In the comic news I’ve seen some conversation about some bigger creators (like Mark Millar) not wanting to sell through Apple or other services that take a big cut of your profits. There’s good reason to be skeptical because these services don’t really allow you access to raw download numbers, you just have to trust a big brand and then they take a huge cut. I’ve seen Warren Ellis link to “Not .99 cent method“, which I like what that fella says about a mobile SMS payment, – but I’ve got an even BETTER way to sell your digital comics, maintain some control and keep MORE of your money.
#1 – Setup an account at e-junkie.com
E-Junkie allows you to sell ALL KINDS of digital goods. As an example, I sell my PDF ebook course “Cash for Cartoonists” through it and I couldn’t be happier. Don’t take my word for it, big brands like MTV, TechCrunch, CNN and others use this service. You can setup very simple BUY NOW buttons, etc, just like in paypal. You just enter the info, your price, and upload your file…. POOF, you’re e-publishing. The basic plan is going to run you $5 a month and will allow you to host 10 products, unlimited downloads, etc. E-Junkie connects directly to your paypal, google checkout, etc.
EJunkie also gives you plenty of doo-dads on the back end to secure your downloads, etc. In the “not .99” method, the creator only hopes that other people won’t share the download link. That’s not secure enough! With EJunkie you can limit an amount of times a file can be downloaded or from a set number of IPs and even PDF stamping that puts the buyers name and contact info inside of it! It’s an awesome service. Learn more about all the features here.
#2 – Earn MORE through Paypal with micropayment pricing!!!
If you’re using the standard paypal fees for selling 99cent books or 2.99, you’re getting boned with a 2.9%+30cent fee on EVERY sale no matter what price. Little do most creators know (you’re welcome in advance) you can actually go into Paypal and change to Micropayment pricing to 5%+.05 cents on every sale. How does this break down? Let’s say you were selling a 2.00 digital comic….
- Regular paypal fees would cost you .36 a sale leaving you with 1.64 in profit.
- Micropayment fees would cost you .15cents leaving you with 1.85 in profit. (that’s 21 extra cents in your pocket by simply changing to micropayment pricing. Not much, but it adds up!
- Selling a 2.00 through iTunes with apple’s 30% cut will leave you around the same at $1.40 profit per unit. (You even make 4 cents MORE with standard paypal fees!)
The point is, with the Micropayment pricing, you can be making 21 cents more per unit or issue. Think about that. If you have a decent following for your work, going it alone and selling direct to fans is the way to go. The only reason to be on iTunes or in iBooks would be to be amongst the masses as a distribution fee. Meh, I say. Mark Millar, Warren Ellis, Brian Bendis… all those dudes could make a pretty penny selling direct editions to their fans through a service like e-junkie.
NO WAITING AROUND FOR YOUR $$$… when you make a sale through eJunkie, you get an email notification and the money goes DIRECTLY into your paypal account. Period. No waiting around until you build up X amount or whatever.
#3 Comic Selling Affiliate system built right in…
One of the perks of eJunkie account is that you have a built in affiliate program. This means that you can set the percentage you’re willing to share with people who want to sell or refer your books. Here’s how this could be OUTSTANDING for the comic book industry.
- Online retailers or brick and mortar comic shops could use your affiliate link to sell your product and make a nice cut. This would give them incentive to actually advertise and push Mark Millar’s or Warren Ellis digital editions.
- SMART brick and mortar mom and pop comic shops might even consider opening their own “digital” keosk in their shop using ipads or what not and allowing in store customers to try out digital comics without trusting “APPLE” or the big brands… they’re buying directly from YOU, a retailer they already trust and want to support.
So now the tables have turned… and instead of APPLE or other big brands taking a cut from you, you, the creator are now giving a cut to retailers, comic bloggers and ANY comic fans who want to push your comics affiliate link. NICE!
This independent delivery system for your PDFs or digital formats is something I’ve been wanting to try and I’ve kept this “plan” tucked away in my back pocket, thinking I wouldn’t share it until it worked for me first. In reality, I don’t have the audience size to make it cause a splash or revolution, but if one of these bigger named dudes in comics like Mark Millar or Warren Ellis or Brian Bendis used this system…. well, they’d pretty much OWN and redefine how you get your favorite comics. Everyone WINS. Creators, retailers, readers. (email me if you want to pick my brain)
#4 What if?
The more hands in the cookie jar, the less crumbs for everyone… but imagine if a group of these big names got together under ONE ejunkie.com account? I mean, you could go to one site and there were digital comics by that group of creators you like… Kirkman, Ellis, Bendis… whatever. It might be like the IMAGE COMICS of digital comics… breaking away from all that other stuff. Just a thought.
I know there are arguments about wanting to be listed among other comic creators and services like iBooks or Amazon Kindle… don’t be stupid, why not try a little of both? If you DO happen to have a digital version up on those services, make sure it links back to your web address inside for plugs or ads like DJCOFFMAN.COM – then when people come back to MARKMILLARSKICKASSCOMICS.COM they’ll see he has TONS of stuff available direct that’s exclusive to his site. Or wouldn’t this be a GREAT way to get a version of that new mag he’s doing in the UK? Hells yes! I’d buy it right now through that sort of system.
I hope this info helps other independent creators or puts some new possibilities into motion. LONG LIVE THE COMICS!
PLUG: If you’re a cartoonist or illustrator who’d like to learn more about earning more with your work outside of comics, check out my ebook and coaching program Cash for Cartoonists” on sale now for $25