Your store can have an actual physical location, such as in a strip mall or downtown area, or it can operate solely online.
Before building up an inventory and finding customers, you’ll need to decide which genres to focus on. The world of comic books and graphic novels is immense – choosing a niche within this space is essential when just getting started.
Start A Comic Book Business With The Right Stuff
The types of equipment and supplies that you’ll need to start a comic book business will depend on whether it’s an online venture, a brick-and-mortar business – or both. If you’re going to own an actual store, you’re going to need things like cash registers, shopping bags and POS (point-of-sale) equipment. If you’re strictly going to sell online, you’re going to need shipping supplies – including boxes, mailing labels, scales and tape.
For processing online orders, you’ll also need credit card processing software. You’ll also need a decent computer and a reliable connection to the Internet.
Beyond all of the basics, you’re going to need to keep plenty of comic books on hand. There is one primary comic books distributor: Diamond Comic Distributors. Publishers sell their comic books to Diamond, and Diamond sells them at wholesale prices to retailers. No matter what genres you’ve decided to focus on, you should be able to keep a steady stream of titles on the shelves by working with Diamond.
Training For Your Comic Book Store
Anyone who’d like to start a comic book business is sure to be a huge fan of comic books in general. Therefore, you should already have a decent amount of knowledge about popular comic books. You should also have a firm grasp on how to appeal to comic book customers, since you are one yourself.
The challenge is going to come in with running an actual business. You’re going to need to learn about paying taxes on your earnings, how to charge sales tax (when applicable) and the process of paying employees if you are going to have any.
Before venturing into the comic book selling business, then, you should take some basic business courses. If possible, talk to other local comic book business owners to see what they recommend in terms of training.
In the case of a physical store, a location near a college or university campus is a great idea. Otherwise, a downtown location is a smart choice. Either way, try to get a feel for what local comic book buyers are into – that way, you’ll get an idea about what genres to keep in stock.
Whether your venture is online or not, marketing online is key. Frequently visit comic book-related websites and exchange links to the website that you’ve created for your store. Finally, try to participate in as many comic book conventions as possible – they are among the easiest ways to spread the word about your comic book business.
Expanding Your Comic Book Business
Once you start a comic book business and have been at it for a while, you might want to think about expanding your store. There’s a lot of comic book character-related merchandise out there that you could sell: miniatures, posters, movies and apparel are all viable options.
Work hard to get comic book artists to come in for signings, too, since it will boost the image of your business and will help draw a crowd. You could even think about offering comic book writing lessons. No matter what you do, your enthusiasm for comic books in general should help you succeed when you choose to start a comic book business.