Be a producer 101

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mayshing's avatar

Literature Text

A lot of writers approach me (for reasons I do not know) and told me about how hard it is for them to get someone to teamwork with them on a comic project.

Writers, project start ups, please understand that once you want to involve someone into your project, you are no longer just a writer. You have switched role to being a "producer" of your project.

As little as the project maybe, you are the producer.
Therefore, as a producer, you need to do what a producer do!


Job 1: provide, and find ways to provide the team financially (I do it by fund rising, other producers/writers do so by getting a part time job, or talk investors into giving some investments. Yes, if you want it badly enough, you WILL do it. If you love your project, you will sacrifice to make it come to life.

Other options:
If you are not ready to be involved financially, you need to get yourself involved as a friend. As a real friend to that artist you want to work with....Or become that "writer" the artist can be a fan of, and you will get a fan working for you...Or educate yourself on how to sell your products (your story) to others.
I have met a writer who's so good at selling, he sold out his original novel EVERYTIME in anime con. That's no less than a miracle! He learned to be a GOOD salesman. He was more than a writer!

Either time or money. You HAVE to invest, learn to be more than a writer.
In order to be successful.

Job2: Provide emotional support for the team, as well as production schedule. You need to know when something needs to be done, set a goal, keep everyone on track, make the project worth while. When people have conflicts and emotional needs, it's the producer's job to keep everyone in check.
I personally find weekly goals the best to use, anything longer tend to drag.

Job3: To advertise for the project. Take the producer for Miyazaki for example, while they are still working on the project, the producer is already formatting a marketing plan, thinking about the most attractive clip to sell to general audience.

There you have it.... a small time producer's job is rather similar to an entrepreneur, a marketing director... and so on. Most writers in the industry do also end up being some sort of producers, production assistants, eventually directors.

Also, when you become producer, you become a leader, a leader doesn't have much privilege to be depressed for feel bad about your project. (You can... however go get depressed for 5 minutes or a few days, but you need to get back to work ASAP.)

Because if you are not even confident, no one will be. Prepare yourself for what you are seeking when you try to recruit someone to team work with you, and to trust your leadership.

Be strong, you can be more than a writer, so develop yourself to be that leader.
For my own convenience.

This is my answer to many many start up producers who wanted to recruit me to their no-budget projects.

Here's my answer:

1. I already have my own no-budget projects, I am busy enough with them, seeking help for my projects.

2. I already have been helping professionals out on their own personal projects. Thus I have no time for non-pros on their new projects.

3. I am in financial need, I no longer have time to donate out of kindness for many start up projects.

So, if you really want my help, be a serious producer, because I am a producer too. I know exactly how you feel, but I can't help you for free.

Send this link to whoever you would like to show it to.
© 2010 - 2022 mayshing
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halflingrogue's avatar
Hey Mayshing, who's that author you mentioned who always sells his original novel? Does he do anything particularly as a salesman?
mayshing's avatar
He knows how to vocal himself, his motto is "It's better to speak out than being quiet"
and he sells small sample of his work, (like a small issue) for 1-2 dollars while selling big books for 10-15.

He uses stock photo for his cover so it looks pro even if he can't draw.
He does greet people straight, tell them about his book vocally, from logline to summary,
once they stand at his stand long enough they will purchase,
he also knows how to measure the amount of books/stock he needs to bring per convention.
For anime con he writes stories based on the audience experience, like related subject,
if i recall, his book's story was related to going to Japan/convention etc... (popular subjects)

I did something more vocal before and it is true my books sell better if i go vocal,
the only problem is that it requires alot of energy to keep selling like that for 3 days straight,
one needs to be quite fit for it.
halflingrogue's avatar
So by vocal, you mean talk to everyone and present your idea individually to each potential customer, right? What did you do for the time you said you were "more vocal"? What did you do differently from what you normally do?
mayshing's avatar
So by vocal, you mean talk to everyone and present your idea individually to each potential customer, right?

What did you do for the time you said you were "more vocal"?

tell them about my story in a nut shell, do the elevator pitch.

What did you do differently from what you normally do?

I normally sit there and let them come and greet them,
because that's less demanding physically.
Justria's avatar
Thanks for making this! I just started on a cooperative project with a friend, so this is very timely.
TheSoulCaptor's avatar
This will come in very handy ^_^ I will give it a thorough study and get each aspect right for when I want to get my Alterra Archives up and running the way I want them to be :D
Blue-Uncia's avatar
Thanks a lot for this! I'll certainly link others to it when they come knocking. It's more than just a little frustrating when people (usually practical strangers) come round and say:

"Gosh, would you like to draw my comic for me? I don't have any money though, lol. Plz?"

Yeah... If they even knew me at all, they'd know I don't even have the time. XD
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