We caught up on some of Independent Propaganda’s interview, including this one with Top Shelf’s Chris Staros which gives a sobering veiw of “breaking in” even at a small publisher. :
So we get a lot of blind submissions to our P.O. Box every year. As small a company as TopShelf is, because of our critical reputation and the kind of things that we do, we get about a thousand submissions a year. And from those blind submissions, people we don’t necessarily know but are sending us work, we may pick up one of those. Most of the projects that we actually publish tend to be from people that are at home doing their work and creating comics, but are also producing mini-comics, visiting conventions, setting up at conventions, hanging out after conventions, getting to know people. So, not only over a year or two do I see their mini-comics get better and better, but I also get to know them, and know if I like them, and know if I could work with them. I get to see how they market their own products. Can they sell a hundred copies of their minis or self-published things at shows? Are they good marketers? Because in a company that’s as small as TopShelf- Brett, and I, and our full time guy Rob- that’s six arms and six legs. If the guy or girl that’s producing these comics can’t sell them, and is very bad behind a table and can’t market their book, then were still six arms and six legs. But if they are really good salespeople and they like to work shows a lot, then we’ve got eight arms and eight legs for their books. And that’s a big strategic advantage when it comes to marketing them.