Introducing the IndyPlanet Ad Swap Club!

What is the IndyPlanet Ad Swap Club?   It’s a way for you to promote your comics while at the same time helping to increase the awareness of some of the other great comics at IndyPlanet.

Here’s how it works … we provide you with the base of the ad.  You can download it here. As you can see it takes up about 1/3rd of the page.  The other 2/3rds or so of the page are yours.  To participate in the club you have to build an ad for your comic and agree to run ads from other creators in your comics.

You choose the ad or ads that you’d like to include in your comic.    We’ll post all of the ads we receive.   You can download them and include them in the files you send to us or you can simply tell us in the notes field of your order which ads you’d like to run and where.   You agree to run any ads you download unaltered.

This is an Ad Swap club.   “Swap” is an operative word.    To participate you must both provide an ad AND include ads in your books.
The honor system applies here.  We’re not going to police it rigorously … although we will certainly notice if your ads are being used by others yet no ads ever appear in your books.    We will remove the ads of anyone who is not reciprocating.

There are a couple of ads already up to give you an idea of what can be done.   You can use those ads as a guideline or you can do something completely different.   You can do pretty much anything you want.  Be creative.  There are only a few restrictions.

1)  The IndyPlanet base — artwork and text — may not be altered in any way.  It must be in the foreground and you may not place anything in front of it or obscure it in anyway.

2) You may not put anything in the background of the ad that contradicts or in any way changes the meaning or intent of the IndyPlanet base ad.

3) You may not include anything in the background that infringes on the rights of another person or entity.

4) You may not include any images of a sexually explicit nature.

That’s all of the you-may-not’s, however there are a few It-would-be-a-good-idea-to’s

1) It would be a good idea to include artwork that is both visually interesting and generally representative of the artwork in your comic.  You should also include your logo.

2) It would be a good idea to avoid cluttering up the image with too many words.   We’ve already put plenty of verbage in the IP base.  Your space would be best used to tantalize readers with your artwork and design sense.

3) It would be a good idea to avoid hype.   It’s always a good idea to avoid hype.   Quotes from reviewers are fine, a tagline or something like that would be fine.  But steer clear of the hardsell and the “this is the book you’ve been waiting all of your life for” and all that kind of nonsense.   Remember you are designing an ad to run in someone else’s book.

4) It would be a good idea to design your ad to work equally well in full color as well as in grayscale.   Your ad may run on the interior page of a black & white book.  If so, it will run in grayscale.

When you’ve built your ad upload it to your site or a third party site — same as you would files for a Ka-Blam order — and send us the link in the Message Center.

If your ad is approved — and it will be if you’ve obeyed all the rules — we’ll post it here and you’re in the club!    It’s just that simple!

BTW … don’t forget … all of the normal page tech specs apply. So your add needs to respect the rules for margins and trim lines.


  1. I think this is a great idea. In fact, its a great opportunity for comic artists and authors to sell thier comics/works. I will proudly do this.

  2. My ad’s already completed and uploaded. Great idea!

  3. Spotlighting fellow creators’ books AND IndyPlanet in the same advertisement is an excellent idea. I’m all over this. A couple of questions:

    1. Are the ad-swaps eligible for the printing discount that is applied when using the Ka-Blam ad? I’m guessing not — since it’s more of a deal with other creators than it is with you guys — but since it’s also an IndyPlanet ad, I thought I’d check.

    2. Would there be a way to notify creators (when their ads are being used) WHICH titles their ads are appearing in? I think this could help encourage creators to sample more of each others’ books (and move some fabulous IndyPlanet products, of course).

  4. For now, Adam, the answer to question 1 is “no”. As you surmised it’s an ad swap between creators. Controlled and managed, yes but it’s a voluntary ad swap system.

    I like your idea on question 2. I don’t have a mechanism in place for that just yet, but we’ll work on it. For now though you could always just add a comment to the post after you download the ad, letting the creator when and where you’re going to run it.

  5. I love this idea and fully suport it. Let’s try it at once.
    Just quoting the mayor from Nightmare Before Christmas there, but seriously. I love this! I just sumbitted my book and wish I would have been able to put one in this book. I will have to hurry and get one done so I can.

  6. I already submitted mine as well. I would be happy to choose one that someone else submitted. If theres a way for us creator to reach one another, im in!

  7. When you choose an ad to run in one of your books just add a comment letting the creator know. For example, you decide to run the Elf ‘n Troll ad in your next book then after you download the it add a comment to the post saying something to the effect of “I’m running this ad in my next issue of WhateverMyComicsIsNamed!

  8. Barry–

    Sounds good — I’ll do that. Maybe at some point there could be a control panel for “My Ad Swaps” in the My Info section — displaying the ads a creator has uploaded and a list of the titles the ads are running in. It might be as simple as having the Ka-Blam staff update the list once they’ve seen that customer’s ad in a book currently being prepared for press.

    Not trying to overload you guys with more work, of course. This is a great idea and I’ll definitely be participating.

  9. Quick Clarification —

    Your ads need to conform to our standard-sized tech specs … which means you need to take the live area, margins, and bleeds into account when designing your ads.

    I’ve added guides to the base ad to help you out. Remember, the simple rule of thumb is to extend your artwork all the way to the edges of the canvas, but keep all of your text at least one half of an inch away from the edges on all sides. Do that and you’ll be fine.

  10. If I have a manga-sized book, can I still place ads in it? I’d love to include one but doesn’t look like there are any manga sized ads. Can we submit manga-sized ads for our comics? Or can only standard comic sizes participate right now?

  11. It’s roughly proportionate. Build your ad to standard-size and we can resample to make it fit a manga-size book.

  12. Love the idea! I’ll work on some new art for this.

  13. Has there been any thought about running multiple ads in a single comic? I usually have blank inner front and back covers, but I’d love to fill those with these ads.

  14. That sounds great! There’s no limit. You could run as many as you’d like.

  15. Wow, this is a fantastic Idea! I’ll be creating one for my next issue (#5).

  16. Point of Clarification –

    Just so it doesn’t go without saying — There’s never a page sub fee for adding or replacing or removing an IndyPlanet AdSwap. So there’s no extra cost for participation or for periodically rotating your ads.

    Which brings me to another point of clarification … this is a voluntary program. Your participation is welcomed, but by no means required. If this isn’t your cup of tea, that’s OK. You don’t have to play. No one will think less of you. Promise.

    If you do choose to participate please keep in mind that this is as much — or more — about promoting the books you like as it is about promoting your own work. Hopefully, your ads will be run and run frequently. But there are no guarantees. Reciprocity in kind is not required. Just because you run someone’s ad doesn’t mean they’re required to run yours. They’re not. By posting an ad you’re committing to run ads in your books. But the ad or ads you run is entirely up to you. If you want to run a reciprocal ad, then by all means do so. But it is not required.

    Our only recommendation is that you promote what you like. That’s the what this is all about.

  17. Most of my books are formatted like magazines (8.375 x 10.75), but I would love to participate. Is it alright to alter the ads to fit my pages? I’m happy to submit ads at regular comics size for others to use.

  18. Although it’s too late to use one of these ads in my first issue, I will definitely be taking advantage of this service when my second issue is ready to print!

  19. This is an awesome and wonderful idea! I am really looking forward to this program and what it can do for all of us!

  20. Can ADs be downloaded to place on websites to promote indyplanet and books we really like?

    I dont mean in place of the swap in the books. But extracurricularly?

  21. If anyone wants me to feature their comicbook on my blog

    then just let me know! I’ve put up some reviews of IndyPlanet books already over the months, but I am happy to put up an advertorial or review for any book sold there or ComicsMonkey. I’m sick and tired of the fanboi culture promoting DC and Marvel to the exclusion of all of us genuine indies. Anything I can do to help the community, tell me and I will do it. :)


  22. Jonathan–
    That would be cool. How do I arrange to have you review something?

  23. Jonathan Nolan
    Would love to! I don’t see a place on your site to email you?

  24. Are we allowed to submit more than one for one series? So that people can have a choice which ad for a series they would like to run?

  25. Sure, that’s fine.

  26. Will there be an alternate version of the Indy Planet base available? Probably not, since alternate Ka-Blam ads for the book interiors are no longer available, but I want to ask anyway.

    It would be cool to maybe have some color variants so as to provide greater flexibility when attempting to design aesthetically cohesive ads.

    If not, will you encumber the running of ads not bearing the Indy Planet base agreed upon by creators
    outside of the Ad-Swap Club?

  27. Great idea! Already downloaded the file….

  28. There will be an alternate version (that will probably work a little better on bw book interiors). I don’t have a timetable, but I hope to post it soon.

    And we have no objections whatsoever to any content (within our stated content guidelines) — ads included — you run inside your comics. Feel free to swap ads in any way you want. We simply created the ad swap club to facilitate ad swapping between creators who don’t know each other personally.

  29. How does this work if you already are currently selling your book? Would it still cost $5 extra to edit the files, and then change the price of the book to add ad pages?

    Also a digital ad swap would be really cool as well. Or a hybrid of print and digital ad swapping. Digital would be easier to trace n.n

  30. If you’re only adding ad swaps then there is no substitution fee. You’ll need to place a reorder — “0″ quantity is fine — and let us know what the changes are. If your total page count changes (if you’re adding to as opposed to just substituting a page) then keep in mind you must add in 4 page increments for comics and 2 page increments for books.

  31. Wow. I am absolutely going to do this in the future. Great idea!

  32. New blogsite coming soon, we will be doing reviews of as many indyplanet books as we can. :)

    And we’re definitely going to do the ad swap too ;)

  33. I’ve got a question about this… will it take up space in my comic? My comic’s already 48 pages long and I’d really not like to stretch it to 52. But its okay if it is, I’m just wondering.

  34. Hi,
    If you want to run an ad from the Ad Swap program (and I highly encourage participation!!) then you have to allow for a page to be used. It’s gotta go somewhere :O)

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