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One-Paragraph Start-Up Plan

One Paragraph Start-Up Plan for Final Beat Comics

While doing research for a business formation presentation, I stumbled across Jason Loves Life. Although the article is a bit old, it still held some good value.  I went on to read Never Get a “Real” Job: How to Dump Your Boss, Build a Business and Not Go Broke by Scott Gerber. Which was pretty good, but like Jason states, it did feel a bit ranty.

So, using his post and the book as a guideline, I started working on my own.

The Outline:

What am I selling (income)?

Final Beat Comics will make money primarily from the sale of digital products and will be supplemented by merchandising and providing advertisement space for other companies.

How am I selling it?

  • Digital products will be delivered using WooCommerce which specializes in online sales and e-documents.
  • We will handle all merchandise sales by buying some in bulk from LithoNinja, then storing and shipping products ourselves. Once large amounts are required we will increase order size.
  • Specialized printing will be completed by Advanced Print & Finishing (i.e. high-gloss covers and glossy paper).
  • Advertisements will be utilized on social media outlets.

Who am I selling to? (Target Market/Stereotype)

  • Our customers are the romance novel and comic book lovers.
  • Females between the ages of 17-35.
  • Most are already reading comics on digital mediums since they tend to get exposed to new stories through digital means.
  • They enjoy new technology, spend ample amount of time on their computer, love video games, and use social media at a high rate.

Awareness?

Marketing will be done primarily online. It will consist of a marketing mix of:

  • direct marketing through social media (i.e. contacting people directly)
  • buying a small amount of ad space through AdWords and social media sites
  • writing insightful, useful, and meaningful articles on the FBC blog and providing links to the referenced comics for people to view
  • providing reviews, articles, and meaningful information on other blogs in the same marketing area
  • being active on forums
  • participating in conventions that are in the market Final Beat Comics fits into

Competition?

There is a large number of competitors – The current comic market is saturated with a plethora of genres. This will make it even harder to become visible in the digital comic market.

FBC will rely heavily on its goal to create romance graphic novels that portray healthy adult relationships and fulfill reader expectations. This will also be completed by providing a happily ever after which is the satisfying release at the end of a successful romance.

Expansion?

Attractive and large market – FBC’s target market is held in the romance genre. As the largest market for books and many others, it provides the highest opportunities for sale. The comic market is severely lacking in the romance department, so we will fill it with a variety of subgenres such as paranormal, action, adventure, etc.

Moving into animation, live-action television series, and video games.

First Draft:

Final Beat Comics is a romance graphic novel company that will release once a month at www.finalbeatcomics.com. The site makes money through the sales of digital products such as .pdf graphic novels and hosting ads on the website and inside the graphic novel; physical goods such as printed graphic novels, t-shirts, stickers, etc. FBC will utilize 3rd party freelancers to draw the pages and all aspects of the company such as creating the comic book, product design, and marketing will be done in-house. Promotional efforts will be done primarily through social media and by providing a high online presence via the website and blog.

This is in no way near done, so I will be continuously working on it. Gerber describes the One-Paragraph Start-Up Plan as a living, breathing plan that holds a symbiotic relationship with your business. It will always need to be improved and will evolve into a more inclusive plan along the way. As I flesh out the plan and go through the system of Guess and Checklists mentioned in the book, I will post updates along the way.

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Inspiring Quote – Donald Adkins

Some time ago, I had the pleasure of listening to an interview on The Breakfast Club with Sinbad. It had been a long time since I heard anything about this great comedian and it was nice to get his perspective on the current state of the world. Of the many profound words that came from the comedian, there was one line that really stood out to me. Continue reading Inspiring Quote – Donald Adkins

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Characters – Side

Secondary Characters

Now that we know all about who our heroine and hero, we will move on to the secondary characters that are littered throughout the story. They fill out the story and bring interesting points of view for our two mains to explore. Remember the Society Defined and Barrier elements? The secondary characters play big roles in each.

These characters complement our mains and should play significant roles in the plot. They will have to have something to do or effect something for them to have a purpose. Continue reading Characters – Side

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Characters – Hero

I Need a Hero!

Don’t we all! That wonderful guy that’s up to the task of making everyone fall in love with him. He’s a part of the story along with the heroine. That means he’s rounded and grows into a fully developed character along with her (or possibly him).

I’m going to keep it simple for this post compared to the much longer heroine post. Not to say that heroes don’t have as many facets in the archetype field. I just know they are talked about lots and there are many views on what way to categorize them. Maybe I will give them a longer post of their comparative archetypes later. Personally, I create my heroine once I have an idea of the story I want to tell. Then, the hero is created to counter her in several areas. They have to have issues that can be fixed or solved by the other and doing it this way makes a clear layout of what they are.

For this set of notes, I kept it simple and used the Alpha and Beta hero archetypes. Continue reading Characters – Hero

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Characters – Heroine

A Lady to Love

Remember the stat stating that 84% of romance readers are women? Well, who do you think the story would revolve around? If you answered heroin, don’t worry I often drop that ‘e’ and wind up with that smack all over my notebook. But, I was looking for ‘heroine.’

Defined by The Google:

A heroine is a woman admired or idealized for her courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. She is the chief female character in a book, play, or movie, who is typically identified with good qualities, and with whom the reader is expected to sympathize.

Continue reading Characters – Heroine

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Comic Creator’s Marketing Mix: Tapastic

Why Tapastic is a great addition to the Comic Creator’s Marketing Mix:

Let me tell you a little more about my new friend Tapastic. (You can view my initial thoughts on this great app here.) It is a great platform for new creators and very easy to work with. The Comic Guide To Tapastic is a comic available to all who intend on creating comics for their platform. I love Scott McCloud’s work so it was very nice to see the same principles he used being utilized in this online medium. Connecting with other artists/writers/creators is a breeze also. There are forums available that allow you to ask questions and work with everyone who is willing. Continue reading Comic Creator’s Marketing Mix: Tapastic

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Subgenres of Romance

In the beginning stages of writing, the easiest thing for a writer to do should be choosing what genre they want to write in. If you are in control of story creation, you should choose the genre you feel the most enthusiastic about. Graphic novels have the same option, but with one extra consideration, that should be handled in the beginning.

Play to your artist’s strengths. If your artist doesn’t feel comfortable with drawing horses, you shouldn’t option up a story to them that includes the heavy need for unicorns, ponies and the like. It is possible to create a story and modify it based on the artist you are able to work with, but that could cause the need for some major reworking. Let’s face it, the amount of revising and rewriting we will be doing in the future won’t make that option look at all appealing.

I have two particular subgenres of romance I continually find myself delving into:

Paranormal Romance:  This genre has a supernatural or ‘out of this world’ element weaved into the plot. Anything from stories about aliens, vampires, ghosts, dragons, androids, fairies, time travel, demons, werewolves, catgirls, Bigfoot, ESP, things with tentacles—you name it, I like it.

Erotic Romance: This is a fun genre in which the development of a romantic relationship with strong, often explicit, sexual interaction is an inherent part of the love story, character growth, and relationship development. These elements couldn’t be removed without damaging the storyline. This genre often has elements of other genres, such as paranormal, horror, or suspense. Double whammy!

As you can see, shame isn’t abundant on this list. Ha! Naturally, I wanted to write within these genres since I love reading them so much. So far, it has only been paranormal, but I’m very willing to have erotic story lines mix in once I find a willing artist.

Since these are not the only subgenres, I would be amiss if I didn’t list the rest. The best definitions I could find comes from RWA.

  • Contemporary Romance: Romance novels that are set from 1950 to the present that focus primarily on the romantic relationship.
  • Historical Romance: Romance novels that are set prior to 1950.
  • Inspirational Romance: Romance novels in which religious or spiritual beliefs (in the context of any religious or spiritual belief system) are an integral part of the plot.
  • Romantic Suspense: Romance novels in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute an integral part of the plot.
  • Young Adult Romance: Romance novels in which young adult life is an integral part of the plot.

There are many more subgenres of these sub genres and mixtures. It can really get murky, but there is something very clear in all things romance. The Happily Ever After (HEA) is an absolute REQUIREMENT in each one if it is to be considered a romance. The writer has to keep this promise to their readers at all costs. That promise is made even steamier in the erotic romance due to the high voltage sexual fun.

There is a variant of the HEA called HAPPILY FOR NOW (HFN) that is most often found in the young adult romance genre. Since the characters and readers are usually too young to think they have found the partner they spend the rest of their lives with, but they are happy at the end of the book.

This can be also found in ChickLit which is the adult version. The woman may have found a man who makes her happy, but by the end, they’re dating and seeing what the future holds. Which is completely fine, especially if you are writing for a series.

So, what flavor do you savor?

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The Barrier or Conflict in VuDu Legends

Basic Story Line:

  • Girl meets boy.
  • Girl gets boy.
  • They live happily ever after.

That is fairly straightforward and boring, to be honest. It’s missing something and that is conflict. Without something happening to create tension, we have a dull story that doesn’t fulfill our readers’ needs. The barriers or conflicts of the story have to be intertwined throughout. It ebbs and flows, just like the characters and story progression does. As an element, it is a very big one and won’t stop until the end.

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

Please grab VuDu Legends Volume 1 (PDF) from the store or read it for free on Webtoons!

Note: Purchasing the PDF will help fund the continuation of VuDu Legends! Continue reading The Barrier or Conflict in VuDu Legends

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The Meeting in VuDu Legends

We’ve discussed the most overarching element in the society defined and now we can go into our heroine’s and hero’s meeting within that society. This is the moment our heroine and hero meet for the first time. Let me clarify, it doesn’t necessarily have to be their first meeting in life. It’s possible that they’re meeting after a long hiatus such as high school or college graduation, an office fight, or even a long time after a torrid one-night stand (I can’t wait to do one of those).

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

Please grab VuDu Legends Volume 1 (PDF) from the store or read it for free on Webtoons!

Note: Purchasing the PDF will help fund the continuation of VuDu Legends! Continue reading The Meeting in VuDu Legends

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Society Defined in VuDu Legends

VuDu Legends Volume 1 finally has a completed print run and is ready for digital download! It was a real task cleaning everything up, but super fun all the same. Now that I have an example to play with, I think it’s a good time to break down the elements of romance covered in this premier comic. So, let’s get into the first one, shall we?

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

Please grab VuDu Legends Volume 1 (PDF) from the store or read it for free on Webtoons!

Note: Purchasing the PDF will help fund the continuation of VuDu Legends!

Continue reading Society Defined in VuDu Legends

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Comic Creator’s Marketing Mix: SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis

I know you may not want to do this, but deal with it ’cause you have to.  Marketing plans have a section listing the SWOT Analysis. Since I couldn’t get a really good definition out of my notes, I consulted The Google and landed on these clear explanations for each section on Wikipedia.

It’s usually right at the beginning of any plan and for good reason. This structured planning method is used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats involved in a project or a possible business venture. But by doing this at the beginning of planning out your graphic novel, you can find out if the project has a chance for success. It also serves as a forewarning to any potential issues when it comes down to the promotion and/or sales of your graphic novel.
Continue reading Comic Creator’s Marketing Mix: SWOT Analysis

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Comic Book Print Layout

I’m now the proud momma of a full-fledged comic book! I couldn’t be more ecstatic! The Kickstarter campaign didn’t get funded, even with a #make100 option available. But, that doesn’t matter, I got an opportunity to get a super small print run funded and jumped on it.

My initial thoughts on getting the pages updated for printing were optimistic. A few tweaks in the placement of the word bubbles would help it flow from the screen to paper, but I was in for a rude awakening. I tried to drag and drop the file into the handy template I created in Photoshop with Advanced Print & Finishing’s specifications. It was off, but cutting and resizing it to fit wasn’t an issue. Once that was finished, I checked my notes from a few of the comic followers on webtoons to make sure I kept them in mind while working. Continue reading Comic Book Print Layout

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An extra element?

Paying for doing those Dirty Deeds

*Be warned, there’s some harsh language and made up offensive words in this post.*

We have gone over all of the elements of romance and you should be happy with using your newfound skill in picking them out of your favorite stories. You should also be able to put together a pretty good outline of what you want your own story to be. Which is great!

Now, I have one more to throw at you for good measure. An Element 0.5, sort of. Continue reading An extra element?

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Getting the Stats to Fill the Need

Final Beat Comics Logo Big

Why this Romance Graphic Novel thing?

You should know by now that I believe that romance is a big deal. I base this on the fact that it shows up in just about every medium of entertainment there is. But that might just be because I crave it in all forms of entertainment. So, to prove my point I had to gather some stats to justify my crazy endeavor to head a publishing house that specialized in romance graphic novels.

Take a look at the stats of just one medium, novels, at Romance Writers of America.  Here is the statistic I needed you to see:

Estimated annual total sales value of romance in 2013: $1.08 billion (source: BookStats).

I hope you noticed that the red word there starts with a “B.” That has to show that there is a really large segment dedicated to the romance industry. You won’t find stats like this in the romance graphic novel industry. Is there really an industry for it? I believe so. Graphic novels are a pretty much an untapped medium when it comes down to a dedicated romance genre. At least not with the full elements of romance right now. Continue reading Getting the Stats to Fill the Need

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Plotting the Romance

I do hope you had a fun time going over romance stories in any medium and noting where the elements of romance showed up. You better had! Well anyway, ready for some more fun stuff to be added to your blessing/curse file? If not, go read some more romances.

Time for some more planning!  I used to write whatever came to mind as I went through my story. I may have known the beginning, middle, and end (most of the time no middle).  This didn’t make writing short stories easy at all, so I definitely don’t recommend it as a strategy for writing graphic novels. Continue reading Plotting the Romance

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Writing Challenge Fun!

I follow lots of blogs and most of them are all about the art of writing. Well, most of them exhibit great writing styles, so maybe more than half help me in my studies. One of my favorite things to do is participate in writing challenges. The only problem was, I wouldn’t share them. Well, I know keeping them to myself isn’t very helpful. Sometimes I think sharing them is in that same boat. Continue reading Writing Challenge Fun!

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What Makes a Romance Graphic Novel a Romance?

Romance can span over many genres and have any tone or style. The time and/or place won’t hinder the writer’s ability to create a romance, but it seems the medium can limit its scope. How can you portray a relationship in a comic or graphic novel while still adhering to what a comic is? Continue reading What Makes a Romance Graphic Novel a Romance?

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Welcome to Final Beat Comics!

Ahhh, romance. The biggest beast of a genre there can be. No matter what medium it comes in, be it movies, songs, novels, TV shows, comics, etc., romance is everywhere. It shouldn’t be a surprise that it permeates every aspect of our entertainment, romance is about relationships and as humans, we are a social people.

We thrive when there is a connection between us. Family, friends, associates, it doesn’t matter. We depend on the relationships we have throughout our daily lives. There are a few that would contest that piece of information with independent living styles, but there are far less than those few who can say they have nothing to do with romance. Continue reading Welcome to Final Beat Comics!