We talk a lot about Social Networking on Twitter and Facebook, or even getting out and commenting on other comic sites to get your name out there. But we often forget the biggest tool we have, and it’s right in front of you: where you live!
Yes, your own town. “What?” you say? “I live in a little one-horse town, how is that going to help me?” Well, I’d rather be a big fish in a small pond then a tiny fish in an ocean about to be swallowed up. Any town, regardless of where you live, will help you grow your business. Letting local businesses, neighbors, community leaders and the like know you’re doing a comic and promoting it will give you a helping hand more than you think. I did a small press release last year about how I create my comic from my home and my college’s Alumni association picked up on it, mentioned it in one of their publications and suddenly I have a bunch of Illinois State University Alumni reading my comic… and more importantly, spreading the word about my comic.
One of the ways you can put your name out there is by participating in Free Comic Book Day held on the first Saturday in May each year. Go to your local comic store and ask if you can be a part of the day. They’ve heard about it more than likely (if not, get them involved!) as it’s a great promotion to get folks to come into their shop to not only pick up a free comic, but also the opportunity to SELL them comics as well.
I am doing an appearance at a comic book store this year and I’m able to set up my own little table, sell my books and do sketches. I will have book markers promoting my comic that I will give away free. The store owner was not aware of my comic, but once I showed it to him, he liked t he idea of having a local artist (even little ol’ me) in his shop.
So, go to your local comic book store and get ready for May 7th. Even if you don’t have anything to sell, at least have some business cards made up (you can get them really cheap or even for practically free on some websites). Then do sketches and commissions and talk up your comic. You don’t have to be great at drawing caricatures and the like, just do your style as more than likely it will be better than what the person you’re drawing it for can do!
After that, do a press release on how the day went. Get a photograph of yourself at the shop and send it to the local papers, or even your college’s Alumni association. Who knows, maybe one of your old drinking buddies would like to read your comic! Worked for me!