Some tips for comics creators in Corona times

These are hard times for everyone, not least self-publishing comics creators. But there are some ways for fans to support your work, both for physical books and for digital works online. Here are a few:

Fosfor is our very own non-profit zine distro, and a part of the Hybriden webshop. Our goal is to be a platform for comics creators who normally find it difficult to reach larger audiences and to strengthen the general culture of comics self-publishing. In the webshop, buyers can easily get an overview of a wide variety of comics. Sellers only need to fill out our form for their works to be posted on the site within a short while. After the first orders come in, we’ll ask you to send the first batch of actual products.
One important point is that Fosfor should not be seen as a service where you hand your stuff over to someone else who then sells it for profit. Rather see it as a place for shared exchange that everyone benefits from. When other creators share the link to Hybriden and Fosfor, it means that customers who go to the site for other reasons may also find your stuff while they’re there. Customers also don’t need to pay for postage from several different sources, but can get all their comics in one package, which means they’ll also save money.
All profits go back to the creators themselves, we only add a small sum to cover packaging and similar costs.

Digital Seriefestival
Mostly relevant if you’re a comics creator in Sweden. They’re allowing artists to post a ‘virtual table’ in a facebook group and for facebook users to browse their work and links. It goes live on the 10th April.

Patreon is a great way for people so support you through a subscription service to your work. They can make monthly donations, and in return, you can offer exclusive rewards or perks for different price tiers. For instance, for $5 a month, someone could get access to blog posts about your artistic processes, $15 a month could give people access to a twitch stream of your work, maybe even tutorials etc.
There are lots of different approaches to it, and it’s a nice way to get consistent support from fans. Small monthly donations from multiple people can add up to helpful amounts.
Patreon takes 5% of your earnings.

Not all the supporters of your work will be able to pitch in a monthly amount – and ko-fi is a bit like a tip jar where people can give you a one-off payment of $3 to show their support. It’s worth mentioning that Ko-Fi does also feature a monthly-tip system like Patreon, and for paid membership ($6 a month) you can sell commissions on your page.
Ko-fi takes 0% of your donations, but only registers payments through PayPal (which takes 2.9% + $0.30) or Stripe (which takes 2.75%).

Big Cartel
Is an online shop which allows you to have 5 items up at any time for free. These don’t necessarily have to be physical items – you could put digital commissions up on here.
Big Cartel does not charge any commission – but like Ko-Fi it only registers payments through either PayPal (which takes 2.9% + $0.30) or Stripe (which takes 2.75%).

Gumroad is quite a popular way of distributing E-comics, for people to buy and download as PDFs.
For a free account, Gumroad charges 8.5% + $0.30 per sale.

Setting all of these up can be a bit daunting, but most of them offer helpful advice on setting up your pages – and it’s always worth doing some quick research of your own on what kind of ways other artists are using them. Cross-referencing these can be useful when figuring out how you can best use them to your own advantage.

Some ideas for information helpful to convey:
-Pricing tiers based on sketch, inks, and coloured works.
-Charging extra for drawing a background.
-Pricing based on how much of a character you draw – the head, a bust, the torso, or the full figure.
-Remember to charge per character you draw per piece!
-It’s also worth putting your own terms and conditions for your commissions so that people know what to expect and to filter out any requests that you don’t feel comfortable with.

Digital Commissions
When selling digital commissions – it can be helpful to create a clear graphic illustrating the different pricings you have. Having an image (or up to four) to show this means you can post it on multiple platforms (instagram, twitter, facebook, mastodon, tumblr, etc).

Good luck, and stay healthy!

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