Thursday, December 16, 2010

How to budget your comic book

I love making comics. As an editor, a writer, and hopefully one day, as an artist. I love everything about the creative process about making comics. I love to create characters and create superheroes, and I love to draw comics. But you know what I don't love? Budgeting a comic...

And you know what? I don't know anyone who does like to budget a comic. In a publishing house, the process of budgeting a comic is called the P&L Process. P&L stands for Profit & Loss. So, the idea is simple, do a search for similar or comparable projects and see what they roughly sold and then look at yours so you can get a pretty good guess.

There are a lot of factors that go into how well a book is going to sell. Just as an example, the exact same project published by Marvel is going to sell higher than if it were sold under, say, the Dark Horse banner. That's just the way of the world, folks. But there are tons of other factors to consider: creators, concept, characters, marketing opportunities, price, etc.

Once you've got an idea of what it's going to sell, then you need to figure out how you're going to make money on the project, and that's not always that easy. First issues sell better than second issues, and second issues sell better than third issues, and so on. So, you need to factor in the right kind of sales decline (I hate that term).

You add up your creative costs, of course. What are you paying people for producing the pages of your comics. Your advertising and listing costs if you've got those. Your printing costs (and that can be tricky, too).

You mix it all up and you come up with a number at the end of your oh-so-awesome-spreadsheet. If that number has a minus sign in front of it, it's time to look at what you can adjust. If you're in the black, you ask how you can make it even more profitable.

Now, that's just the basic overview. If you want the opportunity to ask questions, see one of these sheets in operation, and go in depth in how to do all this, then you've got yourself a cool opportunity coming up in just under two weeks. I'll be hosting the live and online session of the Comics Experience Creators Workshop in which I'll be spending the better part of two hours going over exactly this.

It'll be a great opportunity to get learn how to make comics, and not just make comics, but make profitable comics.

So, hop on over to the Workshop page and sign on up! Not only will you get to participate in this workshop, but you'll have opportunities to really grow as a creator--writer or artist or colorist--participate in monthly challenges, compete for critiques on your art and writing by professional comics creators, and much, much more.

Here's a link to read more! I hope to see you there!