Interesting take on Comic Reporter what it takes to make a living in Indy comics. Answer is: very few people do.
"My hunch for a long time has been that the talent of the people making
the comics has outstripped the talent of the non-creatives who are the
primary folks responsible for fashioning an industry that can reward
that talent. What you have left is an assemblage of people doing okay to
great: superior talents and/or talents that had good timing in terms of
finding something that works; those who were present for a moment in
history that matches up with a market opportunity; those inclined
towards a genre effort that speaks to a specific cultural need, a few
with something undefinable that resonates with people in a way that
can't be denied. Everyone else is in survival mode. Because some of the
traditional structure is exploitative, a good deal of the best talent
out there serves that system rather than another, more equitable one."
That's a bit wordy. You can winnow it down to: Success by superior talent; good timing; smart marketing; and luck. (I'd add, who you know.)
I would extend this to books -- and probably just about every other form
of art. It's just a matter of scale. It has probably always been
thus, and in every field of endeavor.
I especially like this phrase: "...the talent of people making comics has outstripped the talent of the non-creatives who are the primary folks responsible for fashioning an industry that can reward that talent."
In other words, the big publishers are bungling it. In books as well as comics, self-published and smaller Indy publishers are more creative and and open and interesting than the Big Five.
It's one thing to know this in theory. It's another to run up against it.
Right now, Tuskers II is in the top 1% of sellers on Amazon in horror. There are 70,000 horror novels, so you can do the math. Tuskers is in the top 1.5%.
I'm pleased with that, but you'd probably be surprised by the numbers. Not all that high. Certainly not something that I can quit my job over.
As I've mentioned before -- where else but the arts can you be in the top 1% of your field and it not mean much?
23 hours ago