I’ve seen a couple of terms to narrative art comic book marketing that are useful as reference, that I had never heard before, so I wanted to explain them. These terms are the SHORT HEAD of narrative art comic book marketing and the LONG TAIL of narrative art comic book marketing.
Today, I will focus on the most important one. Everybody that I can see in narrative art comic book marketing focuses on the long tail. I believe this is wrong.
First let me explain what the SHORT HEAD and the LONG TAIL are. Picture a Chinese Dragon with a fat head and a string tail that winds on end for miles. The people who make a lot of sales make up the fat head of the dragon, but there is room for only 1 or 2.
The short head is the 90% of the people who buy comics will buy from Marvel or DC or Image or Dark Horse. The short head is specifically, the company with which has the most sales. In comic book land the short head is Marvel. But DC is a good rival and stops the monopoly so everybody is happy. Whee! Even Image and Dark Horse have good following, but for the purposes of everybody else, these four companies make up the SHORT HEAD of Narrative Art Comic Book Marketing.
Everybody else ends up as part of a Long Tail of Narrative Art Comic Book Marketing. The Long Tail, the skinny tail, is that there are countless other narrative art comic book companies that are still selling comics, but by nature the LONG TAIL means that you can still make money, but you won’t make as much or you won’t be as profitable as those companies in the short head. Any one and his brother can be in the long tail and make money. But if you want to be in the short head, you have to be somebody special.
At least that’s what everybody in the comic book industry and most marketing professionals would have you believe.
Instead of just getting in the game and having 1000s of people fight for the 10% of the remaining income, why not just make your own head? If Marvel and DC and Image and Dark Horse are taking 90% of the profits, do you really want to go after their spoils?
If you can make a new head, one that Marvel and DC and Image and Dark Horse don’t go after then, you have some wiggle room. You have a chance at leading the PACK. I think Archie does this really well. Some people may think that Archie is part of a long tail of comic book distributors. I don’t look at it like that.
I look at Archie as a the short head of grocery store comics. I look at Archie as the short head of cheesy romance comics. I look at Archie as the short head of full narrative art Sunday Morning Comics. You could probably come up with 20 other niche market titles that Archie fulfills that no one else does. This is a short head. It’s almost unfair to even classify them as part of a Long Tail of Comic Books. Specifically, super-hero comic books, of which they are not a part of at all–well, maybe Sonic.
Why all the specificity? and What’s the point????
The point. If you want to be a leader in narrative art comic book marketing you can’t let the short head define the rules. You have to be the #1 in a short head of your choosing. This will be the only way you can separate yourself out from every other competitor out there.
The bottom line. If you can’t be #1 in an industry, find one in which you can be #1 in.
Right now I am the #1 Narrative Art Promoter in the World. Go ahead. Type in Narrative Art Marketing in Google. There I am. What can you be #1 in the world at?