I recently had the pleasure of reading a complimentary copy of Gamal Hennessy’s The Business of Independent Comic Book Publishing. As the name suggests, it is a business-oriented look at the comic book publishing process, and Hennessy draws from other sources, both inside comic publishing and outside, to create a useful guide. It is at times both encouraging and discouraging, but it is a beneficial book to anyone wanting to make their own comics.
In The Business of Independent Comic Book Publishing, Hennessy lays out the basics someone would need to know to self-publish their own comic book. It is a step-by-step guide that will help someone go from idea to published product and beyond. Along the way, the reader will learn the basics of business, production, distribution, marketing, sales, and many other relevant and helpful topics. He also includes many useful guides and forms creators can consult and use during the process of publishing their comics. Focusing more on the business-related issues in comic book publishing, it is not a guide to assist with creative aspects of your book.
Hennessy is forthright in his commentary. He seeks to support and inspire aspiring creators, but he acknowledges the difficulties in financially succeeding in the industry. He highlights many of the areas where aspiring creators might encounter problems, and he provides sound advice with how to deal with, or avoid, those types of situations. Anyone following the steps laid out in the book will likely position themselves well to commercially exploit their comic—if their comic can find the right audience.
Overall, The Business of Independent Comic Book Publishing is a worthwhile read, but it is best-geared toward those new creators who have little-to-no understanding of how to make a business work or to sell a product.
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