American Terrorist in the New York Times
Posted by Tyler Chin-Tanner on Nov 25, 2011
I’ve heard it said that it’s not until after an author gets his book published that the real work begins. This is slightly dismissive towards the great amount of effort one must put into the creative process, but I take its meaning. I’d much rather be back at my desk toiling away on a new project than trying to figure out how to sell and independent graphic novel in this market.
The best thing an indie publisher can do to spread awareness of a new comic or graphic novel is to get in the hands as many people as possible. Do not be discriminate. It doesn’t matter if it’s a review, a storeowner, a comic fan or someone who’s never read a comic book before in their life. In today’s day and age with social media, anyone can help spread the word.
It also doesn’t matter if you’re sending digital files or print copies. Send both. Sometime a person might be trying to be nice by saying a digital copy will be fine, but at times I’ll follow this up by sending them a print copy as well. I feel likes it gives them added incentive to read it.
All of this means I’ve been spending a lot of time sending emails and making trips to the post office; not my favorite way to spend the day. But it has slowly starting to pay off, especially with the news that my graphic novel, American Terrorist, will be in the New York Times this Friday November 25. It’s one of the graphic novels the Times includes as worthy of being given as a gift. The feature is already up digitally on their site.
I’ve also had a really nice article published in the digital magazine, The Nervous Breakdown. They were specifically interested in how my graphic novel tied in with the Occupy Wall Street movement. It was something I wrote about in this column not too long ago. I think that’s what got their attention. For their article, I was able to update it, writing about how I had donated a few copies to their public library only to have the police raid it and throw all of their books in the dumpster.
I guess it’s true what they say; those hoping to suppress a revolution will eliminate the books first.
I’ve been in contact with a few podcasts that have expressed interest, but so far Comic News Insider is the only one to have mentioned American Terrorist. They had it as a top 3 pick in last week’s episode. Host, Jimmy Aquino said it was a “very gripping tale, very apropos and very cinematic in its storytelling.” He went on to say that it had “rich, rich characters that you feel for, but you’re also conflicted in how you feel for them. It’s really, really interesting with very clever storytelling. I loved it.”
Jimmy also pointed out that the print copy I had sent him was the black & white version and that he wanted to check out the color version available digitally. The full-color graphic novel is now available through Graphicly as well as DriveThru Comics. I’m still waiting for comiXology to get back to me on updating the chapters I’ve already made available through them and then collecting them into the full graphic novel.
What I’ve learned is that it’s mostly a waiting game. It’s good to be aggressive and put yourself out there, but everyone’s got his or her own schedule and you just have to be willing to role with it.
Best I can say is that I’m happy with my role in all this. I made the best graphic novel I could, I’m proud of it and I’m sure most people who read it will really enjoy it. I just have to do what I can to steadily increase that audience.
Speaking of which, I only have a few copies left of the print-on-demand version I did for NYCC. If anyone’s interested in that sort of thing, getting the limited edition, now would be the time. It’s available in the AWBW Store.
After those are gone, I’ll be selling copies from the larger print run. They’ll still be really nice books, just a slightly different printing.
The next step is for me to weigh my options for distribution. I’ll go over that in my next column. See you then.
Tyler Chin-Tanner started his own publishing company, A Wave Blue World, where he wrote and drew layouts for Adrenaline, its flagship series, Adrenaline and wrote its latest graphic novel, American Terrorist.
© 2011 Tyler Chin-Tanner. All rights reserved.
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