From Marvel to Self-Publishing + Gumroad Widgets

Another week in the books and another round of applause for the new creators!

Congrats to all our creators - here’s a sales recap:

  • 12,981 creators earned something this week.
  • 3,692 creators earned more than $100 this week.
  • 676 creators earned more than $1000 this week.
  • 47 creators earned more than $10,000 this week.
  • 3 creators earned more than $100,000 this week.

*date range 10-17 June

The Journey From Mainstream Comics to Self-Publishing

Mike Hawthorne has always been an artist, but he always wanted to be a comic artist. Trying to find work, Mike would reach out to publishers, but it never led anywhere. 

Mike knew that if he wanted to stand out, he had to attract publishers to him. To do this, he went the independent publishing route. And for a long time it wasn’t profitable, but it got eyeballs on his work.

Overtime he built a reputation in the “comic space” and finally broke into “mainstream” comics. Here he got his "big break" at Dark Horse Comics and that led to work at places like DC/Vertigo, Marvel and more.

And from there, the opportunities kept coming. Now, what Mike is best known for is his record work on Deadpool, Spiderman, and Hulk.

But he never took his eye off self-publishing. Self-publishing gave him the creative freedom to bend the boundaries and combine both his comic work and his fine art training.

And with Gumroad, he’s been able to take his self-publishing endeavors even further. He now offers products like digital collections, educational books, physical books, and even merch like coffee mugs and t-shirts.

But his journey to becoming a successful self-publishing artist was a difficult one.

Here are his 5 insights to help other independent creators succeed:

1. Flexibility

If anything 2020 taught us as creators, it’s to be flexible. For illustrators specifically, the days of working in a company studio are becoming rarer. As an artist, it’s important to optimize for flexibility.

2. Community

Community equates to survival. Build or become part of a community and reap the benefits of building relationships with like-minded people. The best part of a community is the support aspect.

3. Self-Sufficient

It’s extremely important to become self-sufficient as a creator. Even though he had worked with Marvel, Disney, Epic, and others, when the pandemic hit, studios closed. But because of Gumroad, his personal brand, and his community, Mike was able to continue to generate income.

4. Direct-Communication

This is more important than ever. Build an audience you own and have a direct line of communication with. For example, build an email list and tap one button, and reach all of your supporters. As an illustrator, this is vital because you don’t always get to communicate with your readers.

5. Contribute

Share your work, your process, your knowledge; all of it. Mike has the expression "People Not Money” which means relationships over transactions. Show your audience you appreciate them and their support. Do this by providing value within your domain.

What We Shipped For Gumroad Creators 

You can now check your Gumroad sales right from your phone’s home screen by adding a widget!

Just update your Gumroad Dashboard app, search for the Gumroad Widget, and enjoy! :)

The good news is this is for iOS and Android.

We’ve been releasing feature after feature to help you make more money as a creator.

You can view them all here.

What’s Happening In The Creator Economy

  • Sahil’s second cohort of the Minimalist Entrepreneur course starts in July, and registration is now open! Sign up here.
  • Get your Gumroad landing page reviewed here.
  • How to create a high converting sales page in 6 steps.
  • Don’t overthink becoming a creator.
  • Use these creators to inspire your journey.
  • Here’s how easy it is to launch your first product on Gumroad.

Inspiring Gumroad Creators

  • Jan Erik Waider travels the world taking breathtaking landscape photos.
  • Gal Shir helps artists bring their imagination to life through brushes.
  • Biz Velatini shows you how to whip up pizzas with skinny dough.
  • Alex Fitzgerald shows you how to master poker.
  • Teela teaches you how to master water coloring with procreate.

Tweet Of The Day

As a creator, it can be difficult to gain momentum.

Start.

Gain momentum.

Then retrace your steps and optimize.

The Anatomy of a Successful Gumroad Creator

View the post here.

Quick note: We have a lot of amazing content coming your way over the next few weeks. It’s entire goal is to help you succeed as a creator. It’s going to be epic.

Until next Sunday,

The Gumroad Team