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What is the Structure of Independent Comic Book Publishing?

Added on by Gamal Hennessy.

When I started writing my business and legal guide for independent comic book publishing, I struggled with the best way to present the information.  Quite a few books have been written about the business, but most of them covered one aspect of the industry, or focused on one aspect and then briefly mentioned the other parts of the process. Since my goal was walking the creator from their initial comic idea to a lifelong career in comics, I decided I needed a different approach.

The structure I came up with is largely borrowed from the production and distribution of the most complex and expensive narrative art forms, namely film, television and video games. The overall structure has three stages, each stage has several elements within it, and several of the elements can happen at the same time. The structure has several moving parts, but each one is set up to maximize the commercial potential of your comic.

A.            Pre-Production: Where you put together all the resources and plans for your book before you start making it

1.    The Foundation: Understanding your overall goal for making comics

2.    Intellectual Property Management: Turning your ideas into legal assets

3.    Investment: Finding the funds to pay for your book before it is created

4.    Business Management: Securing legal and financial protection for your book

5.    Talent Management: Finding the best team possible for your book

6.    Marketing: Finding the right readers for your book

7.    Distribution: Finding the best way to get your book to your readers

B.           Production: Making your comic based on the steps you took in pre-production

C.           Post Production: Using your book to sustain your business

1.    Advertising: Informing your readers about your book

2.    Sales: Generating revenue from your intellectual property

3.    Revenue: Collecting the money for your book

4.    Growth: Deciding how to use your book to create a life in comics

You might look at this structure and think “there isn’t much in here about actually making comics”. That’s true. People who are far more creative and talented than me have published amazing books on the creative process of comics. This book is meant to fill in the gaps.

So are there any gaps that I missed? Each one of the elements above is broken down into greater detail in the manuscript, but if there’s something specific you’d like to see in the final book, please let me know.

Have fun.

Gamal                        

 PLEASE NOTE: THIS BLOG POST IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE. IF YOU HAVE AN ISSUE WITH YOUR COMIC PROPERTY, DISCUSS IT WITH YOUR LEGAL ADVISOR OR CONTACT C3 AT gamalhennessy@gmail.com FOR A FREE CONSULTATION.