Friday, August 29, 2008

Sureshot Presents - The Printing

Doing the OzComic Magazine, I developed a pretty decent relationship with Adelaide Copy, Owen Heitmann had used them before and now a whole bunch of Adelaide comicers use the same printer. Which is good for all we all scatch each others backs.

Well once i started getting quotes for printing, it was pretty easy to see colour covers were out. It would add about a dollar to the cost of printing; that's $300 just for the cover - i would have to be the cover price to $6 because i wanted retailers to get their 50% cut like they do with the Big Boys.The higher price would impact sales, discourage people from having a punt. I could cut corners and have cheaper paper and less pages but again i didn't think that it would be appealing to customers; a 24 page minicomic with toilet paper interiors.

It was a hard decision; colour covers do make the whole book sexy, like an actual proper comic book by a proper actual publisher. But from experience sitting behind a table selling the books most comic fans, raised on DC and Marvel comics wouldn't buy an Australian Comic not matter what; full-colour covers and interiors doesn't mean much when it features chcracters outside of the ones they know and luuuuv (batman, spiderman, etc).
Sure this is the bulk of people who go to comic shops and kind of contravenes Goal #1 but concentrating on just comic fans is just as limiting. i'd never be able to compete with Marvel and DC, so I decided to go for fans of alternative comics and people who like do-it yourself comics.

I saw from experience that they would turn up their nose at anything that looked too much like a Superhero comic.

That's why i went with the spot illustration cover, too make it look less like a comic.

The A5 size was an easy decision and made for two reasons. Doing a comic size meant that i would have to pay for A4 paper and then have it cut down. Of course that cut costs me more (about 10cents per cut per issue so i think 20cents a copy). So i pay more for comic size than A4 and have less "real estate to print on" just for the reason "that's what all the other comic books are printed like". Well since the majority of people i was hoping to grab at cons and zinefairs weren't comic fans - not being comic size works for me.
The other reason is postage.

It was costing me $1.45 to mail a copy of OzComic to someone. With Sureshot I can get away with $1.oo for postage (i have gotten away with 50cent stamp but that was more fluke probably). But when i ship to a retailer i can ship fit about 40 copies in 3Kg Post Satchel meaning each copy is costing 25cents to send to a retailer. With Ozcomics I could only fit half that so my postage cost is for the A5 is 50% better; 25cents versus 50cents per copy. With smaller shipments of 5 copies i can send them in a B4 envelope for $2.50. Its that 10-20 copies which is cumbersome and means that my margin is smallest. i keep thinking i should just send multiple envelopes instead of a parcel but i think that looks a bit naff.

Postage is tricky, being in Adelaide i have to ship most of my comics to other capital cities; Adelaide is my smallest market but i make just as much here because i save on postage. I try and deal with one retailer per state, its better that i ship with volume.

So with some wrangling and designs about paper quality I got to a price of about $1.20 for a 40 page comic with card cover. The cost is probably a bit more now. I went with the colour cardstock with the idea each cover would be different.

No comments: