DIY Comics for Beginners Pt. 6

Posted: Wednesday, August 27, 2003
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of DIY Comics for Beginners Pt. 6

How do I distribute my comics?

The first step is find out which places in your home town stock small press comics. Most comics shops should, though some focus so much on superhero stuff that they can't be bothered dealing with anything else. Try book shops, magazine agents, Cafes, music shops, head shops, skater shops and anywhere else people and their money might be.

Once you start dealing with shops it's essential that you keep adequate records for the financial side of things. Most shops need invoices for anything they pay so pick up a small invoice book from the local book shop and start using it. You may be required to register for GST or sales tax purposes, however there are usually exemptions for low turnover which might mean you can avoid it. Check it out with the local tax department.

Most shops I've dealt with want to deal on Sale or return basis, which means they only pay when the comics have sold. Make sure you and the shop clearly understand whatever terms are agreed upon, because not all stores work under the same terms. Keep in consistent contact with the shop and, if applicable, drop by and pick up copies that aren't selling and replacing them with new issues. This lets them know you're serious and keeping track of things so they're less likely to rip you off or forget what they had.

For more far-flung distribution post copies off to other comic creators, comic shops etc. An useful avenue to check are the distribution networks that operate around the place. Mostly run by other small press creators, they offer a good means for spreading the word about your stuff. For a worldwide list of these check out Karl Thomson's excellent Zine Head site: Karl also lists review zines, which are another way to spread the word. You can also try our own list of links. All this postage is going to cost a bit of money, especially if its to overseas, so you may have to revisit the price of your comic.

So, that's all the advice I can think to give you at the moment, it's up to you to make the most of the comic medium and get your stories in print and out to the public. D.I.Y OR DIE!

Cartoon by Jared Lane

My thanks to Isaac Freeman, Lynette Bondarchuk and the members of the Funtime Comics mailing list for their advice and comments

DIY Comics

Pt. 1 - Writing
Pt. 2 - Artwork
Pt. 3 - Materials
Pt. 4 - Publishing
Pt. 5 - Copyright
Pt. 6 - Distribution

If you have a comment or question about Small Press then feel free to contact me