Estimating the Potential of Your Unpublished Comic Book

Estimating the Potential of Your Unpublished Comic Book

“AAM Markosia”

Some artists and writers tell such fantastic stories through their comics that they make it seem so easy. You know you’ve felt that. That favorite manga you’ve read over and over again, which made you feel like you could create your own epic post-apocalyptic sci-fi horror story with elements of magic realism.

And then you go ahead and spend painstaking hours over your project, with hopes of sending it to AAM Markosia or some other publisher. But how do you know that your completed comic has any potential?

Some authors and artists will want to look at two kinds of potential: quality and marketability.

Does Your Comic Have a Professional Quality

Your comic needs to keep to certain standards. Here’s what I mean:

  • Does it have an exciting plot and a story that is emotionally engaging? The truth is, action and sex alone are not potentially marketable.
  • Does it do something new with old material?
  • Have you used a professional-looking format for a comic script?
  • Have you asked other people for their opinion by this I mean detailed opinion on dialogue, scenes, or anything that strikes them as unclear. Remember, the story is clear in your head. Now you have to convey it to readers. That’s often the hard part.
  • Does it have good dialogue? Do people talk the way the characters in your comics do? Do you overuse the thesaurus? (A BIG NO!)
  • This is for you, if you’re drawing as well as writing your comics: do you know the human anatomy? Make sure you’ve studied the human form and how it looks from different angles and with different expressions. If you have the ambition to do everything on your own, you can learn to draw if that’s not your strong point.
  • Have you drawn the backgrounds? Many people find them terribly boring to draw, and readers will probably see them for just a split second. But they are terribly important. Don’t be the artist who can’t outline a skyline and expect the reader to figure out that the action is in the city rather than in outer space. Not all panels need background however, especially not action scenes unless the background is a part of the action. Also check: are the perspectives okay?
  • Do the panels flow in a pleasing way on the page? A background in graphics design may help here.
  • Have you paid attention to lettering?

“You’ll have to use every marketing avenue at your disposal.”

If these points check out, you’ll next need to figure out whether your comic will sell. More importantly, which genre it fits into, so that you know which publication to send to. Or if you’re self-publishing, you’ll need to know your readers.

Like I’ve said before, float some of it on social media and find out what people think. A couple of pages that introduces the story and whets the appetite is good. You’ll have to use every marketing avenue at your disposal. Send it to publishers. They’re not always right, but if they send you feedback, you’ll have additional anchor points to tell if your comic “has potential.”

As you can see, it’s not easy to sell a comic, both as an idea and as a product. Half of the comic crowdfunding projects on Kickstarter fail.

If that happens to you, don’t let the rejection get to you. If you love writing comics, you’ll do it again. And again. And again. Until you create something that is so good, people will want to pay to read it. Again, you’ll need some luck for that. Did I mention, comics aren’t easy? Good luck!

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