Revenue on a Digital VS Print Comic

by Matt Russell - Posted 2 weeks ago


Welcome, my CryptoComic Compatriots! Are you thinking of creating a comic? Should you go with print or digital formats? Which will bring you the most money? Where are the pitfalls? Where is the money going? If you’ve ever wondered this, now is your chance to find out. Yep, M. Scott Russell is here to bring you all the dirty info so you can make an informed decision.

Comics used to be published by the millions (oh, the 90’s) but now a typical print run will be roughly 100,000 so for the sake of numbers and easy math, we will keep our numbers to 100,000 and assume that we will be selling every single one of them.

Let’s also assume that you will have the comic for sale at the current national average of $3.99. This will make it very easy to break down the prices for everything. This means that you can make a grand total of $399,000. Not to bad for a month’s worth of work.

We are also assuming that all legal stuff is out of the way and you already had contracts in place (lawyer approved) and already have your ™, ®, & © stuff taken care of. This can cost 10’s of thousands of dollars depending on the level of protection. If you don’t think anyone will turn your comic into a Broadway musical, you don’t need to protect yourself from that, but you never know. Talk to a lawyer.

For the sake of the numbers, and because I hate doing math, we will also not go into taxes. You will have to speak to an accountant on this matter as each state handles them differently. Here in Idaho, it is 6% but in New Jersey, it is 10.8%. Thank God for South Dakota and Texas that have no State Tax.

Cost of creating the comic

Let’s assume that your comic will be made by the exact same artist/writer/colorist team. Then the cost shouldn’t change at all for this. Each person is on a per-page basis so when the time comes, already you will have to shell out some serious dough for the right team.

Let us also assume that this will be a 26-page comic. This will give us a total of 30 pages (4 for ads). Yes, the ads will come in handy later. The digital version will not have ads within the comic in order to make ad revenue by using other means.

Artist - $150 per page ($4,050 for 26 pages and a cover)
Colorist - $150 per page ($4,050 for 26 pages and a cover)
Inker - $75 per page ($2,025 for 26 pages and a cover)
Letterer - $35 per page ($940 for 26 pages and a cover)
Writer - $35 per page ($910 for 26 pages)
Editor - $15 per page ($405 for 26 pages and a cover)

So on the 26 pages (27 if we include the cover) we are looking at a grand total of $12,380 per comic to be created. Luckily there are several things you can do to cut cost like finding a cheaper talent or learning to do more on your own.

So now we have made a total of $386,620 by spending 3.1% Not too bad so far but now things get dicey.


A good benchmark for printing a comic is 80 cents per book. So with a single $3.99 book we are looking at a printing cost of 80¢ we only make a grand total of $3.19 each book.

This changes how much we can make. It cost us $80,000 just to print this run and eats up 20% of profits. We only make $319,000 before the cost to make the book bringing our total down to $306,620.


A pretty good average to ship 10 comics to a single retailer is about $24 per package. This means that each comic store received 10 comics. The good part is that they buy the books and hope to make a profit because they generally have to eat the cost of unsold comics.

You pay for shipping but the comics have already been purchased. So those 10 books will be purchased at $39.90 and will cost you $24 in shipping. This will give you a total of 10,000 shipping packages costing you $240,000

So, there goes another 60% of profits bringing your total down to $66,620 when you factor in the cost of talent as well.


You can start to recoup that cost by placing ads in your printed comic as well. You can make an average of $400 per comic page of ad space. This means you will recoup a total of about $2,400. This is usually paid before the comic goes to print so that it will help with the initial print run.

We are going with the assumption that you are not placing ads anywhere but are receiving ads from other people. This is also going with the “Field of Dreams” mentality that just assumes that if you build it, they will come. I can’t even begin to explain how wrong this is but for the sake of the numbers, let’s just assume that this is what is happening.

Your company has made a profit of about $69,020 for a comic. This means you only earn 17.29 %. So for every dollar you spend you get 68¢ profit. When you have a huge company such as DC Comics, it’s hard to split that 68¢ into executive salary and such.

Digital Age

Ok, so we have already established the cost to make the comic and how much we will earn as $386,620 after talent. Here is where the bubble starts to pop. We don’t have to spend money on print cost, so we are able to skip that cost, but what about the platform itself?


Comixology is the platform that everyone seems to know and run with. Yes, they are the largest for now. But, how much can you make off of them? According to their website, log on and submit. It’s free to submit, but how much profit will I actually earn?

You have to dig a little deeper to actually find the answer. It is 50% minus credit card fees 45 days after the next quarter. I hope you weren’t expecting to sell them all in 1 quick shot like you do with the comic retail stores and count your profits that day.

Let’s assume that you have the overhead capital to keep the lights on and you sell all 100,000 on day 1. The cool part is that since it is not a digital asset but just a pdf that your customers have access to they can keep selling until you tell them to stop. The bad part is that it will get recreated somewhere else soon enough and sales will slump off.

So, let’s look on the bright side; 45 days after the next quarter you will get a check for a lot of money by only having to give up $13,965 (3.9%) in credit card fees and $195,000 in profit sharing with Comixology.

That's actually still a pretty respectable $182,620 after the cost of talent. That is a ton easier to live off of than the $66,620.

Why not do both? By building a print base and a digital base, you can earn up to $249,240 and this means that your comic is everywhere. It also means that you will have to sell 200,000 copies of your work. Good luck.


I think we can do better than 50%. How about 80%. That’s not for us, that 80% goes to you. This means that with your 100,000 run and assuming you sell out at roughly $3.99 each (as of the time of writing this, that means that you are selling your comic for 0.0042 eth each. You can always head to an Ethereum calculator to find out the difference.)

This gives you a grand total of $319,200 before talent. After all expenses, you could receive up to  $306,820 if you are just sticking with our platform.

Digital Exclusives

We never sign anyone to a digital exclusive. If you want to still try your hand at print, please do so. Personally, I would love to actually have a physical copy to display on my wall as well as read it in the CryptoComics Marketplace. If you want to also take it to Comixology, by all means, go for it. The more places you can sell your comic the better.

You do you, boo. We won’t stand in your way. More power to you!

Comic Bucks

We also have a great way for comic creators to make more of a profit. Lindsey (our Marketing Guru) said it best with

Here's how your store makes money:

Step 1: Join the Marketplace.

Step 2: Invite your customers to join using the easy invite feature.

Step 3: Every time they buy or sell comic books in the Marketplace, you’ll earn ComicBucks.

Step 4: You can use ComicBucks to buy Comic Books, and then resell those comic books for cash. Resellers keep a portion of the sale on our Marketplace (and the original Creator gets a portion for royalties!).

For more information on this, check out the Comic Bucks For Publishers page.

Last but not least, Resale Value

This is the part that I’m personally most excited about. So, with a print comic, lets say that I am one of the people that purchase one of your 100,000 printed comics. I read it. I can keep it in my collection or sell it.

Let’s say I sell it for $2.00 This means that it has been sold twice, once to me for $3.99 and once to someone else (John Doe) for $2. You have only made a profit off the first sale. Now with CryptoComics, if I sell it to John, you make a profit off that sale as well.

This is for the life of that book. If it gets sold to 100 different people, you keep making a profit off of that book. The price could go up due to there only being 100,000 copies minted and all are sold, meaning none are available.

I will leave you with the thought that with CryptoComics Marketplace, you are actually earning a residual income. This is something that has never been heard of before in comics. Ponder that and until next time. Stay Safe out there.