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A Freebie from Harper

Barry Deutsch notes that HarperCollins is now offering the first 100 pages of our recent 576 page Zot! Collection for free online. This is a good thing.

There was a time, not that long ago, when publishers were reluctant to offer any significant amount of published work online for free. Clearly though, it can help spread the word about good stories and art. Check out the comments from yesterday’s post regarding Carol Tyler’s 10-page preview for a demonstration. 

I remember when Understanding Comics was first published in 1993 and Kitchen Sink sent me to a trade show to promote it. We’d sent out mailings, we’d taken out ads, but the best promotion for the book we ever did was simply handing out a thousand copies to retailers.

Covers sell comics. Ads sell comics. But nothing sells comics better than the comics themselves.


Discussion (15)¬

  1. Mike L says:

    I would agree. At B+N, we get freebie copies of books all the time and who gets to read those? The booksellers who, of course, will then handsell the book, if they like it, to customers. We’re the front line, in a way, as comic store owners are in their way as well. Not only does a galley show that a publisher has confidence in a title, it shows some respect for the store owners and order staff as well.

    Was it Kitchen Sink that did that with UC or Tundra?

  2. Jon Witmer says:

    This is indeed excellent news. I’m right about the halfway mark in the Zot! tome right now (picked it up recently for the uber-fair cover price of $24.95), and the first 100 pages will definitely encourage folks to read on.

  3. Box Brown says:

    Yes! Free webcomics from me for everyone all the time!

  4. I agree, but it’s best to give them out strategically. I was very cross with Amazon reviewers who were given free comics to review and gave them horrible reviews for, basically, being comics. Just because they didn’t like comics.

    But I suppose booksellers don’t work like reviewers, they’ll only plug what they like, and ignore what they don’t, not bash it.

  5. Well, the preview sold me on a copy, the system works!

  6. ace1138 says:

    after the 100 pages, i can´t wait to read the entiry book. Seems great!

  7. Tony says:

    Dang, your post is actually kinda awkward since I saw the preview either yesterday or the day before.

    Whatever, hahaha.

  8. Jeff says:

    I really wish I had the book now. A few months ago I bought Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics and Making Comics. I was thinking of getting Zot! too but (regrettably) I didn’t. But wow those first 100 pages, just wow.

  9. [...] “I remember when Understanding Comics was first published in 1993 and Kitchen Sink sent me to a trade show to promote it. We’d sent out mailings, we’d taken out ads, but the best promotion for the book we ever did was simply handing out a thousand copies to retailers.” – Scott McCloud [...]

  10. I agree, Scott — this is a great idea. I defy anyone to read the first 100 pages of ZOT! and *not* buy the book. I missed the comic in the ’80s, but loved catching up with it in collected form.

    I actually wrote a (sort of gushy) review for Powells.com:
    http://www.powells.com/review/2008_09_13.html

  11. ed says:

    Great book! (And looking forward for the collected color ZOTs.)

    But… maybe offering the LAST 100 pages free online would get more ‘Indie’ comics readers to pick up the collection? ;)