There are basically three ways a creator can learn their craft: the free way, the expensive way, and the hard way.
The hard way is simple: they create without doing any research or any real attempt at learning what they’re trying to do. They’re taking the Nike slogan to heart: they’re just doing it. And they aren’t gaining any traction.
The expensive way is to join a place that will teach you how to make comics. Andy Schmidt’s Comics Experience is such a place. Creators who have gone through there have gotten their work published in various places, and CE has also partnered with IDW to publish stories/books as well. Guaranteed? Not at all.
You can also hire a freelance editor to help you create your book. (I’m for hire, and can be reached here for a quote.) Whereas Comics Experience will teach you some things about how to make your comic, a freelance editor will be in the mix with you, and you can learn by doing and watching.
Then there’s the free way. There are lots of books you can buy for you to read on your own time. Some of them are more challenging to find than others, but if you put in the effort, they are well worth the time to read and add to your creation collection.
I consider buying books to be free because they are extremely cheaper than joining Comics Experience or hiring an editor. The only drawback that I see for books is that none of them take you from idea to the shelves. Most don’t even take you from idea to completed book. Most only take you from idea to a script.
There are truly free places all over the internet that can do what books do. There’s the Comic Book Script Archive, which is exactly what it says, an archive of comic book scripts. There are all kinds of sites that will give you bits and pieces on how to make a comic, but the only place on the internet that I know of that gives step-by-step information is ComixTribe. There are several books worth of information there, from Tyler James’ Comix Counsel to my own Bolts & Nuts. For writers, there’s The Proving Grounds, where you can submit a script and get valuable, actionable notes. (Read some entries before you submit. Do your research. It’s called “the proving grounds” for a reason. It is not for the faint of heart.)
As a creator, you have to decide which way you want to go. Don’t let circumstances dictate which way you must go. Everything is negotiable. But you must learn your craft. That’s the only way to build an audience.