Publisher or Self Publish?

As an aspiring comic artist, this debate has been rattled around to the point where I am sick of it.

I am sick of it because I want a straight answer from unbiased opinions and I’m not getting any. Most people who favor self-publishing one’s comics, in my experience from meeting people at cons and seeing things online, are either:

1) Working with a product they feel “won’t fit in a publisher’s box” (meaning that their product is off-the-wall compared to most work on the mass market right now),
2) Working with a property that they only want to sell small copies of for either regional or promotional purposes, or
3) Working with a property that they have pitched to actual publishers that said publishers rejected or would reject (usually for a good reason).

I haven’t heard any opinions of people who prefer to have their work published with a book publisher, and I honestly want to hear MORE of those because I’m thinking about taking that particular career path instead of self-publishing my work.


From the scant few opinions of others I have read concerning the subject, working with a publisher would take the burden of raising money to print the book off your shoulders, plus the publisher would design the cover of the book (something I would trust them with, because I am a comic artist, not a graphic designer). I do not know if anyone can make a profit from this (it seems some people do), but from the sounds of it, you get a certain amount of money from selling a copy of your book, called a royalty. I do not know how much a comic artist can make off of royalties, which is REALLY FRUSTRATING because no one talks about it. Are comic and graphic novel royalties really that p*ss-poor low? I have no idea!

Another perk about working with a publisher is that they can put your book in more and larger stores than if you worked by yourself. And honestly, I want that kind of reach, and I don’t want to deal with the minutia that is invoices and black-logs and AUGH.

Ok, so you’ve heard my b*tchfest about this issue. Does anyone have anything to add concerning self publishing or working with a publisher?

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