Well now, here is a good idea: Alternative Free Comics Day. Launched by the gang at The Outhouse (of all places) it’s an opt-in website for indies to upload free comics with other promotional tools:
If you’re a creator or a publisher, register for an account and then create a creator or publisher profile. You can upload a comic that you want to give away for free in CBZ format. We’ll take all of the comics that are uploaded, and on the day of the event, we’ll gather them together in one or more bundles and make them available to download for anyone who wants to. It’s that simple! If you’re a retailer or a website that wants to help promote these comics, you can sign up and create a retailer or retailer profile. Then creators and publishers can contact you and you can help to promote or give away their comics. We’ll provide templates of flyers you can print out to put in your shop, and for websites, you can host or link to the bundles to download for your readers. Finally, if you’re not any of the things above, but you still want to help out, you can register and create a volunteer profile. We could use volunteers to help organize the comics, make sure they’re formatted properly, write instructions and FAQs, create flyers, and promote the event.
In a longer post, the greater goals for the site are discussed:
Alternative Free Comics Day 2016 will take place on May 7th, the same day as Free comic Book Day. But once the digital files are released into the wild, Alternative Free Comics Day will last all year, because the files can continue to be distributed. The website is expecting for a mild launch this year, with only a month to go before the event, but by Alternative Free Comics Day 2017, Terror hopes that the site will offer exponentially more free comics than Diamond’s Free Comic Book Day does, featuring a greater variety of material from a more diverse pool of creators.
Free Comic Book Day takes place on May 7th with print books given away at participating comcis stores. I’ve seen a few online tie-ins but this is a good way to promote content outside that arena. And there are a LOT of great free comics out on the web!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.