Remember when Sam used to wear those goofy, Mickey-Mouse-style gloves? Even in bed? Aaaahhhhh!
Sam and Fuzzy Q & A: Production Edition
Got a question you want answered? Just drop me an email with "Q & A" in the subject line!
"What happened to the Alexander Stake Rehabilitation Center? Is the faux-Denny's basically like "outpatient" treatment? " -Justin
The Stake Center is definitely still in business! I picture it as a sort of vampire-equivalent to a big commercial rehab center. The faux-Denny's, on the other hand, is probably more like a community outreach center.
"I find it odd Rexford hasn't once brought up Fuzzy's old identity as Eric whenever the subject of Hazel comes up. Or any of the past clients for that matter. And Fuzzy hasn't really made a move to ask Rexford about it either, as a fellow board member. Is Fuzzy going to ever ask Rexford about Eric?" -Josh
Fuzzy expects Rexford to remember him -- after all, they even met once post-Eric -- and is surprised to find he doesn't. In fact, none of the committee members remember him, even though many would have met Eric back when he was Hazel's partner. Sin thinks it's because Hazel and Brain erased everyone's memories of both Eric and Fuzzy, including Rexford's. But why would they do that? Find out... uh, eventually!
"You've had some experience with mini-books. Do you think they are a good starting point for merchandising? I'd like put something in print but I don't have the readership or the content for a larger volume. What was your experience with printing smaller books with regards to cost, return, and availability of printing options?" -Jack
I think mini-books are a great way of testing the waters before doing a full-sized book, absolutely! But a mini isn't necessarily the best thing to do first. It depends on what you have in mind, and how large your audience is.
Basically, the thing that makes or breaks any merchandise idea is the minimum production run necessary to get a reasonable per-unit cost. With full-sized books, I feel like the ideal minimum run is 1000. Smaller runs or print-on-demand services are totally options, but because of the higher per unit cost, you will either have to sell at a very inflated price or not make very much money. That's why my personal advice for artists is to wait until they can move 1000 books, and focus on other kinds of items until then. (Of course, everyone's situation is different and no one has to listen to me!)
The minibooks I made were still printed at a professional printers, but they were 32-48 pages and staple-bound. I did a run of 500, which elevated the unit price a bit, so I had to sell them for $7 or $8. (Which was a little pricey, in my opinion... thank you so much to everyone who still bought them!) But they were still much cheaper to make than regular books, which made them a much less scary and risky proposition. So I'm glad I did it!
But you know, there are other ways of doing minis that are less of a commitment. If you have a small audience and want to dip your toe into publishing, do it zine style! Print the pages at a copy shop (put four pages on a single sideways sheet of paper, then fold it in half) and staple-bind them yourself. Heck, you can do a run of ten if you want. Pick the method that you think best fits your audience side, and that you are willing to risk paying for.
And of course, there are other things you can make that don't require massive production runs. With most t-shirt screen printers, a four-colour design is perfectly affordable if you order 50 shirts or more. With art prints, you can do runs as small as... well, one! And digital products like ebooks or donation wallpapers cost to "produce" at all. (And might help you gauge how many buying readers you have!)
All these things are options -- minis or otherwise -- are things you can try before taking the big, scary plunge of mass-produced books. You just have to figure out which ones make the most sense for your style of art and your audience.
That's a wrap for this week, team! See you on Monday.