Thursday, February 03, 2011

The Adventures of Bernard: Digital Book Update

Another week and things are still going strong. Bernard is at 615 downloads. Orders have slowed up but that's expected. I'm 3 weeks in and still have only used Twitter to promote. I've been interested in seeing what's possible with as little push as possible and hopefully this will show me what's possible with some real marketing behind it.

Again, I'm not breaking any records but I'm moving at least 7 ebooks a day, if not more. At $2 a pop, this is pretty great so far when the print book has still sold under 200 copies in the year I've been selling it.

I do think the key to this is keeping the price low. With print costs or 3 or 4 middle men, the cost can stay low and allow for more people to give it a shot with out a ton of risk. I'm not married to $2. If I had a 200 page story I may want to go $4 or $5. But that's still a bargain compared to the cost of print books.

Again, I'm in no way against print. I just got a call from the shipping company that's arriving on Tuesday with a pallet of 1000 hardcovers sketchbooks. So please don't take this as me talking about the downfall of print, or cutting out retailers. A book like this is a perfect example that lives in a strange area. It's not going to flying off bookshelves of retailers and it obviously wasn't flying out the door when I pritined up a year ago. So it's not about not giving it the retailers or cutting them out, it's about trying to find a place for a book like this. And the digital method seems to work for this kind of thing. 

The thing I'm most interested in on my next pass at this is how to go about releasing a digital book along side of a print. Do I go with a publisher, do I just print a small run myself and handle in house, or just digital. I don't know. I'm not there yet, but these are all interesting questions that I'll have to answer in the next year.

A few more creators have talked with me about being inspired by progress so far and may jump in with their books. I'm not the first person to sell their own digital books and from the excitement I'm seeing, I won't be the last. I'm so freaking excited for the possibilities of the format, but mostly as a fan at the chance to have all my favorite creators on my iPad! 

In other Bernard digital news, Dani Jones of THE ILLUSTRADED SECTION opened up the doors for me to sell my book along side of the other wonderful digital books in their store. It's a great online storefront showcasing creators comics. If you have a book and would like include in their growing library, check the submissions section on the site. It's another great place to network together and share our books. Stop by and browse the selection. 

Most of all, thanks to all of you that have bought my little book and helped to spread the word. You're more awesome than I can explain and I'm forever grateful for your support. 

Other creators and sites that are already offering their digital books

Katie Cook -F*** You Box (funniest comic ever)
Chris Eliopoulos- Misery Loves Sherman 
Derek Hunter- Derek Hunter is a F*** and Lobster Ladd & Cosmic Jones
Jeremy Treece- Fearsome as the Night

And these are just friends of mine that i know are doing it. There are many more out there that I don't know about so look around. If you find new ones, share the love.

And someone started a blog featuring $2 digital comics. Check it out to keep up with new comics added around the web.


Anthony said...

In case you didn't see it, there's a Tumblr page dedicated to collecting $2 or less comics inspired indirectly by your book:

Michael Dooney said...

Thanks for the update. One thing that I am curious about is how you determined the price. It seems like you are "giving away the store" a bit...With most digital versions of comics selling much closer to the cost of the print versions...I think Marvel comics are .99-$1.99 for the digital and that is just a single 20 page comic, not sure if they even offer trades but I am sure it would be a lot more than the $2 you are selling yours for.

Skottie Young said...

Michael- A few things. Bernard is 70 pages, but some of the pages are just numbers as that's how it was designed in print. So I didn't want to over charge for page count, I wanted to charge for content. And since there is no paper and there is no publisher or distributor getting a cut, I can keep the cost a little lower. In the end, I can sell more copies for lower cost.

Like I said, I would up the price a bit on larger books.


Anonymous said...

WOW!!! I`ve just bought The Adventures of Bernard and it`s awesome! I love it!!! Maaaaan!! It`s funny, simple, cool and all the images are great. Keep it up!!! I`m a comic book author myself and It`s very encouraging see more good efforts and books like yours!!