Aug 04 2010

Fake Superhero Stories on the Kindle

Published by at 8:28 pm under Superhero Novel,Writing Articles

When I typed “superhero” in the Kindle searcher, there were a LOT of books masquerading as superhero fiction.  Publishing pro tip: if you’re republishing a book like Aesop’s Fables, The Divine Comedy, The Arabian Nights, Tarzan, Best Russian Short Stories, or Hannibal the Conqueror*,  I would highly recommend against selling such books as something they’re not.  Mismarketed sales are far more likely to result in disgruntled customers and awful reviews.

*Unless the elephants know something we don’t.

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Fake Superhero Stories on the Kindle”

  1. Steton 05 Aug 2010 at 6:46 am

    Speaking of superhero stories online, I’ve got a question for you, B.

    My superhero novel’s hitting bookstores in a few months, and the next one’s out a year later, and I’m wondering about trying to release a graphic novel (or ‘novella,’ really, as it’d be short) online between the two books.

    I’ve got all sorts of cunning plans (read: ‘idiotic fantasies’) about marketing, but I’m just barely dipping my toes into this world. I’m wondering if it’s possible to sell an online graphic novel as an impulse purchase of sorts, priced extremely low, $2-5. Is anyone doing that sorta thing? Any examples?

    I’m looking at this mostly as a marketing expense, and I’d work with an artist I know who’ll give me good rates, but … that’ll still run to a pretty big chunk of change, and I’m wondering if it’s even theoretically possible for me to recoup some of the cost.

    If you wanna know more what the hell I’m talking about, feel free to drop me an email.

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. B. Macon 05 Aug 2010 at 9:31 am

    “My superhero novel’s hitting bookstores in a few months, and the next one’s out a year later, and I’m wondering about trying to release a graphic novel (or ‘novella,’ really, as it’d be short) online between the two books.

    I’ve got all sorts of cunning plans (read: ‘idiotic fantasies’) about marketing, but I’m just barely dipping my toes into this world. I’m wondering if it’s possible to sell an online graphic novel as an impulse purchase of sorts, priced extremely low, $2-5. Is anyone doing that sorta thing? Any examples?”

    Quick question. Are the two novels in the same series? Is the graphic novella/novel related to them?

    If you’re just sort of branching out into this field and aren’t interested in becoming a professional graphic novelist/comic book writer, I think the safest approach would probably be self-publishing it with print-on-demand. The main advantage to this is that it reduces the financial risk if the book doesn’t sell well. Your main financial exposure would then be the artistic costs (which shouldn’t go above $100 a page, less depending on the artistic complexity) and any promotional costs. Given the circumstances, I wouldn’t recommend anything on promotions. I think this is probably going to be more of a learning experience than a Model T. (If you’re interested in doing a mass-market book geared towards maximizing sales, I’d recommend professionally publishing, but it takes a lot more time, probably longer than 18 months from start to finish. In contrast, if I had a working draft of a script, I could probably have a 32 page comic book self-published within three months or a 50-100 page “novella” ready within six).

    I don’t know how many pages you’re looking at, but 50 pages at $75 a page would be $3750. You can cut artistic costs by making the art simpler/less labor-intensive and/or going into black-and-white.

    If you were interested in becoming a professional graphic novelist/CB writer, then I’d recommend trying to get it professionally published. If the graphic novel is

    If the product is worth buying, I think an ideal pricing point is north of $5. Definitely north of $2. The (sadly few) people that are willing to pay $2 for a graphic novel can handle $5-10. The people that are so desperately cash-strapped to care about the difference between $2 and $4 will probably download a pirated copy for $0. For example, The Killing Joke (48 pages) sells for $19.50 new and $11 used on Amazon. If the product is high-quality, I think you can get readers that will pay $10-15 for 48+ pages. (Most comic books have between 22-32 pages and sell for $3-4).

    I’m interested in hearing more, but my e-mail isn’t working today. Could you e-mail me at superheronation-at-gmail-dot-com?

  3. Steton 06 Aug 2010 at 2:34 am

    Thanks. Emailed. Dunno if it went through, though. Having email issues, myself.

  4. B. Macon 06 Aug 2010 at 9:47 am

    I responded.

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