- SELF PUBLISH A COMIC BOOK!
- Ship Kickstarter Rewards
- Register Copyright
- Sort Out Taxes
- Get It In Stores
- Consign some copies to Jer
- Throw a Launch Party
Call your crew over and share a round of tasty beverages. You just self-published a comic book!
Crack open that box and look at your baby. Did you ever think your art could look this shiny?
You've done really well. Of course, when one journey ends, another begins. You've got some clean-up to take care of and you'll need to sell this fancy new publication of yours. Let's see where we go from here.
Ship Your Kickstarter Rewards
Once your Kickstarter is complete, you'll send out backer surveys. Kickstarter will automatically give you their shipping and email address, so for basic rewards there isn't much you need. This is most helpful when you've got a custom artwork contribution level and need some info about what your backers would like.
Kickstarter collects all your backers' information into a set of spreadsheets you can download. There will be one spreadsheet for each backer level. You'll want to watch your Kickstarter information panel to see when most of your backers have submitted their info. Most will have their info submitted automatically. Some will never get back to you. After I had finished shipping rewards, I still had four people who never gave me their address. One of those four finally got back to me a month after that! It never hurts to check back just in case.
Shop around for shipping supplies. uline is your best friend if you need to ship a ton of books. If you only need to ship a few, it'll be just as easy to pick up envelopes at the local office store or meet a friend to split a Uline order with.
Writing addresses on your envelopes will get tedious. You can speed this up by taking your address lists from Kickstarter to a local print shop and asking them to print up labels for you. Print up labels of your return address as well! This way, addressing your envelopes will just require a whole punch of peel-and-stick.
Since you budgeted shipping into your Kickstarter, the trip to the post office won't be too much of a financial shock. You'll have a good time with your post person labeling up a whole bunch of Media Mail envelopes, but a few rubber stamps later your book will be on it's way to your adoring fans!
Copyright Your Work
Legally, every work of art you create is copyrighted to you the moment you create it. You do not need to register the copyright in order for it to be recognized. However, it can offer you some additional legal protection to have your work officially recognized as created by you. Copyrighting is pretty easy and costs $35. Take a look at the Electronic Copyright Office at copyright.gov to see what you need to do.
Pay Your Taxes
Dealing with money means dealing with taxes. I have a few tips but I'm going to hold off on sharing them until I check with a lawyer. I don't want to steer you wrong by mistake when it comes to this!
Don't skip this step, though. I can't give specific advice (yet!) but I can list the things you'll need to look into.
- You need to file taxes for the money you earned on Kickstarter.
- You need to file taxes for the money you earned selling your book directly.
- You need to look into both state and federal tax requirements for purchasing items for resale and collecting sales tax.
- You want to learn what the minimum requirements are for taxable income. You might owe very little or nothing but you need look it up yourself to be sure.
- You want to report your business expenses.\ This might reduce what you owe in taxes.
- You want to consider starting your own a publishing business. If you plan on publishing more books, I highly recommend it.
Please get tax advice from someone you trust with legal and financial matters. It really is much less scary than it all sounds, it's just gotta be done.
Get Your Book In Stores
First you'll want to talk to your local comic shops. Every shop is different. Some will purchase copies for resale (usually at half the sale price). Some will consign a few copies and pay you when they sell. Some will only shelf your book if you have an ISBN. Some, sadly, don't touch indie titles. Don't take it personally, they've got a business to run. Keep asking around.
The bigger the store you want to sell at, the more likely you'll need that ISBN. You can put it off for a while but if you want to get out there you'll need it eventually. Putting your book on Amazon will require an ISBN but you'll get much more of the sale price than you will from most regular stores.
Consign your book to Jer to sell at ECCC
What good is a crazy deadline without an awesome reward? If you don't have a table at Emerald City ComiCon, get in touch with me! I'll be selling all the Finch Quest books I get at my table! Email works fine but the best way to catch up with me is Sicaga Tuesday Nights.
Celebrating Your Astounding Success
Hey man, I don't know how you like to party, but feel free to invite me!
Congratulations! You have completed Finch Quest!