Wondering what it’s like for self-publishing creators these days? This year-in-review by Tina Anderson, who writes what she describes as “graphic novels and fan comics for fans of homoerotic stories,” might answer your questions:
I list Amazon as my most successful distributor, because be it print or digital, they’ve consistently remained a strong and user-friendly, sales outlet. They’re generous with my take, easy to fulfill, sales info is never late or missing, and payment is always on time. Also on my list of good partnerships turned out to be LSI. Loud Snow was produced with them last year and it came out great, and they took over my fulfillment duties with Amazon and BN with no hiccups, saving me the cost of shipping to these sales outlets myself. I was able to enroll in Ingram, and sold to smaller bookstores—and while this didn’t bring me as much of a percentage as I liked, I appreciated the accuracy of their sales reporting and the willingness to distribute to smaller vendors. Even the price change on Loud Snow went through without issue, and actually led to an increase in sales.
She’s far less complimentary about Barnes & Noble – “There’s still no dedicated support to smaller pubs for digital works and product page set up—they raid the Bowker database for title information that’s often outdated, then list this misinformation as on sale and take pre-orders,” she notes – as well as Apple and eManga. It’s a fascinating glimpse into a side of the business I rarely think about, but one that I suspect may become more and more important as digital offers creators the chance to own and produce their own work more easily.