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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Nov 2006
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    Default How much does it cost?

    I've been inquiring around to my friends and other people who may know.
    How much money does it cost to make to produce and distribute your own
    comic book/ graphic novel? All I want are some rough
    estimates. How much does it cost to get published, how much does it
    cost to get printed off? Is gonna be real grass roots, so any information
    is helpful. Thanks

  2. #2

    Default self publishing..

    wow.. this is a thread that I intive anyone who has any info to join in on!

    Depending on a few different varialbes ( such as page count, paper stock, and more importantly, full color or black and white ) the cost of printing a comic book can vary alot.. I would think that you should be able to have a comic book printed on offset b/w for about 60 cents a unit providing that you have a decent print run.. a comparable print on demand book probably won't look quite as nice and will cost about one dollar per unit.

    Publishing is easy.. if you go to kinkos and make 10 copies of a picture you drew and stand on the corner trying to sell it, you have become a publisher. It's up to you to define what you want to be in terms of a publisher. you can advertise, or not, you can wholesale or not, what ever you want to do... If you make the book and own the rights than you can define this position for your self..

    distribution is another thing all together.. to have a comic book distributed you'll need to go through Diamond. end of story, if they don't take it you are locked out and out of luck. Diamond gets many requests from small publishers to carry their books, and they have to turn most of them down due to what they consider to be an unprofessional project. If you have a book that you want to have distributed call up diamond and send them a sample copy... if the book isn't finished, if you dont have all the art, and it's not lettered and FINSHED , don't bother calling them. There are alot of dreamers in comics, alot of good people with good intentions to make a comic book that never get it finished. when Your book is finished, then they will listen.


    let me say that i encourage everyone who is interested in self publishing to do so... with the understanding that it is very very hard to make your money back. It's a great experience... very rewarding in a sort of "self-worth" kinda way... but it can also be devistating to people if they have too high of expectations.

    Having said that ....

    Get quotes from a few different printers.. and make sure that they understand that your book is TO BE SOLD!.. you will often get a different price quote if they know that you need the book to be cheap enough to then sell...

    I would get a quote from Quebecor... they print all ( i think ) marvel and DC comics as well as many image / dark horse books.. don't worry about being a little guy.. they've done printing for me and many many MANY other independent comic book publishers.. they may not be the cheapest, but they also aren't the most expensive.. they'll give you a good starting place when looking to see how much you have to spend..

    as far as print on demand places.. im really not sure where to send you.. i've never really worked with those people before.. there is alot of variety of quality.. At this point in the comics industry there is little hope of a b/w comic of being any success... on the other hand, i also think that it is pretty foolish to print your first comic in full color... .... I say, print the first comic.. make it the best you can... learn from it and make the next one better... I was lucky and people actaully like shiver in the dark.. im going to go to full color with my next issue.... it costs much much more than b/w but i know that printing in color isn't going to be much of a risk as my comic book has built a fan base... .. If I PERSONALLY were to do it all again, I would do it just the same.. the first issue would be b/w...

    .. I would also say.. maybe you should make your first issue only 16 pages.. i know that's small. .but if your book is good 16 pages is enough for people to "try it".. it'll cost you less to make, you'll be able to charge less for it too... if someone doesn't like it after 16 pages, they aren't going to change their mind over the next 16 pages...

    I think that LULU. com does some cheap(er) short run printing.. you should look in to that...

    if you get an off-set printing job, don't get more than 3000 copies.. ( you won't need 'em and it's crazy to pay for more ).. if you get a short run ( print on demad) comic.. i would start off with only 300 copies.. you'll have to pay more per unit and thus you might have to charge more via the cover price, but you'll be able to get published for less and have copies out there for people to buy and review.... I stand by this.. if the first book is good, you can make more later.. if it stinks, you are stuck with all the unsold copies.. ...by the way.. i have a few friends who have self pubished, they each got only 3000 and 1000 copies respecivly.. and they are stuck with cases of each.. i'ts a good thing that they didn't buy more than they did..

    remember , almost no one who gets in to comics does so with a home run. Start off small and don't put all your hopes on one book. leave yourself enough money to print a second ( or third ) book later.

    I do hope that helps... the only other piece of advice that i can tell you is to call up a big printer like quebecor and get a quote.. if the quote is pretty good, then you might want to consider calling a local printer and get a quote from them.. make sure to tell them that the book is for re-sale.. and don't be bashful about asking them to match the quebecor price..... if they do it will be a big savings for two reasons..

    one.. you'll be able to pick the books up in your car rather than pay shipping.. ( which could be hundreads of dollars )..
    two.. you'll be able to go to the press for a press check ( this means that you go to the printers when they print the book.. they print out a sample and you approve it.. ) by having a press check you can request more or less ink.. or little tweaks.... maybe a 2 page spread doesn't line up quite as tightly as you'd want.. .. most people don't get press checks any more.. but I do EVERY time i can.. i've yet to do a press check where I wasn't able to make a request that i thought made the book better than the first printed sample!

    I know that there are a lot of people on this messageboard who are interested in creating/ publishing comics, and many who actaully have done it! I really hope you will add to this thread. I get asked about this all the time and I always want to help! Writing and drawing good comics is hard enough. Not knowing how to get your book made and distributed is a sad reason to have a book not happen!

    I hope that helps!

    S T U A R T
    S A Y G E R
    S T U A R T
    S A Y G E R
    www.stuartsayger.com

  3. #3
    New Member
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    Apr 2009
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    Default Hey

    For printing purpose, My suggestion is http://ka-blam.com/printing/.
    I find that most people who want to make a comic book have a very low budget, so this place you can print only 1 copy or 10,000 copies. Also they have amazing high quality, I was really impressed with that. I hope that helps some one! I did want to ask a question tho, what would be the standerd cost range to have an artist draw a 16 page comic for you? I found someone that I love her work better than mine heh.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    176

    Default

    what would be the standerd cost range to have an artist draw a 16 page comic for you?
    I don't know that there is a standard. Determine what you need from the artist (pencils only, pen and ink, pen-ink-colors, etc) and make them an offer. If you want the book published by an established company, ask the artist to draw 5 pages for a project proposal with no money involved. If they say no, I'm sure you can find one that would say yes.

  5. #5

    Default 16 page comics .. finding artists...

    I hate to say this, but I think that I should.... If you are looking for an artist, do be very very careful!... There are alot of artists out there who can make great looking pin ups, but aren't good story tellers.... Even worse there are many artist who can make great panel pages, but just don't... That is to say, that they have the ability, but not the drive... I meet artists all the time that have the raw ability to draw, but not the stamina necessary to make a full 22 page ( or in this case, 16 page ) comic... The first three pages are always the easiest to get... the last 3 are near impossible.
    Good luck and be smart!
    S T U A R T
    S A Y G E R
    www.stuartsayger.com

  6. #6
    New Member
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    Jan 2011
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    Mexico
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    Default Printing in México

    In México, you can print for about 4 pesos a unit. That would be like 25 to30 cents for a hight Quality book. I find it hard to believe that in the US it can cost 60 cents per unit. so If the book is sold for 2.99, and diamond takes away half of it, that leaves you with 1.49, take away the 60 cents per copy and the cost of shipping. It leaves you with nothing. mmm is that correct?

  7. #7

    Default printing costs

    Yep... I think that your math is pretty close when looking at the printing costs of printing in the US vs printing in another country... However there are two points of interest that we need not over look ... the first is shipping. I've had books printed locally for more than they would cost if made in Canada.. but the final project cost less as I was able to pick the books up from the printer rather than pay shipping on cases and cases of comics... #2 and this just can't be measured in dollars, but having something printed locally gives you the chance to do a press check. That is to say, you get to see a sample of the book off of the press.. if the ink is too light or too heavy you can request a change.. perhaps you don't like the color balance, you can request a change... Any time you print in a far of land you forfeit this kind of control. Digital proof don't do much to make up for the lack of a hands on physical sample of your book... in short, I feel that it's very fair to say to old adage of, " You get what you pay for."

    stuart
    S T U A R T
    S A Y G E R
    www.stuartsayger.com

  8. #8
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    Apr 2011
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    Default

    Does anyone know of a sample comic book budget sheet that I can use as a guide? The reason I ask is because I have an investor and want to present him with a proper budget with line items and everything so I can start paying my artists to draw/ink etc. I can find movie budget examples quite easily, but I can't find an example of a comic book budget anywhere. Is there a software that I can use for this? I would greatly appreciate this information.

    Thanks

    (Even just a list of all line items)

  9. #9
    Junior Member dregj's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
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    248

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Sayger View Post
    I hate to say this, but I think that I should.... If you are looking for an artist, do be very very careful!... There are alot of artists out there who can make great looking pin ups, but aren't good story tellers.... Even worse there are many artist who can make great panel pages, but just don't... That is to say, that they have the ability, but not the drive... I meet artists all the time that have the raw ability to draw, but not the stamina necessary to make a full 22 page ( or in this case, 16 page ) comic... The first three pages are always the easiest to get... the last 3 are near impossible.
    Good luck and be smart!
    do you know any artist sites or organisations that may help please?
    Knight is not dead he's just waiting for a new steed

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