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A Celebration of Indie Comics – Indie Power Is LIVE!

If you love indie comics, we just made your life better!

If you are an indie comic book publisher, we just made your life better!

It’s been more than 6 months in the making, but now we are officially announcing that the Indie Power website is now live!

Before you click on the link below, let me give you some background on what Indie Power is.

I’m a Fan: What’s Indie Power for Me?

If you’re a fan of indies, your biggest problem is probably finding them.

There are hundreds of them, some are probably exactly what you’re looking for, but they’re so hard to find by yourself.

Indie Power puts all the indies in one place. We’re a growing group of indies from all over the web, in all genres.

Every day a new post is made about an indie series that you’ve probably never heard of.

Every day you get to see a new indie series that’s out there. We’re growing every day, with new members and new articles!

You can use the search option to search for things that you like!

Sign up for the daily newsletter to never miss news about an indie series!

I’m a Publisher: What’s Indie Power for Me?

If you’re a publisher, you’re struggling to get noticed, struggling to find fans.

All the indies out there are in the same position.

The first thing you have to understand is: You and the other indies are not in competition. $2 spent on my book is not $2 taken from yours, or vice versa. Working together, we can become stronger. United we stand, divided we fall.

The Indie Power members all tweet together about each and every article, essentially transmitting news about YOUR article to ALL our fans together! In the same way we help you, we expect you to help us and to tweet about evey article we have.

 

All right. Intrigued? Want to check it out? Indie Power is a few weeks old, growing daily. Check out the Indie Power website now! Share it with your friends! And sign up for the daily newsletter!

What? You’re still here? Go check it out!

 

 

 

How I Destroyed My Career and Made Comics My Last Stand

Well… Time for a confession.

For those of you who don’t know me: I’m Guy Hasson, CEO and head writer of New Worlds Comics.

I’m 43 years old. I’ve been a science fiction author, I’ve written and directed plays, and I’ve worked as a scriptwriter for a few years. And only after I created New Worlds Comics, at age 40, twenty years after the premiere of my first play, did I realize what has gone wrong with my career.

Apparently, I’ve done everything possible to tank any success I’ve achieved in the last 20 years.

Six months ago I was on the verge of doing it again with New Worlds Comics.

For the first time in my life, I realized what I have done. And I found it in me to act differently. For every bad choice I had made, I tried to make the right choice with New Worlds Comics.

I chose to not repeat the patterns ingrained so deeply within me.

I chose to do what’s hard. And I decided that comics, and New Worlds Comics, would be my last stand.

Here are the terrible mistakes I made and how I tried to fix them.

Mistake #1: Changing Direction Every Chance I Got

If you had met me as a teen or in my twenties, you’d have met a fireball. It was clear I was talented – I could write well in any genre, and I did, because I wanted to write everything, everything, everything.

But I would never stick to a genre or any medium. My first play was a drama for adults. My second was a comedy for children. My first book was hard SF for adults. My second book was an adventure for Young Adults.

Fans couldn’t cope with the changes. Every fan I’d gather along the way, I’d lose in my next project. With every premier or book launch I’d have to start gathering the fans from scratch.

Mistake #2: Disregarding Fame

Despite my best efforts, I did become a famous SF author at least in my native country, Israel, in my early thirties.

It’s ridiculous-sounding for a person to say he was famous and it’s always hard for anyone to really understand how people perceive them. So rather than give you the whole long story, I’ll share with you two incidents that symbolized for me that my status was better than I had thought:

When I was at WorldCon at some party, two of the big SF publishers, talking to a French SF publisher, suddenly looked at me and said: “Him!”

I said, “What the hell are you guys talking about?”

The French publisher said, “I asked who the top SF author in your country is.”

Another incident: It was award season again, and in forums people were begging to stop putting me up for awards. “Stop talking about him like everything he does is good! I’ve had it with Guy Hasson!” wrote one, among many, who immediately afterwards confessed he never read anything of mine.

 

I’ve learned that when people want to take you down because they can’t stop hearing their friends talk about how good your stuff it – that, also, is a mark of fame.

But then I took all that, and threw it away. I disappeared into film, working as a scriptwriter (writing SF and horror) for a few years, then writing and directing my own indie feature-length film.

I disappeared for seven years, and when I came back, I had been forgotten by all except the old generation and the publishers who were willing to publish my next two books. But the fans, with the momentum of churning out book after book, had vanished.

Mistake #3: The Work Doesn’t End When You Finish Writing It

I could work tirelessly and endlessly on a project. I worked on one theater show for 3 years. I worked my butt off to get the indie film I wrote and directed done and premiered.

But once a project was done: That thing in me that needed it, that needed to create it, was also done. The project didn’t interest in me anymore. I had done the thing that was important to me: created the art for art’s sakes.

I created a film, but never actually had the wherewithal to send it to festivals other than the one that had agreed to premiere it.

I created a theater show, written and directed two experimental webseries, published a new book – but after those things were done would not spend the months needed to promote them.

And so, without marketing, without my name being already worth something to many people, none of these things had a chance. They all died after their birth.

Mistake #4: If It’s Good, It’ll Spread Itself

As Bones would say, “I’m a writer, dammit, not a marketer.”

I’m a writer, through and through. In my eyes, I create art. Marketing was never for me. Speaking to the fans or to potential audiences was never my thing. Once something was done, I moved on to the next piece of art I could create.

And I always thought: If it’s good, it’ll speak for itself and will spread itself. One person will see it and be so amazed that it will spread.

But that almost never works. Not without a little fanbase to start with. Not without talking to your fanbase and letting them know what’s going on. Not without actually sending your stuff to venues where it could be seen.

You have to carry through with the work you’ve done. You have to introduce people to it again and again and again.

And that’s the precipice I found myself standing on – again! – with New Worlds Comics.

What’s Different This Time, with New Worlds Comics?

  • I realized that for New Worlds Comics to succeed, I would have to do the hard work I never wanted to or could do: I would have to introduce people to the comics again and again and again. And I have done. For hours every day, for weeks and months.
  • I realized I must never stop, or New Worlds Comics would never grow. And I haven’t.
  • I realized that I must never turn my back on the fans that have gathered and the communities that are growing.
  • I realized that I can fulfill my craving to always do something different by simply writing different series simultanously and being super original within every issue.
  • I still think that fame is unimportant, but I realize it’s a tool that helps people find and read your next piece of art.
  • I’ve stopped shifting directions in mid-flight.
  • I will not disappear. I’ve realized that starting from zero in another medium, again, would just mean the same trouble all over again. Here I am. Here I stand. And here I give you the best writing and the best art in comic books today, whether it’s from me or from other writers.

Has Anything Changed?

Yes. The change in me has had a massive change for New Worlds Comics.

For our first 8 months, New Worlds Comics has had only 1,400 followers on Twitter. Since I made the change, we’ve had more than 1,000 new followers a week. Today we’re up to 17,000. Next week we’ll be at 18,000. By the end of the year…

People are talking about our flagship title, Wynter. Communities are forming. This website is steadily growing in popularity. Sales are way up.

We’ve got a weekly newsletter. We’ve got a podcast coming, taking a truthful behind-the-scenes look at how to create and grow an indie comic book company. We’ve got two more series coming out in the next few months: Time Warriors and the graphic novel series, Lost in Dreams – and another towards the end of the year.

Everything’s changed because I would not shoot myself in the foot again, and I would not repeat the behavior that has brought me this far.

Here I am. Here I make my stand. Here I’ll remain until the medical examiner takes my body away and checks it for signs of murder.

Will you take this trip with me?

Tell you what: Want to see what this is all about? Check out our flagship title, Wynter. It’s been called “The best SF comic book on the market today” by quite a few blogs. Check it out for yourself!

Then come back and stick around. There’s so much more coming.

Can You Guess What’s Going On?

Our brand new SF series, Time Warriors, is about to launch!

Check out this exclusive preview of the first two pages: Can you guess what’s going on? 

Art: Juan Manuel Almirón

Time Warriors #1, Page #1

Time Warriors #1, Page #1

Time Warriors #2, Page #2

Time Warriors #2, Page #2

What do you think is happening?

Leave your guesses in the comments below!

The Big Future of Indie Comics

Who Controls the Comic Book World?

Almost all indies today feel the shadow of the big comic book companies: Marvel, DC, Image, etc.

These companies control almost ALL of the market. Not only that, but they control readers’ expectations: What readers expect to see is what these companies have to sell.

But the truth is the exact opposite!

Here’s why:

The Truth

The truth is that that more than 90% of all the comics that have ever been done fall into a tiny niche called Superhero Comics.

The truth is that Superhero Comics are a tiny fraction of what’s possible to create with comic books.

The truth is that comic books can be about anything, in any style, in any genre.

The truth is that of everything that’s possible

The truth is that the ones who are prepared to tackled all that big space of What’s Possible is not Marvel or DC or any of the big companies.

The truth is that Everything Else belongs to us indies!

Imagine the Future

Imagine a future, where you walk into a comic book store, and the shelves are filled with great comics.

Imagine how only one tiny section (4, 5 shelves at most) are filled with the latest Superhero Comics. Imagine how everything else is not: Everything else is fantasy, science fiction, funny, dramatic, tragic, crime, and whatever new genres in comics haven’t been discovered yet.

The truth is that we indies own those shelves, and the Big Companies don’t. We can carve our new styles and new stories to new audiences, while the Big Companies are stuck, unable to move from their niche, because that is what their readers expect from them.

So come on! Stop feeling small! Indies, look at all that land! Let’s conquer the Earth!

6 Harsh Ways to Become a Successful Indie Publisher

In my last article, I wrote about the 6 harsh truths of the indie comics publisher.

Basically, they are:

  • Good reviews don’t help sales.
  • Ads don’t help sales.
  • It doesn’t matter that you’re good.
  • People will refuse to read you for free.
  • Fans don’t care about previews
  • Talking about your comic book makes people want to not buy it.

Harsh, right? But true.

And most of the people who have commented on it on Facebook and Tweeter seemed to have had the same experience.

At the end of that article I promised there was a way to become successful and to get people to appreciate your comics and to buy them.

I also shared with you some of the stats that I’ve experienced after making the change, the surge in followers, traffic, sales, and word of mouth.

So. Here are the 6 harsh ways to become a more successful indie comic book publisher:

Continue reading

Wynter #4 Is HOT!

If you missed it: Wynter #4 is now available in ComiXology!

And the reviews are in!

“Mr. Hasson has a great vivid imagination and a unique way of telling a futuristic story like Ridley Scott or George Lucas.” – Geeks with Wives

“I can’t recommend Wynter highly enough.” – Comic Crusaders

“If you are looking for a high-stakes science fiction story with a strong female lead don’t miss this book.” – Rhymes with Geek

“I get a feeling this title will never disappoint.” – Fortress of Solitude

“The art in this book is impeccable.” – Bag & Bored

 

Get  your Wynter #4 now!

Wynter #4 Cover

Wynter #4 Cover

Seriously, what are you waiting for? Get your Wynter #4 now!

“My Mum Caught a Glimpse of the Cover and Was Less Than Happy” – Gary’s Story

Remember why you liked comics in the first place?

Our Comics Empower Project continues! 

This time, Gary tells his story: 

I grew up reading UK comics like the Beano, the Dandy, The Broons & Oor Wullie – all typically Scottish releases but my first real american comic actually came from a Marvel UK reprint in The Exploits of Spider-Man which I picked up when I was about 12/13.

It had 60’s stories, 80’s stories & early 90’s stories like Spider-Man 2099 and that range of titles really sparked my interest.

Being a teenager reading about a teenage Peter Parker trying to find his way just seemed to be a timely discovery.

Shortly after that I discovered Total Carnage which was another UK collection from Dark Horse with the likes of Batman Vs Predator, Army of Darkness, The Mask, etc all involved… much darker and violent, maybe, but at ages 12, 13 it was cool as hell…

The Cover Mum Didn't Like

The Cover Mum Didn’t Like

I didn’t really read beyond issue #2, thought, because my mum caught glimpse of the cover and was less than happy… Shot myself in the foot with that one.

That led to me exploring the wider comic book world and reading as many back-issue American comics of any type with any character I could get my hands on. The 90’s were a pretty busy time for new comics as Image Comics was launched and I spent hours in comic shops & second-hand shops near home that held some bargain issues.

I collected thousands over the years and while I migrated from one title to another and back again. I still enjoyed the escapism that it offered into a whole new world.

At this time it was very much a solitary hobby which I could share with some people but was always something I had for myself.

While mainstream comics still entertain me and were the first spark of interest it’s now the Indie comics from across Scotland, the UK and beyond that make up the majority of my reading list, partly down to me starting the Comics Anonymous blog with friends and more recently taking this over myself.

The writers, the artists, the colourist, the letterers & every other aspect of comics has become more obvious as crucial elements and the Indie scene just seems to capture the limitless possibilities for stories and how they’re told.

The recent surge in comic book popularity with movies & TV shows has made comics more acceptable.

But it’s the Indie scene that’s converted that into a far more social hobby as I’m in direct contact with talented people that I just want to ask questions of any time I see them – mainly along the lines of “when’s your next issue out?” or “What else you working on?”

 

About Gary: I’m a Glasgow-based comicbook fan who started Comics Anonymous as a review/blogging site for the DC New 52 reboot at first but this quickly became an outlet for my thoughts/views on Comic Con’s, Movies, Indie Comics & more.



Check out more more personal stories

Send us your personal story

 

How All Indie Comics Publishers Can Be Stronger!

Are you an indie comics publisher? Me, too!

Are you having a problem reaching a wide audience to show your great comics to? So is everyone!

A few months ago I called for all indies to create The Indie Power Initiative. The website launches in a month. 

Tweet/Pin/Share this! The more people know, the stronger we are!

Tweet/Pin/Share this! The more people know, the stronger we are!

 

Imagine the solution: A hundred indie comics publishers with an average of 1,000 followers (for example). Each post they write about their comics is published by all, reaching 100 X 1,000 (= 100,000) followers!

Sound good? That’s what I thought.

The Indie Power Initiative is a massive megaphone that all indie comics publishers can use. 

To do it you just have to do two things:

1) Realize that we are not in competition. A dollar spent on your comic book is not a dollar that is not spent on mine. We are not in competition with each other.

2) Join the Indie Power Initiative now. If you’re not already in, join the bandwagon! If you’re already in, get other indie publishers you know to join in, too!

 

Here’s How This Works

  • Every member publishes one article per title that s/he has. Write and attach pictures in a way that you think sells your comic book the best.  Each article has a link to where the readers can buy that comic.
  • Every member can then also post in real time about releases of the titles s/he’s already written about as well as previews.
  • Every article that’s published is then tweeted about by ALL members of the Indie Power Initiative.

That is the basic premise of the Indie Power Initiative.

It costs nothing to join! It costs nothing to stay! All you have to do is keep promoting everyone’s content as well as yours!

No one gets preferred treatement!

 

Why Would This Work?

This should work on a few levels.

  • First, the megaphone. By definition, the more members we have, the more exposure each and every post about your comic books get. Period.
  • The more people come in, they can search the Indie Power website according to tags and genres to find titles in the spirit they like. Where else would fans be able to search such a wide array of indies?
  • The more we do this and the longer we do it, the more this becomes a Cause. People will finally have a way to celebrate their craving for indie comics, and they’ll talk to their friends about it, bringing in more people.
  • The more we do this and the longer we do it, the more we’ll be able to change people’s monetary behavior. People will get used to seeking and paying for indie comics. Right now, we’re spread all over the webת appealing to tiny audiences. In the future, we will hopefully amass a horde of indie lovers who are used to going for the website to decide what to buy.
  • Next: Exposure. The bigger we become, the more people talk about us, the more attention the website itself should get, and hopefully we’ll attract attention from the massive blogs/papers who can bring in a lot more readers than even we can working together.
  • Lastly: The daily newsletter. Once we start, we’ll start a daily newsletter. Visitors to the site can choose to opt in and have the daily newsletter, featuring that day’s articles. In the beginning, there should be an article a day, so the newsletter may not be daily. But once we’re up and running, there could be up to 5-6 articles a day, and a daily newsletter in a fan’s email folder may be the perfect way to absorb that info. There is nothing more personal on the web than an email, and daily exposure to the wide variety of indies is a perfect way to keep the fans updated and intrigued by what’s going on.

 

Who Can Join?

Only two criteria:

One: You need at least one comic book that you can link to and that people can buy.

Two: You need at least 200 Twitter followers.

(Why not Facebook? 5-6 daily posts in Facebook can be too much for your audience and it will take over your page’s content. But 5-6 daily posts in Twitter is not overwhelming and not spam)

 

What If You Join in Late?

First of all, the more the merrier.

But you cannot benefit immediately from the Indie Power audience we’ve garnered over time. You need to earn it and prove you’re part of the team!

You will have to tweet about 50 back articles over a period of 4 weeks while at the same time tweeting about the daily articles. And only then will your article/s join the queue.

 

Becoming Great Will Take Time

Becoming great takes time. And we must have patience.

In the beginning, our strength will be the sum of our Twitter followers.

The longer we do this, the more our followers will click on the links, because they’ll have learned to trust what we consistently give them.

The longer we do this, more indies will join, and the sum of our Twitter followers will grow.

The longer we do this, the more outside-exposure/word-of-mouth/press-and-blog-coverage we’ll get.

The longer we do this, the more we’ll be able to change our fans’ monetary behavior. Rather than see each of us as a very small fish that may occasionally deserve a bite, together we’ll be seen as something big they could spend money on every week and maybe even every day.

My guess is that at the end of our first 6-12 months we’ll be able to see: 1) That we quadruple the number of publisher members; and 2) a spike in our followers that is much greater than the sum of our power.

And that’s just the start.

But we must have patience and not expect to be an overnight success.

 

How Do I Join?

Very simple: Just email me.

The website goes live in a month. Join the revolution!

Oh, yeah: My name’s Guy Hasson, I’m the CEO and head writer of New Worlds Comics. I look forward to your email!

 

And one last thing: Tweet/Pin/Share the picture and picture below! The more people know, the stronger we are!

Tweet/Pin/Share this! The more people know, the stronger we are!

Tweet/Pin/Share this! The more people know, the stronger we are!

 

6 Harsh Truths About Indie Publishing

During my first six months as an indie comic book publisher, everything I thought I knew about comics was shattered.

Harsh Truths

I’ve been an avid comic book reader for more than 30 years, and it turns out I knew nothing. Not about why fans really buy comics, not about what matters to them, and not about what makes the successful comics I loved successful.

In this article we’ll face some harsh truths about the life of the indie publisher and about the fans. In my next article, I’ll show you how you can the harsh truths around to become a successful indie publisher and to reach the fans who would really love your comics.

Ready for some harsh truths? Here they are:

Harsh truth #1: Reviews don’t help sales.

One of our first series, Wynter, was immediately called by reviewers an “SF extravaganza” and that reading it was “necessary for you to exist”. Increase in sales? Zero.

All right, I thought to myself. It’s issue #1, people are wary, they need to see I can do it again.

Wynter #2 came out. Reviewers across the web started calling it “the best sci-fi comic on the shelves today”. Increase in sales? Zero.

All right, I thought. That’s just two issues. People need to see more.

Wynter #3 came out. It was again hailed as “the best SF comic book on the market” across the board. Increase in sales? You guessed it: Zero.

Conclusion: Positive reviews don’t help sales.

Harsh truth #2: Ads don’t help sales.

We placed ads on CBR, a comic book website with hundreds of thousands of unique visitors. The results: 14 visitors a day from CBR.

Turns out this is a well-known fact in start-ups. If you’re totally new, ads don’t work. You have to get people talking about you, create communities of readers, and then ads would work.

Conclusion: If you’re an established comic book company, ads may work for you. If you’re an indie, don’t waste a cent on ads. It’s a waste of money!

Harsh truth #3: It doesn’t matter that you’re good.

The fact that people think you’re good will not get them to recommend your comic book to their friends in any meaningful way.

The reviewers that called Wynter such great things did not successfully recommend it to their friends. The fans that emailed and tweeted about how much they loved it did not recommend it to their friends in any meaningful way. At least not at first – not until we grew.

So: Being good doesn’t make you viral and doesn’t increase sales. Not when you’re new and small. And not on its own.

Harsh truth #4: People will refuse to read you for free.

Undeterred, I was throwing pasta at the wall to see what sticks.

New Worlds Comics offered a free Wynter #1 through two reasonably popular comic websites. All the readers had to do was email to get a free copy.

An average of 14 people per website emailed.

Conclusion: God damn, this is tough!

Harsh truth #5: Fans don’t care about previews

Don’t take my word for it. You can do the research for that right now.

What’s your favorite super-popular comics news blog? Go to its Facebook page, where you can see how many people actually click ‘Like’ on every post.

Now compare the number of Likes of posts about previews with the number of Likes on their other posts. The Likes on the previews are always low.

Conclusion: Sharing awesome, unbelievable, magnificent art or previews from your awesome, magnificent, unbelievable indie book will not get you more sales. It’s not what fans really want.

Harsh truth #6: Talking about your comic makes people want to not buy it

I think you should read that line again: Talking about your comic book will make people want to not buy it.

Look at every indie publisher out there. What has s/he got to talk about? Their comic book, of course! How else will people learn about it? How else will they learn that it’s awesome? (Warning, warning: We’ve already seen that your comic book being awesome will not get people to buy it.)

The problem is that ALL your Twitter/Facebook/website/Pinterest/Tumblr/Instagram/etc. followers know that you’re here to sell.

So when you try to sell, it turns them off.

I’ll say it again: When you try to sell your comic book by telling people about it, you are turning people off. It just doesn’t work. It doesn’t.

 

In Conclusion

Yes, those harsh truths look bad. Really bad.

But don’t despair, because the good part’s coming.

Although what we think gets people to buy does not actually work, fans still spend their dollars on comic books. So there are ways to get them to spend money on yours.

Here’s the results I can attest to:

  • After 9 months of slowly gathering 2,000 Twitter followers overall, I changed my tactics and now I’m now getting 1,000 new followers a week.
  • People are starting to talk about our comic books and actually recommend them to each other visibly online.
  • Traffic to the website is increasing weekly.
  • Sales are increasing drastically.

This isn’t happening because I’ve been around for some time, or because of the quality the comics (which has remained the same from the beginning). Things are changing because my attitude is changing.

In the next article I talk about how to change to bring the change.

See you next time!

 

And one last thing. If you’re an indie publisher, join our #IndiePower initiative. Together, we can become stronger!


This article was originally published by the Comic Book Illuminati Magazine.

 

 

 

Most Popular Articles of 2014

Hi everyone! Guy Hasson here, CEO and head writer of New Worlds Comics.

New Worlds Comics came onto the scene in 2014, in an attempt to create comics that reminded us why we loved comics in the first place!

We also tried to give some of the most original and honest articles on our website. Check out what you and other readers liked the most!

Click on the pictures to go the articles!

May you all have a happy and fulfilling 2015!

 

Article #1: Are Indie Comics Worth It?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A fan on Twitter asked, and we answered: Are indie comics worth it?
Is it worth spending all the time, money, and emotion into this project?

Here is the honest answer!

 

 

Article #2: How To Make Nudity in Comics

How to Make Nudity in Comics Empowering (1)

 

Through a coincidence, two of our upcoming comic books, Time Warriors #1 and Wynter #4, have short scenes of female nudity in them.

Since New Worlds Comics believes in giving girls and women stories and characters that empower them, I wanted to talk about this process honestly.

 

Article #3: Can I make Money from Indie Comics?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another fan on Twitter asked: What’s your business plan?

In other words: Can you actually make money by creating an independent comic book company?

You ask, we answer!

 

Article #4: Why Do People Keep Buying Bad Comics?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you often find yourself buying comic books that you don’t really expect to be that good?

Ever wander how the big companies get you to do that?

Here’s how!