It's been a while, so let me deliver my final report on the service and product.
My ComixPress proofs were upload on 13 April 2010. About 9 days before I needed to receive them in Monroeville. I reviewed and okayed them. I was apparently sent an invoice 3 days later on 16 April 2010 and then a follow-up invoice on 20 April 2010. I received neither. However, I did receive a notice from Jodi on 21 April 2010 asking if I received the invoices. At this point, it was too late to have the items on time for the convention, so I cancelled the order. If I use ComixPress in the future, it will be only when I'm not in a time crunch. It's really disappointing that it took almost 4 weeks for them to send invoices (that I did not receive).
Ka-Blam on the other hand came through and we had the books a couple days before leaving for the con. My problem with the Ka-Blam books is simple the quality and printing.
1) The Strathmore covers don't bend too well, so the spine is more crinkled than creased. The process of folding the cover breaks the inks, so if you have a black band running along the front and back covers (like I did on the Tiegre book), then the black ink in cracked on the spine.
2) I had a element on both covers that was supposed to be parallel to the bottom edge of the cover. Because of the trimming on the cover, these elements were not parallel. For the extra $2 for the cover, I expected better attention to printing.
I don't think there will be a problem selling the books that I did receive, however, I will not be ordering any more.
They are done and have shipped. I received my tracking information for my 2 Ka-Blam today. They combined the order and shipped them via Priority Mail. If all goes well, I should have sketch covers by the beginning of next week.
I just wanted to thank you for all the great information and sharing
your experiences about self-publishing.
You're welcome. I've been out of publishing for most of 2009, but I'm jumping back in the waters for 2010, so expect even more information in the coming months.
I’ve been researching about
using PODs like Comixpress for a while now for my own future project
later this year, and found your information quite useful. It’s always
great to get firsthand experience and since this will be my first
introduction into self-publishing I’m trying to decided what is the
best option for myself at the moment. From what I have read on various
reviews of Comixpress, the company seems to a good option in terms of a
having a ‘good quality’ product, but not in a reasonable printing time
To be honest, I haven't used Comixpress in some time. I hope that they have fixed their turnaround issues. I do know that Nate Piekos regularly uses Comixpress to print his Atland comic, so maybe you can contact him via Blambot.com to learn his experience with Comixpress.
I do have some questions though if you have the time…
I always have time for answering questions.
Would you recommend starting out with a B&W or Color for a first
issue, from what I’ve been reading B&W have a difficult time
selling as of late.
You can always go from black and white to color without losing readers. It's very rare that you go from color to black and white without losing readers, so if in doubt choose black and white. I can only think of Zot and Noble Causes that went from color to black and white. Both did so as a result of loss of readers.
Color versus black and white is usually all about costs and sales. With traditional printing, color is about 3-4 times more expensive than a similar black and white printing. With POD printing, black and white is generally the only way to print, maintain a competitive price, and make a decent profit.
Black and white comics have always had a difficult time selling as most traditional comic book fans favor color. However, color means the additional cost of paying for color and the additional time of coloring the comic. Those additional costs very rarely translate into enough sales to cover the costs when compared to sales on the same content in black and white.
If price and costs are not a concern, then let the content decide. I purposely do stories and work with artists in black and white because of my enjoyment of the black and white magazines. I have a regular strip which is in full color (Thomas) and will print it in full color when I reach that point with it.
2.) Is there any site in which I can find a list of indie-friendly comic stores that I can send samples too?
There are several lists that have been compiled over the years. Most are out of date and virtually useless. I suggest:
1) Join the CBIA
2) Contact your readers and ask them who there local shops are.
3.) Would you recommend starting out doing a monthly type book or selling everything as a graphic novel first?
Again, let the content decide. My preference is collections and graphic novels as they are a more durable format and generally tell complete stories.
My plan in the new year is to do collected editions of my web work as well as 32-48 paged comics that serve as lead in sales. This allows new readers to test the material without a large monetary commitment.
Have you found a POD that you are satisfied with yet, I didn’t see any
information about that, though I could have missed it.
My plan is to use 360 Digital. They have the best prices, good quality and allow me to a greater choice of options in printing and paper types.