Comics in Printing Business - Topics, Trends, Ideas to Inspire and Scale Up

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The market for original comic art continues to attract the fans' attention, despite an almost year-long break in exhibitions, auctions, and thematic shops. For artists, 2021 has become a time of experimentation, following new trends, and expanding their online presence. The Multi-Programming Solutions editorial office investigated the topic.    

The mobile and digital approach to comics distribution became iconic in 2021. The number of impulse purchases possible through physical contact with the product dropped sharply, but cost savings and hassle offset it. For example, Kuaikan, the largest mobile comic book app in China, has recently closed a $240 million deal. The website’s audience includes over 340 million users, of which 50 million are monthly active visitors. Moreover, the print on demand comics fulfillment services are estimated to have reached $865 million, not counting peripheral revenue streams from merchandise or high-profile film deals. Thus, the industry continues to develop, and the target audience's age is no longer the younger generation but millennials under the age of 25. 

A wide range of genres and styles ranging from historical adventure to romance, humor, and life stories have become extremely popular, especially when considering the possibility of on demand comic book printing. After reading mobile editions, many fans return to the published material - magazines that they can collect, archive, or ask the creators to sign. The tangible and collectible nature of the medium adds value. 

How to start a print on demand business, create incredible images that will allow you to play in time and space, and penetrate the very consciousness of the reader will be discussed further.

Table of contents

Services for Comics, Creating Comic Books

On Demand Comics and Amazon

Comic Printers

Conclusion

Aspiring artists may doubt that their ideas are worth millions. To be able to turn passion into a business, spend a little time researching the best tools for creating your own stories: 

Create Your Comic by Marvel

The site allows you to create print on demand comic books sold on Shopify, Etsy, and Amazon. You can make the stories from various scenes, characters, and objects in the Marvel universe.

Pixton

If you’re a beginner, then this service will help you take the first steps in creating unique stories. Join the Pixton community and tell about your new comics POD service on Facebook or other social media. That will help to gain first popularity and increase online awareness.

MakeBeliefsComix.com

The software is designed for children. However, it provides a sufficient amount of functionality for adults to use. Interestingly, you can complete an excellent story in 10 minutes!

ToonDoo

That's one of the perfect save-project apps for those who like to procrastinate. Use your photos or images, and after a few finished projects, you’ll compose a book. Don’t neglect the traditional methods of creating comics, namely Adobe products (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.) and original graphics tablet software.

ComiXology by Amazon is a unique project to launch a brand with famous comic creators. 

Does Amazon print comics on demand? Yes. On demand print services save costs and operate like dropshipping. You get an opportunity to find the target audience that the direct market may not reach and understand its preferences through experimentation.

A free Kindle Comic Creator by Amazon for print on demand comics was also created for self-publishing eBooks and paperbacks. To apply this tool: 

  1. Prepare the material by uploading it in one of the formats (PDF, JPG, TIFF, PNG, or PPM).
  2. Create two-page spreads and navigation using Kindle Panel View.
  3. Use your Amazon account or email to sign in to KDP. Here, you can create or upload a cover, select categories for the title and territory you’re entitled to publish.
  4. Amazon has many powerful marketing tools to promote products, scale up a business, and take print on demand comics fulfillment to an entirely new level. The publication will take less than 5 minutes, and the book will appear in stores in 24-48 hours. You’ll receive up to 70% of royalties from sales to readers in the USA, Canada, UK, and Germany.

Print on demand costs per comic book depend on the number of pages and ink used (black or color). The marketplace on which the paperback will be published is also essential. To determine the price using a formula: 

fixed cost + (number of pages×cost per page). 

For example, if you post your offer on Amazon.com, the flat rate is $2.15 for a black and white copy of up to 108 pages. The MSRP is calculated based on the cost of printing your book to the royalty rate to cover the entrepreneur's expenses. By the way, the maximum price on the platform is $250.

A Comprehensive Guide on how to Start Selling on Amazon with Print on Demand

Sometimes, already finished products may contain typical mistakes, such as insufficient photo size or incorrect colors on the paperback. Perhaps the reason lies in the transfer of outsourcing orders by fine art print on demand services for comics to unreliable ones. 

Of course, you shouldn't be afraid to place the responsibility for print on demand fulfillment comics graphic novels on experienced printers, such as:

Over the past year, there has been more discussions in author circles about the low page rate that print on demand comic book printers assign to small editions. If we’re talking about diamond partners, they can get a discount up to 60%, which implies a serious reduction in printing costs. For instance, the print on demand comic service asked for a unit price of $0.4, so the paperback would be $1.19 / issue after print costs. For 4,000 issues sold, that makes up $4,784. The publisher is likely to make $884 for an issue selling the same number of copies. 

How to understand what's trending now?

The author must adhere to trends to print on demand comic printers and not refuse any orders. Fashion is influenced by many factors, starting with the season, economic state of the country to the new movies released in the cinema. For instance, Justice Society: World War II by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment was released in 2021. In Google Trends, there are two leaps in the topic's popularity: at the beginning of the year and at the end of April. Most consumers are from the United States and Canada, and a minority - from third-world countries. Following the trends’ predictions, entrepreneurs can increase business profitability by choosing specific countries and times to publish their creations. It’s essential to monitor the most popular authors and variants of publications - after all, they’re the ones who set the tone. Hellboy and the BPRD: Dark Horse's Secret of Chesbro House took first place in the new rankings. This epic saga reached its technical completion a couple of years ago but, as with every story, many gaps need to be filled.

Covid-19 also influenced the demand for comics. Household items took a special place during the quarantine, and art connoisseurs began to order the products with their favorite characters. Amazon print on demand shower curtain in comics-superheroes style is still a breakthrough

creative ideas for comics printing

Ideas to help you get inspired 

The editors of Multi-Programming Solutions have prepared a list of ideas for animated stories. Let them be your starting point in creating something worthwhile:

  1. Someone is moving to a new city, about which they know nothing.
  2. Late at night, strange sounds are heard from the forest.
  3. An older man recounts his past adventures.
  4. Protection of a mythical artifact that can turn the world into a single corporation in villains' hands.
  5. Tourists fall into the time trap.
  6. Food that shrinks or enlarges people in size (based on “Alice in Wonderland”).
  7. Children make a snowman that suddenly comes to life.
  8. What will happen if you change the history of humanity?
  9. Someone called the wrong phone number.
  10. Money starts growing on trees.

2021 predictions for print on demand industry

Any ideas are built based on objects that have come to life: a movie, a book, a souvenir, etc. The only important thing is your presentation of the idea as graphic material and the observance of copyright. It’s suggested to read this document before you start your work.

During the coronavirus pandemic, artists have a new opportunity to earn more by starting their own comic book business. They don't need to think about printing, stocking, or even selling. There is a considerable amount of software and photo print on demand services for comics, allowing to implement even the craziest projects to do this. It’s also essential for entrepreneurs to monitor the trends in the character world and not forget about experiments, which can turn out to be another revolution.

PODOctober 1, 2021
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