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Question:

I've had some readers express an interest in buying a PDF version of my comic. The problem is that my completed story is too big to email. Is there some place where I can host my comic to create a seamless buying experience with losing a lot of money in the process? Is it even worth selling the PDF?

- PDF Comicker

Dear PDF Comicker,

File size really is one of the bigger pains about digital comics, isn't it? 

I've used Pulley  for hosting and selling PDFs and really liked them. It was simple to set up, secure, affordable, and easy shopping for my readers. The downside was that I didn't get a lot of traffic through my store there. People don't often like being redirected to other sites they may or may not trust. Eshop for Wordpress has a downloads option that fits right into your store but you may find the file size restrictions prohibitive. 

There are a number of options I haven't personally tried yet. One of my readers emailed me recommending Apple iBookstore and Barnes and Noble ebookstore through Smashwords. I have friends who use Lulu (but I personally found them overly complicated and really unhelpful) and I've been hearing glowing reviews for Drive Thru Comic and Comixology.

The last option is to break up your comics into smaller PDFs. Brad Guigar has been selling monthly digital downloads of Evil Inc, that are doing well and I've noticed more and more webcomics collections popping up in smaller chunks. The smaller files also give you the advantage of releasing more often. This keeps your titles front-and-centre and, without print cost, is way more budget friendly for creators and readers. 

Happy E-reading,

Jules

I've had some success selling PDFs. If the PDF is too big to send in an email, I would use something like Payloadz (which has different accounts and pricing structures, check their FAQs in the help page) or Scribd (which, at the time I write this, takes 20% + $.25 of each sale). You can also become a publisher on DriveThruComics as well.They have two different pricing structures, one for exclusive and one for non-exclusive sellers. These are just the options that I found with a quick Google search, and I think that offering more options is always better than offering less! Check around, do some research and see what service you like the best. Even if you don't make a lot of sales, it will be better than not making any because you don't have the option at all!

Liz

First of all, yes, a digital version of your comic is a fantastic way to make money. Do it. More often than not, digital purchasers are not the same folks who buy comics digitally so you're making yourself available for a new market. 

If the size of your book is too big, shrink it. If you're twenty-two page comic book is over 10MB than it's too big. Google "shrinking PDF size" and select any number of methods to make it a more manageable size.

There are plenty of great ways to sell your comics digitally. Get your comic on a digital site that'll sell it for you - DriveThruComics, Comixology, Amazon, etc. If you prefer to sell it yourself, a shopping cart with automated delivery, like ECWID, might be what you're looking for. 

James Ninness

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