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How To Publish A Comic Book If You’re Not A Pro [A Step-By-Step Guide]
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Find out how to publish a comic book!​​

So, you’ve created your own comic book! Chances are, you can’t wait to share it with the world.

Publishing a comic book isn’t always an easy undertaking, but a little direction can go a long way — which is why we’ve prepared this 101 guide on how to publish a comic book for beginners.

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3 Ways To Publish A Comic Book

You can publish your comic book in three ways:

  1. As a webcomic
  2. As a digital comic book
  3. In print

None of these formats excludes the other. You can publish a webcomic and also release a comic in print!

It all comes down to your preferences, plans and goals.

Would you prefer to publish a story daily or are you more of a nostalgic type who prefers to smell and feel the ink underneath their fingertips? If you can’t decide, opt for both!

We’ll analyze each format and discuss their pros and cons to help you choose a format (or formats) that work(s) best for you!

How To Self-Publish A Webcomic

Pros: faster and simpler to make than traditional comics

Cons: inability to tell a long and detailed story all at once

A webcomic is a comic strip you publish as a series on a website.

To publish a webcomic:

  1. Decide how often you want to publish a webcomic
  2. Write stories regularly depending on how often you’ll release them
  3. Create a website or choose a platform on which you’d like to post your webcomic

The easiest and quickest way to get your comic book out there is to release it as a webcomic.

If you opt to share your work this way, you don’t have to wait to complete the entire comic book.

Instead, you can publish a story every day, weekly, or whenever works best for you.

When you have enough content, if you wish, you can put all of your webcomics together and release them as a digital comic book (more on that in the next section!).

Alternatively, you can continue to release webcomics without ever publishing an anthology of your comics.

Some authors never give up on their webcomics. For example, Kevin & Kell is the world’s longest-running daily webcomic; it’s been around since 1995 and it’s still going strong!

Today’s Comic: Kevin and Kell by Bill Holbrook

— Comics Kingdom (@ComicsKingdom) April 6, 2016

Releasing webcomics regularly is a good way to build a solid following. Since you can publish webcomics more often than a regular comic, you can grow your audience faster.

The downside of publishing webcomics is the fact that you can’t publish a long, cohesive story at once. Instead, when you want to tell a story, it needs to be either very short so it fits in one webcomic, or you have to publish a comic strip daily so your readers don’t forget about the previous part.

If you opt for publishing webcomics, you need to have a website.

You could start a blog on Tumblr and release your art through a blog, or you can choose a free webcomic publishing platform, such as Webtoons or Tapas. Both of these offer the possibility to make some money from your work, so they’re definitely worth checking out.

Most third-party sites allow you to communicate with your audience, so you can easily get their feedback on your webcomic and strengthen your relationship with them. That way, you can easily build a solid following!

While we’re on the topic of creating a following upon publishing a comic book, the BIOWARS comic has its fair share of fans! The comic describes the battle between the immune system and the pathogens that attack it daily. Read it to discover all about the battle that ranges between the good guys and the bad guys!

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How To Publish A Digital Comic Book

Pros: people can read it on their devices anywhere & anytime

Cons: some readers prefer holding a physical copy to e-reading

Stock illustration of the “To be continued” sign which is often seen in comic books.​
Releasing a digital comic book can help you reach a global audience!​

To publish a digital comic book:

  1. Decide how you wish to publish your comic — on your own website or through a third-party publisher
  2. Depending on what you chose for step 1, the next step is to either create a website or find a publishing platform

Publishing a full version of your comic book digitally is another solution that allows you to reach your audience quickly.

In just a few clicks, readers can download your comic and read it immediately after you release it.

Just like webcomics, digital comic books are economical.

Publishing a digital comic book is affordable because you don’t need a huge budget to publish it.

When it comes to third-party platforms, you can try Apple Books or Barnes & Noble’s Nook Press.

Both platforms are free and allow you to reach audiences interested in your genre. You can even sell your comic and earn some money for your work!

If you choose to create your own site, you can build it on your own for free by using one of the available platforms. Alternatively, you can always ask an expert to help you make it!

The BIOWARS comic book was published as a digital comic on this website. Audiences can read the prologue to understand what the story is about, download the comic book, and explore the behind-the-scenes action to see how BIOWARS came to be.

In time, the site grew, and it now includes several more sections, such as Did You Know? (where you can read cool facts about your body), Glossary (with all the big words and character names) and the blog!

Although sharing your comic book on an already-existing platform may be easier, when you have your own website, you have complete control over its content. That way, you can not only share your comic with your audience but also add more content to it to make it more engaging, including a blog, forum, character galleries, etc.

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How To Publish A Comic Book In Print

Pros: many readers prefer physical to digital copies, especially collectors

Cons: can be pricey; limited audience

To publish a digital comic book:

  1. Finish writing your comic book
  2. Calculate how many copies you wish to release
  3. Take your finances into account
  4. Think about how you’re going to distribute the copies
  5. Decide whether you wish to release the comic on your own or through a publisher
  6. If you wish to self-publish your comic and money is tight, you can set up a crowdfunding page
  7. If you want to contact publishing houses, consider hiring an agent
Stock illustration showing a collection of the colorful printed comic books.​
A lot of readers enjoy holding a physical copy of a comic book in their hands!​

Though everything seems to be digital these days, many fans still enjoy physical comic books, whether it’s the smell and feel of the actual comic, the nostalgia it brings, or the break it provides from staring at a blue screen.

If you decide to print your comic, you should know that the number of readers you’ll have largely depends on how many copies you print. Sure, you might be able to count on your audience to pass their copy to friends, but still, that won’t help you increase your readership by a significant amount.

Most self-publishing comic book authors start by publishing a limited number of copies. Then, they sell copies on their website, a third-party platform, or through comic book shops.

Having a distribution plan in place before you start printing copies is super important, otherwise, you risk not having anyone to sell your comic to.

So, go to your local comic book store, introduce yourself to the owners, and discuss the possibility of them selling your work.

As a self-published author, you have complete creative control over your work, and that appeals to most comic book creators. However, since you’re on your own, that means you need to come up with a good marketing plan, so as many people as possible can learn about your work. But more on how to promote your work soon!

Another reason why self-publishing a comic may be difficult is that it requires you to spend your own money to print it. In that case, some authors use crowdfunding on platforms such as Kickstarter and Patreon to cover the costs.

If self-releasing a comic seems like too much of a hassle, you can reach out to comic book publishers. Aside from the big shots (yeah, the likes of Marvel and DC), there are many indie comic book publishers that are often willing to give young authors a shot.

Some publishers don’t negotiate directly with authors and don’t accept their manuscripts. Instead, they prefer to communicate with agents, so pay attention to what the guidelines are, depending on which publisher you contact.

If you ask someone else to print, market and distribute your comic book, you must accept the fact that you won’t be entirely in charge of the creative process. Editors might ask you to make changes to your comics, and you’ll need to agree to get published.

Also, a publishing house will take a percentage of the sales you make, but you can negotiate the amount either by yourself or through your agent. Oh, and if you hire an agent, you have to pay them, too!

How To Promote Your Comic Book

Whether you decide to publish a webcomic, a digital comic book or have your comic printed, all formats have one thing in common — the need to promote your work!

What’s the best way to do it?

Use the power of social media!

And no, don’t wait until after you release the comic book to market it — do it before!

Be transparent and share your progress with your followers on Instagram, Facebook, Reddit and TikTok.

For example, you can post images of your character designs and invite your audience to share their opinions. You can also share videos to show how you draw your comic book step-by-step or post interesting facts that would appeal to your target audience.

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Use hashtags to reach as many people as possible and engage with your followers.

You can also countdown to your release day to build up the excitement among your followers and let them know that something cool is coming soon!

You could also become active in communities and on profiles that gather comic buffs and connect with other comic book creators. That way, you can help promote each other and gain a new audience.

After the publication, don’t stop promoting your content.

For instance, you can do an Insta live or set up a Q&A session to chat with your followers and answer their questions.

You could also share a panel a day and describe what it represents, along with its background story.

And don’t forget about YouTube!

The videos you would share on Insta and TikTok should also be on YouTube. Yes, you can go with YouTube shorts, but we recommend posting longer videos, too, since they can help the audience to get to know you better and keep them glued to your channel longer. The longer your audience is exposed to your work, the better! You could post shorter videos on social media and keep the longer versions for YouTube!

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A Recap On How To Publish A Comic Book

When the time comes to publish your comic book, you can:

  • Release it as a webcomic
  • Publish a digital comic book
  • Publish a print comic
  • Combine these methods

Each option has its pros and cons, and at the end of the day, it all comes down to choosing what most appeals to you.

If you go digital, it will cost you less, you could earn more money and reach a global audience.

No matter the option(s) you choose, you can do everything on your own, from making the comic and creating a website if needed, to promoting it and lastly, printing it.

In that case, your investments will have to be bigger because you will need to cover all the costs.

Alternatively, if you chose to publish a print comic book, you or your agent can get in touch with publishing houses and have them take care of the entire publishing and marketing processes. That takes away a lot of pressure and responsibility off your back, but also a bit of the money you’ll make from sales.


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