(( I just HAD to post this smiley. Never seen one as COOL as this before. Woot! :-D!)
I know I shouldn't be doing this, it's probably the worst mistake ever, but after seeing your post I finally popped and had to write something.
I have some “experience” you could say from both worlds. Comic
and Book Publishing
I myself was wanting and doing my D***dest to get an artist to do graphics for me.
I'm more of a learned the hard way, side of the road; so what I have to share is more warnings, and probably stupidly obvious “Don't Do This” stuff.
And I'm sorry but I have suppressed all this crap for far to long. So dredging it up out of my memory, and then trying to compress it into a post is gonna be something of an art form.
Lets see what happens.
Everyone who's smart; run and hide, NOW.
I myself have tried to get several
businesses off the ground, many times over.
I am also currently writing myself. (There's some Good, more Uplifting Info. On this when I get to it. So just wait for it.
I know sorry. )
One of these businesses was comics.
I'm an artist, but HATE to draw. >X-P!
I also like writing, and found I could pump out some really great and funny stuff “fast” compared to he drawing side of things.
So I decided (being a young 20 year old) that, “hey! I'll get me an artist or two, we'll buckle down and start making some dough! Who wouldn't want to!”
Well, Every Single Person Out There, that's who.
Everyone I solicited said no.
I wasn't about to pull out my “Sales Tactics” and get someone to say yes to me, simply because I wanted someone who knew
what they were going to be getting into; and I wanted someone who would be willing to work.
And work HARD
So using charisma, and pulling the wool over their eyes in order to get them to say yes was; it's just against me
, the way I'm built.
I wasn't about to be selling them some small thing that they could easily make up the price of in one pay check; and toss it out with out a thought if it broke.
No I was going to be convincing someone to spend nearly all
their free time on MY Project.
It was just against my ethics to lie.
Well, when I did get a bite ( I finally “convinced my friend”) it didn't work.
I even took an entire day and sat outside hoping that she would draw for me what she already said okay to.
(I had an entire script written out and everything. The whole first half of a story was done. As far as I was concerned.)
She sat outside and spent the whole day goofing off.
I realized then that no matter what,
It doesn't matter what
you do, NOTHING
can get these buggers to work!
(Some of you may be laughing, but when you have a dream on the line, and are 20 years old, it's not so funny. It's more crushing. ;-D!)
(Also, if you take argument with this, DON'T. I'M
an artist, and No not everyone is like this, I know. )
I also ended up contracting an entire financier/friend/artist to do some drawings for me.
he wanted the same thing, and even was the one to suggest we go in together on a business.
He suggested print, I said web.
I ended up having to make the Logos, Web Site, EVERYTHING
(You figure I would have learned off my first try with my friend.)
(I also don't know coding. I'm a PICTURE person. Well, I had to take classes at my Local Vo-Tech to learn how to to Web Coding.
It Did NOT Work.
*Waves smoke away.*
In the end this “Financier/Business Partner”
wanted nothing more then say, quite terrible things.
And he was married.
That went down in FLAMES. I came to find out he wasn't even wanting to do a business.
It was the LAST thing on his mind.[/i]
So literally I have to say WATCH OUT.
This not only happened to me, it's so damn common they made a Fraiser
Episode out of it.
(Remember the one where he meets that one Uptight
Accountant Lady who, it turns out is sleeping with that guy. Well, he had only slept with her to STEAL her ideas, and then DUMP her.)
Sadly, I didn't even know this guy wanted to sleep with me, much less anything else.
Turns out he stole my ideas too. ALL of them.
The only upswing is that he was so bent on getting IT,
that he hasn't cared enough to put out what he DID steal from me.
I haven't heard mention of my stuff or his name ANYWHERE so far.
I'm still sweating it out though, even after five years now. My Advice:
When it comes to looking for and finding an artist literally, go PRO.
Find someone who will Sign A Contract
, to actually do the work.
Sadly this also means that you will HAVE
to have money up front.
NO ONE who is worth their salt as an artist will even speak to you if you don't have some kind of cash in hand. I found this out the hard way.
I don't mean to dash you, or anyone's hopes, it's just that I know quite a lot of very Professional artists (now)
and have come to find that they talk BUSINESS a.k.a. MONEY
to even acknowledge anyone who doesn't at least offer some kind of Good Pay Up Front
Most honorable artists will also have a pay scale.
They'll have things already priced out so you know how much you can get and at what price.
The ones who are starting out WILL speak to you initially
, but will SOON point you to some kind of a pricing system, and then just continue to refer you back to that if you want anything, or have any kind of questions. And NO, you WON'T be able to get ANY
kind of art out of them until you have PAID for it.
Sadly, anyone who is willing to go, “Pro Bono” or work more or less for free is not going to be loyal, dependable, mush less anything you will want to even acknowledge in say, maybe even a few months from now.
Something will go HORRIBLY, and I can't stress this enough,HORRIBLY
Of course you might just get lucky, and it'll just peter out, in one way or another.
(The artist looses interest, they don't call you. You never get to see page three. Their “life falls apart” what have you. The crap goes on.)
You never know.
If you have found yourself an artist GOOD LUCK. And I hope that it works out for you.
But if it's someone you met, online or other wise, and you don't have some kind of a Signed, Notarized Contract; you might be bitten. Badly.
And the number of ways it can backfire are so numerous I won't go into it here. If you want more info, just contact me. :-/! Although I MUCH rather NOT go into this.
Along with this, is another “Terrible” incident, not as bad as mine, but Horrible none the less.
I met a guy who also had tried to get a comic off the ground, with a friend of his.
He was the writer, and his friend the artist.
Since they'd been best buds since childhood it worked out.
(a.k.a. Their friendship was still tight, and they quite enjoyed each other.
They weren't trying to plot each others death, chocking each other when they passed on the street, etc. etc. )
But sadly, and terribly, they ended up ordering NUMEROUS
T-Shirts, comics, toys – plushies- etc. The guy, I can't recall his name, he and his Art Friend
bought all this stuff off HIS, The Writers bank account.
So the guy Went In Debt.
He was at least what, $80,000 USAD
, I think it was? In debt when I met him; and it was mounting.
He'd gotten his hands on some dough, and spent it on the merchandise, and professional printing equipment, along with some very much needed business items.
All of this stuff would have been good, but for whatever reason the whole comic couldn’t get off the ground floor.
As it turned out most comic shops won't take any material that is not from a major publishing house.
In order to do this you literally have to go into individual comic shops, HOPE that it's a “Mom and Pop” operation that is NOT in some way under the thumb of some larger entity; and HOPE that they have total independence and therefore say over what is displayed in their store.
But keep in mind they'll be competing with the larger chains, and what have you.
So they still, even if you get in good with them, which I tried to do, may not be willing to display, or even sell your comics when you come rolling in with a big ol' wad of them. :-(!
So this guy, he ended up not only in debt, but yes; just like you asked, with a whole Sun Room
, full of crap, along with a garage.
(He was living with his parents when I met him in college. So yeah.)
He was unable to get a job, and was once again, with his friend from out of state, having to try and pick up the pieces of his life and make another go at the comic (since it was the only thing his friend wanted to do, and his only chance at an income at the time, terribly, and sadly. )
Along with this, by this point he and his artist friend realized some of the advertising mistakes they'd made.
The Artists' skills grew, and the merchandise was WAY out of style, esp. for something so in the minute as comics.
This meant all their old stuff “wasn't even good for charity anymore” as he told me when I got to see all of it. :-(!So literally, I HOPE it goes FAR better for you then these incidents.
(( But if you're a guy, at least when it comes to the first part, It more then likely will.
:-(! ))My Advice:
I don't know if anyone knows of this one, there was (maybe still is I don't know) a Web Comic called “Mega Tokyo”
I used to read it and liked it quite a bit.
The pic.'s were CUTE, and I LOVED the CUTE little main character guy. (Totally DROOLED over him wishing there was a Real Life equivalent! Lol! :-) )
My brother and sister both made HORRIBLE fun of me, saying I was reading about tow Lesbian Characters doing it and said I should QUIT; What kind of a SICK pervert was I, on and on, duh, duh, duh.
And thought it was a GREAT comic.
Well, many years later, THEY ended up reading the comic, and I quit.
My point (sorry for the tangent) is that this guy got quite popular, and ended up being able to put his comic into print.
He also got so far as to actually do it full time.
Of course it made SQUAT in the line of money, and his poor wife had to work her BUTT OFF just to keep them alive, but he was still able to make a fair go of it.
:-D! *two thumbs up!*
So my Advice is to go the ONLINE Route.
DON'T go for print.
Even if you have a local comic shop that actually says they'll sell your stuff.
Unless you see then taking other comics done by people like you, just don't chance it.
(Of course if you have a major publisher backing you then, go for it. ;-D Other wise forget it.) The BEST chance you have is to do it
ALL of it.
And leave the PRINT part till WELL after the fact. Have the hard copy for the Die Hard fans, like Me.
Who HAVE to have something Physical to commemorate that time in their life. Or MUST have a Hard Copy because the online might disappear, and it would be a HORRIBLE travesty if it was suddenly gone.
(Even worse if a tornado comes along and wipes out the hard copy ;-D!)
There's a site called, Deviant Art and THIS is the place to post if you're going to post ANYTHING like a comic.
I've watched this place grow from infancy, and have had accounts there.
It's free so no sweat, and it'll get you FANS GALORE.
I myself have at least 12 watchers currently, and I can't draw or do art worth S**T.
Believe me it's the place to be. :-)
I've found watching this site, that more and more, comics have a better chance of getting going here.
It has story line, words, and pictures.
Literally a stop photography film so to speak. This seems to “sell” best in this environment now, simply because people are wanting some kind of a good joke, story line, what have you; and if you're not going to get it in a MOVING version, like film, the next best thing is a comic.
Still art, the popularity seems to be currently dwindling.
I sincerely HOPE I'm WRONG.
But it seems to be.
Maybe it's the new generation.
Currently if you're going to be making something, that's going to really “Sell” then your best bet is something 3D, or Crafty.
Sculptures, Models, Mannequins, Origami, Anything but Flat Pictures, with No obvious story line.
(This terribly takes a BITE outta me cause I do Fan Art, Portraits, etc. Old School Style :-(!!!!!)
Anyway, here's the link: http://www.deviantart.com/
Other then that all I can say is: Get the Word Out.
In every Message Board you're on, have in your signature a link to your comic.
Even talk about it in posts, here and there.
Not much, but yeah, that's about all you can do. The only other thing is word of mouth.
Other then this there of course is the inevitable, T-Shirts, Plushies, Etc. but I'd suggest NOT ordering a ton.
Instead sign up with some company that does them one at a time as the customer orders them.
This is advertising for you, of course.
If someone sees the T-Shirt they'll ask, and find out.
Of course, it's a GREAT DRAIN on your poor fans bank accounts, so don't expect people to be buying such things; unless you get REALLY EXPLOSIVELY popular.
Then you'll start to see the shirts pop up here and there, but and esp. if it is a sci. fi. kind of thing, the shirts, hats, gloves, plushies, mug holders, what have you will be FEW and FAR BETWEEN, simply because this is such a Niche market.
Sorry, but it's true.
So here's my advice on Comic Art, and the like.
GLAD that's over with.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Now on to Print/Regular Books!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As for Regular Everyday books.
I am on a site for published authors.
I had no idea it was for ONLY the published among us, and plopped down $40.00.
NOT the best site in the world, ESPECIALLY When it comes to needing BETA Readers.
BUT for the small bit of help they've given me, they have helped me a GREAT DEAL.
The Small Sneeze, of a SMATTERING of BETA Reading I got from them has been Extremely VALUABLE, and HELPED me GREATLY!
It's called, Back Space the Writers Place. http://www.bksp.org/
The Forums: http://www.bksp.org/for-members/discussion-forums/
And you have to spend at least, at last check $40.00 just to sign up and read the Message boards.
They don't have hardly anything for BETA Reading, but it is there.
I have to warn you though, the writers there are B***HES!
And even if you're as tough as I am, you'll get a concussion from the beating they'll give you.
(It happened to me recently. Lol! :-D!)
Initially I was so LOST that I couldn't understand what they were saying to me.
They literally are in another STRATOSPHERE.
If you don't understand something, you can say you don't, but they will just beat you up for that too.
Literally I had forgotten how to write, and they are slowly jogging my memory.
Also, what is helping is this.
Three books that these people suggested, they have been LIFE savers; and I STRONGLY suggest you read them BEFORE you go online here. Otherwise the writers here WILL be so sickened by you they won't stop by to beat you up.
This is a BAD thing, believe me.
I've nearly reached this point on this website myself.
Anyway here they are. William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White – The Elements of Style Third EditionISBN's:
( Kinda OLD so I don't know if they'll still work. Sorry.)
This is more of a grammar book, and doesn't help much. But if your needing grammar help, or help in like mechanics of how to construct sentences then definitely get it.
Personally I don't really need it.
:-)Self-Editing for Fiction Writers – How to Edit Yourself Into Print
By: Renni Browne and Dave KingISBN's:
Inside Cover: 0-06-054569-0
Back of Book: 978-0-06-054569-7
This by FAR is CURRENTLY SAVING MY ASS.
It is not only a grammar book it is a “How to write a story book” all rolled into one.
I can't really explain it better then this.
You literally have to sit down and read through the darn thing to even get an idea of what it's about.
But out of ALL of the books, GET YOUR HANDS ON THIS ONE.
Steal it, rent it, Buy it, get it from the library, what have you just get your damn hands on it!
It'll save EVERYONE'S ass in Chapter ONE alone.
(Possibly even Mr. Hewlett could get SOME kind of good out of this one. That's how Great and Powerful this book is.
*lightning thunder god like laughter!*
you get the idea.
The other one is this: Writing the Breakout Novel – Insider Advice for taking your novel to the next level
By: Donald MassISBN's
I also found that these books are Quite Excellent: Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting Dynamic Characters and Effective Viewpoints (Write Great Fiction) [Paperback]
I read the sample of this on Kindle and it was just jaw dropping so far. I ordered it and am awaiting it eagerly.
:-D!Plot & Structure: (Techniques And Exercises For Crafting A Plot That Grips Readers From Start To Finish) (Write Great Fiction) [Paperback]
I figure everyone could use some plot help ;-D!
So if you're wanting to get your stuff up to quality publishable level then these are the books to buy.
And the above mentioned website is the site to go to.
I gotta warn you all though, this place is a place to get your ass kicked before you get it published.
They'll kick your butt, disassemble it, reconstruct it (if you're really bad like me) and hand it to you.
So when a nerd comes up to you and says, “You made what ever mistake on page 137, chapter 7 paragraph three.”
You can say either: “Yes I know about it, don't remind me; now. Go. Away.” *waves them off*
Or you can do what the people for SG-1 did, and go a step better.
“Yeah, I was trying to show the interconnected relationships of the characters through that one seeming typo. Actually it was a play on not only words but the universe itself.
Sorry you were to simple to catch it though.”
Well! *slaps stomach!*
That's the end of MY Far to LONG rant/help/advice/ cut version of a few of my life experiences.
I hope that it does SOMEONE some good, and HOPEFULLY it'll save SOMEONE from the TERRIBLE heart ache, wallet ache, and life ruining ache that I have endured.
And I hope to hear from at least a few people that this was good advice.