Filipino self publisher on print in the digital age
Comics creator Gerry Alanguilan was supposed to speak at “The Future of the Book” digital publishing conference in Quezon City, The Philippines this week, but had to bow out. So he posted his intended speech on his blog instead.
Alanguilan, who American fans probably know as the inker for Leinil Francis Yu and Whilce Portacio on books like Wetworks and Superman: Birthright, is also a self publisher and creator of comics like Wasted and Elmer in his home country. Elmer will be published by SLG this November in North America.
His speech is definitely worth a read, touching on several notable topics, like the affordability of digital devices in The Philippines, using digital comics to market your print comics and the added value you can put into a print comic that you can’t in a digital version:
My other book ELMER was published through my own Komikero Publishing in 4 issues from 2006 to 2008. The first issue very quickly sold out. And when it did, I digitized it and uploaded it online as both as one HTML file where you can read it in one go, and as a downloadable Comic Book Reader file. FOR FREE. My purpose for doing so was to encourage people to buy the rest of the series in print, and the compiled edition which came out in 2009.
To further entice people to buy the printed comics, I collaborated with my wife’s paper crafting company to create a limited edition ELMER Box Sets which included a hardbound hand crafted copy of Elmer 1-4, photographs, facsimile of some of the objects found in the story, one piece of original artwork, and a certificate of authenticity. These are things that cannot be reproduced digitally, but can be created simply by hand. The minute I made the announcement on my blog about the existence of these box sets, I never had the opportunity to sell them at our local conventions because reservations for it came pouring in through email and quickly sold out.