It thought you all might like to follow long with this little experiment I've been trying. As you know, I'm working on my graphic novel and I began my research on publishing. What companies have what contracts, what book stores are doing well and which aren't, what's the best option for digital distribution. Honestly, the numbers are enough to give you a few panic attacks.
I read an article about selling digital content with out going thru Apple. The concept was sound but the duct tape method of doing so didn't make much sense to me. There seemed to be too many ways to mess up and leave your customers wondering where their product was. But the idea of selling product directly to my fan base was intriguing. After a 5 minute talk with Ryan Stegman, he suggested I give it try. We hit up google and found many options for selling your digital content and I picked the one that was already teamed with BigCartel (my online store). After adjusting my pdf, I started selling a digital copy of The Adventures of Bernard for only $2.
Here's where it gets interesting. In 7 days, I've sold 391 digital copies. The only promotion I've done is on this blog, twitter, facebook, and deviantart. Since I started selling, a few news sites like CBR and iFanboy have done pieces on it. But that's it. No real push, no real plan. Woke up last friday, no plan to sell anything digital and by noon the same day I was in the middle of this experiment.
I've been self publishing in one way or another since 2004. Mostly sketchbooks, art books and prints. I've learned long ago that while it may take a little money up front, I can make more money selling a fraction of the numbers because I'm cutting out all the middle men. No distributor, no store, no publisher. It's just me and you. (and paypal) The same is holding true so far on this digital experiment. I'm charging $2 and the only cut is the Paypal percentage.
Now, the sales could dry up in a week... or they could double. The point is, the book isn't going anywhere. It will never go out of print and I can sell it to you forever with out the overhead that comes along with keeping an indy book in print.
And before I get anyone saying but this, and what about that... I don't know. I'm not doing this to change an industry or say f you to the print world. I still do great in the print world and will always offer print versions of my books. I'm simply trying to use the internet to sell my stuff. That's it. I'm not fighting any power and I'm not on a soapbox telling you to follow me into the fray. I'm not screaming that comics are broken and why don't they just do this or that. I'm just selling a book and seeing what happens.
Basically, I'm at the baby stages of this experiment but so far it's going great. I'll try to keep you in the loop over the next few weeks and we'll see if this is the new model for indy creators or if I just stumbled onto a fluke. Either way, it's great to be able to connect directly with you all digitally on the same level I've been doing with the art books all these years. You all are the best!
For those interested. I use BigCartel for my shopping cart and they are teamed with PulleyApp for digital content. All you need is a Paypal account and some product.