GETTING CREDITS ON COMIXOLOGY
AMBER LOVE 05-MAY-2015 Last night I was searching for information about creators and publication dates while getting my Harvey Award ballot in order. I needed to go to a number of sources to try and get information. I’d first go to the publishers’ sites, but often they have terrible layouts and search engines. I have used comicbookdb.com at times but you need a lot of patience to drill through specific issue numbers if you’re looking at anything with a substantial run; not to mention that a lot of indie people don’t get entered. And then there’s Amazon and Comixology which should have key pieces of information like who worked on a book and the pub date; only problem is, that information is not always filled in.
I was fortunate that on Amazon, they were able to take me at my word that I worked on SHAKESPEARE SHAKEN which listed the editor then said “and over 30 more” which was where I was included. The thing is, I have an Amazon author page and want my credentials. That’s what they are. It’s part of my work. Amazon was great about it and made sure the book was properly linked to my name; but now I look like a jerk because everyone else’s names are only in the description when they should establish their own author pages and get it linked too.
I know this may seem ridiculous to people who have ten novels out. Maybe they don’t care about every anthology where they wrote a short story. Maybe someday I’ll get to that point, but it isn’t now. I’m still small potatoes and can’t even get my name on every social network the same because it’s been claimed and I’m not a verified person. I’m not a blue check. That does matter when you’re trying to make a living freelancing and being a self-employed creative person.
Right now, none of the comics I’ve worked on are available at Comixology. But when they are, I want to be able to direct my readers to an author page. I’ve had trouble with Comixology when trying to find a specific series before and it’s clunky to say the least. If you can’t find something under the creator name, you can try the series title or the publisher. I was looking for a specific RED SONJA and could not easily find it probably because of bad database tables. That’s a character who has had many titles/runs and even multiple publishers. Eventually months later, I found it. At least with non-retail sites like comicbookdb.com and ComicVine, you can submit changes as a contributor and make sure that your own data is correct; that doesn’t help with trying to people who want to shop though.
Back to last night and my Harvey ballot, I was searching on different titles and creators looking to see what was published in 2014 so I could be sure they qualify for nominations. That’s when I started seeing incorrect information. Co-writers listed as artists. No letterers, inkers, or colorists on others. No mention of the people that contribute to back matter which takes a lot of time to put draft and put together. Maybe that’s like asking for credit for the desk jockey that makes sure the pithy quotes on the backs of novels are lined up properly. With novels, things like editors’ names are mentioned once or twice. In comics, all the cogs usually want credit. Comparing the coveted awards, for example, some don’t have “Best Editor” or “Best Publisher”. With the Harveys, they have “Best Presentation” so I suppose that’s a suitable place for acknowledging books that have extras like back matter and creative inside covers. I’d like to think a win for one is a win for the team, but let’s be real, only one person gets to put the award win on their resume unless it’s for “Best Series”.
I can read some of the thought balloons popping up over your heads. No, awards don’t matter that much. We’ve seen the sheer travesty of the slate nominations at the Hugo Awards and what an epic shitstorm that created. Perfectly talented authors have requested to have their names removed. So, I know – awards don’t matter. However, credit does. It’s only because I was putting together the ballot that I stumbled across this problem in Comixology listings.
PLEA FOR HELP
Thankfully, the support staff at Comixology tweeted back and clarified that it is the publisher, not the creator, who has to submit all the proper data to them in a file. If you are the person at the publishing house who bears this responsibility, please include everyone on the book. Wouldn’t it be great if publishers and online retailers had filters in their search engines so that you can look for specific things? Fill out a creator name or two then date stamp – “I want everything written by Matt Wagner from 2010 to 2013” and then actually get results.