We are Morgan Rosenblum, Adam McGovern, Anthony Del Col, Matt Kadish and Molly Ostertag.

Last Thursday at New York Comic Con we talked about all the things that helped us become successful self-publishers. A great deal of you showed up, but we only had 45 minutes for the whole event.

As promised, here’s our AMA. We’ll be answering your questions all day today!


Proof: We’ll be adding links to our Twitter accounts throughout the day, as more of us join in on the discussion.

  • Morgan Rosenblum



  • Matthew Kadish



  • Adam McGovern



Comments: 125 • Responses: 39  • Date: 

suaveitguy12 karma

What are the steps to take? Say I have a 50 page graphic novel (I do) - how do I get it in the hands of its intended audience?

Darkrose_Morgan7 karma

Hey Suaveitguy, It's Morgan Rosenblum (one of the speakers from the panel). Matt (Ultramat2m) is spot on. Have a plan. I can't tell you how much money and time I legit wasted bc i didn't have a plan when i started. Hindsight is always 20/20, but if i could go back i would have spent a lot more time on formulating a plan.

but regarding how you can get it in the hands of your target audience, Facebook advertising to people who like things similar to you is also a great way to get on their radar.

I've found that people like things that are familiar to them. So saying something like. "If you like The Dark Knight and GI JOE, then you'll LOVE TRDWTR (Treadwater)!" And visuals work great in a post - much better than simple text. you could even make a collage of GI JOE, DARK KNIGHT, and TRDWTR (For example), bc it will help the audience make the connection.

Facebook pricing has gone up as of late, but if you have a little bit of cash, i've found it can really help with your visibility.

I'm a huge advocate of Social Media, clearly :)

iZacAsimov3 karma

What kind of plan?

Darkrose_Morgan7 karma

  1. How much money are you willing and able to commit to chasing your dream? (don't tell me, just know the number). If you don't have funds now, i would recommend putting some away from every pay check from here forward.
  2. research research research. google everything. literally if you want to know something ask google as if you were asking me. this actually helped me a lot. "How do i achieve best seller on amazon?" you'd be surprised what kind of information you can get from a question like this. "where is the best place to go to print a proof (a physical sample for your book)" -- btw -- i spent a lot of time looking for the right printers. i would strongly recommend Endeavor Printing (Endeavorprinting.com) for graphic novel print on demand - ask for Brian and tell them Morgan sent you! this is for graphic novels only. If you're only looking to print a traditional novel (no illustrations or color), use Lightning source or Createspace. I prefer Lightning Source. Their quality is fantastic.
  3. build a kickstarter - not sure how great this would work for a novel, but works great for comics and graphic novels. again, ask google "How do i build a great kickstarter for my graphic novel?" Google is your friend!!!! :)

suaveitguy2 karma

I wish i could give it away for free on reddit, but haven't found a popular sub that would allow it.

Darkrose_Morgan2 karma

I'm new to Reddit myself, so unfortunately can't offer much advice on this front. sorry :(

dannyboylee11 karma

I'm asking about novels, not necessarily graphic novels.

How long should one continue querying agents before deciding "Fuck it, I'm self-publishing"?

Or... on the other hand, is it better to just keep writing and producing a body of work, so that if one hits you then have a back catalog of stuff that can be published?

Darkrose_Morgan5 karma

Hey it's Morgan Rosenblum (Panelist). If you want to get an actual publisher, you'll def need a literary agent. Which is really tough. I sent my work to a bunch of lit agents, and i only heard back from a few. and the ones i heard back from i'm pretty convinced didn't even bother to read my stuff, despite claiming otherwise.

I actually made a list of all of the people who turned me down as motivation. You should NEVER give up on your dream. let your haters be your motivators! :P

While i was waiting for responses from the legit agents i submitted to, i said fuck it, and just kept doing my own thing. There is absolutely no harm in trying to do it yourself while you "wait to hear back".

I've found that the more work you have to show, the more serious people will take you. SHOW DON'T TELL!!!! :)

Frajer8 karma

What costs are involved with self publishing ?

Darkrose_Morgan5 karma

Morgan here (Panelist). My friend and co-panelist Matt Kadish is probably one of the most business savvy people i've ever met. So I would say his advice is likely better than mine. But unlike Matt, I went the route of a GN (Graphic Novel) as my first title.

I would say the ratio of cost for GN vs a traditional written novel is about 30:1-ish. I'm not the best writer in the world, and i'm only an ok artist. my forte is probably my crazy brain - world and character building. So i had to hire a co-writer (Don Macnab-Stark) and an artist (Ray Dillon) to bring my story to life. this was not cheap. I spent the majority of my life savings to do this. It helps that I don't have a wife or children to stop me though! :D

Crowd funding is prolly the best thing you can do. have something to show, have a plan, and then try a kickstarter, or indiegogo. this is waayyy better than asking for handouts form friends and family (and i def encourage you to show your friends and fam your KS campaign, bc they will be far more likely to help you out). If you have very limited funds (which is the case for 99.9% of us, then crowdfunding is the way to get "kickstarted" - It's how i got started.

AnarchistElectrician7 karma

As an unknown, how far into a serialized story should I have done before approaching a publisher?

Darkrose_Morgan3 karma

i don't know, bc i'm self published! lol Never had any interest from a "real" publisher. But i'm doing ok without one - i think. lol

thanks to a little thing called the internet, and social media, and amazon, you truly don't need to have someone publish you - you can do it yourself! Matt Kadish and Molly Knox are two perfect examples of this. Molly never even used any retailers at all!!!! and after her Kickstarter campaign, publishers came knocking on her door!

TheJaunt4 karma

What do you see as some of the pitfalls and some of the advantages of going through Amazon.

Any smaller houses that distribute self-published material that you would recommend?

Darkrose_Morgan4 karma

Personally Amazon is the best.

My strategy for making it into the Superhero Graphic Novel BEST SELLER list was this:

I only listed my book for sale on one platform: AMAZON.


Let's say for example, that each platform/retailer (i.e. Amazon) has a requirement of you having sold 1000 book in a week in order for you to make their best seller list. then let's say you list your book on four different platform (i.e. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books.com, and bookclub.com). Lets say that you sold 250 books on each of those platforms. based on the criteria, you would have missed the best seller list on all four of those platforms, whereas if you only listed your title on one of them, you would have made the best seller list. Makes sense?

Darkrose_Morgan3 karma

oh also, if you have a comic/graphic novel - Comixology is great for ebooks. ebooks always have very little overhead.

and you should submit to Diamond, but know that it can be costly bc they require you to send them a lot of inventory (if they accept your submission), plus there is a 3 month waiting period from submission to actually showing up in their book -- Diamond (for comics only) runs the entire comic book distribution world for the most part. I still have yet to submit to them. but im planning on it soon, now that people know about my IPs

TheJaunt2 karma

This is also good to know. I do know the Diamond model, however, had not considered the actual logistics until you just pointed them out.

Darkrose_Morgan3 karma

When i began filling out all of the paperwork for Diamond, and I saw all of the likely costs involved, I decided to hold off until i tried the true self publishing route. now that i have a title (TRDWTR - Treadwater) that fans are actually showing interest in (and buying), i am more confident that i will be able to afford sending Diamond the hardware that they will surely need if my submission is "accepted" by them. lol

Logistics Logistics Logistics! heheh

TheJaunt1 karma

Good to know. I have considered Amazon to be a viable venue, just wasn't sure what going through them might entail. Thatnks for the advice.

Your poi t about the bestseller list is a good one. I will keep that in mind.

Have you had any issues with Amazon's system, found it to be difficult or easy to work with?

Darkrose_Morgan1 karma

lol - i actually had a major crisis with amazon actually. but i truly think that it was an anomaly. there was a clerical/process issue that froze our account a day before we launched. We got it all sorted out, but it was a nightmare at the time. My advice? make sure everything is fully set up and tested at least a full week (as opposed to a day) before you launch.

since that one issue, Amazon has been easy as pie though!

UbiJohkr3 karma

What advice do you guys have for an aspiring (graphic) novelist?

Darkrose_Morgan2 karma

unijohkr, Morgan here (Panelist) - first off, what are are you? Writer? Artist? Creator? Something else?

what i say to everyone is find people who share your vision, who genuinely love your story and want to be a part of it. Unless you can write (well) paint (well), market (well), sell (well), etc - you mustn't be afraid to join forces and share the ownership of the IP (Intellectual Property). two brains are better than one. three are better than two. but at the same time you don't want tooooo many creatives in kitchen.

Get stuff out of your head and onto paper (or something you can actually show someone). The more you have to show, the more people will want to get involved. telling someone your idea is not going to get you anywhere. SHOW DON'T TELL!!!! :)

RAAIINN3 karma

I'm a somewhat unknown artist (only a few thousand followers, but had some stuff go viral, etc) and have self-published a few comics. I've only sold a few hundred copies over the course of the last year or so. So my question is, how long do you give a book to pick up steam, or would you already call it quits and try a different direction?

Darkrose_Morgan2 karma

why would you ever call it quits? forever chase your dreams, just always be exploring new ways to get your stuff out there. don't be afraid to try new things. stay passionate, and stay persistent. i've found that people respond well to both of those traits. (although there is a fine line between persistence and being straight up annoying. I play hopscotch with that line regularly). :)

stayonthecloud2 karma

How well established was your online presence before you self-published successfully? Did any of you publish without already having a presence/audience online and then build your audience?

Darkrose_Morgan2 karma

Morgan here (Panelist) - i put the first issue (first 24 pages of my graphic novel) out for free on facebook, and other social medias about one full year before i ever launched my title on amazon.

people like free stuff, and i've found nobody will buy something from an unknown writer/creator without either having some great reviews on your title out there, or readers already being into the story.

get people hooked on the free stuff you put out there, and if they like what they read, they'll pay for more! ;)

grillpower2 karma

Why do seals swim in salt water?

Darkrose_Morgan2 karma

i dunno why?

grillpower1 karma

because pepper water makes them sneeze!

Darkrose_Morgan1 karma

What did one ocean say to the other ocean?

grillpower1 karma


Darkrose_Morgan2 karma

nothing. they both just waved.

grillpower1 karma


Darkrose_Morgan1 karma


NicolasCageHairClub2 karma


Darkrose_Morgan2 karma

Morgan (Panelist) here.

I think that sounds like an excellent plan! I think Matt Kadish would be proud! Matt?

btw, NickCageHairclub is the best name ever!!!

viveknarayan962 karma

Why did you choose comic con for this gig...? And what does self publishing mean?? Thanks

Darkrose_Morgan1 karma

Morgan here (Panelist) - first off NYCC ain't cheap. it's one of the most expensive cons i've seen. but at the same time, it's the single best exposure you can get (in the physical sense). I'm an extremely outgoing person though, so anyone who even walked by my booth, id be like "Hey YOU! Wanna hear about a brand new awesome franchise that's like GI JOE meets the DARK KNIGHT?!!" - most people actually were like "um, yeah" and then i walked them through my "pitch".

But i fully understand that I am more outgoing (and hyperactive lol) than most.

based on my personality, i think conventions are the single best way to get new fans, and get people telling their friends about you/your title. But that's just me. And doing cons, as i mentioned, ain't cheap.

child___2 karma

Hey guys! What is up?

Darkrose_Morgan1 karma

What's up!!! :)

kirbed1 karma

How large should a 'script' be? Are we talking a chapter, or are we talking the whole story encapsulated? If I were to draw and write a graphic novel (I am) and have a couple chapters written (I do) does that constitute a script? Or will I have to complete the story in its entirety before being able to show anybody anything?

AdamMcGovern20141 karma

Adam of Panel here -- Have the couple of chapters written and drawn, and know where you’re going with the rest, and have all characters and basic plot sketched out (in text and image); that will be enough to show a publisher where you’re going with it (since GNs are something that people still commission and contract for, so you don't necessarily have to come to them with the whole thing.) Some of what you do will depend on what kind of publisher; the big names, like First Second, function like old-school book-publishers 'cuz they’re part of them (First Second is part of Macmillan), that is, they take an editorial hand so you don’t necessarily have to have it all finished...though they do look at complete work too.

kirbed1 karma

Okay, thank you for the response!

Darkrose_Morgan1 karma

Adam is dead on. Have at least a full chapter/issue to show. it should end leaving your audience wanting more. i started with a single issue comic, and then used that for my kickstarter. but I had always made it clear that I had written out a full series that went far beyond the single issue. again, this shows my audience (And potential investors - whether that be Kickstarter or actual investors) that I have a PLAN.

People like to see and KNOW that you can EXECUTE your vision. plenty of people say they can do it, but not everyone actually can. If you are able to SHOW them a finished issue 1 - literally be like "here it is!" and they can hold it in their hands and flip through it - they'll gain faith in you, and be more inclined to give you their money. seriously though.

in regards to KS and the internet in general, you obviously can't print it to show them, so you'll need to simply show them the digital pdf of the book, and maybe some actual photos of you holding the physical copy and flipping through the pages.

and i always say that you should share the process with your facebook friends. post regularly what you've been working on (like anytime you finish a great page). you'd be surprised how many friends and family members will have been secretly "following" you even if they don't actually "like/comment/share" your posts.

kirbed1 karma

Thank you for the reply! I appreciate the knowledge :)

Darkrose_Morgan1 karma

yep yep :)

berthejew1 karma

Thank you so very much for this AMA. I'm getting ready to start the process of finding the right way to publish my 900+ page novel. What suggestions do you have for me in regards to its length? Should I break it up into two books? That could be easily done, but since I do not have a literary agent and plan on releasing to Amazon only, I'm considering the break. I read all of your replies. I am definitely saving this thread and tagging you guys. Thank you!

Darkrose_Morgan2 karma

In addition to my graphic novel series TRDWTR (Treadwater), i've also written a traditional novel trilogy: Gemstone Knights (but i haven't released them yet). unlike your book, the longest book in my trilogy is only 300 pages.

I was talking with matt (Kadish) about this very thing - length of our books. Matt's book is around 600+ pages, whereas mine is on the smaller side. one would think that the more content (pages) one gets for their purchase would be a plus right? but the shear size of a book (especially for a newcomer) can actually scare some people.

On a personal notes, i'd be a little intimidated by a large book from an unknown author, bc it's visually a huge investment (of time). But the catch 22 is that if i love the book, i would be like "this was way too short wtf?!" if it was under 300 pages. lol

Matt made a good point to me about ebooks. far less visually intimidating bc you can't see the thickness!

berthejew1 karma

Great point! I could split it to four hundred and five hundred, perhaps a bit less to wade through initially, but increase my reader interest for upcoming novels. Thank you for the reply! I'm going to check out your series right now!

Darkrose_Morgan2 karma

berthejew, one very important thing (and you prolly already know this, so i apologize if this is stating the obvious), but make sure you split your book at the perfect spot. this sometimes requires a little bit of rewriting as well. you want to make sure that your audience feels like the end to the book is actually an ending, but at the same time, they know there is more to come, and im a huge fan of adding in a "kicker" - some little thing at the end that is sort of after the real ending. kind of like what they do at the end of the credits in all Marvel movies. I love that shit! :)

regarding checking out my series. thanks! that means a lot! i have two franchises/IPs: Sci Fi: TRDWTR (Treadwater) <-- a Graphic Novel series that has since evolved into so much more. if you go to the website you'll see what i mean. ;) trdwtr.com

and GK (Gemstone Knights) is my fantasy franchise. a traditional novel trilogy. Despite having two (of the three) books ready for market, I haven't released it to the public yet. why? bc i have a PLAN! :)

i'm hoping to ride the success of TRDWTR so that when i finally decide to launch GK, it will be a big deal, and hopefully fans will have been itching to get their hands on the next franchise/IP from Darkrose Studios. lol

And let me just point out that I am NOT a patient person! I want to show the world GK now, but alas :( friggin plans

I am a big fan of visual story telling, and so for GK i actually decided to have a motion comic made of the prologue and put it out on the website for free. you can find it on gemstoneknight.com now actually -- so to clarify, rather than putting the written prologue in the book, the only way to read (actually you watch it) the prologue is to go to our website.

note that there are two videos on the site. the first one is a video pop up that serves as the 30 sec book teaser trailer. And then there is the 6 min animated book prologue on the "Story"/home page. It's def a different approach, but i'm all about standing out!

anyway, i don't mean to ramble on about my projects. I'm just really passionate about them. This AMA is about you guys! :D

berthejew1 karma

Your projects help put mine into focus, so everything is appreciated, rambling or not! I want to add the prologue for the second book at the end of the first- one of the dramatic opening scenes movies like to do, a shocker of sorts. I just may send you my work, if you feel like reading and giving info in your spare time, it would be greatly appreciated. I too, am thinking about writing another book to end my series and don't want to publish until then. I'll go watch your prologue now!

Darkrose_Morgan2 karma

Great idea about putting the prologue of book two at the end of book 1! That's actually what I did in regards to the end of book 2 of GK - we put the beginning scene of book 3 into the end of book 2.

I genuinely would like to read your work. My only concern is time. I'm legit strapped for time these days, and I would hate to be one of those guys that says they'll help, and then they forget or jsut never get around to it.

That being said, send me an excerpt - no more than 10 pages from your book. any part of the book. i can commit to that, and let you know my thoughts, if you like.

you can email me at [email protected] -- if you put "Candlelight" in the subject followed by your real subject, I'll make sure i read it. That is a little code word I use. ;)

trickwolf1 karma

Hi and thanks for the ama. I am currently working on a sci fi action novel that I plan to self publish. One of the debates i have is how to price the book. I've considered putting it out for free to see how it's reader reviews are and build steam. I see new authors usually priced between 1 and 5 bucks. Any advice on first time pricing?

Darkrose_Morgan1 karma

Matt Kadish says $.99 is a good price for ebook i believe. I'm about to take his advice and list mine at that price (for a limited time only though)!

Matt Correct me if i'm wrong?

raydude1 karma

Where can I find reputable editors to edit my wonderful told but poorly written stories?

Everything I've checked into online was more or less a scam and I can't convince my literary relatives to edit anything for me (even if I offer to pay).

Darkrose_Morgan1 karma

btw raydude, I was in the exact same boat as you. wonderful story, not the best writer. elance elance elance. it's where i met my cowriter Don Macnab-Stark. He's amazing. just not cheap. :/ If you like i can provide an introduction?

raydude1 karma

Thanks and thanks for the offer, but I don't have anything worthy at the moment.

Darkrose_Morgan1 karma

no problemo. just trying to share good talent! :)

Darkrose_Morgan1 karma

ELANCE.COM!!!!!!! It's where I found my cowriter, proofreader, web developer, Social Media Manager, pretty much my whole team lol

raydude1 karma

Thanks. I'll check it out.

Darkrose_Morgan1 karma

if i were to list 3 things that really helped me get my product to where it was presentation/retail ready they would be:

  1. elance.com (you can find editors, cowriters, social media managers to grow your following here)
  2. 99designs.com (you can find some great cover artists, logo artists, promo artists, and even comic artists - although i went elsewhere for my actual comic artists - here)
  3. endeavorprinting.com (great quality and affordable graphic novel/comic printers). You'd be surprised at how difficult it is to find a great printer!

once i found the above, i saved tons of time and money!

raydude1 karma

Thanks. I found cover artists in the past on deviantart.com. It went okay.

Darkrose_Morgan1 karma

trust me on this. 99designs.com is the way to go!!!! you will literally have 99-ish different designers competing against one another to win your contents and paint your cover (or whatever it is you need designed).

It works like this:

  1. you create a brief - description of your book, describe what you want in the cover, attache a visual references of other covers you like, etc.
  2. set the contest prize amount (how much you are offering to the winner - note that you don't have to guarantee your prize if you don't select a winner - but i can almost guarantee that you will find a design you like)
  3. a ton of designers then start submitting designs, and there is a fun back and forth process where you work with all of your favorite ones simultaneously, until you narrow it down to your finalists.
  4. once you have the design you like, you award them the prize, and then you get your design!

I have met my lead designer through 99 designs! and for the record i still use 99 designs again and again even with having a strong in house graphic design team. why? bc i love variety and that's what you'll get with the 99designs.com -- i should be their spokesperson! lol

Roobomatic1 karma

Hi Guys and Gals, I've been looking into self-publishing a coffee table book of photographs. I have the layout set up and everything ready to go, but it seems like everytime I research the next step online I end up on sites that want to facilitate the sale of my book, but I just want a box of 100 books to shlep around town on my own. What resources or printing companies would you recommend I investigate?

Darkrose_Morgan1 karma

for 100 books, you def need a "print on demand" as oposed to offset printing".

My two favorite on demand printers are: Endeavor printing (endeavorprinting.com) and Greko Printing (Grekoprinting.com). I use Endeavor for all of my proofs (bc their quality is the best i've seen for POD (Print on demand), and grecko is the best for poster prints and flyers, etc.

i recently found this one on Facebook, and I think it might be a great fit for what your looking for: http://www.artisanstate.com/ but i've never used them. never order mass quantities of anything without getting one proof first! ever!!!!

Roobomatic1 karma

Thank you so much. I will definitely look into these companies. This is very helpful. BTW you are the first AMAer to actually A my Q. So thanks for that too!

Darkrose_Morgan2 karma

Roobomatic, im genuinely happy to help. i wish someone offered to help me like this when i started. Just know that you can do this. it's scary at first (it's still scary even for me!), but you have to trust your gut, and not be afraid to fail. And you need to not be afraid to try new approaches, if previous ones aren't working for you. remember to find ways to stand out!

delirium_was_delight1 karma

Ugh, I keep coming late to these things! First I miss Garth Nix and now this! I'm still going to ask in the desperate hope that you might see it and feel compelled to respond. I'm a self-published author myself, all through KDP and I was wondering if you have any tips/insight into getting more notice on the self-pub platform? Do you go the usual social media methods, did you have contacts that helped you spread the word, were you so awesome that your readers did it for you? Thanks so much!

Darkrose_Morgan1 karma

Morgan here (Panelist) - find brand ambassadors. any and every fan that buys your book, try and seek them out (seriously) via social media or something, and send them (a non creepy) thank you. Be genuine. ask them for their feedback (and don't snap at them if you don't like their feedback). I've found that people really appreciate this personal touch. people spent money on your book right? and time? then think how much they'll appreciate the author reaching out to them to get their feedback.

If they liked your book, and then they actually speak to the author, they'll become your biggest fan bc you reached out to them. once they feel personally connected to you (which is the best feeling as a writer btw), you can tell them how important it is to you that they help get the word out there and tell their friends and everyone they know, about your book!

This has helped me more than you know. Find your brand ambassadors! :)

delirium_was_delight1 karma

Will do, thank you! Do you have any luck visiting writer conferences or are there any public gatherings of that sort where you can essentially advertise your book that you know of? I'm outside of San Francisco so I would think there would be plenty of events available, but it's such a big city that it's almost overwhelming.

AdamMcGovern20141 karma

Copy what Morgan said about ambassadorship -- referrals (especially on Twitter) are what we've lived or died on (and lived again; it's a monster book :-)). As to conferences, that would depend on your genre(s) -- niche-ing helps wade through the overwhelm.

delirium_was_delight1 karma

What do you mean by "niche-ing"? Should I know this? I feel like I should know this...Also, I feel like I'm keeping you in this AMA longer, so feel free to just say, "Jesus, enough questions already!" Thanks so much for your responses so far - it always helps to talk to someone else, this self-pubbing business can be a bit lonesome.

AdamMcGovern20141 karma

Jesus wants us to continue 'til all questions are resolved :-). "Niche-ing" was one of my many arbitrary coinages; I just mean that many specific genres have passionate, defined followings, so that can help you narrow down what kinds of gatherings to attend, groups to join, etc. There was a Twilight convention five minutes from my house in suburban Jersey, and there's an annual steampunk festival under an hour from my house in NYC; neither of those two populations might have any interest in each other's event, so if your book was either steampunk or emo-vampire, you could sit out one. Though there is some chic blurring of lines too; depending on the subject of your book, the very fact that it doesn’t "fit" could be the attraction to a different audience. I know this phenomenon from comics, since all the prizewinning novelists I know, and strangely I know several, I met (even stranger-ly) because they were comic fans and read the comic-related pubs I wrote for. So you can narrow down what crowds to become part of by either pursuing specialized affinities, or seeking out unexpected but refreshing crossovers.

delirium_was_delight1 karma

Well, my fantasy series is about elves and there's a Renaissance Fair nearby this weekend, so...maybe? :) But I get what you're saying. I also thought about joining some book clubs and slowly establishing myself that way. Not go all, "HEY, I WROTE A BOOK TOO!" but after I've been there awhile, observed their patterns and then, you know, strike! Thanks again for all your advice. And now I'm going to go check out your work!!

AdamMcGovern20141 karma

Thanks! And I think the Renaissance Fair is a good idea -- long before record stores ceased to exist, the Putumayo world-music label stuck all its little CD standees at the cash-register in health-food and wiccan-supply and natural-clothing stores, because they sensed an intersection of interests, and because placing things in people’s paths in an unexpected but intriguing way that makes new connections is smart, outside-the-lines marketing. The Chiller Theater con also happens feet from my house, and I would have tabled if tables weren’t so costly...but that was when I had one issue out; when our trade comes out next year I may well do it -- 'cuz there won’t be a lot of other comics at a horror-movie fest, which will give me a proportionally small pond to get noticed in, with a predisposed audience.

Darkrose_Morgan1 karma

delirium, Anything having to do with a collection of people gathering to celebrate the genre of fantasy (or whatever the respective genre of your work is) is a good use of your time. i mean you should look at every single person who makes it clear they like your genre as a potential new fan of your stuff.

i've literally stopped people on the subway in NYC who wear superhero t-shirts and i'll say stuff like "awesome shirt! you a big captain america fan?... oh yeah? me too!... if you like CA, this is def worth checking out..." and then i hand them my card and point to the website.

*if you don't have a website, that's ok, then you should probably just say something like, "have you heard of this book (state name of your title)? ...OMG it's awesome. it's like (tell them the comparisons i.e.) Game of thrones meets hunger games! awesome characters, great world building!" they'll see your excitement and then get excited too. then you just hand them a card of where they can get the book, and even if they ask who wrote it, and you say you - they'll be way more receptive than if you led with "hey i wrote this book check it out". I've found that this little technique works pretty well.

bc i don't make it about me, they seem more receptive. also, they usually follow up with the questions and want to hear more.

delirium_was_delight1 karma

I never really thought about having a table at a conference. I think I'll check that out - with the whole series done now, I could probably have a pretty good spread. Thanks!!!

Darkrose_Morgan1 karma

yeah def. personally, I can think of no better way to get new fans than at a convention. But you must learn to be outgoing if you're not naturally, otherwise you're wasting your money at that convention. A simple "Hey you! wanna see something awesome?!" actually will get passerby's to stop at your booth/table and have a look - it works for me like 80% of the time anyhoo. :)

Darkrose_Morgan1 karma

I'm just getting into the whole conference thing now. lol. Thus far I've actually only done two conventions (NYSE and NYCC). but in regards to being overwhelmed. People think that bc i'm so outgoing, i never get overwhelmed. that is not true. there were so many times that i felt overwhelmed and just wanted to say "fuck this, it's too scary and too hard" but i collected myself and said instead "No. Fuck you. (you, meaning the overwhelming odds)" and i just pushed forward and refused to stop trying.

You should view Conventions and Conferences as Networking events. i think that any convention/conference you go to, you need to take advantage of it. meaning, muster up the strength and courage and go up to people and just start talking to them. not "Hey, I'm a writer here's my book" bc that will just put people on the defense (bc it's such a hard sell). instead try and have a normal conversation about something that is not something you want from them i.e. "do you watch Game of Thrones?/ Did you see the SF Giants game last night?" they will be much more inclined to talk to you this way, and then the subject of "what do you do" will come up far more organically.

my background was in sales and marketing btw, not anything to do with creative. i attribute that to my extreme ADHD. :)

hope this is helpful!

delirium_was_delight1 karma

Very much! Thank you so much for the advice.

Darkrose_Morgan1 karma

no problemo (Awnold voice)

fahzbehn1 karma

I've done some comic scripting for different websites in the past, but never for myself. How do you recommend finding artists?

AdamMcGovern20142 karma

Adam from the panel here: Morgan has some passionate recommends for elance above; I always found that when I sought out collaborators like that it didn’t work out, but when I’d built a relationship with them beforehand -- reviewing their work, knowing them through friends, etc. -- it did. So you can either hit sites that are all about putting creative teams together, or meet people through other forums for common interest -- FB groups, cons, etc. -- and then your suitability to also work together may emerge.

AdamMcGovern20141 karma

Going into my box of native soil for the night...good questions and observations everyone...

Darkrose_Morgan1 karma

"box of native soil"! Adam, i'm totally stealing that! lol lol