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How to start a comic book business

Updated March 23, 2017

Do you love comic books? With a passion for comics, some cash and sweat equity, you can start a comic book business. Whether you are interested in publishing comics, opening a retail shop or trying your hand at creating a series of your own, there are a few basic guidelines that can help a comics business stay afloat.

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Determine whether you prefer to publish comic books or operate a retail comic book speciality store. Some retailers operate from a physical store, while others run an online or mail order operation. Some retailers do both. There is one main distributor of comic books, Diamond Comic Distributors. Publishers sell wholesale to Diamond, while retailers buy wholesale from Diamond.

Talk to existing retailers about their businesses. Many people in comics-related businesses have a passion for their work and knowledge to share about how the market operates. Scout locations in appropriate neighbourhoods--such as in a university retail district. Determine which genres of comic books and graphic novels will sell well to your target audience.

Talk to comic book publishers. They are a font of knowledge. If you are interested in pursuing publishing, decide your market niche and the type of comic books you would like to publish. You may need to contact writers and artists to create your books, or you may create them yourself. Check with several printers to get the best combination of price and quality.

Develop your marketing plan to bring your store or books to the attention of the comic book buying public. There are many websites and blogs devoted to comic books, and a well-crafted press release will be run on many sites. Check the website Comics Reporter (see Resources) for links to dozens of comic book sites. Develop your own blog, website and mailing lists to keep your customers informed.

Attend comic conventions to promote your business and network with others in the comic book industry. Refine your business plan and your marketing techniques to keep your target audience interested and growing.

Tip

There are many genres of comic books, from superhero to kids' funny animal comics to alternative hipster comics. Research which type of comics will work best for you.

Warning

It is difficult to turn a profit in the comic book publishing business. Be prepared to publish for a year or two before making a profit.

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Things You'll Need

  • Market research
  • Capital
  • Business plan

About the Author

Nina Makofsky has been a professional writer for more than 20 years. She specializes in art, pop culture, education, travel and theater. She currently serves as a Mexican correspondent for "Aishti Magazine," covering everything from folk art to urban trends. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mills College.

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