the store incorporated in the comic book or published work you’ve  created, the easiest way to do this is by creating a store specific personalized emblem, picture, ect… on your book cover….this emblem/picture will be the accompanied by  the FCBD emblem. However, it will also brand you as a partnership fixture in the mind of the store owners and the potential customers that pick up your book.

Happy Hunting…

Jeff Cahn Talks RED SPIKE… and How You Can Win a “FREE” Exclusively SIGNED Copy Of Issue #1.

Posted in Comic Book Creators, Comic Book Films, Comic Book resources, image comics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2011 by privypress
RED SPIKE'S Jeff Cahn "Yes This Is Me With a Full Bottle, Yes - This Is Happening!" It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere...

RED SPIKE'S Jeff Cahn "Yes This Is Me With a Full Bottle, Yes - This Is Happening!" It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere...

Jeff Cahn's RED SPIKE "Nothing Can Stop An Idea's Whose Time Has Come!"
Jeff Cahn’s RED SPIKE “Nothing Can Stop An Idea’s Whose Time Has Come!”

 

Hello, Hello, Hello Comic Natives once again like a modern day Indiana Jones I’ve searched through the grottos of the comic industry to bring to you another prime “Diamond in the Rough” comic native, his name is Jeff Cahn… and he is the creator of what is anticipated to be this summers “runaway BLOCKBUSTER” smash hit – RED SPIKE…With TopTalent (such as artist Mark Texeira) to help support the sheer weight and magnitude of his creation, Jeff is poised to set the comic world a blaze. Now, as a writer Jeff maybe new to comic book genre, however he is by no means a novice when it comes to the entertainment industry.

He currently works for Benaroya Pictures as a screen writer; here he has worked with such A-list talents as Katie Holmes, The Usual Suspects (Kevin Spacey), The Transformers (Shia LaBeouF), True Blood (Anna Paquin), THOR (Natalie Portman), Stanley Tucci, Priest (Paul Bettany), and last but not least The Dark Knight (Gary Oldman).

Jeff’s foray into the comic world is riddled with insights from both that of an outsider as well as an insider (so get ready to sink your teeth into some very thick and juicy meat)…as such I feel the following interview has the potential to be the mystical key that opens the “Mysteriously – laced” lock that has kept many aspiring artist, writers, and publishers locked behind the impregnable door of the comic and entertainment world. I hope you find this interview not only entertaining but informative as well…I look forward to comments.

***THAT BEING SAID; to Help insure that you play (Comments, Comments, Comments) along, I have convinced Alex Rodrik (Jeff Cahn’s Head of Publicity) to Give me THREE EXCLUSIVELY SIGNED Copies of RED SPIKE #1; Which I will Raffle off at the end of  the month (May 31st, 2011) Live on the net to THREE Lucky Winners…

So I guess what I am saying is that I am “shamelessly” BRIBING you to Read, Play and Participate in this article. The rules are simple…write a comment regarding your thoughts about the article and Jeff’s views as to the direction the comic book industry is headed…you are then entered as a contestant to win in the Raffle…Simple – RIGHT?!

ComicPrivy: Can you tell us a little about how your fascination with comics began, and how you became involved in the comic book industry?

Jeff: Well, like most little boys, I would read comics and watch cartoons based on them when I was growing up. My grandmother used to get me subscriptions to Spider-man as Christmas presents. And I remember when I was around ten, my family had to do construction on our house for a few months, so we rented another house and lived there and right around the corner from this new house was a comic shop, so I would walk there and spend a lot of time there when I was a kid. Gold Mine comics, I think was the name. We were only in the rental house for a few months, but it was right when the “Death of Superman” issues were coming out, so that was a big deal and I remember that time pretty well and the posters they had around the shop and all that. And once the construction was done and we moved back to our old house, the comics just sort of followed.

As far as becoming involved in the comic industry, basically I got a job writing a few months out of college. I had written a spec script and Michael [Benaroya] read it and liked it and he hired me onto the development team at the company he had just started. This was early 2007. And it was here that the idea for RED SPIKE was born. So we had the idea, which we felt really lent itself to the comic medium, and we had a few connections into the comic industry with artists and editors and so we figured we might as well just go for it and try to produce a comic based off this idea.

ComicPrivy: How did you come up with the idea for your book?

Red Spike cover Issue #1

Red Spike cover Issue #1

Jeff: We’d been playing around with the idea of an adrenalized super soldier for a while. It’s just a cool idea, a self-contained superhero that uses this magic chemical that we all possess. And at first it was just one guy, Matt, but as we began to build the world, we realized that having two of these guys allows us to do a lot more character work because we can play the two soldiers off of each other and use each of them as a foil for the other one. And once that decision was made, we just went to work trying to figure out what was the best story. We wanted it to be an origin story of sorts, not for Matt or for Greg, but for Red Spike as a whole, for the entire Red Spike universe and we wanted it to have legs so should we want to continue building and expanding the world in later issues or a series, we’d be able to. But it was a fairly long and intense process, like whittling a sculpture from a hunk of marble until it looks the way you want. So I wouldn’t say we came up with the idea for the book so much as we constructed the book based on the idea that we wanted to create a universe of interesting characters and situations based around adrenalized super soldiers.

ComicPrivy: The story seems to touch on every man’s desire to be a superman…more than just a man, how are you going to cater to the female audience?

Jeff Cahn: You mean girls don’t dream about being supermen too? Lol. Well, there are some female characters in RED SPIKE, and an especially strong one is Doctor Downey. She might be the most intelligent character in the story and she’s definitely one of the most humane and also one of the most brave. She does a thankless job because she thinks it’s the best way she can help people and the country. As the story progresses, we begin to see how Greg survives because of her, or because he knows she’s out there and wants to get back to her. And we see how much she is willing to sacrifice for him. So while on its face it may seem that RED SPIKE is just a testosterone driven action story, there are definitely elements of heart balancing out the action, and she is one of the primary counterweights. She’s a very complex, self made woman, who has earned the respect of these very ‘manly’ men, so I think having elements like that in the story should appeal to everyone, not just men and not just women.

ComicPrivy: Jeff, what were some of the most challenging aspects regarding the creation process of RED SPIKE?

Jeff: Learning comic structure and the language of the form was the hardest part for me. By that I mean that all good stories have similarities as far as their story structure, but each form — film, novels, TV, comics — have their own idiosyncrasies that a writer must master, or at least have an understanding of, in order to be effective. And despite liking and reading comics, I was fairly new to writing them when this process began so I had to begin thinking about them in terms of being a practitioner of the craft, as opposed to just a consumer. So for me it was learning the nuances of the comic form, like how to efficiently convey action and movement, what specific moments make for the best images, and how pages are supposed to flow. As a writer, comics are a much more visual medium than most. You’re essentially the director, meaning, you are the one in charge of assembling the imagery. For me figuring out what images best convey the story and then figuring out how to effectively communicate that to the artist was probably the most challenging aspect.

ComicPrivyHow did you come up with the genius marketing idea to run a contest that involved the fans as well as the store owners?

Jeff: Haha, I wish I could take credit for that idea. That was an idea of Dave [Elliott] (our Editor-in-Chief ) and Alex [Rodrik] (our Head-of-Publicity), so props to them on a great idea!

RED SPIKE issue #1 - Win a Mark Texteira Original Work Of Art.

RED SPIKE issue #1 - Win a Mark Texteira Original Work Of Art.

A chance at a Mark Texeira original cover for a buck? Pretty sweet.

ComicPrivy:  Marketing is essential to succeeding in this businessor any other, what are your plans for promoting and marketing RED SPIKE, aside from social networking?

Jeff: As you said, we’ve been using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to get the word out. We’ve also been pounding the virtual pavement and trying to talk to as many people in the industry that we can about the comic and the various promotions for it. We have a contest that people can enter to win Mark Texeira’s original cover artwork and an interior page for their local comic store. Details are here: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=31631

Red Spike Fan proudly shows his support.

Red Spike Fan proudly shows his support.

But basically, you go to your local store, buy the comic, take a picture of yourself with it outside the store, or somewhere identifiable, and then post the photo to Red Spike’s Facebook pagewhere we’ll randomly draw a winner.

Red Spike Contest - Girls Get In On The Action Too!

Red Spike Contest - Girls Get In On The Action Too! I hope Whole Foods Gives you a Free Wheat Grass Smoothie For This:-)

So for $1 you buy yourself a chance at an original “ONE OF A KIND” piece of art and your store will love you because they’ll win something too. Hopefully this will also generate interest because Mark is a well known artist who’s done really great work that people like.

ComicPrivy: What do you enjoy most about creating comic book?

Jeff: There are a lot of elements that I enjoy but seeing what the artist has done might be the most fun. Getting back inked and colored versions of the artwork is really exciting and usually they’ve done something a little different than you pictured it, but in a good way, in a better way than you imagined, and you go “wow, that’s cool.”

Red Spike- The Dream Comes Alive.

Red Spike- The Dream Comes Alive.

But in general, just having something that you’ve written get published and hopefully enjoyed by other people is very gratifying.

 ComicPrivy: I am told that you have another project (REDEEMER) coming down the pipe…can you release one detail about this book that will make it highly anticipated by readers of this article?

Jeff: We’re going to have a great artist on it. I’m going to hold off on telling you his name, but suffice it to say that anyone reading this will know him and will be excited to see what he does.

ComicPrivy: Now Jeff you have to come a little heavier than that… Tell us a little about the book; what’s it all about?

Jeff: Ok, well since you asked nicely… Redeemer is set in the old west and I would classify it as a supernatural western. A stranger enters a small, isolated frontier town and claims to have found gold in the hills around it. Most of the town is all for turning the place into a full on mining camp but the preacher and a few of his followers see the pitfalls of this—gambling, prostitution, general moral decay—and attempt to stop, or at least slow down, the mining process. The stranger and some of his greedy allies take matters into their own hands and this results in the preacher’s death. Then the preacher is raised from the dead to exact revenge on his killers. I’d say it’s like The Crow set in the world of There Will be Blood.

 ComicPrivy: Like having a first crush, we never forget them, What is your favorite comic title of all time?

Jeff: Oh wow, that’s a tough one. There are so many that I think are really great. As far as more mainstream titles, I really like Batman, especially Arkham Asylum. I’m also a big fan of Warren Ellis, particularly Transmetropolitan and No Hero. And lately I’ve been reading a lot of The Boys, which is really funny and twisted and irreverent, as well as a lot of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, specifically Criminal and Incognito. I just preordered Incognito #2 so I’m pumped about that one coming out.

ComicPrivy: What is the best advice you can give to aspiring Artist?

Jeff: I would say a few things. The first is to take it very seriously and work hard at it because that’s the only way you’ll become successful. If you’re a writer, try to always be writing. You need to establish a routine and stick to it and that means writing a lot. Not every day, necessarily, but at least 4 days a week, and 5 or 6 is even better. You need to try to condition your brain to function as a writer’s brain even if you aren’t actively writing. If you’re a visual artist, try to see the world through those eyes. But it’s a tough industry that a lot of people want to break into. Whenever I get lazy, I just remember that there is someone else working harder than me at that moment and that usually helps refocus me.

It’s also important to be able to accept and implement constructive criticism. This can be tricky, but you need to find people who you trust to give you accurate and honest feedback on your work and you need to listen carefully. Nobody wants to hear that something that they spent dozens or even hundreds of hours on is wrong or needs more work, but that’s often, if not always, the case, and believe me, it’s better to get good feedback and fix the mistakes than it is to not. Other than that, just don’t give up. If the work is good enough someone will find it.

***Community Question: What changes do you see happening in the comic industry, and how do you see it affecting the independent creator.

Jeff: I think the comic industry is at an interesting juncture. In some ways it’s shrinking. Year-over-year sales are declining and have dropped fairly significantly since 1997. However, never have comics been more in the zeitgeist. Almost every summer blockbuster that comes out is based on a comic. Just look at this year: Thor, Green Lantern, Captain America. And artists from other mediums who you might not think would be involved with comics, like Ziggy Marley or Rashida Jones, are becoming involved. So in some aspects I feel like the comic industry is expanding in ways it never has before.

I honestly think that it’s just going to keep expanding and that once people make the move to digital comics, things will really take off because that will democratize distribution. You won’t need a printing press to pay for hard copies or a convince store to carry your comic. You’ll just need to upload the file. I think that will really help independent and smaller companies. I also think the general public is finally starting to realize what fans have known for a while now: that there can be a lot to comics, that they aren’t just superheros and bad guys, but that you can tell complex and gritty stories in the comic medium. I think as more people get more and more exposure to some of the independent or lesser known comics out there, the demand will rise. And most of these changes I view as positive for independent creators because the cheaper it is to produce and distribute comics, the easier it becomes to get your work out.

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P.S. Do not forget to leave a comment…This is your FREE opportunity to WIN one of only  THREE Exclusively SIGNED Copies of RED SPIKE #1 

Comic Natives, Try This Radical “Subliminal” Comic Book Marketing and Promotional Tactic…If you can Stomach It!

Posted in Comic Book Clubs, Comic Book Creators, Comic Book Fantasy Cosplay, Comic Book Geeks, Comic Book resources, Comic Conventions with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2011 by privypress

365 Killer, Sure Fire, Down – and – Dirty Marketing Strategies; Tactics For Indy Publishers and Comic Shop Owners…PART 19

***The Technique we will be discussing today is what I call the “The Subliminal Multiple Exposure Method.”

 

Ron Kerronian and his beautiful yet capable Guardians.

Ron Kerronian and his beautiful yet capable Guardians.

 

Good day “Comic Natives,” I recently attended a comic convention (MegaCon) in Orlando, while there I was inspired to conduct some marketing and promotional research. I wanted to see how vendors were promoting their products before and after the convention… I noticed most of the “effective” marketing took place on the web way before the event – I say this because many of the vendors I recognized as soon as I saw them because of their web promotion and marketing initiatives (because of this I bought many of their books as well).

Ron Kerronian and The AComic Shop "GeekEasy" Crew - "Making Geeks Cool Again - Maybe!!!"

Ron Kerronian and The AComic Shop "GeekEasy" Crew - "Making Geeks Cool Again - Maybe!!!"

Why is this important to you as Comic Artist, Writers,Indepent publishers, and Small Comic retail shops?

Well, with the boom of social sites, people seem to do most of their advertising via the net…

“well the statement I just made , is not some earth shattering news now is it? trust me I know… However, if you will bear with me my good people, I promise to reveal a gem that will shatter your world; if use correctly.”

 

Ron Kerronian and The Unstoppable Bane!!!

Ron Kerronian and The Unstoppable Bane!!!

 

My hope is that once I reveal this somewhat inexpensive “subliminal” method of promotion… You will be better equipped to promote and sell you books at comic conventionstrade shows, or at your local retail comic shop. Let me ask you a question; when you peruse web sites (Comic related of course) do you notice anything they all seem to have in common? Well, if you look beyond the obvious comic related content, you will notice that a great majority of them seem to have banner ad space available; in many cases for pennies on the dollar.

 Here is what I am proposing…

I want you to research the sites that are getting the most traffic (comments, traffic meters, event activities, professional interviews, regularly updated content, professional appearance etc…)  and  buy some advertising space. You can also swap ads as well (this is where you swap ad space on you site with space on someone else’s site). I want you to also research convention sites. When preparing for conventions, which are the best sites for to advertise and promote your products prior to the convention? Well, the convention site- Daaah!

MegaCon's Finest

MegaCon's Finest

I say advertise on the comic convention site itself. I know what you’re thinking “Wooow, Wooow, Ron…isn’t that costly” and yeah, you would be right. There is usually a higher cost when advertising on the event vendors’ site, but the potential reward is often times far greater than the cost… (Ah! bet you didn’t see that comment coming, did ya!!?)

One of the key benefits you get when you advertise on convention sites is that the comic-goers buying the tickets to the event will see or be indirectly introduced to you and your product before you officially meet them at the convention. Now, Once at the convention… like “rats on crack”(if you’ve been to a serious convention you know what I mean) these comic-goers eagerly begin their endless quest of trolling the isles in search of  “rare deals and steals.”

 

Me and Mrs. Mario.."♫We got a Thing going on♫" Don't Tell Mario!!!

Me and Mrs. Mario.."♫We got a Thing going on♫" Don't Tell Mario!!!

 

 Now, here is the magic, where all your “smart marketing” comes together…these comic-goers may say to themselves, “Hey, I think I’ve seen or I think I know these guys from somewhere (everyone wants to feel informed and be the know-it –all hero to their friends).” Once they enter your office (Sales Table), you can acquire their sale, email,  contact info, and hopefully their continued loyalty… with their contact info in hand, you friend them on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace etc…

Become One with The "Marketing Force!"

Become One with The "Marketing Force!"

Purchasing low cost ad space on key sites could help boost your book sales, I know it’s risky but I feel it’s worth the cost. My suggestion is that if you plan on attending a comic convention or trade show, advertise on their site for at least 90 days prior…this will give you  maximum exposure in addition the customers may feel that your company is more legitimate if you are advertising on the convention website.  Also find some comic shops that have sites and see if they offer advertising, if they do – jack pot!

Here are benefits to advertising with comic shops…

First, their patrons will see your comic, become curious, buy your comic, and may request that the shop carry it in stock. Second, the owner may become curious as well and wish to carry your book, in addition if you are advertising on the owner’s site, it provides a foot in the door so to speak if you decided to ask them to carry your book…why would they say no after all you are practically business associates.

***

Another thing, if you are attending an event;  advertise this fact on all the banner sites you are associated with.

How to shamelessly Promote your Comic Books at Swap shops and Flea Markets.

Posted in Comic Book Creators, Comic Book Forum, Comic Book resources, indy comics with tags , , , , , , , on January 13, 2011 by privypress

365 Killer, Sure Fire, Down – and – Dirty Marketing Strategies; Tactics For Indy Publishers and Comic Shop Owners…PART 18

 

I stumbled across this marketing gem while helping a friend of mine promote his kids only health club – FitWize 4  Kids (www.fitwize4kids.com) . If you understand anything about kids, then you know that once they have their minds set on getting a toy there is no stopping them. They will cry, yell, beg, plead and even roll on the ground until their parent(s) buy the darn toy. For comic professionals like you; this is an awesome observation.  

When marketing to kids toys are always a big hit, now in comes the comics which will be the main component of this strategy. You can package your comics with a small inexpensive toy. This strategy will work best if you have a completed series such as a mini-series, or graphic novel. What happens if you’ve only created one book? This is not a problem, you can solicit books from other creators and package them along with your s…I call this a variety pack. What price should you charge for these packages, I would say anywhere from $10.00 dollars to $15.00 dollars.

What justifies this price? The small inexpensive toy that you’ve strategically attached to the package is what justifies the cost; at least to the parent seeking relief from their nagging, money eating, and life sucking “precious little treasure(s).”

………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

***Remember, do not forget to attach your business card and contact info to the package.

How to Effectively Market your Digital Comic Books.

Posted in Comic Book Creators, Comic Book resources, Comic Book Shops, Graphic Novels, image comics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2010 by privypress

 

Making money from digital comics is like the quest for the holy grail  or trying to unravel a rubrics cube. It’s wonderful in theory, but practical use, ranks right up there with the existence of the Locness monster, unicorns, bigfoot, an honest politician, and other mystical beast. It is my opinion that digital comics should be incorporated either as a front line product or an ancillary product paired/packaged with some product the company hopes to promote. contrary to popular belief Print is not dead, it  still has value. I say this for two reasons. First, it can be touched; which creates an emotional connection between the book and the reader… and Second, it can be collected.”No one wants to collect a PDF,” I doubt we will ever hear these words uttered, ” Hey look how much this PDF cost!”

Digital Comics, How To Promote Effectively!

Digital Comics, How To Promote Effectively!

Now for those of us who are promoting digitally because of the obvious cost benefits, no printing cost, no distribution cost, and less overhead cost I get the need to explore this realm of marketing our wears. Rule number One, when it comes to doing anything on the web or offline, People Buy you before they buy your product. The mistake most digital enthusiast make is that they push the comic on everyone that sees them on Facebook, where’s the relationship building? Where’s the four-play that gets people to like you and what you are up to?  people need to know you are an average everyday person, who happens to create comics.

Rule number Two, many of us make the mistake of marketing only to other comic people; remember they are often in the same boat as you. Your best chance for success is to venture off into comic book readers, graphic novel readers, people who read sci-fi and your average run of the mill novel reader. Another suggestion, how about creating a digital comic of “how to books” with pictures; these will bring some attention for sure. Creating a digital book will give you the in you are searching for instead of going in straight for the kill you are taking the back door straight to the readers “digital” heart. Doing this will position you as someone different, because you are creating something different…in the end you would have created your own support community that will have a greater willingness to buy your digital comic book.

 

Digital Comic Books, How To Promote Effectively!

Digital Comic Books, How To Promote Effectively!

Now for the money-making suggestion. Think digital promotion, this is how you make money; First, by promoting your comic via Digital channels, Second, once the series is complete you sell the print collection. Doen’t sound that original does it? Stay tuned, While promoting digitally here’s what you’ll be doing, you will utilize the site where the digital comic is as a means of  advertisements . While the books are in digital format place your sponsors/ advertisers within the digital pages. Once the book is ready to go to print, promise the sponsors that even when the books are printed their ads will remain. This is a great way to develop your site and your brand at the same time.

I read a recent letter sent to  John Barber editor of Speak Easy, the fan post of the hugely popular comic book, TURF created by Jonathan Ross & Tommy Lee Edwards. I feel this letter brings the point home. In this letter John made an interesting comment to a fan, Kris Griffin. Kris inquired as to the availability of Turf on the iPhone. Here was John’s answer, “Check out the Image Comics app from comixology for all your TURF needs! But as much as well all love the digital stuff, and as much as we appreciate the new audience it brings us – we love our print readers jus as much – Please support your local comic Book Store! They’ve been supporting us, which is  no small thing when it comes to a new creator – owned book like Turf. There’s nothing better than a good local Comic book store, and nothing more deserving of your Comic-book dollar. ”   I tend to agree with John’s comment, comic shops kick butt; they are like our own fraternity and sorority clubs. I hope my insights have helped.

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