Sunday, 4 September 2011

How do you know you want to buy an e-comic?

So, how do you know you want to buy an e-comic? Same as a paper comic I guess - look inside…

Would you buy a paper comic if you couldn’t see what it was like inside? Probably not. Similarly, I very, very, very rarely buy an e-comic without a meaningful preview - I did once, but the book had good reviews and as far as I could tell, the reviews weren’t by the writer’s mum (and it was non-fiction - I was interested in the information, not the artwork, although it did turn out to be rather nicely drawn).

When browsing through the Amazon Kindle store, you can download a free preview of the book and make an informed choice. If you are the publisher, you need to consider how to help your potential buyers make the right choice.

The main thing to remember is that Amazon decide how much free stuff to give you based on the text in the book, not the images. This means you can easily avoid letting potential purchasers see how good your work is by:

- putting the copyright information in text immediately after the cover.
- putting the table of contents at the front.
- start the book with a multi-page rant telling the potential purchaser not to pirate it.

Copyright information is important, but why not put it on the first comic page - i.e. in an image? Full copyright and contact details and whatever else can be included in text at the end of the book as well.

For Kindle e-comics, the table of contents should be at the back (or omitted if you prefer, though for a large graphic novel it is handy to have one…). The Kindle lets you jump straight to the table of contents, so this isn’t a problem for the reader.
Remember, no matter how good the cover looks, comics are about sequential art. We want to see a sample before we buy.

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