The Distribution Problem In Comics Is Solved

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Peter Simeti, owner of Alterna Comics, made a post inquiring as to whether would support a crowdfund to “make a new distribution system” for comics the other day. He’s interested to see what people would pay for that. Overwhelmingly, comics fans acknowledge Diamond Distribution’s role in being a problem for comics, and of course, the vast majority of Simeti’s followers voted yes, they would fund such an effort.

Here’s the thing — alternative distribution exists. Even Simeti has his own system where a comic shop can buy direct from him for cheaper than they can buy books at Diamond, though it requires certain quantities to do so. Just like all Distribution.

Comic shops have not adopted his platform very much however. Why? Because they put in their monthly orders from Diamond and 90% of the product they sell is available as a Diamond Exclusive. If they want to try to help Alterna, they’ll just buy a couple of books from there and not have to have a quantity minimum for shipping. They’re already in there to do their order, they don’t want to have to remember to do something new for $5-10 in profit a month.

Unless Alterna really creeps up on the Big-2 (which won’t happen in comic shops), their platform won’t matter.

It’s because the hard truth is the specialty comic shop is part of the distribution chain that is part of this monopoly. Marvel/DC > Diamond > Shops> Marvel/DC collecting customer base. It’s how it works. Customers buy mostly Marvel/DC at these shops and have forever. The percentages aren’t really changing. They will special order product for customers who ask for specific things that are coming out, but they’re not out there stocking the indie revolution. Regardless if my book Flying Sparks was available to every comic shop in the nation (it is, which I’ll get to), it doesn’t matter, they’re not going to grab it and feature it.

That chain isn’t something one can penetrate without being an Image Comics, and even then, Image only has a couple of big sellers and the rest are in the same obscurity land that Alterna or Kickstarter/IndieGoGo books are.

It’d be like trying to start a book store distributor for books, not carrying anything by the big 5 publishers, and throwing hands up and saying why isn’t Barnes & Noble buying from me.

The thing is, in books, other options were set up, and those other options won. They cut into the big 5’s almost full market share and now indie books represent almost 50% of the market. How did they do it?

The same way Arkhaven Comics has built what they have so far. The distribution system went out to a broader customer base, to everyone. Anyone can find the book and buy it at any time, and get it delivered free through Prime. If you don’t want to use Amazon as the outlet, you can buy direct through Arkhaven’s very own bookstore which the distributor handles its shipping and processing so they’re not in the business of holding a warehouse of print like it’s the 1980s, and hiring people to ship themselves.

That’s what a distributor does and is for. Getting the producers out of the shipping business, handling all that themselves so we are free to create product. Making the product available to people to purchse at any time. This is the modern way to do things, this is why Amazon’s won out in almost every industry so far (and why even Marvel/DC cater more toward Amazon/Comixology sales than a lot of specialty shop buyers) because there’s an ability to go wide there without a consumer having to travel ever increasing distances to a specialty book shop.

Arkhaven took great pains to set this up, has good printer discounts which make indie books cheaper and more hassle free than a lot of alternatives, it’s available in multiple formats (Kindle, CBZ digital, Print), and the books are ALWAYS available. The distribution system is a solid one and doesn’t rely on anyone else, which is the same way I’ve sold thousands of copies of my steampunk novels without the gatekeeping of big publishing or agents.

And the best part is, any quality comic creator could come, show up, make the deal and make it happen, as it has been since September lsat year. The only reason the clique on twitter won’t acknowledge it is because of a few YouTubers who don’t even represent 1% of the market share. Those YouTubers are bitter and don’t want a solution so they can keep complaining about problems. Stop listening to YouTubers who don’t care about comics, and start producing and paying attention to the actual solutions in the industry.

You can get Flying Sparks on Amazon or through the Arkhaven Bookstore direct. I ran out of my initial print run, but it’s still available cuz of this awesome distribution system–and even better, we’re able to charge lower prices than I originally anticipated because of it. Check it out and pick up the book now.

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A New Year And New Innovations In Comics

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Unlike a lot of the guys who launched crowdfunds over the summer who are still struggling to try to get their works done and haven’t figured out what to do on distribution as they’re exploring the same tired traditional options which historically don’t move the needle at all, we’re continuing to innovate and make the books available at affordable prices for all, while producing so much great content it’s mind-boggling.

For the first of the year, I’m pleased to announce you can now avoid all evil-tech and still read Flying Sparks. No supporting Amazon, no IndieGoGo, it’s available direct and in a higher quality digital format than anywhere else.

Yes it’s now available as a CBZ from the Arkhaven Direct store! Read the book that’s launching my comic career, and get on board now, because I just finished up my dialogue edits for Flying Sparks Volume 2: Mob Ties and it’s going to blow you away.

Buy the CBZ here:

http://arkhavencomics.com/product/flyingsparks/

 

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Some Cool Crowdfund Comics You Might Not Have Heard Of

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I know it’s closed to Christmas and we’re all tapped out on presents and the like, but splurge a little on presents for yourself. We’re here to help indie comics, that’s what we want to do to create a thriving replacement industry for the failed business model Marvel/DC have set up. And there is no rest in this business!

I’ve found some cool projects that I think are great and need your help:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/robot-western-the-comic-book-series#/

Robot Western. I like robots. I like westerns. This pleases me as a concept.

Apollo: Chariot Of The Gods

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/apollo-chariot-of-the-gods#/

A cosmic superhero adventure. I’ll be releasing my own like this next year sometime but for now, this can help you fill that itch.

Hero

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/hero-book-1-full-color-kid-friendly-graphic-novel/x/7822803#/

An all ages book with some cute animal heroes.

Hiro: Blood of The Patriots

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/hiro-blood-of-patriots/x/7822803#/

Super soldiers and some good pro-military themes.

The Wreck

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-wreck-into-the-breach/x/7822803#/

Some excellent sci-fi action

 

A great selection from you to choose from. Back some indie projects and support indie comics!

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On Bullying And ComicsGate

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One of my main principles is I’m anti-bullying. I started #ComicsGate because I received information as a journalist that Richard Meyer was being bullied by professionals to the point where he was going to get harassed at conventions and possibly have people harm him physically.

I defend those who are bullied. I pick up the mantle. This is something very important to me because I’ve seen people online driven to near-suicide because of online bully mobs.

When people are using the hashtag I popularized along with help from PJMedia (a great conservative news site) to bully comic creators and people into the will of one very cowardly youtuber, I’ll take up the cause, doesn’t matter who you are. You are not alone. You have my support.

I’ve seen their pattern. Yesterday I was targeted by a major ComicsGate creator with him coming to me on social media passive aggressively trying to attack me and claim I’m somehow being “unChristian”. Of course, when people do this on social media, they do this to bully christians. He kept at it for HOURS (I don’t know how this guy expects to do work or finish books when he has time to do this to people). The objective is to get me to lose my cool and come at him hard while being “concerned” and then go to his audience and tell everyone how he was “just being a concerned friend” and have them mob pile on me with a “see? Jon is a terrible person!”

They do this to everyone. I see it almost daily. There’s bait, it’s incessant, they will harp on someone until the person gets fed up and responds, then they attack the person hard for responding. It’s been every case so far.

The good news:

There’s a lot of us who have been under this attack. We are a tight knit group because of our shared experience. There’s a network here who’s got your back and we won’t equivocate, we won’t abandon you because of the pressure of some anonymous trolls.

Don’t be afraid! At the end of the day these guys are the biggest cowards I’ve ever seen. They hide in their DM chat together and rely on anonymous mobs to do their dirty work and won’t stand up for anyone or anything. The more people speak and stand together, the less power they have.

It can seem overwhelming but if you get hit by this mob, contact me, I’ll put you in touch with people who it’s happened to, we WILL support you as best we can.

We’re about comics and principles, not mobs and outrage over here, and that’s what we’re going to deliver.

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It Must Be A Slow Sales Month For ComicsGate

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Looking at the December numbers on IndieCron, an idea I helped start but now they blacklist me from being mentioned because they’re ordered to, it’s pretty dismal to look at. The outrage cash has pretty much disappeared into the coffers of a frog comic that may or may not be ever made, and to a legal offense fund (not defense) against a mentally ill industry insider.

Don’t believe me, go to IndieGoGo and look at the numbers books are bringing in.

Part of it is Christmas, true, but people with huge followings like Mike Miller are actually pulling in less backers for his current project than my The Ember War got, and both had similar situations where we launched before fulfilling our other campaigns. It’s a good comparison. Miller by his following size from Lonestar should be doing 3 – 5x what I do on my projects (this is not a slight against him, Mike has been one of the few people within comicsgate to be cool to me, it is just an analysis of the business model and the problems arising. I 100% support and endorse his projects.).

Downstream of Miller, it’s an even more dismal story, books are really not making it at all now. Even the bottom tier that used to scrape by in funding aren’t finding their legs. I’ll be highlighting a few indie comics later on the blog this week to try to get some attention for these creators who aren’t getting much love from the YouTube eceleb community.

So it was interesting to wake up to find messages to me “why are they losing their minds on you now?”

I honestly didn’t know. I have not been the most active on social media lately as I’ve been spending time working on stuff.

Sure enough, someone dredged up an old tweet of mine from a month ago where I rightly called out the main group that’s responsible for the division in indie comics, the harassment of everyone, and brought up the fact that they only tend to pick on women and minorities. There’s a pattern that’s impossible to deny.

Well, the phony outrage train started again even though I’ve been pretty much absent. This is what they do. This is why they run off anyone who even mildly questions what’s going on with the crowd. The MO is this and I’ve seen it too many times to buy into it now:

1. They set off their followers into fake outrage.
2. They repeat it over and over and twist it “OMG, Jon is ‘basically’ attacking you PERSONALLY cuz you’re associated with EVS!” Note the word basically, as this is a tactic I used to see the left do to me when I was coming up in sci-fi comics. I never said anything about these guys personally nor do I know most of them or have negative opinions of them, at least until they launched.
3. They act en masse through their followers leaving hundreds of angry messages, tweets, saying all sorts of nasty stuff, pure harassment. 
4. They wait until they get called on it.
5. They throw a fit because they’re called on it and put their hands up and feign like they’re getting attacked and then start the cycle anew with followers who didn’t see what’s going on in full, so they think their favorite creators are being attacked when it’s those guys doing the attacking.

It’s happened so many times now to so many people it’s beyond absurd. That’s what I saw back in September and why I washed my hands of it.

I can only assume it’s because it’s a slow sales and news month.

I’m here to create comics, I’m working my tail off, and i guess that bothers a few of the bigger folk who can’t seem to get their comics done. But here’s the thing: I’m not afraid of anyone, I believe in truth, justice, and the American way. That’s what comics is about to me. I’ll always defend those who are getting attacked unjustly and are in the weaker position because that’s what Christ would do. I cannot be controlled, I cannot be manipulated. I am fully independent and don’t rely on any of these guys’ youtube shows for sales.

That’s why I’m dangerous to the mainstream industry and to those who want to act like their clones.

But you can’t stop the signal.

Flying Sparks isn’t just out to backers, it’s even on Amazon now. Anyone can get it at any time, which you should, cuz unlike most indie comics, this features quality writing by an award winner and #1 Bestseller combined with pro art from a great artist who’s worked for Image and Dynamite. Everyone who’s read it, even reviewers who don’t like me much, agree that it’s a great book. How many folk can pull that off?

Buy The Physical.

Buy The Digital. 

 

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Flying Sparks: Meta-Man Special Cover Reveal!

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I’m pleased to present what will be the art for the cover of the Meta-Man special, art by Mike Abuan and colors by Levy Ramirez.

Meta-Man takes on his nemesis Doctor Malicious and his communist commandos! 

You’ll get to see some of the history of Meta-Man in this book, though it doesn’t take you back to his origin. I wrote his origin as an old-time radio drama which I produced myself and lost all the files for years ago. We may make it again at some point, may convert that into a novel or a comic book, not sure yet, but this book both is meant to be a fun stand alone adventure and gives a bit of a reveal of how he ties into Chloe in the Flying Sparks main storyline (it’s pretty subtle so I’ll be interested to see who pieces things together).

If you want to catch up on Flying sparks proper, it’s on Amazon now, you can do so here.

 

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Flying Sparks Now Available On Kindle!

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We’ve done it! The book is now available for print on demand and on Kindle so anyone can get Flying Sparks at any time. And you’ll want to too. Every reviewer has given high praise to the story, most notably for the care I took with the character work. It’s going to be a cut above most of the other indie comics out there.

Working on volume 2, which I’m planning to launch on IndieGoGo in February. Volume 2 dials up both the emotional and the action intensity to a significant degree. You’ll love where this story goes. I’m trying to see if there’s a way to get sketches/original art from Jethro on this as one of the perks, which will be a lot of fun. I might need to get a couple of those for myself.

If you’ve already read it from IndieGoGo, make sure to leave a review! 

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The Consumers Have Spoken And Love Flying Sparks!

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These are the reviews I like the best, cuz it’s clearly someone who READS, it’s not a professional youtuber who’s just generating content. Not that I mind the other reviews either.

As you can see immediately, and might expect from every other mention of Flying Sparks, the readers are VERY impressed with the book. He says it restores his faith in comics and most importantly “the writing’s phenomenal.”

That’s going to be the difference between my work and some of the recent crowdfunded comics, is this is a book by a top tier professional writer with a top tier professional artist together.

As far as whether you can still purchase the book, you can on Amazon. We’re working on getting a Kindle edition up in short order, hopefully within the next week or two.

Also happy to announce ALL of Flying Sparks has been fulfilled. It was quite a lot of work and hours getting books all shipped, and I’m probably going to outsource it to the printer in the future because I want to be in the business of writing and content creating, not packing and shipping. It’ll allow me to come out with books faster and actually will probably make it cheaper for you to purchase as well.

I posted an update on the IndieGoGo page yesterday with a bit more information as well:

  1. We’re working on a Flying Sparks: Meta-Man Special tie-in which is going to be 24-Pages. It goes into Meta-Man’s past and subtly reveals crucial information about our characters for keen readers.  The art is by my good friend Mike Abuan. This book is going to be a test because we’re going to release it directly to Amazon and see how the market’s going to be for a book like that and if it’s sustainable to do it that way without a crowdfund to help pay for art and the like. The book will be $4.99.
  2. Flying Sparks Volume 2 is slated for crowdfund in February. And there won’t be much wait time for you to get the book after it closes! The machine’s in place and we’re going to run like clockwork. The cover artist for Volume 2 will wow you and I can’t wait to announce who it is.

In the meantime make sure to catch up on the first book. I’m excited to make this an ongoing superhero world and keep expanding the scope. I’d had planned audio dramas, a youtube show, and more for this property so if we can keep growing, we can make some awesome content become a reality. Pick it up here.

 

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The Left’s Social Pressure Tactics And Moderates

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The left knows the game. Moderates don’t respond based on logic or being swayed by “good points in debate.” They respond based on social pressure. You can push a moderate from a right winger and divide a base by hitting the talking points that instills fear into the moderate.

A moderate is scared to be branded a racist, a sexist, a bigot, and will act according to avoiding that social pressure.

A “radical” isn’t scared, because they know the branding isn’t true and doesn’t matter so they’ll do what they want.

That’s the difference. Outside of a few kooks with no power, there’s no problems going on with these things in reality. We live in the most open, free time in the world, where the only thing that can hold you back in most professions is being an open Chrsitian, white, or male, or a combination of the above.

So want to help your side? Don’t ADD to the social pressure the SJWs put on moderates by putting more on right wing people or opinions.

Today, we saw that the people who proclaim moderation get attacked regardless. That Umbrella Guy, a popular youtuber, moderate, and rabble rouser within the comicsgate sphere was doxxed last night. He’s a vocal guy about comics, but not much else. He took great pains to disassociate from me and other vocal right wingers in the movement in order to try to stay safe, for his own personal reasons which I know and are valid, but it didn’t stop the SJWs from coming after him.

Once they declare you as a target, you’re their target. It doesn’t matter if you support gay rights, it doesn’t matter if you voted the “right” way… i even talk to a lot of left folk in the industry who weren’t 100% on board with what the mob wanted at times and they’ve gotten the heat, gotten the attacks, had their careers and lives destroyed. They’ll attack you no matter what.

I’ve been saying this ever since I was disavowed by the big youtube clique: it doesn’t matter. The SJWs will go for you no matter what. Abandoning your friends and allies doesn’t help anyone. It’s a division tactic to slow the movement’s momentum down, make it so my fans won’t buy your work, your fans won’t buy my work. It’s an endless cycle and they USE that social pressure in order to make it happen.

Know that it’s just a tactic. There’s no principles involved. No letting them know you’re “not the real racist”. It doesn’t matter to them. They know you’re a threat by posing an alternative to their establishment mainstream. They know that the “further right” people are doing the same. That’s what this is about not any specific policies. They don’t care about policies, they care that your identity is a threat to theirs. And it will always be unless you bow to them completely. Doing partial bows will not help you.

We can get back on track now. We can stop the division and get back to what we’re supposed to be doing — creating a real alternative, one that doesn’t blacklist over perception of right-leaning politics. Keep our heads down, stay the course, and don’t attack your friends. We already have Warner Bros., Disney, the DNC, the Clinton Foundation, Big Saudi Oil, the UN, the news media against us. You add the element of fighting each other and we’re going to get nowhere fast.

Make sure to support alternative indie books. A great place to start is For Steam And Country, the first book in my major steampunk series that made me a #1 bestseller despite all the social pressure big publishing tried to put for people not to buy my books. Readers loved it anyway! Check it out here.

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IndieGoGo Makes Move Appearing To Discriminate Against Right

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Most people who follow me saw the news yesterday where IndieGoGo removed not only an active campaign — but one that had completed on its site more than two weeks ago. It appears to be a breach of contract at this point because funds were promises (as that’s how IndieGoGo works), but we’ll see what happens.

I’ve got a couple of emails into IGG as a journalist — and a concerned person with a campaign. IndieGoGo simply referred me to the terms of service which state they can take down a project for any time for any reason and it’s their policy not to communicate a reason.

If that’s the terms of service, then they’re a very shady group to utilize such a policy. How can you operate as a business by taking down campaigns that make 6-figures and giving no reason why? Of the more than thousand backers of the campaign… I’d be leery to ever use the site just because of that which hurts other projects too. Backing something and having IGG hold money for a month only to refund for no reason is very angering and makes it hard to trust the site for any project.

Chuck Dixon, the writer of AHQ said one thing: “It won’t stop us”. Which is good. We can’t give up, can’t abandon the fight just because of some big tech clowns. This appears to be discrimination based on politics because of their lack of any sort of given reason about the project, and that is something at its core which is anti-American and anti-free speech.

The SJWs have a plan. It’s to do 3 things: Destroy, deplatform, divide.  That’s their strategy at all times. I call it 3D Warfare.  They’re going to come after all of us and this is just a test run to see what happens with it.

We’ve seen that so far their attacks have been head on, but we’re going to have more behind the scenes attacks like this. YouTube. Twitter. Crowdfunds. They’re not safe. If any of us get too big, we’re at risk on these platforms controlled by them.

I’m especially afraid because I have a project published through the same company as AHQ. The Ember War is up now, and it’s raised $19,000 — money I really need to pay for the art of the book. If IGG decides I’m evil over association, I could be very screwed in terms of this book that’s half done. I need to make this happen and can’t afford to take the short term hit like some of the bigger guys.  And I believe because of my association only that my project is probably the most AT RISK of any on the site.

You can help support the Ember War and Arkhaven’s right to make comics here (for now). Thank you everyone. We need to stand together. The attacks might get worse on all of us but our resolve is what’s going to win this in the long run.

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