Christian Comic Arts Society

A Network of Christian Fellowship for Comics Fans, Pros, and Amateurs

A question has been brooding in my mind for a few weeks now and once again I am bringing my quandry to this fellowship for some guidance. My work demands have drastically changed and it has been over a week since I've been able to touch my book. With my new responsibilities, I'm fairly certain I'm not going to reach my self imposed December deadline. During this time, I've begun contemplating a different approach for the book as well. SO here it is:

 

Factoring in primarily cost plus available time, I'm considering dividing the book into 3-4 parts, much like a mini-series. I could release the first book in December without a doubt and then follow with the subsequent books over the next few months. In one way, it's an interesting concept. The first book would come out close to Christmas, the obvious connection with the birth of Christ. The final book would be released in April, coinciding with Easter and the Resurection. I would possibly follow up directly with a release of the entire volume as well. This isn't so much a marketing concept as just a realistic time frame, but there is the potential benefit of the holidays pitched in. On paper it sounds like a plan.

 

My concern - and this is where I'd appreciate the input- is that by breaking up the book into 3-4 parts, do any of you think I run the risk of losing readership? It will be more costly from a POD standpoint if I wait to print the entire thing at once and that presents the possibility of less sales. Less sales equals less units, equals less people getting the message which of course is the ultimate goal. But is the mini-series approach a turnoff? Maybe I'm reading too much into this...?

 

Thanks for any guidance, advice or thoughts....

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Personally, I think a one-shot is the way to go. You can always alter your deadline so that the book is not rushed. Stapled comic books are not a good thing to invest in these days. A graphic novel has an indefinite shelf life and is not as easily damaged as "pamphlets" (regular, saddlestitched comic books).

Christian bookstores don't like the (low) price point of regular comic books, so it would have to be a graphic novel (published in large numbers) if you want to crack that market.
I agree. However the book would still be about 80+ pages per book and I was planning on keeping it squarebound which I've been assured I can do (through Ka-Blam). I still think you make a vaild point.
i think keeping them at 80 pages would be a good idea- and then you can compile them to a 240 pager. the goal with a series is that you pick up readers- as the 2nd vol. sells, the first goes into another printing, etc.
Woah. 3 80 page books - those are GN's in and of themselves.

Ok, a counterpoint to the floppies are dying: Yes and no. The thing that kills a book and loses readership almost immediately is: MISSING A DEADLINE. A small audience might/can support you if their expectation is your book will come out on a regular basis - or when you say it will. There is a tacit implied agreement between creator/publisher and the audience that if you release a book and then tell them a schedule and you stick to that schedule you will build an audience - especially if it's over a long period of time. (Google Dave Sim and producing comics).

If you provide something your audience wants - and you cater somewhat to their expectations, AND MEET YOUR DEADLINES, they will over time support you because, like a letter in the mail, getting the next thing from a creator you appreciate is fantastic.

Now - are the "floppies" dying? Yup. Well, especially if you're trying to break in as an independent. Determine your reasons for doing paper vs. digital vs. floppie vs. GN, and who you expect to reach. I think you're on the right track with using Ka-Blam. On demand as needed.


Timelines:
Well - if your comic seems to be working out to the timelines you mention, and it seems spiritually adept, I don't think it's an issue making your comic come out that way. In this instance, 80 pages a book is quite a chunk to read in an individual sitting - so, I personally, wouldn't be bothered picking this up in 3 installments. Just make sure you meet your self-proclaimed deadlines (when announced).

Do keep in mind: When Christmas season hits in North America everything business wise goes kind of buggy - Make sure you get your stuff to the printer at least a minimum of 2 weeks before you want it in your hands.

From the 17th to the 24th you can pretty much expect nothing much to happen. And then from the 25th to the 31st... pretty much the same. (Essentially the last two weeks of the month - you're pooched.)

And as Alec said, if you're feeling rushed, don't feel forced into producing the book on some arbitrary deadline that will then create a less than stellar project. Re-assess, and adjust accordingly as needed.

All the best in your production process.

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