Can comics become legitimate bestsellers, the Beat’s own John Shableski has been asking in a series of publishing procedurals. But in truth…comics already ARE legit best sellers!
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I know, I know! We have been arguing for such a long time that comics aren’t just for kids but the problem is that a majority of the comics publishers have neglected to realize that this is and will always be tomorrow’s adult comics fan. With the acceleration of the Children’s and Young Adult categories, the traditional publishers are dominating a market segment that for some reason, still isn’t registering with the folks who made it possible in the first place.
As I mentioned in the opening column, when it comes to landing a bestselling title there are a lot of moving parts. I remember an editor talking about book campaigns during a panel session at Book Expo back in 2005 and he said most authors don’t realize that we put just as much effort into marketing and campaigning for a book as they do in writing it. Never were truer words spoken. From determining which audience the book is best suited for, what the cover should look like, how to build the buzz, and when the book should hit-these are all critical elements that need the same level of concentration as the writer has given to characters, dialog and setting.
To me, the answer to that question is definitely: yes! But that also depends on a lot of moving parts and with encouragement from The Beat, I’m going to post a few columns here about the elements needed to create real marketing programs that can help better define what a bestseller is and where the real opportunities lie.