First off, Happy New Year! Yes, it’s 17 days late, but better late than never, right?
With a new year comes new goals and ambitions for everyone, including us here at Odd Truth. But before we do that, let’s recap on how well we did (and, to be fair, didn’t do) in 2013.
First off, we released 4 issues of Torchbearer this year. While short of our 6 issue per year goal for Torchbearer, steps were taken mid-year to ensure a reliable schedule and, considering that issue 6 is already inked and on its way out the door, I’m fairly happy with how things have turned out.
We also sold our remaining stock of issue 1 of Torchbearer this year. That’s 1000 issues in a year’s time (counting from NYCC 2012 to NYCC 2013). For an independent book, that’s not bad. We still have something in the order of 20 issue 1’s that I’m hoarding until we run a contest or some other promotional event.
We also released our first trade, with an odd volume number (0.25) to reflect that it’s only a fourth of the full year storyline. We’ll be printing a single run of these quasi-volumes every six months up until we reach issue 12. After which (and the last quasi-volume is sold), we’ll only print and sell the first twelve issues as volume 1 in its entirety. What this means is that any quasi volume is itself a limited edition (only 2500 of each trade will exist, ever), used exclusively to help us make more comics. That also means that you won’t see them in comic book stores unless we have a direct relationship with the store itself. We’re doing this because we understand that the quasi-volumes are a great bit of storytelling, they may be seen as a bit of a gamble as they have no assurances that further issues are coming to resolve the storyline (as is somewhat common among independent publishers). Having that direct relationship will help assuage some of their worries about our reliability and continued growth.
Not to mention we enjoy meeting fans at store signings. 🙂
In other news, Amazon.com picked up Torchbearer, so that’s another bit of good news. And, it’s eligible for Amazon Prime too! Why go through Amazon when we’re trying to court comic book stores, you ask? Well, truth is: a lot of people use Amazon that don’t step into comic book stores AND, in some cases, libraries are able to order books using Amazon. So, we don’t see Amazon as a competing channel with comic book stores. Rather, it opens us up to new markets.
As for our digital presence, we started 2013 with the debut class of Comixology Submit and so far all of our issues have been published through them. We’ve also published through DriveThruComics, Red Stylo, Amazon Kindle, iBookstore and Graphicly. Oh, and the Nook platform too, though that hasn’t been updated as much due to how cumbersome it’s become to convert the books for it. While we’re happy with our digital presence, we’re not so happy with the sales volumes for them. Which seems to indicate to us it might be a problem with advertising (of which we do minuscule amounts online). That’ll be one of our year-long goals to address.
Finally, we attended 4 Comic-con’s last year: C2E2, Wizard World Philly con, Baltimore Comic Con and NYCC, and had a presence at SDCC through Red Stylo. While great learning experiences, we’ve realized we need to be more proactive on our comic con presence. We’ll be releasing our schedule next week, once it’s finalized, but so far we’re counting 11 comic cons throughout the year, from coast-to-coast. We’re quite excited about it!
So, that’s where we’ve been. Where we are right now, issue 6 is done with inking (save a few pages), coloring has started and we should be set to publish as expected. I’m currently working on the script (finally) of our first graphic novel. My hope is that we’ll start looking for artists in February and maybe, MAYBE, have it out by NYCC 2014 at the latest. We’re also rethinking these weekly updates: they’re nice but wholly unreliable (as I’m sure you’ve come to appreciate). We’re considering what to do on a regular basis that’ll be more entertaining (and thus, regular) to write and/or produce. Any ideas are, as always, welcome. There are some other projects in the works that I’m not at liberty to discuss, but it looks like 2014 will have great things for Odd Truth, and consequently for you as well. 🙂
Until next week.