If you think comic books are only for children and sad little nerds that refuse to grow up (yes, I watch The Big Bang Theory) then you are mistaken. Comic book sales alone are a multi-million dollar industry. Add in popular movies like The Avengers and The Dark Knight, video games, clothing apparel and suddenly comic books are not only part of main stream pop culture but a multi-billion dollar industry as well. And comic books fans are notorious for spending sizable portions of their disposable income on comic books and related material (again, I watch The Big Bang Theory). With a such a huge market, figuring out ways to make money from a passion for comic books shouldn't be to difficult. Here are 4 popular ways people make money from comics:
Create Your Own
The internet has revolutionized the comic book industry much the way it has most other industries, it has allowed small, independent individuals to compete with larger corporate entities. The comic book industry use to be dominated by two big companies, DC and Marvel. There were always smaller independent publishers but their influence, measured by their audience, was limited. Today, thanks to the internet and the rise of self publishing comic creators are connecting directly with their audience. If you can produce a comic book you can self publish it as a traditional hard copy or as a digital comic via smartphone/tablet app. How to make it happen: Create a killer story line with great characters. Get a great artist. Learn how to market it.
In this day and age you can use a blog to make money off of almost anything, especially if it's something that you're truly passionate about. Blogging about comic books and comic book related things makes so much sense because there is so much out there to work with. There's comic books themselves (and the hundreds of genres that are available to readers), there's movies, tv shows, video games, and much more. There's a never ending supply of fresh content you can call on to deliver to millions of potential customers. How to make it happen: Find your niche, get online (website,blog), get traffic!
Open a Comic Book Store
Up until the explosion of the Internet age owning a comic book store was probably the best way for someone outside of the production of comic books to make money from them. At the height of the the comic book craze in the mid to late 90's there were at least a dozen comic books stores I knew of in my city. Additionally, almost every newsstand, bookstore, and even some small mom and pop stores carried at least the latest issues of the most popular titles. There has been a drop off in readership (even though comic books are still very popular) and this has caused a drastic reduction in the number of comic stores across the country. However, I do believe that as along a comic books are produced in print form there will always a market for them. A full fledged brick and mortar store will require a sizable financial investment and has the greatest chance of failure but it is still a viable option for the right person. How to make it happen: Location, location, location! A comic book store in the wrong neighborhood is D.O.A. Also, have a diverse product line.
Become a Freelance Artist
If you're fortunate enough to have a talent like writing or drawing then you can freelance your services out to people looking to produce their own comic book. One of my current coaching clients has been working on creating his own comic book. He's doing all of the writing and character development. When the book is ready for the next stage he will find a freelance artist to illustrate what he has created. Quality freelancers are in high demand now because outsourcing is so popular. Out of the 4 ways to make money from comic books discussed in this post freelancing is probably the easiest way to make money. If you're skills are good and you're good at promoting yourself you will have projects lined up for you. How to make it happen: Master your craft. Learn how to market yourself.
Here's a great video that covers a broad range of topics related to cashing in comic book collecting:
Comic books and their collectors have changed as comic culture has become main stream. The opportunities to make money from comic books have grown along with the industry. The internet and other technologies have really made it possible for passionate comic book fans to participate on business side of comic books without being an industry insider. Do you have more ways to make money from comic books? Please share them in the comments below.
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