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Amazon.com Comic Strip contest
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James Sawatsky
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Joined: 09 May 2006
Posts: 1270
Location: Vancouver Island

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The whole "never been published" stuff got me... But, now I have a wicked idea I think I'm going to expand and submit that.
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tpiro



Joined: 31 Aug 2007
Posts: 986
Location: Bay Area

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've already posted my opinion elsewhere online, so sorry to anyone reading this again.

If the marketing machine of Andrew McMeel Universal really had any value, they would be able to make profitable strips without having to resort to contests.

According to the Comic-con syndication panel, there are over 6,000 submission for syndication each year and from 1 to 2 are chosen each year to be launched. Out of this 1 or 2 per year, no strip has been popular enough to allow the artist to quit their day job in recent memory (can anyone correct me here?).

If this is the case, then what are you really hoping to win by entering this contest?
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James Sawatsky
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Joined: 09 May 2006
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Location: Vancouver Island

PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm still in. I've stated many times that my draw for getting into strips was the newspapers. I love seeing my stuff in print. And seeing it in a book that I didn't self-publish? AWESOME!!!

$300/month seems, to you, pretty chintzy. But, it's $300/month more than I'm getting with 67th Avenue. The exposure will generate traffic to 67th Avenue, which is my true love comic. I wouldn't give any control of 67th Avenue over to a syndicate, but a fun idea that I came up with just for this? Sure! If I win: wonderful. If I lose: I could still be picked up.

Someone said that real artists don't do contests... I draw funny pictures and try to make money on it. $5k sounds good to me. I can upgrade my freakin tablet. Maybe a Cintiq.

I've submitted 67th Avenue a couple of times for syndication and was rejected. They said it wasn't original enough. So, it would be a huge accomplishment for me to do well in the competition...
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James Sawatsky
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Joined: 09 May 2006
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Location: Vancouver Island

PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But, that comic itself went to syndication. I'm just thinking, if my name is out there, it could be googled thus leading them to 67th Avenue.

My burn out related more to the fact that it's been 3 years of the same stuff and I needed time to reformulate what I wanted to do.

20 b/w comics a month, if planned properly, is rather doable.

Of course, if I can't get the minimum together for the entry, it's all moot. When was the competition announced anyway? They didn't seem to give much time...
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James Sawatsky
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^
|

what he said
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James Sawatsky
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My problem was coming up with an idea... Developing plot, characters, blah blah blah.
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tpiro



Joined: 31 Aug 2007
Posts: 986
Location: Bay Area

PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, if nothing else, this contest inspired me to draw the following comic



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mysticstudiosproduct
B


Joined: 15 Mar 2009
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to pass on this. Basically, the winners of this contest will receive less freedom than they are normally allowed, AND a huge corporation taking money away from you.

I'll keep my freedom, and my money.
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Isaac M. Baranoff, creator of "Horndog" and "Tales of the Unrefined"
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pdonz2



Joined: 02 May 2009
Posts: 72

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I might enter this just so that, in case I win, I can videotape myself shredding the contract and lining my cat's litterbox with it and posting said video on youtube.

Yay webcomics! A Pox on syndicates!
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James Sawatsky
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I need to stop reading this thread...

I was very excited about the notion of this competition. I've been doing my comic for 3 years. I advertise, I network, I do all that I can think of, but I can't generate any real money out of this (I know, I know. I shouldn't be in it for the money. But it'd be nice...).

I would just love to see my name as a finalist (or however far I make it) and hope beyond hope that would generate traffic to 67th Avenue.

I enjoy coat tails. They're a smooth ride.
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Marooned



Joined: 25 Mar 2008
Posts: 652
Location: Chicago Area

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Holy moly, I can't read all that. Regarding this though:

Quote:
cdrcjsn wrote:
Yes, you can make a good living without the help of a syndicate. But you can make more with their help.


That's a bad, blanket statement. There are tons of variables. There are cartoonists out there who had a syndicated deal, but then dropped it to go back to self-publishing because they make more selling less.

I repeat, they make MORE selling LESS.

And it doesn't matter if you have a syndicate behind you if you don't sell. Frankly you can end up making zero.

This article just came out yesterday, you should probably all read it:

http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6686606.html

Kate Beaton has been there and back with publishing deals. Right now she feels she just isn't ready and is still self publishing.

Is what you have better than what Kate does? Do you have the popularity she does? More importantly, will winning this contest give you a higher profile than Kate.

I'd say a resounding NO.

Kate is just one example of a cartoonist who has worked for years to get where she is, and has a solid loyal following. Winning a contest will not mimic that audience. People won't buy you because you won.

As for "giving up" on the syndicate after only a year, that was a pretty bad analogy. If you are doing something financial and it doesn't work, then you bail. And I doubt you know all the inside information that the person took into account, either.

We all get romantic about the idea of being syndicated. The truth is it's not different than any publishing contract. It has its pros and cons. Right now, the cons are weighing pretty heavy in that industry. You have to sell a TON of books to make money, because you give up so much.

The same thing goes for writers. Getting a book published is no guarantee of profits. In fact, you could end up in debt - it happens a lot.

What happens when you get that $5,000 check, and you spend it and then your book only sells 100 bucks? I'll tell you what happens, you start writing checks back to the syndicate.

I still agree this is a gimmick, the terms are bad and if you are going to go into this thing, you better go in with your eyes wide open, and be prepared not to make a cent. And you better stick that $5,000 in a savings account and not spend a dime of it until it is actually earned money - if it ever happens at all.
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Marooned



Joined: 25 Mar 2008
Posts: 652
Location: Chicago Area

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cdrcjsn wrote:


Taken out of context.

I'm saying that if you're doing XYZ as an independent, it's possible to be signed with a syndicate, continue doing XYZ and ABC in addition.


Hardly. We're talking about the end product of winning the competition here. You aren't going to have a choice to self publish it. They are going to publish it for you.

I don't recall all the details of the contest, but I doubt it allows you to go ahead and print stuff on the side while they are trying to sell it.

If you are trying to discuss syndication vs. self publishing, that's a different issue. Yeah you can mix and match - as long as you own your stuff.
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James Sawatsky
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Joined: 09 May 2006
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Location: Vancouver Island

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn my procrastination! I worked my butt off trying to get all the things needed for submission, but I failed. Might be for the better. I'm going to post the strips weekly on my site. I really enjoyed the process of creating a brand new comic and I really really like the end result.

I'll post here (the the Check me out forum) when they go up.
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James Sawatsky
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck, guys!!
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James Sawatsky
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Strip #1 is now up at 67thavenue.com

Whaddya think?
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