WonderCon@Home 2021 – How to Get News Coverage – Recommended Watch!


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By: Peggy Sue Wood | @pswediting

About the Event:

LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OoG_CazzpU&ab_channel=Comic-ConInternational

Panel Description: Small press publishers: What makes the difference between an item that will get news coverage, previews, and interviews and what doesn’t? A lot of publishers have no idea what to submit to the press, how to submit it, or why they are being overlooked for coverage. Comics journalist Rik Offenberger (First Comics News, Archie Comics) moderates this panel on just what it takes to get coverage, with the comic journalists themselves telling you what they are looking for in your submission. Panelists include (in alphabetical order) Chris Arrant (Newsarama), Peter Breau (Second Sight Publishing), Tim Chizmar (First Comics News, Fangoria), Jason LiVecchi (NBC News), Alex Raymond (Monstar, Hollywood Gone Geek), Francis Sky (First Comics News), and Josh Waldrop (Red Gorilla Comics). Find out what it takes to self-promote and make a significant impact on your ability to sell your comic.

What to Watch:

We recommend watching this one–it’s not a hard watch and gives a lot of information that can be helpful for new creators but for those of you interested in a read through, I’ve typed up some of the notes I felt should be highlighted. Also, Comic Con had a similar panel last year on the same subject last year, which you can view here: https://youtu.be/dbJpzloS0wc. Okay, onto the notes:

Strategize! Getting the word out there…

  • Market before selling. Lots of creators go straight into selling their book before marketing it to the fullest and it DOES cost them. You’ll have a much better story to sell if you sell-out on the first day after pushing your marketing to the max than selling the product without enough notice. If you haven’t marketed enough to make the sales burdge upon release, than you’ve already missed the first mark of getting your name out beforehand. One part of getting the word out there is Press Releases and Emailing…

Press Releases / What’s in that email

  • Email people, but make sure you have a short email (two sentences with the who/what/when/where/why) and a nice + organized press release attached. When sending an outreach email remember that your time is valuable and so it theirs.
  • Don’t send your whole comic at once without warning or permission. You may send a few preview pages and a write up to entice but not more than that. Sometimes a link to a drop box is fine too, but DO NOT, without permission or warning, send the whole thing as an attachment.
  • Don’t burn out on sending emails for outreach by sending something to everyone. Building relationships is huge to making your outreach effective so look into who you plan on emailing at a publication. Make sure that what you are pitching is something they would be interested in and something they cover. If you send your comic press release to the resident food reviewer–you’ve wasted their time and yours.
  • Know your five local news stations – Send to the assignment editors or look online for the right desk to forward your release too. They help decide what gets in and they are always looking for more content since they have to fill time everyday with something new.
  • Reach out to people outside of the traditional news/publication medium–it is a great way to build relationships and those relationships can get you a blurb on the back of a book, or a share your comic on their social media thereby expanding to their audience. 
  • Don’t be afraid of rejection or no response back. Many emails come in everyday to the people you are probably reaching out to and things will be missed. Don’t send 100 emails, but do promote your work at least once and come back later. If you can sell it as big events rather than something small, it will help your pitch stand out from the crowd (like, instead of just an amazon release, you also have a signing at a local comic store).

Before the Press Release – BE READY

  • If you are reaching out to press, you need to be ready to answer questions. You need to be ready to sell what you are doing–whether that is a kickstarter or the product itself. If you are launching the product, you need a date; if you are selling the product already, you need a website; if you are doing a kickstarter, you need a link–and you also need to have contact information available–especially an email! Know ahead of time who is able to give interviews from your team, know what is photo ready for articles, etc. Press moves fast, so you need to be prepared for success because you never know when a project might get picked up!
  • If you spend the money doing marketing through a comic PR company, be prepared to deliver. There are a lot of comic PR Companies out there that can help.

Customer Service

  • There’s a saying that if you make a satisfied customer, they’ll tell 3 people and if you make one unsatisfied, they’ll tell ten. It’s not a far off statement from the mindset you should have about selling you work. You are your own PR, afterall, and that’s why you need to be serious about what you are doing. Remember that people are giving you money to allow you to make this passion into a business, so you need to be upfront about what you are doing with the money they give you if dates aren’t being met on your product release or shipping; you need to try to give good first impressions at events and online; you need to be good with customer service and stay true to your word. Communication is the most key element of this.
  • Know your audience! If you know that your audience finds you at conventions, go to conventions. If they find you on your personal website or on FaceBook, use that to your advantage and try to expand from there. 
  • Finally, be enthusiastic–if you care, others are more likely to care. 

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