Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Jim McCann Talks Comic Book Marketing: Start the Conversation

Dapper man Jim McCann gave the Comics Experience Creators Workshop a primer on comic book marketing last night. I was fortunate enough to be in tele-attendance as for more than an hour, the former Marvel marketer and current writer, gave neophyte writers and artists a fantastic overview on how to get noticed and sell their books.

McCann, a writer of who found his niche writing Marvel's Hawkeye and Mockingbird titles while also releasing (with artist Janet Lee) the very inventive OGN Return of the Dapper Men, told the group that marketing is about starting a conversation. He then detailed several great marketing methods used by the big guys but that can also work for the little guys thanks to the power of the Internet. Turns out, in the end, like a lot of things in life, you only get out what you put in.

Comic Experience Creators Workshop Moderator, publisher of Panda Dog Press, and writer of Animal Control: Special Creatures Unit Rob Anderson posted a great article on last night's session. I've cherry-picked a few of the highlights below, but do yourself a favor and go over to Rob's blog and check out the whole thing. (And while you're there, check out ANIMAL CONTROL: SCU "Breeding Stock," a 3-page preview of Rob's awesome comic.)

Marketing Advice from Jim McCann:
•Get the word out before Previews; but not too early (You should have some finished product to show.)
•Know your audience and your reviewers (Find your niche. Just like in pitching your book to an editor, not every book is right for every site or reporter on that site.)
•Social Media is great-this has been discussed ad nauseum because it's true (Network; introduce yourself--but don't be a stalker.)
•Keep one eye on the calendar (Don't get lost in all the convention news.)

Jim also stressed getting retailers excited about ordering your project--in fact, in every interview, post, whatever, he stressed mentioning the Diamond ordering code or where (e.g., the Web site) people can get the book. But more so, he stressed trying to reach out to retailers, locally and nationally if you can.

As I go through my notes, I'm sure I'll be sharing some more details, but check out Rob's blog for more. I'm sure he'll get around to it before I do.

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