Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Direct Market, If I were in Charge: Creators

Here it is, the wrap up but more than likely not my last words on the following. I'm going to break these up by group because I'm conceited enough to believe that folks will be rushing to share the pertinent info with the thousands of folks that desparately need it and I want to make it as easy to find as possible. ;)

Let's roll this the way it came up in the preceeding articles by starting again with the folks without whom none of this would matter...


  1. If I were in charge, any creator who is self publishing and purporting to create an ongoing commercial work (meaning they expect anyone to pay for it) would have to present a full business plan covering creation, publishing, marketing and financial responsibility for completion of the series to their distributor(s), before the first issue could be considered for solicitation.
  2. Could never solicit an issue that was not ready to print and for a story arc of 4 issues or less, could never solicit without the entire series being completely scripted and pencilled.
  3. Would make a full issue preview of each issue available for retailer consideration prior to it's distributor(s) order cutoff date.
  4. Would use the time needed to complete issues prior to solicitation, to build awareness via website, indy news sources, personal appearances, street teams, etc...
  5. Would create a retailer nework, supporting participating retailers with downloadable P.O.P. materials like sell sheets, sign-up flyers, mini posters and shelf talkers. Would create an info only website listing retailers known to support their product line and always try to identify a local brick and mortar retailer to fulfill customers inquires before selling direct to the customer.


  1. Good, common sense advice. I'm working into comics this year, so I'll bookmark these so I can deliver at least this much.

  2. Great stuff, especially for pie-in-sky, "way things should be" thinking.
    As a self-publisher recently off the ground via Diamond, working through this, and with hindsight and all that, I'd have liked to have approached things differently.

    Lots of great comments and ideas on the publishing post too. I know I’ve done a lot of the things you mention.

    From reading your blog, I know you self-published too, so you've got experience from all sides of the story, which is great. I’ve really appreciated going through your posts.

    The retailer interface is perhaps the part of marketing I've struggled with the most, and I've often thought it would be a good thing to find a progressive retailer, full of experience and ideas, like yourself, to potentially partner with to help implement a plan for the book focused on retailers.