Colleen Doran On Her Self-Publishing Days

October 24th, 2005 | comics talk, people I know

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THE ENGINE

For most people, self publishing is an expensive hobby. More power to you. But don’t pretend or promote the idea that it is a wise economic decision, because it is not. Almost everyone who self publishes in print loses money. It is highly speculative, and much of your chance for financial success does not rest with you.

It is fortunate for those who began self publishing with their first mover advantage in the 1970′s and early 1980′s, when the market was growing, because then a creator could earn enough money to build inventory for GN publication and financial capital to finance it. But almost every book in print was taking severe sales losses by the mid-1990′s, and comics that once sold 60,000 copies were selling 6,000 copies. The party was over. Even old stalwarts of self publishing were finding big time publishers to protect them from the financial fallout.

My biggest mistakes were, ultimately, my final decision, but to me, self publishing is simply a choice about the market, not a choice that has a whole heck of a lot to do with the work itself. I am publishing at Image, and I prefer it. I get paid when I am supposed to. I don’t make much money, but the book gets done. That’s all I care about…


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  1. You can find Warren on Twitter: @warrenellis