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I think the nature of creators selling their creations is changing. We are seeing the beginning of a time where the middle man is going away. We have seen some of this already with things like Kickstarter. Going to the buyer and selling the idea to the potential buyer and if they are willing to prepay for the item, the creator can make it. Then give it to the investor. No publisher. No dealing with a middle man.
But I think we can go deeper. I think the deep secret of this is choice.
Choice 1: Something different.
If we want, say, Batman we go to DC and buy a Batman comic. We know where we can find that. We also know what type of materiel we can expect from the publisher. But what if you want a comic where the hero is schizophrenic, and has the ability to bring to live the voices he hears in his head and once real the creature goes on a rampage? So he must become a hero simply to protect the world from himself? Nowhere. It seems too far out, too strange of an idea for most publishers. But odds are you reading this thought, that is a pretty cool idea! I would read that. That is where eliminating the middle man is needed. With the new model you don't need a publisher's approval. You can tell your story, your way. Provide something different to the market.
Choice 2: Pay your way.
Something I think we as the new creator can really use to our benefit is allowing the public to buy your creation in the way they want. Doing a comic strip? Sell each strip for a few cents. That way people can chose to buy or skip. Also offer subscription services that allow them to get each strip as well as some behind the scenes things. Sell collections in pdf form. Kickstart a printed collection. That way you give the customer many different ways to buy your product. Even give away free ones and accept donations.
Choice 3: Big and small.
The truth is in today's world there is a want for the big and small companies. A guy selling his webcomic will never topple Marvel. And you should not want to. Don't look at it like you are competing against the giants in your field. You are offering a choice, not a replacement. Celebrate the giants because they make fans of the field. But also be your own thing and be different.
I think with this and the ideas I am working on I can make a go at creating my own brand and IP. And I know you can too. Don't worry about what you DON'T have but make the most out of what you do have. Choice.
I am a freelance artist specializing in concept art and illustration.|
You may reach me at email@example.com
Current Residence: North Carolina
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