How to Create a Budget for Your Comics (Part II)

gamalhennessy Community • Oct 23, 2020

Last month, we started talking about creating a budget for your comic book publishing (See How to Create a Budget for Your Comics). Now that we’ve taken a few weeks to look at the different financing options, I’d like to expand on that discussion a little bit here by highlighting the different types of things an aspiring comic book publisher needs to consider when allocating limited resources.

Publishing comics requires more than just paying for page rates and printing. There are at least seven different categories of expenses, each with smaller subcategories.

Initial Costs:  Getting your business off the ground

Company registration
Intellectual property clearance and registration
Website creation

Ongoing Operating Costs: This is the annual cost to keep your publishing empire afloat.

Accounting fees
Legal fees
Website maintenance

Creative Costs: This is the cost to pay your creative team to make the actual book:

Cover design
Line art (pencils and inks)
Production design

Marketing Costs: This is the cost to build a community of people to read your comic.

Competition research (aka buying comics)
Email campaigns
Comic shop events
Bookstore events
Library events
Convention attendance
Influencer fees
Publicist fees
Marketing labor

Printing Costs: If you decide to distribute a print version of your book, this will be the cost to print physical copies.

Single issue printing
Trade paperback printing
Graphic novel printing

Distribution Costs: This is the cost to get your book in the hands of readers.

Sales labor
Crowdfunding fees
Single issue shipping
Trade paperback shipping
Graphic novel shipping
Storage fees
Digital download fees

Advertising Costs: This is the cost to let your readers know that your book exists. 

Advertising creative fees
Digital advertising
Print advertising
Social media advertising
Sponsorship fees

Sales Costs: The money you have to pay to make money

Sales fees

Of course, the actual amount of each one of these line items will vary depending on your goals, your financing options, and the type of comics you want to make. Every comic does not require every type of cost. As a comic book publisher, you can choose to reduce your costs by scaling back or eliminating any expense based on your goals and your budget.

It makes sense to have a clear idea of what it costs to publish a comic and then decide not to pay for certain things. It makes less sense to jump into comic book publishing and then get blindsided by fees and expenses you didn’t consider.

Did I leave anything out? What does your comic book publishing budget look like? Share your thoughts in the comments and let us know what you think.

Have fun with your comic.