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so... here it is..the thing that critically injured my book...

some fun insight for any of you who want to get your own series running...
without promotion...quality won't get you far. 

let's put things into context

this is death vigil series result on comic book roundup…

comic book roundup is to comics what metacritic is to games and whatnot. it compiles multiple reviews and creates an average score.
based on reviews death vigil has a score of 9.1 out od 10

and yet here we are. 

i will now copy a part from my previous journal as it is relevant


now, as i work predominantly for independent companies, my work can be a bit hard to get.

reason for this is a simple one. comic book stores buy their supplies from diamond. the main distributor. 
they buy stuff they know will sell. comics aren't a huge profit business so they have to choose the winners on their own.

it is a harsh system but comic store owners have bills to pay as well. so don't take this as me harping on them in any way :) (Smile) 

it's more of an explanation of how things work for those interested in getting into creator owned/indie market.

some stores will stock on indie stuff, most will stock on issue 1 and judge on people preordering issue 2 onward, whether or not they will keep ordering the book.

unfortunately this is how good books often die. customers don't really know this process. i certainly didn't. 

we enter a store pretty much expecting the store to hold the product that is relevant to their business and our interest. it is a given to us.

unfortunately this doesn't work with comics. preorders and pull lists are what makes or breaks an indie book, so if you plan on making and publishing a comic, keep this in mind. this nearly killed death vigil.

it is a vicious cycle.

it is a road to failure and here is how it goes

1 publish a book and people like it- you are in 7th heaven...

2 people don't know about preorders so they count on the store to keep ordering and they'll keep buying. this isn't so. store orders significantly less copies of volume 2 and 3 and publisher regulates the printrun accordingly

3 you start realizing that the initial profit melts away after issue 1 with alarming rate, and by issue 3 you find yourself struggling to keep your head above the water...

4 this is when you take on sidegigs to help finance the book you are passionate about. while you are trying to make ends meet, your book starts suffering delays...and the interest in it wanes

5 orders catastrophically drop with delays as readers more and more start trade waiting. ironically trade at that point might be a very optimistic idea...

6 misery and despair

many books vanished this way. my personal solution to this is-

1 inform people interested in your books about how this works
2 promote the good books.

way too much time i see spent on people discussing stuff they hated in books or stuff that offended them. 

way too rarely do we enthusiastically speak about the stuff we love. often we take the good entertainment for granted. hell just look at youtube. majority of successful channels and up being the ones shitting on the bad stuff. we thrive on cynicism nowadays.

it is the lifeblood of the internet.

also for a more detailed experience of creating indie comics
i highly recommend…

jim zub is a veteran indie comic writer at image comics, currently writing skullkickers and wayward.

KEEP THIS IN MIND! DON'T BE DISCOURAGED! this is merely here to show you the pitfalls, now you can work on avoiding them. i was told a lot of this from other industry professionals so now i'm passing it forward
so good luck to all your dream projects becoming a reality :) (Smile)


so... now to the topic of preorders.

unlike videogames comics are primarily a printed medium. sure there is digital but for the most part it is a bonus. not in all cases of course, to anything there are exceptioons..

but wha are preorders important?

well, if you are going indie, and creator owned, they are the onyl thing that will let the store owner know you want the product. unlike games , comics are a far smaller industry, and store owners have their own bills to pay, so risking on overstocking on a book that might not sell is a very risky business decision for them. 

fact is, without preorders, subscriptions, or pull lists, they will usually not get the book.

this is what happened to death vigil volume 2. people loked the book and expected to walk into the store the next month and find it there. 
alas, store owner got no feedback and so they regulated their orders... and the kicker is, then with halved orders, image did the next logical step.

they regulated the print runs.

and from there on it went from bad to worse.

truth is , no one is at fault. it was a learn from your mistakes kind of a situation so hopefully, if you plan on making your own book, you take my experiences and make use of them. :)

now, i will be posting preorder links for death vigil volume 1 here. whenever i find more i will add to the list. those familiar with sunstone will recognize this as it helped many get the book :)

but before i end this, 
1- don't apologize if you can't buy the book! i was once where you are now. i get it. if you can spread the word , it means a lot but beyond that i hope you like the story. :)

2 if you have any preorder links or a story that will carry the book that you want added to the list, let me know

3. thank you everyone who supported me and keeps supporting me, you have my most sincere gratitude. :)

  51dNkMJ3skL by nebezial

before preorder links, here is a comixology link for digital versions. stuff i post here is in a lower resolution to accomodate loading speed…

and image comics digital…



amazon canada…

amazon uk… online comic store thatdt delivers in europe…

they also have available preorders for death vigil t shirts and prints so if that's your thing…

forbidden planet uk…


also a wide variety of death vigil stuff…

book depository…

more to be added.
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DeviouslyD Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
I'm with MikesBox330!
This is by far and away the best series I've ever read, and I'm mad for web comics.
You art is spectacular, and you're a seriously talented storyteller to boot! I came over here from Sunstone, and I can't believe how prolific a creator you are.
Anyhow, bought the TPB in hard copy to put on my favourites shelf! Please keep making amazing stuff!
MikesBox330 Featured By Owner May 7, 2017
I so hate falling in love with a series only to find that I'm late to the party and it's already been discontinued. I adore Death Vigil. I've been hoping and waiting for Switch #5, and now I guess I'll have to pray for a miracle with Vigil. I bought the comics, then bought the tpb in print and then bought it again on ComiXology just to always have it a click or two away. I seriously miss these characters already. 
nebezial Featured By Owner May 9, 2017
not discontinued. on a hiatus for financial reasons (low sales) but not catastrophic low like ravine so this one will come back with a second arc
MikesBox330 Featured By Owner May 14, 2017
That is fantastic news! I hope all of your fans can promo the heck out of it on social media, when that time comes, so the second arc gets a much deserved wider audience. Thanks!!
Thinkyng Featured By Owner Edited Nov 14, 2015

I would like to thank you for the amazing work you've put out. I am in LOVE with your Death Vigil, I can't get enough of it. I just found it today, but it's love at first sight. I want to let you know that I will be buying them, if I see a new volume I will do my best to save and get it ASAP! I would love for your work to continue and grow so that I may continue reading them!

DEFINITELY spreading the word to everyone I know about this master piece you've created. 

LOVE SAM AND BERNIE, GAWD, they're so awesome together, I've only got up to 4, but from what I've seen I really love those two! XD
sroku Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2015
This is where I pre-ordered it from a couple months back. They've been pretty good at keeping me updated about delays and are great for Australians ^^…
CaptainXpendable Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2015
I've subscribed to the book through Comixology. Does that count the same as pre-ordering?
aero807 Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2015
Have only recently come across your work and am loving it. I've just read the first couple of chapters of Death Vigil and I'm hooked, so much to the point where I've just pre-ordered the first volume on Amazon. I really dig your art work and the humour that you put into the story and into the various art you post up on here. 

Anyway, I hope you get enough support to keep doing the work that you do so that we can keep enjoying the work that you do. All the best and good luck!
Koyoru Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
Hi there,

I've been following you for a while now, and I have constantly looked forward to your bits and pieces of Death Vigil. I bought a digital copy of the first issue, and then got busy with life. I have just now pre-ordered the first volume, and hopefully that helps! I'm considering Sunstone, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to make the commitment yet.

I also noted the separate Witchblade series. I didn't see Volume 1, and I'm concerned that I may need to read Witchblade before ordering the Redemption series, but it is something I will consider.

I really admire your work, and want to support you, so I hope that I can continue to afford your work! Good luck!
Hazelgee Featured By Owner Edited Jul 15, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Love your work, and this is a very valuable insight into how things work. I had no idea this was the system stores used to gauge interest :(

Will pre-order!
Sleevia Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hello! Will any of the Death Vigil comics be available at your booth at Comic Con this year? 
bg256 Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2015
Love your work! I have recently read Sunstone volumes 1 and 2, and I just preordered Death Vigil. Here is a preorder link for
moogyAKA Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2015
Thanks so much for helping all of us understand one bit more about the mysterious comics world. And thanks for being awesome too x)
browncoat4life Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Been preordering all the issues of this series and of Sunstone straight off of tfaw!

But I know the pain you're talking about here, as a struggling comic writer/self-publisher I can completely relate. The fact that I'm in India and LCS's and such are not even an option just makes it worse - but you gotta keep on at what you love right?

Cheers man!
gmasnico Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2015
Hi, I´m from Chile in south america, There is one of those stores with delivery service here?
I really want a printed version..
Also big fan, keep up the good work!! 
mysticx1 Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, this sucks...     Death Vigil is one of the few western comics i follow (I used to be a big comic-fan until 15 or so years ago, when manga took over my buy-list), and it sucks to see a great series teetering on the proverbial brink...

I was at a comic store earlier this week, and the comics were all marvel and DC...  let's call it "stuff" to be polite, and no sign of Death vigil or anything else by Top cow comics really...

I hope the pre-orders i placed at Archonia and my comixology purchases of your work make some sort of difference in this, it would be very sad to see one of the few original comic series out there sink like this.
kyoukusanagi Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2015
i sadly agree, the only reason why i know death vigil + rat queens exists is just because i happen to be a fans of stephan, and constantly check this deviantart page.

otherwise, i never heard of them mentioned anywhere. literally, anywhere. and would have probably missed these amazing series
LeeNux85 Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2015
Already preordered this beauty on Amazon Germany together with Sunstone 3.
VertFey Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2015
Wow I didn't know this was so horribly complex
black-white-check Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for this journal! I'm not much of a comics reader but I read the first issue on your dA and I'm hooked! I've signed up for Comixology and I'll be following Death Vigil as it releases! :D
DianaDaniels Featured By Owner May 30, 2015
Thank you for your hard work on this and all your series. I have a pre-order through my brick and mortar store (sorry to hear that Vol. 1 was delayed), but will make the effort to continue to promote your work locally. :)
vezonius Featured By Owner May 29, 2015
If I didn't knew about this I would have done the same as with Ravine wait until it was out then buy the book. But now that I know I'll preorder death vigil and rat queens. Thanks for the info :)
Frozenfever6 Featured By Owner May 28, 2015
Welp I put in a preorder for #1 via one of your links, found and bought #2 (think it was the last one lol), #4 and #5, and preordered #7 and #8. Just need to find #3 and #6 that ship to uk Blush emoticon 
kimmy-karnage Featured By Owner May 23, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
I pre-ordered mine!   This book deserves my support! 
Jerridiot Featured By Owner May 23, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I've been eagerly awaiting the trade for this book, because I suck and don't like collecting single issues anymore (and don't read digital). I was honored to preorder this book... and if the sales of this preorder jumpstart volume 2, I'll buy that too!
a-mack22 Featured By Owner May 22, 2015
Australian link here -…
ZeDestructor Featured By Owner May 22, 2015
"this is what happened to death vigil volume 2. people loked the book and expected to walk into the store the next month and find it there. 
alas, store owner got no feedback and so they regulated their orders... and the kicker is, then with halved orders, image did the next logical step."

I think you meant Issue 2, not Volume 2. Assuming I read it properly the first time, there was supposed to be 4 volumes with 8 issues each?

Also, due to shipping costs, some of us will tend to wait for the volume's release rather than buying the individual issues, since a single larger volume shipped is cheaper. I myself do that, though I get the digital edition so I can read it immediately, and anywhere at any time.. cloud copies are useful...
peachtales Featured By Owner May 22, 2015
I love your art and stories. Thank you for sharing.
Death Vigil is what brought me here first, and I love it a lot. If it ends, it ends, but I still hope it might come back some day. I bought the physical releases 1-6 as they came out.
In the meantime, I have pre-ordered the trade, and Sunstone 3 (I have Ravine 1 and will likely buy 2 soon). I also bought Rat Queens 1, after you started doing art, since the story looked fun, and I'm enjoying it! Here's to great art and wonderful stories. <3
squish1188 Featured By Owner May 21, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
This one slipped under the radar somehow. Absolutely loved ravine and sunstone. Now that I have a taste of death vigil I'll be supporting and buying them as they come out as I am doing with sunstone.
Saitz Featured By Owner May 21, 2015  Student Digital Artist
good luck to you
shimakee Featured By Owner May 19, 2015
Hi i like your books alot and will help promote them... i read your books online here, and have already bought # 1-5 unfortunately i can no longer buy # 6 onwards because i live in the phiippines and the shippings cost more than the comic itself. i was only able to order the bulk 0f 1-5 because my wife went to the US(for personal reasons) and i ordered it online in topcow and had it delivered to where she was staying.

Maybe anyone here knows how people like me here in the Philippines could  buy your awesome book. tried amazon but they dont ship here unfortunately.

You book for me is like a combination of all the good stuff from Japanese manga and western comics. I just hope we can keep this going.
StranaMente Featured By Owner May 20, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Maybe this… could help?
shimakee Featured By Owner May 28, 2015
THank you!!!...

quick question... have you tried this yet?...
StranaMente Featured By Owner May 28, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Not yet, I'm a bit low on money for "luxury" items and I'm waiting a bit.
shimakee Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2015
alright i see.. thanks again...
KuroBllack Featured By Owner May 17, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I will support you as soon as i get the cash! I love this series and i want to see it succeed, so you have my support. :-)
TheCollector222 Featured By Owner May 16, 2015
So, the fact that this is labled vol 1, does that mean we'll be getting the other 2 arc's as well? Please say yes, I love Death Vigil.
Auzerelle Featured By Owner May 16, 2015
Sorry to hear it's been such a struggle, I read the first one and loved it and will now buy the rest. Is there a way to pre-order digital copies or can you only pre-order physical books?
mithriltabby Featured By Owner May 16, 2015
Because you posted the first issue of Death Vigil online for free, I tried out, liked it, bought them all on comixology. Thanks for trusting your readers!
ItopS Featured By Owner May 16, 2015
Hi Stjepan

I dont know why you promote amazon that much. In most countries they have very high delivery prizes that often nearly double the prize of your art. I bought Sunstone 1 at Amazon and payed 20,74 Euro's with delivery. Then I went searching and stumbled upon with free delivery world wide, so Sunstone 2 did only cost me 12,6 Euro. Thats some difference and I preordered Sunstone 3 and Deat Vigil there as well. Maybe you should promote bookdepository. I think it will increase your sales.

nebezial Featured By Owner May 17, 2015
for the obvious reason of them actually stocking the books. i forgot about the book depository, thanx , will add it to the list :)
kilarion Featured By Owner May 15, 2015
Hi, i a from, Europe Germany and i get free shipping when i buy for more than 35dollar, when will death vigil two appear on
psycocat Featured By Owner May 15, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
OK, awesome story.  I had added volume 1 to my cart a few days ago, but didn't by it because I was waiting for pay day and to talk to my wife about it.  Well today she says, "I didn't know what that weird thing was, but I just pre-ordered it for you any way."  I'm now waiting for Death Vigil.  I can't wait.  :)
Borntral Featured By Owner May 15, 2015
I am at the other end of this situation but at the same end of the solution.
Every know and then I visit comic book stores and browse their assortment. And then I buy stuff that look appealing. The books the store does not have are the books I do not recognise.
And then there are artists I follow. If they do not promote properly and additionally refer to fellows, I will never get to know them. I am in the position where I can spend my money without having to turn around every cent twice. I will gladly spend it on things I am going to like.
OfficerMittens Featured By Owner May 14, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
how long will the buying of preorders last ?

( maybe a day or two tell i can get the funds to :3)
Atticustm1 Featured By Owner May 14, 2015  Student Artist
what issues does volume one cover? i've bought up to issue 6 at this point haha
psycocat Featured By Owner May 14, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow. Mathis must be what happened to another good comic I started buying...Abadazad.  It never finished.  I have all the copies printed and it has no resolution.  I am so saddened by this.  It then moved to a hard cover book...whose run also never finished the story.  I'm in the process of preordering Death Vigil on Amazon.  I want to see how this story ends.
Xanaphisia Featured By Owner May 14, 2015
For everyone from germany you can preoder here @ComicRoom-Hamburg…

i'm not associated with them... they are just my regular comic book dealer.

We really do need the second arc....
Khalliys Featured By Owner May 14, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm going to cry so much if you are forced to stop working on this great story. :( I still want to know so much more about these gorgeous and lovable characters and this story has so much potential. This is one of the very best comics I have read so far, I really love it. It is really hard to find an authentic balance between humour and dead seriousness and you manage that so well. You have my preorder! I also recommended Death Vigil to friends and know some preordered as well.
Everyone - do the same! Show this masterpiece to your friends, to your enemies, your highschool teacher, your mom, your dog ... Because WE - NEED - MORE!
YamiAmayana Featured By Owner May 14, 2015
I hope you get as much from the digital copies as from the printed ones. Your stories are great! :)
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Submitted on
May 9, 2015


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