It’s an amazing time to be a comic creator. The industry has expanded to the point that there are so many different ways to get your stories and art in front of an audience. Whether it’s through a Kickstarter campaign or posting comic panels on sites like Deviant Art, indie creators have greater opportunities than ever before. An effective way of building up good faith in your comic is by having it reviewed by a blogger.
Having a comic reviewed means it’ll be seen by a blogger’s audience and raise your profile. As someone who’s been reviewing independent comics for a while, I wanted to put together a guide to help indie creators who are thinking of approaching comic bloggers and review websites. There are certain methods that’ll increase your chances of getting a comic reviewed.
Know who you’re reaching out to
This might sound pretty basic, but it’s astounding how many people overlook this point. Before reaching out to a reviewer, make sure you know who they are and what they do. If they have an ‘About’ page, read it. If they have a section about comic preferences then look it over.
I have a page dedicated to the kind of comics that I like to read. Knowing this information will help you find out whether or not it’s worth sending your comic over. Even something as simple as including the name of a blogger in the query email helps. Bloggers are human. We like to know you’ve made the effort to read what we’re interested in.
Get us excited
From my own experience, I can say the number one thing I look for when reading comics is that I want to feel pumped up about a story. So, if you’re reaching out to a blogger in an email describe what makes your comic stand out! What makes it fun? What will make someone want to invest their time in the story?
I’ve been emailed by some creators with one or two sentences asking me to review their comic. That shows me they aren’t excited enough about their own story to rave about it and want to push it out.
There’s a fine line between arrogance and believing in what you’ve created. That is called passion. Passion will come through in what you write and how you market the comic. Passion will come through in an email, so tell a blogger why your comic is important to you.
Tell your story
Another part of a review query that stands out to me is when a writer mentions the reason behind creating a comic. A great example is Donnie Souza, who created the Untold series, a mixture of fantasy and WW2 history. In his email, Donnie mentioned that he’d worked odd jobs and put a lot of his money into getting Untold off the ground.
It was a small touch, but it registered with me. I could tell he was passionate about the comic and it made me want to read and review it.
Don’t be afraid to include stories from your personal life in a query email. It could end up making a difference.
Include a preview in the email
Attaching preview scans in your query email is a good way to showcase the art of your comic. You could even go further and attach a full digital copy, or provide a link in the body of the email. This saves time, as it eliminates the need for a reviewer to ask for preview scans in another email. They’ll have the comic immediately.
I know I’m more likely to respond to a query email that has attached pages than an email that doesn’t.
Create extra content and incentive
It’s worth developing extra content around your comic because it will help it stand out more. The team behind White Ash created a quirky video that highlighted the world within their comic. They featured it in their email and I liked it enough that I included the video in my review of issue #1.
If a blogger has agreed to review your comic or if you’re still waiting to hear back then patience is the best attitude to have.
Indie comic creators and bloggers have a lot in common and collaborating should benefit both sides.