When I was thirteen, all the way up until I was seventeen… maybe eighteen, I wanted to run a comic company. I loved comics, I wanted to write them ever since I discovered that they were written. All of my immobile time, all of my hospital time, it was spent with comics and then I met Adam Kidd. He wanted to be an artist for comics and I wanted to be a writer. It was perfect. Despite being younger than Jim Shooter was when he stumbled into comic work for DC, we had ambition. We also had no clue.
Between us we gathered maybe ten like-minded people over our time as Awesome Comics (later El Queso Diablo Comics when Rob Liefeld named his company Awesome Entertainment and we didn’t want to be associated with him). We were editors in chief and had worlds with sprawling continuity and characters, with crossovers. We split apart, partially from our growing loves, Adam’s of his myriad bands, mine of dystopian science fiction which was beginning to infect the comic scripts. I must have written 20-30 scripts on various devices, some were only in printed form and I have no idea where they went. Others left my possession when my laptop was burgled along with everything I’d written before age 20. That was probably a blessing in disguise.
Those were great days. Reading Legion of Super-Heroes at Adam’s aunts in Manchester while plotting out multi-part early-90’s Marvel-style crossovers. Badgering my brother or one of the Armstrong brothers for artwork. It felt like we were something big, something real. We had ambition and at the very least some level of talent. The problem was we had no idea what we were doing.
There are times when I feel like nothing’s changed in these decades since the inception of Awesome Comics. I finished my last parse of the Lightning Episode One manuscript. It’s gone through a few readers, been edited and then I needed to make sure all the changes I’d made match up. They do now. Then I saw this article [>>>LINKhttp://www.adstarrling.com/bonus/how-i-self-published-as-a-uk-author/] and started bricking it. There’s a lot more to do and my self-imposed deadline of January is looming ahead.
I need to format the prose and the cover (I have a cover! I have a cover artist!), put in the contents, logos, back and front end blurb, then get them all in a lovely file for the Kindle and whatever else I do, format-wise. I need ISBNs. They cost money, apparently. Again, I have no idea what I’m doing, so this should be interesting. I need a website, I need to figure out what’s going on with tax once all this starts. I’m pretty sure I’ll be using KDP Select from this description of it (not linked to as I can’t find it, I will link if I do). I know there’s the exclusivity bugbear but I reckon it’s nine months and that allows me a level of focus which I can spread out in that time. It also means getting in on promotions and the like. But not the print-on-demand as I’ve heard things about that. I’ll look further into it and see what to do there.
It’s a little sobering to realise that I’m basically in the same challenge as I had twenty years ago. This time I have maybe half a clue of what’s ahead I guess. We’ll see what happens.