B&N Week 129: More Protips!

| June 11, 2013


And the Tuesday’s just keep on trucking! We’ve got triple digits here in Tucson, and it’s going to stay that way for the foreseeable future. So, if I start complaining about the heat too much, just remind me that I asked for it.

This week, we have more protips! Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Never lose your temper. As soon as you do, you’ve lost all credibility for the argument, and you may as well concede the point. Lots of creative conflicts can be avoided by keeping your temper in check.

While all of the great superhero names may have been taken, not all of the great book titles have. Killer titles are half the fight.

The other half of the fight is stellar execution. You have to execute all the way through. This means that you must nail the final bit.

Every bit is the final bit.

Deal with everyone the same way, in the same manner. Don’t chameleon yourself or your attitudes. This way, creators will always know where you stand whenever you say something.

Always try to work as though you are under a deadline. This will help your productivity.

Do your best to get your work seen. Look for criticism, so that you can do it better next time.

Don’t accept mediocrity within your work. Even if you’re only doing it for a paycheck, it has your name attached to it. Your name is the only thing that is ever truly yours. Treat it with care.

Learn to recognize when your ambition overreaches your talent. Hone your abilities so that these will eventually match. Once they do, get a new ambition and do it all over again.

Learn how to craft a pitch that works. Editors don’t care about the backstory in the pitch. They want to be told about why they should read what you’ve written. Exciting them makes it more difficult for them to say no to your idea.

Once you think you’ve got a handle on one discipline, try your hand at another. The more you can do for yourself, the more money you can save.

Learn to write press releases. News outlets get hundreds of these a week. Just learn to mix actual content along with the hyperbole.

Study comic sales charts to look for trends. Remember that things go in waves.

Forging your own path isn’t just hard, it is also scary. A challenging task plus an uncomfortable emotion makes for a daunting undertaking. You can combat both of these by having a plan.

Over-estimate your budget. It is always better to have too much money than not enough.

Remember this: your printing bill will be your biggest expense.

Be excited about your projects. Excitement is infectious.

Remember that today’s society is overly sensitive. Don’t let this stop you from telling your story.

Keep your word. Do everything in your power to do so. If you cannot keep your word, then let people know as soon as possible that you cannot keep your word. People are forgiving, but they don’t like being lied to.

Being controversial may get the work seen, but don’t let the controversy overshadow the work.

Don’t make excuses. Own up to your mistakes, and do your best to fix them. If you don’t understand that a mistake was made, have someone explain it to you.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. Experimentation leads to growth, both personally and professionally.

The freelance life is difficult and has a myriad number of challenges. Understand what it truly means before stepping away from a steady paycheck.

Build your audience. Gather a following. Treat them with respect, and they will be with you, always.

Craftsmanship is changing in the face of technology. Know your tools, be they analog or digital.

Do something on the web and update it regularly. Promote it. Let people know it’s there.

That’s it for now. A short one. You have others? Sound off in the comments!


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Category: Bolts & Nuts, Columns

About the Author ()

Steven is an editor/writer with such credits as Fallen Justice, the award nominated The Standard, and Bullet Time under his belt, as well as work published by DC Comics. Between he and his wife, there are 10 kids (!), so there is a lot of creativity all around him. Steven is also the editor in chief and co-creator of ComixTribe, whose mission statement is Creators Helping Creators Make Better Comics. If you're looking for editing, contact him at stevedforbes@gmail.com for rate inquiries.

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