Friday, May 19, 2017

Tabling at Your First FCBD

Read the comic online now!

This was my second Free Comic Book Day as a tabling artist, you can read about my first experience with FBCD here.

What is Free Comic Book Day:

For Retailers:

On Free Comic Book Day, participating comic book store retailers give away specially printed copies of free comic books, and some offer special deals and creator signings to those visiting their establishments.[9] However, retailers do not receive the issues for free; they pay 12–50 cents per copy for the comics they give away during the event.[10][11] In addition to comic books, some stores also give away other merchandise, such as mini posters and other movie tie-in memorabilia.[

For Artists:

Free Comic Book Day is an opportunity to table at your local comic shop, and sell comics, commissions, and originals.  Many comic shops offer this space free of charge, so this is a great opportunity for your first table experience.  Most Free Comic Book Day events tend to be low key with an initial rush early in the day that peters off.

This is primarily aimed at local comic creators, but your local shop may also be interested in your work if you have novels, children's books, a video game to demo, board games, or other geeky media for sale.

My Setup:

For a recap of Free Comic Book Day 2017, and a look at what I had for sale, check out this video:

My local store:

This year, my local comic shop, Rick's Comic City, rented out the large empty storefront next door for FBCD.  This seemed like a great change- there is plenty of room to grow, and I know there are many Nashville-area artists who are interested in tabling at local events.

The people in the back are digging through the stacks- 50cent issues of old Marvel, DC, Vertigo titles.

Tabling at Free Comic Book Day

Ok, so you've decided you want to give Free Comic Book Day a shot.  Here's what you'll need to do:

Before the show:
  • Check the Free Comic Book Day site to see if stores in your area are participating
  • Call or email your local store to request a table approx 2 weeks ahead of time
  • Decide what you want to bring and what you'll need to prepare
  • Promote your appearance on your favorite social networks- Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, even YouTube- make sure you tag Free Comic Book Day, FBCD, and your city to help people find you!
Check out this post on my top asked questions about tabling at conventions for a primer on what you'll need to get started.

At the show:
  • Show up on time
  • Be prepared to engage the crowd
  • Design an engaging setup.  You can check out How to be a Con Artist for advice!
Keep in mind:

  • Your venue may not have bathroom facilities- we had to leave the premises and drive over to a McDonald's to use the bathroom.
  • Your venue may have terrible lighting- if this is something you're sensitive to, make sure to take frequent breaks to rest your eyes.
  • There's a huge rush initially to grab the best 'free' comics, this tapers off as the day goes on if the shop doesn't have events planned to keep people around.
  • If FCBD is new to your area, people may not realize artists are selling their wares there, and may not bring money.
  • Retailers have to pay for their Free Comic Book Day samples, so try to purchase something from the store, and make sure you thank the owner for hosting.

Things that sell well at Free Comic Book Day:

  • Perfect bound, professionally printed comics
  • Mini comics
  • Small things for kids- charms, stickers, mini prints
  • Original art
If you're a comic artist, and you can't participate at a physical store location, there are still ways you can celebrate Free Comic Book Day

  • Use Free Comic Book Day to promote your webcomic on Twitter and Instagram!  Make sure you use the hashtag #freecomicbookday and #fcbd when plugging your comic- and don't forget to include a link and a visual
  • Consider putting your mini comics up on Gumroad or for Pay What You Want.  You can then promote this using the #FreeComicBookDay and #fcbd tags.

More about Free Comic Book Day

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Running a Patreon (Artist Edition)

Lately I've been getting a string of artists asking me how to run a Patreon.  While I'm not sure why they picked me (my numbers are under $100 a month- I am not what you'd call a shining success on Patreon), I'll do my best to answer honestly, in hopes that it can help some of you.

The number one question I'm asked, and usually the ONLY question I'm asked is:

How do you do it?

Just. Do. It.

Just do the thing.

I launched my Patreon after YEARS of trying to court sponsorships with online shops that had a similar niche interest, and years of getting belittled and shot down.  Given my blog audience at the time (zombies), I figured the Patreon would crash and burn as well- I even asked my partner, Joseph, to pitch in $15 a month just so I could release the ArtSnacks Vs SketchBox videos and not appear a failure.  Fortunately, a couple friends helped me hit that mark quickly (thank you so much, Candace!), and I never had to actually recruit my boyfriend as a backer, but I really launched my Patreon on a whim and a prayer.

If you're interested in the history of my Patreon, and more behind the scenes info, check out this vlog:

So brainstorming off that, I've come up with some other relevant questions that should help you get started on your Patreon:

Note:  Some things have changed drastically since March, when that video was recorded:
1. I have lost several Patrons, I'm at 23 Patrons, and $83 a month
2. My Youtube ad revenue has gone down significantly due to Youtube sitewide changes, so at most I now make $17 a month

So now would be a great time for you to consider financially supporting my content.  And if you plan on committing to creating a Patreon, please use my referral code!

What do I need to start?

An existing product that has value, that is worth supporting.  This can be a webcomic, a resource of some type, or even just a popular commission option.

It helps to also have a mission statement, an outline of how your work benefits others, and how the Patreon money is spent. 

An idea of the sort of tiers you want to offer (you can edit these to suit your audience at any time)

Do your research!  Check out Patreons by creators you respect, whose work is similar to yours- NOT just the popular Patreons.  There's a follow option that sends you notifications without charging you, so if you're interested in a Patreon, but don't yet have the funds, that's a great way to stay on top of things.

Why Launch a Patreon?

This is really up to you.  If you don't think you need to launch one- don't.  It's not an easy money tree, but it is a way for people who enjoy your content to help you make more of it, and to gain access to things you might not otherwise make available.

Examples of such exclusive content:
  • Monthly digital sketchbooks (I would release one, but we haven't hit $125 a month yet)
  • Backer only tutorials
  • Backer only process posts
  • Backer only Q&A sessions
  • Backer only bonus comics

When do I start to make lots of money?

When you're super popular, and your fanbase is willing to throw money at you for what you have to offer.  That doesn't mean you shouldn't launch, it just means don't expect to make big bucks in the first month- that's just not reaslistic.

All of the mega Patreons you see have been YEARS in the building.  That creator has spent years building an audience- on DeviantArt, on their webcomic, on their Youtube channel, on Twitter or Tumblr, and they have a longterm audience willing to back them.

You can be super popular, or at least, have the pageviews, and still not make a decent amount per project or per month.  That isn't an indication of your quality, just an indication of what your audience is willing to spend for your content.   You may have to find sneakier ways to monetize (ads) but even that's an uphill battle, as the majority of Western internet users feel all ads are evil, and adblockers should be used at all times.

Types of Patreon campaigns (for artists)


Per Project:  Backers are charged per project released.  This can be per Patreon post, per blog post, per video, per comic page, ect. 

Monthly:  Backers are charged a once monthly pledge amount. 

Types of Campaigns:
  • To fund an art education resource that is already free to readers- Nattosoup Studio Art and Process Blog
  • To fund a webcomic that is already free to readers- Questionable Content
  • To fund web resources that are already free for use- Shooting-Stars
  • To fund web assets that benefit other artists, that is free to consume- Paper Cat Press
  • To sell commissions- Kelly Leigh Miller
  • To sell fanart- Sakimichan (note: Sakimichan is the outlier for most Patreons- do not expect this result)
  • To sell art tips behind a paywall
  • To sell comic pages behind a paywall (generally used by creators of adult only content, furry artists)

Types of rewards:

  • The good feels- the knowledge that your pledge enables an artist to continue to offer their work free of charge
  • The good feels- the knowledge that your pledge keeps a roof over someone's head, and cat food in some cat's mouth
  • Physical- post cards, mini prints, sketches, charms, commissions
  • Access to information- Backer only tutorials, backer exclusive content, early access content
  • Voting rights- backer rights to decide on the content the creator focuses on
  • Backer exclusive Livestreams
  • Backer exclusive Q&A's

What My (Nattosoup) Patreon is for:
To fund this blog, to fund the Youtube channel, to offset HTBACA time costs

So think of my Patreon like a PBS fundraising drive- my work is only made possible thanks to support of readers (and viewers) like you.

What My Patreon is NOT for:
To sell art
To put education behind a paywall
To sell comics
To sell charms and other small merch
To fund 7" Kara (I would launch a separate Patreon campaign for that)

These are all viable options for funding your work, but not the way I wanted to run my own Patreon campaign, as I felt they greatly detracted from the fact that I'm already providing something of great quality, free of charge.

How do you entice Patrons?

The answer will vary greatly based on what you have to offer.  I've noticed a couple things about my Patrons, which led me to shift my tiers to try and best serve them:

1. My Patrons are almost all artists or artsy minded
2. Many of my Patrons have webcomics

So I changed my $15 a month tier to a sponsorship tier, where I would promote their projects on the YouTube channel or the blog, to help get more eyes on their work.

How do you promote your Patreon:

Here on the blog
Sometimes on HTBACA (it's not always appropriate, so I don't mention it every ask, but it is on the about page)
In most YouTube videos as a verbal request
In most YouTube videos as an endcard
Linked on my Twitter
Linked on my Instagram

When I post my weekly link roundups (which are helpful, and well worth at least following my Patreon for), I cross post to Facebook, and remind them that this is made possible due to the generosity of my Patrons.

Why Won't Anyone Back My Patreon?  It's just a buck!

First off, take a moment to check out how many Patreons YOU back, and what sort.   Think about why you back those Patreons, and what you feel they have to offer vs what they actually offer.

People tend to be impulsive, visual creatures.  That's why the impulse items are at the checkout line- you're standing around, sorta bored, waiting to check out, getting hungry- and there are all the chocolate bars.  You have a long time to think about those chocolate bars in front of you- how good they'd taste, how hungry you are, how it's only a buck.  You are a captive audience.

Now think about the internet.  You aren't captive ANYWHERE.  Even loading screens on games are becoming a thing of the past- everything is immediate for you.  No one is forcing you to spend a moment to think about what you value, or what helps you achieve your goals.  No one is forcing you to think about repaying those artists who helped you, or tipping a couple bucks a month for a webcomic you enjoy.  And even if you did have to think about those things, going to Patreon is a separate step away from the product you're already consuming.  Once the chain is broken, its that much harder to get someone to commit, even if it's only a dollar.
People also assume that support is someone else's job- someone else is doing it.  Systems like Patreon really work best when everyone contributes a little bit- all those $1 and $2 add up when its done en masse.  Unfortunately ALL of those people assume its someone else's job to contribute- someone else has you covered.  Or they're busy.  Or they're broke.  Or they forget.  There's loads of reasons why someone might enjoy your work, but not be able to support it financially.

I believe that once Patreon has better in-site integration, we'll solve one half of this problem, but until then, you're really going to have to fight for those bucks.  It would also help if there were a unified system of tipping and payment apps that could all pull from the same source- once you make an account, you never have to add your info again. 

Other tips:

  • Be persistent in promotion- it takes people around 7 views to even click on a link, much less commit
  • Believe in yourself and your work- people will naysay it
  • Strive to produce work WORTH backing
  • Try to remain confident, or at least, appear confident online

If you're already providing a product for free, don't remove it's presence due to lack of Patreon support.  I know it's super tempting, but it also appears childish.  If you must, give your readers a chance- explain that this is a financial situation, and that you cannot afford to run it without support on their end.

Patreon isn't a get rich quick scheme, and literally every other artist online thinks they're ready to have a Patreon.  There is a LOT of competition, especially among webcomic and commission based Patreons.  Try to find something worthwhile that makes yours worth backing, and try to find an audience outside of the fished out barrel of webcomics.

The Verdict:

Keep in mind that while it may seem like my Patreon is a success, it's funding three art education endeavors that require the same amount of work as a full time job.  My Patreon funds this blog, my YouTube channel, and my efforts on How to be a Con Artist, which also includes convention outreach and sales lost due to answering convention questions.  How to be a Con Artist hit it's fourth birthday last week, this blog will hit its eighth birthday around September, and my YouTube channel will hit it's eighth birthday soon as well (and it's third birthday in November for frequent updates).  None of these endeavors have achieved the level of recognition or reward that I had hoped, and the Patreon is an attempt to recoup some of those losses.  Although you may not have heard of me or my work before, I am not new to the comics and art education scene, and my Patreon is by no means an overnight success.  I have only hit the number I've hit due to the generosity of my friends.

Ready to make that Patreon page?  Start with this helpful referral code!

Other Patreons to Check Out
Shooting-Stars (Photoshop brushes, digital resources)
Paper Cat Press (webcomic news, comic opportunities, artist interviews)
Alakotila (creator of Spider Silk webcomic)
Loom (sketchbook exclusives, tutorials)
Lean Into Art (art education, podcasts, comic educations)
Respheal (Galebound webcomic)
StArt Faire (webcomic magazine)
TriaElf9 (webcomics)
Dojo G webcomics)
Riko (City of Blank webcomic)
Kate Slinger (creator of West webcomic)
Keii4ii (creator of Heart of Keol webcomic)
Phenylketonurics (creator of  There's No Such Thing as Jason- I.T)
SareSai (creator of FireWire webcomic)
Neila (creator of Magic Remains)
The Diva Lea (various comics and webcomics)
Cosmic Fish (creator of the webcomic, Cosmic Fish)

Speaking of bucks, let me remind you that if you're reading this post, if you benefitted from the information shared here, you can show that appreciation by joining my artnerd community on Patreon.  Why yes, I have one too!  And yes, I surely would love your contribution, the same as you'd probably love mine.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Guest Post: Laurissa Hughes: Page Process for Tess and Jack

Hello! My name is Laurissa Hughes and I make a webcomic called Tess and Jack. It’s about a cowgirl named Tess and her robot partner Jack who live in a futuristic Old West. They take odd (very odd) jobs to keep themselves afloat. It’s a serial comic, so each issue can be read independently of the others and each covers a different job.

              This whole thing started as an experiment in 2014: I wanted to try and repaint a digital painting I’d done in 2011 and decided to do it in a comic because I enjoy narrative art, I wanted to see how well I could hold to an update schedule, I wanted to experiment with different techniques for making comics so I’d be ready to make a longer story that I’ve wanted to tell for a long time. Due to the experimental nature of the whole thing, the process I go through to create each page has changed in every issue.

Painting from 2011, and the frame from the comic in 2014.

Issue 1: Work for Hire

              I had literally no idea what I was doing when I started this, but I went for it anyway. I feel like there’s no “right” way to make comics and everyone should find their own techniques that make them comfortable. My process has changed several times throughout the issues because I’m still experimenting with the ways I most enjoy making comics and that get me the best end product!

             I start out my whole process with a rough outline (mostly in my head), and I draw the thumbnails. I do most of my detailed writing and solid dialogue while I thumbnail, seeing the flow of the page helps me think of how actions will play out in more detail. The thumbnails are also pretty scribbly because I’m trying to get ideas out quickly. I want to spend the majority of my time on the finished pages. My process for this part has stayed pretty much the same over the years, except now I thumbnail with page layouts in mind.

There’s some organization on the page, but I would just draw where I had space, sometimes on random sheets of extra paper lying about.

Still pretty scribbly and kind of messy, but things are laid out as if they were spreads in books. I also started to draw in a spiral notebook with lined paper because it’s cheaper!

              I then take the thumbnails and draw the final page at size. I draw at 7” x 10.5”, which is a pretty standard size for American comics. It’s usually a good idea to draw at 1.5 times or 2 times the size of the final page, because when they’re shrunk down for print, all of the lines look really sharp and nice. I’ve been drawing at size for all the issues, so I keep doing it for consistency throughout. If I’m drawing for a publication I usually draw and ink at 2 times the size.

              Whether or not I draw a really detailed vs. rough sketch depends on my mood or how much time I have to complete a page. Sometimes I’ll deviate pretty far from my sketch when I ink.

              In “Work for Hire”, I drew each page with a regular lead pencil and then erased it after inking and before scanning everything into Photoshop because I hate trying to remove pencil lines or blue pencil in Photoshop.

No pencil lines!

              To color Tess and Jack, I start with flat colors. I used to use Photoshop for the pages, but switched to Clip Studio in Issue Two. The flatting process has stayed pretty much the same in every issue, but became more streamlined after I got Clip Studio. More on that later.

              Flatting is a process where only the solid base color is laid down on the page. After this, all the fancy painting and effects are added on. I usually start out with flats when I do a full digital painting as well!

              For “Work for Hire”, after the flat stage, I would add two shading layers set to the “Multiply” blend mode. I would then take these two layers and “blend” them together where they met using the Pen Tool in Photoshop with the Opacity set to pen pressure. I never really liked the way this looked, and it always felt like a needlessly time-consuming process, but I kept it throughout the first issue for the sake of consistency.

The above image is an example of where I did experiment a little bit with coloring and shading at the end of “Work for Hire”. I did some different combinations of blend modes and shading on the waterfall which was fun, and gave me some ideas for the coloring in the next issue.

Issue 2: “Lost and Found”

              In the second issue of Tess and Jack, I really wanted to focus on making the colors really nice and lush, and experiment with that.

              Once again, I started with my scribbly thumbnails, and then moved on to the sketching stage. I got Clip Studio pretty early on in making the second issue, and I really like the program for making comics and other illustrations. It’s nice, because it has a lot of tools specific to making comics, so it makes parts of the process more streamlined. Also, drawing digitally in Clip Studio feels much closer to drawing traditionally for me than a lot of other programs I’ve found. So that’s exactly what I did for Issue 2; I drew everything digitally, and then printed it out to ink it traditionally.

              After I finished inking, I scanned everything in and removed the colored lines digitally. This was much easier that erasing all of the pencil after inking every page, plus there wasn’t as much risk of smearing the ink. I also like the look of the sketch under the ink, it’s fun to look back at and see where I’ve come from in terms of drawing improvement.

Here is the page with the blue lines still there.

In Clip Studio, I go to Edit → Tonal Correction → Binarization

This opens the Binarization menu. I go with the default settings that open up in the window as, you can see here, it does a good job of getting rid of the blue lines.

Then, in the Layer Properties window, I toggle the Expression Color to Monochrome. This makes the page channels black and white, which helps with the next step.

In the Layer Properties window, I toggle the Monochrome to just Black. It gets rid of the white background and makes it transparent.

I then create a new layer and combine them.

Here is the final combined layer.

              The reason I combine the layers to make the default layer is because it changes the Expression Color back to Color. If it were to remain Monochrome, then any color it interprets as white presents as transparent, and any color it interprets as black is black instead of the color selected.

The Fill Tool is filling in transparent instead of a color!

Now that the layers are combined and the Expression Mode is back to Color, it’s filling in with green instead of transparent.

              This also helps me do flat colors, because I can make the Ink layer a Reference Layer using a handy little toggle in the upper part of the Layer menu. This makes all of the black lines solid barriers, so when I fill in solid colors it won’t bleed past the black ink lines!

The handle little toggle in question.

              Now I’m ready to flat everything, just like in the first issue. I started out just shading with Multiply layers on top of the flats and not blending them together, but then I started out experimenting with gradients. I don’t usually like to use a lot of gradients because I think they can look really jarring, but I liked how they looked using them on the Multiply layer and then breaking them up with the Pen Tool.

              I started to heavily use this effect on the base color layers underneath the Multiply layer instead. I thought it worked especially well with the bushes and trees in the alternate world in the second issue. I would lay down gradients and then take the Pen Tool and draw pen strokes on top to break it up and create foliage, bark, or other effects.

A few more examples of the broken up gradients from another page.

              I kept using the solid Multiply layers on top, but I tried switching the colors to fit the mood of the scenes, and I liked using different shades of the colors to create more depth in the drawings.

Issue 3: Tess of All Trades (Currently Updating)

              With this issue I decided to do the pages entirely digitally because it’s less time-consuming, and I wanted to get better at inking digitally. I was worried about inking digitally because I prefer inking traditionally so much, and I think my digital inks can turn out looking stiff. There were definitely a few bumps, but I have a tablet monitor, which I think helps a lot because it feels a lot more natural. Just like any tool, it takes practice to get used to using it.

              For the coloring, I didn’t really have any goals in mind for experiments, so I started out just using the same gradient technique from the previous issue. I decided after a few pages to try and use the Brush Tool instead of the Pen Tool to break up the gradients and make the backgrounds look a little more painterly. I also occasionally end up painting a little bit on the multiply layer to add a little more depth. The characters are just a flat color underneath the Multiply layers.

A detail with the “Multiply” blend mode toggled off and on to show the painterly look more clearly.

              My goal with this issue right now is to figure out how to cut production time down a little bit, especially on the coloring. It’s all an ever evolving process.

              One of my favorite things about webcomics is how they tend to evolve as they go. I like to see people’s art as it advances and gets better and better! It’s also one of my favorite things about making a webcomic, I enjoy the process and it makes me feel a little more free to experiment and grow as an artist and storyteller!

 Thank you for reading!  Feel free to check out my:

This post was sponsored by my Patrons on Patreon.  Guest posts are paid $30 per post and Laurissa REALLY knocked it out of the park with this one.  Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge, Laurissa!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Guest Post: areyoshi and Self Publishing with Ka Blam

Hello hello, dear readers! Before I get into the nitty-gritty, allow me to introduce myself. My name is areyoshi, and I’m a self-publishing comic artist. I’ve been a dedicated webcomic creator since 2009, and I self-published my first comic in 2011.

So. Getting started, I feel that I should briefly explain what self-publishing actually is. In simplest terms, self-publishing is the release of your content without the aid of a professional publisher. A good example? Ordering your book from an independent print company rather than submitting it to OniPress, Dynamite, or somewhere similar.

You may ask yourself, “Self, why wouldn’t I want to submit my story to a big house publisher? If they pick me, I’d be famous!” For starters, your mileage may vary with that famous thing. The book business can be very finicky, for more reasons than one, but I find the comic book business to be especially picky. Fear not, this is not going to be a rant about ‘the Big Two’ and inflexible art styles.

The pros:

·         If you self-publish, you retain all rights to your project

·         Nobody gets a cut of the profits; all money comes back to you

·         You get to tell your story how you want to, without interference

·         Your stock is completely under your control

The cons:

All of the above.

That isn’t a joke! Let me rephrase everything;

·         Retaining your rights may limit the reach of your book

·         You are solely responsible for printing expenses

·         You may be missing out on valuable input about your work

·         Your stock is completely under your control (so many trips to the post office…)

Truthfully, self-publishing has its good and bad qualities. Personally, I like self-publishing because it’s more about holding my book, having a tangible object, my labor of love actually being in my hands. If I happen to sell some books at a convention, then all the better.

Self-publishing may be appealing to you, but if you’re like Past Me, there’s some things you need to know before you send your book off somewhere.

Things I Wish I’d Known:

·         Screen Resolution VS Print Resolution

·         Live Area and Margins

·         Files Types

·         Where To Go

Past Me was excited to get my first self-published comic in my hands (this was back in the olden days of 2011.) Unfortunately, I was fresh out of high school and severely lacking in setup knowledge. Thus, I suffered at the hands of screen resolution.

According to our friend Google, screen resolution is defined as:  “The number of horizontal and vertical pixels on a display screen. The more pixels, the more information is visible without scrolling. Screen resolutions have a pixel count such as 1600x1200, which means 1,600 horizontal pixels and 1,200 vertical pixels.”

What the heck? Alright, here’s an example…

Because I drew my first book according to screen resolution instead of print resolution, everything was too small! What looks big on your screen might not be as big as you thought when it comes time to print. If you print too small, you end up with a fuzzy print quality, which, frankly, embarrasses me to this day.

Good practice is to find out what size comic you want to print. Standard comic book size is 6.75” X 10.25”. Manga is 5” X 7.5”, and Magazine size is 8” X 10.5”. I recommend picking whatever size book you want before you start drawing your pages… Otherwise there may have to be some awkward cropping down the road, and you could end up regretting your page sizing.

I have two series that I self-publish right now. One, Optical Disarray, is drawn at Manga size. The other, Third Kingdom, is drawn at Standard size. My comics are drawn digitally, meaning that I draw them directly on the computer with a graphics art tablet (I use an Intuos Pro from Wacom.)

To ensure that Optical Disarray will print without an issue, I made a 1650 pixels X 2325 pixels template file which I open for each new page. It includes a graph (for help with straight lines and paneling,) a bleed area, and a live area.

A bleed area is the very edges of your page, where it’s alright if something gets cut off at the printer. It’s very useful when you want your art to just flow off the page.

A live area is where you want any and all necessary information to go. Important expressions or speech bubbles should go here, so that they are absolutely safe from being cut off by accident.

The same is true for Third Kingdom.  Because it is larger than Optical Disarray, it is drawn at 2100 pixels X 3150 pixels.

When I’m finally done with all of the pages of a book, I prepare the files for printing. For many places, this means making sure final page resolution is set to at least 300 (as opposed to the usual default of 75,) and resaving the images to the company’s preferences. This usually involves opening Photoshop and changing my image mode from RGB to Grayscale. If your comic is in color, however, you should learn about the difference between CMYK and RGB and decide for yourself how to proceed. The independent publisher I go through prefers their pages to be sent in RGB mode, which isn’t really an industry standard, so I definitely implore you to do your own research.

From the beginning, I’ve used Ka-Blam, an operation based in Florida since 2005. They’re easy to work with, don’t charge a setup fee, and provide templates and easy directions to help make your experience better. They prefer their images to be sent as .TIFF files or as a .PDF. The .TIFF option is very convenient for folks who aren’t familiar with setting up a .PDF.

A downside to Ka-Blam, however, is that their customer support is only through an on-site messaging process. You get email alerts when you have a message, but it still doesn’t beat talking on the phone to quickly resolve issues when it’s necessary.

When preparing your book, remember to double and triple check everything. Files can be altered, but printing is forever.

I’d like to end this with a personal note; anyone can draw a comic, and anyone can get it published. Self-publishing is not any less ‘real’ than going through a big house publisher. You can buy an ISBN for your book. You can make deals with retailers. There are so many things you can do, and I encourage everyone to pursue the opportunities ahead of them.

Find me as @areyoshi  on all social media! (Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, etc; )

Visit my website to read my comics!

Got a question? Feel free to contact me via email

Thanks for reading. Check out these products.