By Jason Thibault
Optimumwound.com is taking form. We almost killed ourselves making it work with Word Press but we’re getting there. Some sections are active with new additions being made every day. My formatting is a little wonky but I have big plans for that place. We’re getting there.
8-page Rex sampler
I had 5000 8-page samplers for Rex printed up at Lebonfon Printing (in Quebec Canada) this week. They’re shipping out as part of the Diamond dateline weekly package that goes out to their 4600 store accounts. Unfortunately they’ll be ending up in shops at the end of the month rather than the beginning. It was a gamble but I felt that I needed to have something in hard copy circulating out there amongst the vendors who do all of the purchasing. A $9.95 cover price is a bit of a risk for storeowners to take on an unproven newbie publisher.
I think we’ll launch with good numbers in May and that we’ll do even better numbers once the book is actually out and a few hundred review copies can be mailed out to magazines and media outlets. Then we’ll do a re-launch in June / July. It’s why I wanted to go books (graphic novels) as opposed to singles. I can think about the long term rather than 30-day shelf lives. Still it’s important to make a strong push come release week. Jay at Diamond did a lot for us by writing this amazing review for the Previews catalog.
I did some heavy advertising for the Rex webcomic over the past 2 days using the Project Wonderful banner system on some like-minded sites like thezombiehunters.com, Marlith.com and postnukecomic.com. We managed to pull over a few thousand people that way. I also took a rather pricey ($40/day) ad over the entire onlinecomics.net network. And Warren Ellis’ White Chapel forum run by Avatar sent over even more traffic.
In total Rex managed to garner over 50,000 page views in the last 4 days. That is f@#king awesome.
Facebook, which I have a love / hate relationship with has launched some new applications. Most of my local (Vancouver) friends migrated over there last year. You can now start a Page as opposed to a profile. FB profiles are private whereas the â€œpagesâ€ are public. So now Optimum Wound has a Facebook Page. It’s a tiny community (so far) and it will never replace our presence on Myspace but I felt it was important to experiment with.
Press Releases and Knowing Thy Place.
I’m still trying to wrap my head around writing press releases. I started out last year by going to this helpful article How to Write a Great Press Release. I still need A LOT of practice.
I wrote one up, made a few classic errors and emailed it off to a lot of comic news sites. Only 4 picked it up. I’m not sure how many mistakes I made. Bad formatting, sending attachments, too lengthy or reading too much like an advertisement. Don’t know.
None of the mainstream places like comicon.com/pulse, newsarama.com or comicbookresources.com posted it. I’m not sure what their policies are or if their email filters blocked it or if it was just plain unnewsworthy. I’m sure their inboxes get filled with hundreds of missives each week. I do know that newsarama.com was happy to take my advertising dollars last summer. For two months in a row.
â€¦but some of the smaller sites came to the rescue. Some of them are growing at such a rate that they’re becoming the new dogs in town. I have to take the time to publicly thank Broken Frontier, Chuck @ Comic Related, Matt @ Comics Bulletin and Brad @ The Comic Collective for helping us get the word out there. We are extremely grateful for that. And I’ll return the favor once I get our link section running at our homepage.
So you see I’m gradually laying out a marketing blueprint for a new comic and a new company. I haven’t done everything perfectly the first time out and at the end of this 10-week cycle we’ll examine what went right and wrong. It’s always an uphill battle and you don’t sleep much but I’m having a lot of fun. Next week I’ll go over even more aspects of marketing. And try to include a few photos.