Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Do You Really Want to Create Your Own Work and Self-Publish?

So You Want to Self-Publish Your Comic Book or Graphic Novel

If you are serious about self-publishing, then you are going to put together a business plan. If you don’t, you’re most likely doomed to waste money and set yourself up for failure.

Discounts aside, printers, ad rates and shipping all have set fees. It doesn't matter if you are a day laborer or a CEO. The fees are the fees. When ANYONE in ANY industry opens/starts up a business, they know there are set fees they have to deal with, one of which is minimum wage for the workers, employees and contractors. Why should having a good business plan change because it's comics?

Why would anyone in their right mind put together a business and budget for printing, shipping and advertising costs, yet not have a budget for talent? An investor looking at such a plan would laugh at you or show you the door.

As a self-publisher, small press or independent publisher, you shouldn’t be in business if you only offer the talent back-end deals, yet you have the money to pay for printing, shipping and advertising. It seems like this is a situation to take advantage of the talent.

In ANY field or industry a person deserves to be paid at least minimum wage. Creatives were taken advantage of in the Golden Age of comics and paid low rates, which was something it took decades to overcome.

The lowest page rate for pencil art today should be $58 a page. How did I arrive at that? The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. An artist should take 8 hours to draw one page. 8 x $7.25 works out to $58 for a page. This a baseline that everyone can follow. Minimum wage is not a living wage. This would barely pay rent and utilities, if at all. Well forget about food, hence the term "starving artist". As long as we have a place to draw, we can do without food. (just joking)

A good writer can do one 22 to 24 page comic in a 40 hours. A good inker should be able to do 2 pages in 8 hours. A good colorist can do 2 to 5 pages in 8 hours. A good letterer can do one 22 to 24 page comic in 8 hours, so the per page rates should be adjusted accordingly based on $7.25 an hour.

to be continued…

read next - What are the Page Rates to do Comic Books?
previous - Back-end Deal, My Ass!

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Copyright 2016 H. Simpson

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