Over at Robot 6, writer Ken Marcus (SUPER HUMAN RESOURCES) has a long list of marketing tips that, in the Post-Benchmark era, will need to be heeded more than ever, as he faces harsh facts:
People do not care about you. Not readers, not retailers, not the press and maybe not even your publisher. No one gives two turds about your book except for you. (The publisher thing isn’t really true, but regardless, this NEEDS to be your working mindset.) So making other people give two turds about your idea rests solely on your shoulders. That’s another way to say “marketing.”
If you build it, they will ignore it. Look, there are too many baseball diamonds in too many fields in that Previews catalog. And most of them look better than yours. Too many people think they can send their files off to the printer and book their table in San Diego. Nope. You’ve created your book. Now comes the hard part.
You’re getting great press when your comic comes out. AKA, you’re ‘effed. This is the No. 1 thing I don’t get. Creators doing all their interviews and previews the month their comic is out. Indy comics are all about pre-ordering. Getting people to ask their LCS for your comic the month it’s in Previews. This is the already-on-life-support lifeblood of indy comics. You have a few weeks before your issue #1 hits Previews and through the rest of that month. That is your sweet spot for pushing all your press and PR.
There much more, equally common sense advice, but the last bit we quoted is both accurate and frustrating. The disconnect between marketing to the comics shop retailers who are the customers for Diamond and most comics publishers, and marketing to the people who are the customers of the comics shops is still a wide one. In a world of tiny margins, it’s a hard one to negotiate.
Or as someone very smart about comics we were talking to the other day told us, in complaining about the ideas of some publishers, “They think an interview in Newsarama is all they need.”