Ready for another tip?
Save your money. That’s the biggest, best, deepest secret that any creator can give you. Save your money, because you’re going to be spending it later.
Of course you’re going to spend some of it on the creative team. (Remember, you get what you pay for. I’m not saying that you have to spend a lot of money on the creative team, but you’re going to get what you pay for. Keep that in mind.)
Then you’re going to do the submission process for the project, getting rejections all the way around for various reasons. I’m not saying this to be discouraging, I’m saying this because it’s true. You’re generally going to be rejected all around for various reasons.
So then you decide to self-publish. This is, of course, where the real expenses come in.
You’re going to try to get into Diamond. If they think they can sell your book, they’ll accept it and solicit it for sale with retailers. (All the solicitation copy you write, every book you create, and everything you do is to get the attention of retailers. They’re going to be your advocates to the buying public.) Diamond is going to get the orders from the retailers, and then they’ll send you a purchase order to fill. This means you’ll have books to print.
Printing. Your book is in color, so you’re going to want to print in color. Printing in color is going to eat up almost everything you’ve saved. Color is expensive. There is no other way around this when it comes to printing.
You’re also going to want to over-print. This is because you want to have some books in reserve for a any re-orders (this happens on occasion), as well as to hand-sell if you want to go to conventions.
But if you don’t get into Diamond, you’re going to be making a lot of phone calls to retailers. This will be soul-crushing, because most retailers are going to tell you no. But for the ones who say yes, you’re still going to have to print the comics, but you’ll then have the added expense of distributing them yourself, using whatever method you wish (probably the regular postal service). The expense there is in supplies to protect the comics, as well as the weight. (It’s also expensive in time, because you have to keep track of all of this, too.)
Save your money. This should be your mantra. Creators all over will tell you that making comics is expensive. Save your money.
Save your money.